Policies and Procedural Guidelines for Nondiscrimination on the Basis of Disability
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Prior versions of the UH Hilo Policies and Procedural Guidelines for Non-Discrimination Based on Disability (January 2000 and 2003) were superseded by the following policy, dated March 2013. This policy is also available as a PDF document.
The University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo is committed to a policy of nondiscrimination on the basis of disability as required by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and its 2009 amendments, and Section 504 regulations at 34 CFR Part 104, which are enforced by the U.S. Department of Education and apply to the education of students with disabilities. These policies and procedures ensure that persons with disabilities will not be denied full and equal access to academic and co-curricular programs and activities or otherwise be subjected to discrimination under programs or activities offered by the University. It is the responsibility of all faculty, staff and students to adhere to this policy of equal access to educational opportunity. This procedural guideline applies to university students and programs and the general public.
It is University policy that enrolled students who have documented disabilities shall be provided reasonable accommodations. UH Hilo recognizes its legal obligations to make reasonable accommodations designed to provide overall educational program accessibility for otherwise qualified persons with disabilities. This policy was developed to ensure equal access at the University for persons with disabilities and to ensure full compliance with all pertinent federal and state laws. In this document, the University of Hawaii Hilo Disability Services office will be referred to as Disability Services.
Students with a disability or persons from the general public seeking assistance should contact the Disability Services Office.
Part I: Policy Statement
In accordance with the 1990 ADA and amendments, and Section 504 regulations at 34 CFR Part 104, which are enforced by the US Dept of Education and apply to the education of students with disabilities, UH Hilo provides notice to the public that no otherwise qualified person with a disability shall be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or otherwise be subjected to discrimination under any program or activity receiving federal financial assistance.
This policy applies to all UH Hilo programs and facilities, including but not limited to admission and enrollment, academic requirements, auxiliary aids and services, examinations and evaluations, physical education and athletics, financial aid, student employment, counseling and academic advising, student clubs and organizations, computer access, student teaching, distance education, and externship experiences.
Part II: Rights and Responsibilities
A. The Institution
UH Hilo recognizes that its basic responsibility is to identify and maintain the academic and technical standards that are fundamental to providing quality academic programs while ensuring the rights of persons with disabilities.
To meet this obligation, UH Hilo:
- has the responsibility to inform its applicants and students about the availability and range of auxiliary aids and services for students with disabilities as well as the procedures for requesting them;
- has the responsibility to ensure that its recruitment information and activities are available in accessible formats and facilities
- has the responsibility to evaluate applicants based on their abilities. If an evaluation method or criterion unfairly discriminates against an applicant with a disability, the University will seek reasonable alternative
- has the responsibility to ensure that all of its programs, viewed in their entirety, are accessible
- has the responsibility to make reasonable modifications for a student with a disability in the delivery, instructional method, and evaluation method of a course
- has the responsibility to modify academic requirements that unfairly discriminate against a student with a disability and that are not essential to the integrity of the student’s academic program
- has the responsibility to select and administer tests to evaluate students to best ensure that test results accurately reflect course knowledge or competencies and do not discriminate against an individual with a disability. Tests designed to measure specific skills related to fundamental/essential course goals are allowable even when those skills are impacted by the disability
- has the right to identify and establish the abilities, skills, and knowledge necessary for academic success in its programs and evaluates applicants and students on this basis
- has the right to identify and establish the abilities, skills, and knowledge that are fundamental to their academic programs/courses and to evaluate each student’s performance on this basis (i.e., fundamental program/course goals are not subject to modifications)
- has the right to request and review documentation that supports requests for auxiliary aids and services. The University has the right to select among different effective methods of accommodating a student with a disability; and, has the right to amend or deny a request for auxiliary aids or services (see section of Accessing Auxiliary Aids and Services for more specific information). If a request is denied, the University has the responsibility to inform the individual of his or her right to appeal the decision and to inform him or her of the procedures for initiating an appeal.
B. Persons with Disabilities
Persons with disabilities have the right to an equal opportunity to participate in and benefit from programs offered at UH Hilo.
To ensure these rights, individuals with disabilities at UH Hilo:
- have the responsibility to identify themselves as needing auxiliary aids or services by contacting the Disability Services Office;
- have the responsibility to follow procedures for making requests for auxiliary aids or services and to do so in a timely manner;
- have the responsibility to demonstrate or document how their disability limits their ability to benefit from a particular delivery system, instructional method, or evaluation method when they make a request from an accommodation. The individual must provide documentation from an appropriate professional (unless the disability is obvious) to the Disability Services Director or designee;
- have the same obligation, as any student, to meet and maintain the institution’s fundamental academic and technical standards;
- have the right to be evaluated on their ability, not their disability. If a method of evaluation discriminates against them, individuals with disabilities are entitled to be evaluated by alternate means;
- have the right to information regarding the availability of auxiliary aids and services as well as procedures for requesting for them;
- have the right to an equal opportunity to learn. Individuals with disabilities have the right to reasonable modifications of educational experiences (e.g., location, delivery system, or instructional method) that limit access or participation;
- have the right to an equal opportunity to participate in and benefit from the academic community. This includes access to services, extracurricular activities, and housing, when viewed in their entirety, at a comparable level as that provided to students without disabilities;
- have the right to confidentially of all information regarding their disability. Individuals with disabilities have the right to choose to whom information about their disability will be disclosed, and to authorize the Disability Services Director or designee to verify their disability status; and,
- have the right to appeal the institution’s decisions concerning the provision of auxiliary aids or services: internally, by filing a discrimination complaint following the procedures described in Appendix B, or by contacting the Disability Services office.
Part III: Guidelines for Policy Implementation
- The Chancellor, or designee, shall establish and appoint an Advisory Committee on Disability Access. The charge for the Advisory Committee on Disability Access is as follows:
- The Committee shall be an active participant in short and long range campus planning related to compliance with Federal accessibility standards, including the prioritizing of accessibility improvements to our facilities in order to meet those requirements.
- The Committee shall be the forum for discussion of University policies, procedures, programs, facilities, and other matters that assure the full inclusion of people with disabilities into our diverse University community.
- The Committee shall serve to review matters related to disability access and, when possible, reach consensus on practical courses of action. When necessary, it shall make recommendations to the Administration on its findings. It shall maintain liaison with the Hawaiʻi Community College on accessibility matters.
- The University shall publish its general policy of nondiscrimination on the basis of disability in the UH Hilo catalog, on the UH Hilo website, the UH Hilo schedule of courses, the student handbook, in the Resident handbook and other faculty handbooks. Additionally, the University shall publish contact information regarding services for students with disabilities, and discrimination complaint information.
- The Disability Services (DS) Office will coordinate academic accommodations for students with disabilities, and act as a resource to the campus community. The primary coordinator will be the Disability Services Director. This responsibility is assigned by the highest levels of administration and is undertaken on behalf of the institution. With regard to non-academic accommodations (e.g., faculties, parking, housing, student life, student employment, etc.), it is the responsibility of the coordinators of those units to provide and oversee accommodations. While DS will act as a resource for the University, it is the entire University’s responsibility to ensure equal access for students with disabilities.
B. Accessibility of Facilities
- General - Qualified persons with disabilities may not be denied the benefits of, or be excluded from participation in UH Hilo programs or activities due to inaccessible facilities.
- Existing Facilities - Each program or activity will be operated so that, when viewed in its entirety, it is accessible to qualified persons with disabilities. Students may not be excluded from a specifically requested course offering, program, or other activity due to an inaccessible location. Methods that offer programs and activities to persons with disabilities in the most integrated setting appropriate will be emphasized. Modifications to ensure accessibility may include:
- relocation of classes
- priority registration (this can serve to limit the impact of classes being moved)
- installation of appropriate signage
- delivery of counseling, advisory, and support services at accessible sites
- accessible parking
- structural alterations where necessary and appropriate. Facilities modification projects shall be consistent with UFAS/ADAAG (Uniform Federal Accessibility Standards/ADA Architectural Accessibility Guidelines). All projects shall be reviewed by the Facilities Planning Office, the DS Office, and the State of Hawaii Disability Communication Access board to ensure accessibility.
- Parking - There are accessible parking stalls throughout campus. To park in an accessible stall, both a University Parking Permit/ Pass and a disabled parking placard issued by the State of Hawaiʻi or any other state are required, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
- New Construction - Facilities, or parts of facilities, constructed for the use of UH Hilo must be designed and built to allow persons with disabilities convenient and safe access. New construction must be planned in accordance with UFAS/ADAAG.
- Off-Campus Facilities - Every effort will be taken to assure that UH Hilo classes, programs or activities conducted of-campus will be in accessible locations. Contractual or lease agreements, shall require notification if a location does not meet the physical accessibility standards of UFAS/ADAAG. If any location does not meet these standards, the inaccessibility shall be announced in all promotional materials, and participants shall be invited to request accommodations in order to fully participate (e.g., nature trails, boating expeditions, canoe rides, etc.). Either prior verbal notification requests or pre-registration forms to the event coordinator shall allow for the arrangement of any possible academic adjustments or auxiliary aids and services as appropriate accommodations.
- Emergency Evacuation - UH Hilo recognizes its responsibility to meet the needs of all students in the event of emergency evacuations and understands that the disabled student population may require special assistance in the evacuation process beyond what is provided to students without disabilities. It is highly recommended that any person with a disability attending any function at the UH Hilo campus become familiar with the Emergency Evacuation route and Areas of Rescue within the buildings that the person with a disability will be in. Further information about the University’s Emergency Procedures for Persons with Disabilities is available at the Disability Services Office -
C. Educational Programs and Activities
Qualified persons with a disability may not be denied admission to, enrollment in, or participation in UH Hilo degree programs, or activities, or be discriminated against in admissions or recruitment.
- Admissions and Enrollment
- The number or proportion of persons with disabilities who will be admitted or enrolled may not be limited on the basis of disability.
- UH Hilo has the right to identify and establish the abilities, skills, and knowledge necessary for success in its programs and to evaluate applicants and students on this basis.
- UH Hilo shall ensure that its recruitment information and activities are available in alternate formats, and in accessible facilities.
- UH Hilo shall inform applicants about the availability of disability support services on campus upon an applicant’s request. Every admitted applicant’s letter of acceptance shall inform the applicant whom to contact if he/she chooses to voluntarily disclose a disability, or has general questions regarding eligibility requirements and campus disability services.
- Before assessment/placement tests under the control of UH Hilo are selected and administered, the University shall assure that
- Tests are selected and administered in ways that ensure that the test results reflect the applicant’s aptitude or achievement level, or whatever other factors the test purports to measure, and do not discriminate against an individual with a disability.
- It is the responsibility of the individual taking the test to make special needs known before the specified test date and to meet the specific requirements of the respective testing party
- Tests shall be administered in facilities that are accessible to persons with disabilities, and are under similar testing environmental conditions if no alternate testing accommodation is required
- Inquiries as to whether applicants for admission are disabled may not be made. Following the acceptance into a program, inquiries may be made by programs that have technical standards necessary for safe and effective practices
- UH Hilo shall be responsible for providing appropriate accommodations requested by students with disabilities who are concurrently enrolled (or accepted for enrollment) at another campus within the UH system. In those situations, the student will need to provide adequate documentation of the disability to DS, even if documentation has already been provided to another campus within the UH system
- A student with a disability enrolled part-time (i.e., less than 12 credits) may request to be designated as a full-time student. The student must submit a written request to the Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs, which should include the following information: disability documentation, reason (s) the full-time designation is being sought, and a justification that the request is reasonable. Students will need to make such a request each semester in which they are enrolled part-time. The approval for a full-time status designation does not automatically carry over from one semester to another
If approved, the full-time designation provides the student access to the rights and privileges of any full-time student at UH Hilo, to include living in the residence halls, insurance coverage, and participation in extracurricular activities. Students should note, however, that federal financial aid regulations prevent the UH Hilo Financial Aid Office from awarding a student enrolled in less than 12 hours of coursework a financial aid award based on full-time enrollment.
- Treatment of Students in UH Hilo Programs and Activities - In Implementing the policy to ensure access to educational programs or activities and extracurricular activities offered by UH Hilo, all programs and activities will be conducted in the most integrated setting possible. Programs not wholly operated by UH Hilo that require student participation in educational activities, such as internships, should assure that these activities, as a whole, and provide an equal opportunity for the participation of qualified persons with disabilities In order to be proactive in assisting student with disabilities, instructors will be encouraged to include a statement on their syllabi each semester such as the following Any student with a documented disability who would like to request accommodations should contact the Disability Services Office as early in the semester as possible.
- Academic Requirements - Academic requirements may be modified, as necessary, to ensure that they do not discriminate against students with disabilities if the requirements are not essential to the integrity of the student’s academic program. These modifications shall not affect the substance of the educational programs or compromise educational curriculum standards. UH Hilo has the right to identify and establish the abilities, skills, and knowledge that are fundamental to academic programs/courses and to evaluate each student’s performance against these standards. Technical standards that are necessary for safe and effective practices are not regarded as discriminatory Academic modifications may include:
- changes in length of time permitted for the completion of degree requirements
- alteration in the manner in which specific courses are conducted
- substitution or waiver of specific courses required for the completion of degrees.
- Request for Modification of a Degree Requirement: A student with a disability may request the modification of a degree requirement by filing a request to the appropriate College Dean. The Dean will then form an ad-hoc committee to determine whether a policy or practice modification would fundamentally alter the nature of the program curriculum. The ad hoc committee membership shall include (but is not limited to) the Department Chair of the student’s major (and/or the Division Chair if one exists) , the student’s academic advisor, and the Disability Services Director. Information that may be requested from the student in considering requests for modification may include disability documentation, evidence of a disability-related need for the modification, justification that the request is reasonable, and any other supporting documentation. The Dean will make the final decision regarding the committee’s recommendation. If the student with a disability disagrees with the Dean’s decision, he/she may appeal to the Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs for a final decision
- Auxiliary Aids and Services - Qualified students may request auxiliary aids and services which the University will provide, if they are deemed reasonable, and appropriate. Students may also apply for auxiliary aids and services through the State of Hawaiʻi Division of Vocational Rehabilitation. Auxiliary aids and services are offered on an individualized basis, with consideration of the individual’s strengths in learning style and preference. The university will make available a necessary aid for classroom or other appropriate (non-personal) use. A student with a disability will not be required to pay any cost of an approved aid or service. The university will not limit what it spends for auxiliary aids or services or refuse to provide auxiliary aids because it believes that other providers of these services exist, or condition its provision of auxiliary aids on availability of funds. The university may meet its obligation to provide auxiliary aids by assisting the student in obtaining the aid or obtaining reimbursement for the cost of an aid from an outside agency or organization, such as a state rehabilitation agency or a private charitable organization. The institution is not responsible for providing aids or services of a personal nature (e.g., personal care attendants, readers for personal use, or study). It is the responsibility of the student to request auxiliary aids or services in a timely manner. Requests not made in a timely manner will be addressed as soon as reasonably possible. The use of auxiliary aids and adaptive devices in the classrooms or campus buildings shall not be restricted. However, recordings or transcription of lectures may not be used for any purpose that would interfere with the rights of an instructor, nor can the recorded material be duplicated. (Appendix A includes a copy of an agreement form for recording lectures that instructors may ask students to sign.) Violation of this provision may result in disciplinary action under the Student Conduct Code. When a student needs to record a class which may involve discussion of matters of a sensitive or confidential nature, the student (or instructor) should contact the Disability Services Director as soon as he/she becomes aware of the situation in order to develop an appropriate plan for handling the matter. Students may be required to put down a deposit for auxiliary aids that are loaned to them, which will be returned when they return the aid. The University reserves the right to charge a student for the cost of replacing an aid if it is not returned, or for repairing an aid that is returned in a condition that is beyond normal “wear and tear.”
- Program Examinations and Evaluations - Examinations or other procedures for evaluating student’s academic achievement may be modified to better evaluate the achievement of students with disabilities. The results of the evaluation should represent the student’s achievement in the program or activity, rather than reflecting the students’ disability. If a student takes an examination outside of the instructor’s immediate supervision, or at a different time than other students, or with accommodations, the examination should be of the same degree of difficulty as that given to other students. It is the student’s responsibility to request test accommodations in a timely manner. Testing accommodations, if requested in a timely manner, are offered on an individualized basis with consideration of the individual’s academic needs.
- Physical Educations, Athletics, and Similar Activities - Qualified students with disabilities in UH Hilo programs or activities shall have an equal opportunity to participate in physical education courses, intercollegiate and intramural athletics and other similar activities. If a reasonable accommodation is not possible in a required course, the student may follow the procedures stated above for requesting a modification of a degree requirement.
- Financial Aid - UH Hilo shall provide financial assistance to eligible, qualified students regardless of disabilities. Any UH Hilo student may file an appeal with the Financial Aid Office and the Financial Aid and Scholarship Advisory Committee if he/she is not satisfied with a financial aid award. Appeals will be decided on a case-by-case basis within the limits of federal regulations governing the awarding of federal financial aid.
- Service Animals - A dog that is individually trained to work or perform tasks for a person with a disability is considered a service animal that may accompany the person with a disability on the UH Hilo campus. Certain medical or laboratory settings may by its nature prohibit service animals due to maintenance of sterile environmental conditions. Please be aware that the service animal must be leashed, remain under the control and direct supervision of the person with a disability and not stray unattended, and exhibit nondisruptive behavior while in a classroom, or work setting. For more information about the UH Hilo Animals on Campus policy please visit the campus security website.
- Student Employment - Employment through UH Hilo programs shall not discriminate against qualified students on the basis of disability. The assistant director of career services, in consultation with the DS Director, will work with a student with a disability and the appropriate employer on campus to provide reasonable and appropriate job accommodations.
- Counseling and Academic Advising - Personal and career counseling/guidance, as well as academic advising, shall be available in an accessible setting and provided without discrimination. Specifically, qualified students with disabilities must not be counseled toward more restrictive career objectives than are non-disabled students with similar interests and abilities.
- Student Clubs and Organizations - Qualified students with disabilities shall have equal access to participation in student clubs and organizations. The Campus Center Director shall ensure that membership in any registered student club or organization does not discriminate on the basis of disability.
- Computer Access - Qualified students with disabilities shall have equal access to the use of computers on campus. University committees and units responsible for computer technology shall consider the acquisition and implementation of software/hardware, and other assistive technology that promotes equal access for individuals with disabilities and make such equipment available as appropriate.
- Student Teaching and Other Externships - Qualified students with disabilities participating in student teaching and other externships within the U.S. shall receive full access to the educational opportunities afforded by these assignments. Following acceptance into a student teaching or other internship, inquiries as to whether a student has a disability may be made by programs that have technical standards necessary for safe and effective practice. If auxiliary aids or services are required, their provision will be negotiated between the institution and the cooperating agency or organization. Best efforts will be made by the externship or placement coordinator to find a suitable placement, or internship practicum site that both the student and coordinator find appropriate.
- Distance Education - At present there is no UH system-wide policy governing the provision of accommodation for students enrolled in distance education programs. Until a system-wide policy is adopted, UH Hilo shall handle requests for accommodations by students with disabilities enrolled in distance education programs on a case-by-case basis. Students enrolled in distance education programs should personally contact the Disability Services office to make their needs known. The Disability Services Director will work with the student and the appropriate personnel at the distance education site to provide the necessary
D. Public Events
UH Hilo recognizes its obligation to provide overall program accessibility for persons with disabilities who participate in events that are open to the internal campus and external public, such as conferences and graduation ceremonies. The Event Coordinator responsible for coordinating specific public events shall follow the procedures described below to ensure accessibility.
- In planning events, the Event Coordinator should refer to the following reference guide: State of Hawaiʻi Disability Access to programs and Services Manual. In addition, the DS Director (ADA Coordinator/Sec 504 Compliance Officer), and EEO/AA Director shall be available as resources for consultation.
- Designate a staff person associated with the event planning committee to handle requests for accommodations.
Include the following announcement on registration forms, brochures, fliers, press-releases, and invitations
For disability accommodations, contact [Event Coordinator] at [phone*] (V), (808) 933-3334 (TTY) by [date 10 business days prior to event date]. * The phone number should be accessible by a TTY (telecommunication device for the deaf and hard of hearing). If the office of the designated Event Coordinator does not have a TTY, the phone number of the Department Secretary or Division Secretary may be used, and the contact person would be the name of the Event Coordinator.
For simple accommodation requests (e.g., accessible parking permits, front-row seating), the designated Event Coordinator shall contact the DS Office to arrange the accommodation.
- For other accommodation request, the designated Event Coordinator shall follow the steps described in the “Request for Accommodation from Members of the Public” form (see Appendix E). This process may not be necessary if the Event Coordinator determines that the request is reasonable or has obtained sufficient guidance from the DS Director. However, if the Event Coordinator is unsure about how to respond to a request, or has any doubt about the appropriateness and/or reasonableness of an accommodation, he/she shall follow the steps described on the form. The process is designed to provide guidance and support for Event Coordinators who have received a request for accommodation.
- For public events held at UH Hilo facilities, it is the responsibility of UH Hilo to ensure that all facilities to be used are accessible. However, it is the responsibility of the sponsoring or organizing group to ensure programmatic accessibility.
- Members of the public who wish to file a complaint regarding access to University programs, services, and activities shall be informed by either the Event Coordinator or DS Director of the “ADA/Section 504 Complaint Procedures for Members of the Public” (Appendix C). Such information will be in forms available via internet access on the UH Hilo website, and by contacting the DS Office or the Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs for a hard copy of the complaint procedures.
Part IV: Procedures for Accessing Academic Adjustments, Auxiliary Aids and Services
- UH Hilo may require students to provide sufficient information to establish eligibility as a disabled student and to identify the type and nature of disability-related services, modifications, academic adjustments, and auxiliary aids that are necessary for the student
- The student with a disability provides documents which confirm the student’s disability. In order to fully evaluate a request for accommodations or auxiliary aids, the Director or designee will need documentation from an appropriate professional that there is a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one, or more major life activities. The following treatment professionals for the student with a disability would be considered qualified to evaluate and diagnose disabilities provided they have comprehensive training in the diagnosis and have direct experience with persons having such disabilities: psychologists, neuropsychologists, psychiatrists, psychometrician, nurse practitioners, M.D. trained medical practitioner in a specific field of medical specialty, or clinically trained and certified professionals Generally an IEP, 504 Plan, or other types of educational/vocational plans will not usually contain sufficient information to determine eligibility for disability services. However, such documentation may be helpful to discussions held to identify an appropriate academic adjustment for a student with a disability In order to receive accommodations, students with disabilities will provide documentation indicating that without the necessary accommodation(s) they would not have equal access and would be subject to discrimination. It is the responsibility of the student to pay for any costs associated with an evaluation of a disability (e.g., medical tests, testing for a learning disability). As appropriate to the disability, documentation should include
- A diagnostic statement identifying the disability, date of the current diagnostic evaluation, and the date of the original diagnosis.
- A description of the diagnosis criteria and/or diagnostic test used.
- A description of the current functional impact of the disability as it relates to the academic adjustment or accommodation being requested.
- Treatments, medications, assistive devices/services currently prescribed or in use.
- A description of the expected progression or stability of the impact of the disability over time.
- The signature and credential(s) of the diagnosing professional(s). Documentation may not be required from students with obvious disabilities. In some circumstances, the Disability Services Director is an appropriate professional whose observation is sufficient in assessing the current functional impact of a disability as it relates to the accommodation being requested (e.g., wheelchair user, amputee, total blindness, deafness, etc.) Temporary mental or physical impairments are covered by the ADA if the impairment substantially limits a major life activity. The issue of whether a temporary impairment is significant enough to be a disability will be resolved on a case-by-case basis, taking into consideration either the duration (or expected duration) of the impairment and the extent to which it actually limits a major life activity of the affected individual
- Disability Services may request additional documentation from a student with a disability if his or her submission is insufficient and the service provider may deny a request for an accommodation if the student fails to provide sufficient documentation
- Information regarding a student’s disability will be kept confidential. Disability-related information shall be kept in separate files with access limited to appropriate personnel. This information shall be shared with others within the institution on a need-to-know base only, or with the student’s written consent. Faculty members do not have a right to access diagnostic or other information regarding a student’s disability; they have a need to know what accommodations are necessary and appropriate to meet a student’s disability-related needs. The student must give permission to the Director or designee to inform faculty members of the need for specific accommodations
Appropriate academic accommodations and auxiliary aids are determined through an interactive process involving the student with a disability, the treatment professionals, faculty member(s), and the Disability Services Director. Specific services available to the student are determined based on the impact of the student’s disability and the academic courses and activities in which the student is participating The University has the right to deny a request if the documentation demonstrates that no accommodation is necessary or if an accommodation is not reasonable. An accommodation is not reasonable if:
- Making the accommodation of having the individual involved in the activity poses a direct threat to the health or safety of the student and/or others;
- Making the accommodation means making a substantial change in an essential element(s) of the curriculum;
- Making the accommodation would require a substantial alteration in the manner in which services (education opportunities) are provided;
- Making the accommodation would impose an undue financial or administrative burden. The University has the right to select among different accommodations and auxiliary aids that are effective and reasonable. Input from the student requesting accommodations will be taken into consideration when making a selection choice
The Director shall send letters via campus mail to inform instructors in writing of the accommodations that are required for a particular student in his/her class each semester. Students may choose to hand deliver the accommodation letter to their professors (Copies will be provided to the student upon request.) It is the instructor’s responsibility to provide the accommodations determined by the Director. If an instructor considers the accommodation inappropriate, he/she has the right to request reconsideration if he/she still considers the accommodation inappropriate. Appendix D contains the “Request for Reconsideration of a Disability-Related Accommodation” procedure and contains the form to be used. If a request for reconsideration is submitted, the instructor must provide the accommodation(s) during the time period that the appeal is being processed. A decision not to request a reconsideration of an accommodation shall be taken as an agreement to provide it
- Inform students of their right to appeal a denied request for an accommodation or some other act of alleged discrimination (see Appendix B). Complaints by faculty, staff, or members of the public who are denied access to accommodations are to be filed directly with the EEO/AA Director.
- Maintain confidential record keeping procedures necessary to document institutional responses to accommodation requests
B. Priority Registration for Classes
The priority registration process allows for students to register early for their desired academic schedules, usually at the registration period of the Seniors (the 1st day of the early registration week at 8:30 am). The process relies on student cooperation to facilitate the registration process. The following procedures identify the responsibilities of the student and the Disability Services Director, or designee.
- Students must timely provide documentation verifying their need for priority registration to the Disability Services Director, or designee. Documentation may not be required of students with obvious physical disabilities
- Students must be accepted for enrollment and be in good financial standing with the University. New students must pay their advance tuition deposit to be eligible for this service
- Students must comply with all placement testing and registration deadlines.
- Students working with the Disabilities Services Director, or designee, must meet with their academic advisor during the advising period scheduled prior to the start of early registration
Disability Services Director Responsibilities
The Disability Services Director will work with the Registrar to assure early registration for qualified students.
C. Formats of Academic Materials
Students with disabilities may require modification of academic materials as an accommodation. The following are examples of available academic material reformatting at UH Hilo
- Recorded Lectures/Note taking - Recorded lectures/note taking provides access to course lectures for students with disabilities that affect their ability to take lecture notes. This service relies on student cooperation to facilitate the recorded lecture/note taking process. The following procedures identify the responsibilities of the student and the Disability Services Director or designee.
- Students must provide the Disability Services Director or designee with documentation verifying the need for recorded lectures/note takers in a timely manner. Documentation may not be required of students with obvious physical disabilities
- If a note taker is required, it is recommended that students notify the DS office as soon as possible, and reasonable attempts will be made by the DS staff to secure a competent and qualified note taker as soon as possible. However, should this attempt be unsuccessful the DS office may work with the faculty and the student to attempt to find a classmate in the course who would be suitable and willing to share his/her class notes
- Recordings of class sessions or notes taken by a note taker are provided to the student with a disability as an academic adjustment; they are not to be used or shared in any other context unless verbal or written permission/approval has been given by the class instructor
- Audio recordings of class sessions or notes taken by a note taker are provided to the student with a disability as an academic adjustment; they are not to be used or shared in any other context unless verbal or written permission/approval has been given by the class instructor.
Disability Services Director Responsibilities
- The Disability Services Director, or designee, may be able to arrange to have lecture notes photocopied for the student
- Upon student request, the Disability Services Director or designee can meet with an instructor or class to help identify an in-class note taker, or employ an existing note taker from outside of the class
- Disability Services Director or designee will provide note taker training as necessary
- If a student needs to record class sessions or have a note taker, the Disability Services Director or designee may notify the instructor in writing. As faculty have the right to require a student who uses a tape recorder to sign an agreement for tape recording, the Director or designee will provide a copy of an Agreement Form for Tape Recording Lectures to the instructor upon request (see Appendix A)
- Alternate Formats of Academic Materials Other academic material formats are available to students with disabilities such as electronics, Braille, large print, transcription, e-text, and audio. This is not an all inclusive list. The determination of an appropriate and effective format relies on sufficient documentation and the interactive discussion between the student with a disability, his/her treatment professional, pertinent faculty and administration individuals, and the Disability Services Director. The procedures and individual responsibilities involved in this process are shown below
- Students must provide the Disability Services Director or designee with documentation verifying the need for an alternate format of course materials. Documentation may not be required of students with obvious physical disabilities
- Students identify the materials that they are requesting to be reformatted.
- For required textbooks, the request must include title, author, copyright date, edition and publisher. (This information can be obtained from the course syllabus or, if the syllabus is not yet available, the information should be provided by the course instructor). In addition, proof of purchase of a text book is required for alternate format services to be provided by the University, or a public vendor
- For materials on reserve in the Library, a request must include the course number, section, and name of instructor, as well as the title, author, copyright date, edition and publisher
- For other course materials (e.g., syllabus, course handouts), the student must provide a copy (or arrange to have the course instructor provide a copy) to the Disability Services Director, or designee
- Students must provide a current course syllabus which identifies the required readings and time lines
- Students must present a request to reformat materials in a timely manner. Students who participate in priority or early registration should submit a request as soon as they have registered so that arrangements can be made to obtain the recorded material in time for classes. Students who register during regular registration should also submit a request as soon as they have registered, but they should be aware that all of the required reformatted materials may not be available at the beginning of the semester
- Students are responsible for picking up the completed reformatted academic materials in a timely manner when notified by the Disability Services office or explain any reasons for a delay
- Students must return all recorded materials at the end of the semester, unless otherwise stated. A hold on a student’s account will be made pending return of all recorded materials, unless otherwise permitted.
Disability Services Director Responsibilities
- The Disability Services Director, or designee, will provide priority registration for all students who are eligible for alternate formatting services
- The Disability Services Director, or designee, will contact an appropriate alternative services provider to order any available materials in the requested format. If the student should locate the material on his or her own, the Disability Services Director should be informed of the student’s preference, and will assist for any needed follow up services.
If the requested materials are not available through the identified alternative services provider, the Disability Services Director will employ other approaches to obtain the material in an alternate format (e.g., hiring independent contractors, locating volunteer or paid student staff, and/or implementing the use of adaptive technology). The Disability Services Director may also have trained internal staff format the academic materials in an alternative format (e.g. e-text, audio, transcription, large font).
D. Sign Language Interpreters
Sign language interpreter services are appropriate for students who are deaf or hard of hearing. The University shall arrange for this service in order to provide equal access. Students who need sign language interpreting services are also encouraged to apply for this and other services through the Division of Vocational Rehabilitation or other relevant entities. The following procedures state the responsibilities of the student and the Disability Services Director or designee.
- Students must provide appropriate documentation of a significant hearing loss that prevents access to educational services. Documentation may be a recent audiogram, language testing or speech evaluation, or other appropriate school/medical records. Documentation is to be provided a minimum of four weeks prior to the date they are to be used
- It is the responsibility of the student to identify his/her need for an interpreter in a timely manner (at least seven working days in advance) to allow for funding and scheduling arrangements to be completed. If the request is for regular classroom instruction, the student makes the request to the Disability Services Director or designee as soon as class enrollment has been confirmed, and as early in the semester as possible. If the request is for an extracurricular activity or event, the student makes the request to the individual (Event Coordinator) designated to respond to such requests for that particular activity or event (or to the Disability Services Director member in charge of the activity or event if an individual is not specified). If the request is for a university class related activity, or university tutorial service, the student should submit the request to the DS office via the request service form found at the DS Website
- Any schedule changes (e.g., add/drops, a change in room, class cancellation) must be provided to the Disability Services Director or designee as soon as they occur so that notice to the interpreter can be made. It is encouraged that the deaf student also communicates with the contracted interpreter to provide them with the similar information
- Students are expected to attend all classes. If the student is not planning to attend a class, he/she must notify the DS Office at least 24 hours in advance so that the interpreter services can be cancelled or reassigned. If the student is ill and cannot give 24 hours notice of cancellation, the student should contact the DS Office as soon as it is known that he/she will not be in attendance. The DS office staff will be in communication with the interpreter(s) regarding this situation
- If the student does not show up for a class without notifying DS in advance, the interpreter will notify DS and will not remain in the class for that missed time period
- If continued absence occurs, a mandatory meeting will be required by the DS Director with the deaf student for an interactive dialogue regarding services and possible barriers for utilizing such services.
Disability Services Director Responsibilities
- Funds to pay qualified interpreters and provide benefits as appropriate are the responsibility of the University for interpreters whose funding source is not being supplemented by another non-University agency
- The DS office will respond to all student, faculty, and staff requests for deaf services in a prompt and timely fashion, if provided notice within a reasonable period of time
- Deaf services, assistive technology and related customer service techniques will be incorporated as part of the general ADA training
- Coordinate with the student with a disability and the Division of Vocational Rehabilitation or other relevant entities that the student may have applied for and been given sign language interpreting or other services for using here at the University
E. Test Accommodations
Test accommodations allow for alternative testing conditions for eligible students with disabilities. It relies on student and faculty cooperation to facilitate the process. The following procedures identify the responsibilities of the student, the Disability Services Director, or designee, and the instructor. All requests for proctored exams/quizzes should be scheduled through the Disability Services office.
- Students must provide the Disability Services Director or designee with appropriate documentation verifying the need for alternative testing
- It is recommended that the student request test accommodations from the DS Office at the beginning of each semester, or a minimum of 7 working days prior to the test date so that appropriate arrangements can be made in a timely manner
- It is recommended that the student verify with the instructor in advance of any upcoming exams/quizzes that will need the necessary academic adjustments based on their disability
- If the student believes that an instructor is not providing a test accommodation in an appropriate manner, he or she should discuss this immediately with the Disability Services Director or designee
Disability Services Director Responsibilities
- The Disability Services Director, or designee, will send written notification to all instructors regarding any student(s) who require test accommodations. The letter will specify the type of test accommodation required, e.g., extended time, a distraction-free testing environment, or scribing services
- The Disability Services Director, or designee, will encourage the student to discuss the test accommodations with the instructors early in the semester so that appropriate testing arrangements can be made
- The Disability Services Director, or designee, will contact the instructors to request specific tests prior to the test proctoring date It is the expectation that the faculty will provide the accommodation for testing adjustments; however, should that be impossible, the Disability Services Office will make arrangements for the test to be administered by the DS Staff.
- Instructors shall follow the prescribed test accommodations for each student. Instructors will be notified of the required test accommodations in writing by the Disability Services Director or designee
- If the instructor does not understand a required test accommodation, he or she may contact the Disability Services Director or designee for clarification
- If a faculty member/instructor believes it is not possible to provide a test accommodation, he or she should contact the Disability Services Director or designee, as soon as possible. The Director, or designee, will provide suggestions as to how to provide the accommodation. DS staff members are able to provide proctoring services in the event that the faculty member is not able to personally administer the exam. It is recommended that the instructor give the Disability Services Director a minimum of 7 working days advance notice to properly arrange for the logistics associated with the proctoring option.
Part V: Complaint Policies
According to UH Systemwide Policies and Procedures Information System (PPIS), particularly Executive Policy 1.207 under H. Disputes and Complaints:
“The University has internal complaint procedures for addressing complaints about the reasonable accommodation process on its campuses. For issues related to Service Animal or ESA accommodations, students may contact their campus Disability Services Office and employees may contact Human Resources and/or the Equal Employment Opportunity office.”
- AP 9.920 Discrimination Complaint Procedure
- Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990
- ADA Amendments Act of 2008 (ADAAA or Amendments Act)
- Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973
- Fair Housing Act of 1968
- Hawaiʻi Revised Statutes § 347-2.6
- Hawaii.edu. 2022. UH Systemwide Policies and Procedures Information System (PPIS) - Executive Policies. [online] Available at: http://www.hawaii.edu/policy/?action=viewPolicy&policySection=ep&policyChapter=1&policyNumber=207
Complaint procedures have been established in the event that persons believing that they have been illegally discriminated against or unfairly treated by the University or a member of the campus community may seek a resolution of their dispute. A discrimination complaint is a formal or informal complaint filed with the Disability Services Office or the EEO/AA Office .
- Appendix B contains the University of Hawaiʻi system-wide Discrimination Complaint Procedures for Employees, Students, and Applicants for Employment or Admission.
- Appendix C contains the ADA/Section 504 Complaint Procedures for Members of the Public Who Have Complaints Regarding Access to University Programs, Services, and Activities.
- Appendix D contains the Request for Reconsideration Procedure for a faculty member who does not agree with a request for an accommodation.
Additionally, University students and employees may file complaints of discrimination with theHawaiʻi Civil Rights Commission
830 Punchbowl Street, Room 411
Honolulu, Hawaii 96813
Phone: (808) 586-8636
Fax: (808) 586-8655
- Appendix A: Agreement Form for Tape Recording Lectures (PDF)
- Appendix B: Discrimination Complaint Procedures for Employees, Students, and Applicants for Employment or Admission (PDF)
- Appendix C: ADA Complaint Procedure for Members of the Public Who Have Complaints Regarding Access (PDF)
- Appendix D: Request for Reconsideration of a Disability-Related Accommodation (PDF)
- Appendix E: Request for Accommodation from Members of the Public (PDF)