Known Your Rights and Responsibilities
- Do you need classroom accommodations or job accommodations at MU because of a disability?
- Does a disability adversely affect your academic performance at MU, or your job at MU?
- If you have a disability, are MU's programs, activities, and services—such as admissions, registration, financial aid, academic programs, advising, counseling, student health, and housing—accessible to you?
- Do you need more information about the rights of people with disabilities, or about disability-related resources available at MU and in the community?
The Americans with Disabilities Act, the Rehabilitation Act, and the Missouri Human Rights Act provide protections against disability-based discrimination. These laws also require MU to provide reasonable accommodations for otherwise qualified people with disabilities—in the classroom and at work.
MU is responsible for making academic adjustments and for providing auxiliary aid sand services to students with disabilities - for example, readers, interpreters, adaptive equipment for classroom use - if these are needed for equality of opportunity. Because the University is a major federal contractor, MU must also take affirmative action to employ qualified individuals with disabilities and advance them in employment.
- Employees are responsible for identifying themselves as a person with a disability and requesting an accommodation for work.
- Similarly, students with disabilities seeking academic accommodations are responsible for registering with the Office of Disability Services to discuss their requests.
Guidelines for MU Units
MU departments and programs should:
- Be sure that employees, students and others with disabilities can participate fully in University-sponsored activities. For events, offer to provide accommodations (for example, an interpreter), with reasonable notice.
- Be sure programs and activities are scheduled in accessible locations.
- Ensure availability of equally available communication access for videoconferences, telephone communications, emergency services, etc.
- See our event planning checklist.
Regarding employment and the workplace:
- Consider the person, not the disability.
- The person must have a disability and be otherwise qualified.
- An employer must provide reasonable accommodations for a qualified individual with disability, unless providing the accommodations would be an undue hardship. It’s best to consult with our office in considering these kinds of requests.
- In considering accommodations, consult the person with the disability.
- Generally, it is the employee's responsibility to identify himself or herself as a person with a disability and to request an accommodation.
- There are many invisible disabilities (for example, learning disabilities and epilepsy).
- The vast majority of disability discrimination complaints are filed by incumbent or terminated employees.
- Chronic employee illnesses, injuries, and stress, whether or not job-related, are likely to be disabilities covered by the ADA, because of the recent ADA Amendments Act.
- Respect confidentiality. For details, please see this U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission enforcement guidance.
- Document your actions.
Regarding student academic accommodations:
- Consider any accommodation request.
- Use caution in inquiring about the specific nature of the disabling condition; respect privacy.
- Work with the MU Disability Services Office.
- Document the fact that you considered the request.
- In the academic setting, "reasonable accommodations" are called "academic adjustments" and/or "auxiliary aids and services".
- The University is responsible for making academic adjustments and for providing auxiliary aids and services to students with disabilities—for example, readers, interpreters, adaptive equipment for classroom use—if these are needed for equality of opportunity.
Regarding events and accommodations:
- No University-sponsored event should be held in an inaccessible location on or off campus.
- Consider any accommodation request.
- Give individuals who plan to attend the event the opportunity to request accommodations such as preferential seating, portable amplification systems, sign language interpreters, and modified formats of printed materials.
- Announcements, ticket information, brochures, posters, etc., should include a statement soliciting requests for accommodations.
"Public entities" like MU have a continuing responsibility to monitor and address ADA compliance issues. The ADA requires a "public entity that employs 50or more persons [to] designate at least one employee to coordinate its efforts to comply with and fulfill its responsibilities under Title II, including the investigation of complaints. A public entity shall make available the name,office address, and telephone number of any designated employee"[Source: Department of Justice ADA Title II Technical Assistance Manual].
Complaints and Grievances
The ADA also requires a public entity to adopt and publish grievance procedures providing for prompt and equitable resolution of complaints alleging any action that would be prohibited by Title II. Informal grievances or complaints should be brought to the ADA Coordinator. If informal resolution is not achieved, formal grievances are submitted to the Faculty Council, Human Resource Services, or the Director of Student Life, for faculty, staff, or students respectively.