Fighting Stigmas, Enforcing Changes, Passing Classes

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Americans with Disabilities Act

If you or your doctor considers you to be disabled, this law applies to you!

To be disabled you must meet one of the following criteria.

A. Have physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities” (e.g., learning, caring for one's self, walking, seeing, hearing, speaking, and working)

B. Have a record of having such an impairment

C. Be regarded as having such an impairment. You are “regarded” as having an impairment if you are discriminated against because of it.

As a student, you are entitled to a “reasonable accommodation.” The precise limits of “reasonable” are still being settled in court. The laws says that an accommodation is reasonable if it does not “fundamentally alter” the nature of the program. Ex. You can’t get out of core required classes. An accommodation also cannot place “undue burden” on the school. Ex. If it were outrageously expensive.

In order to receive an accommodation you must self-identify as disabled. Your school has no right to accommodate something that it hasn’t been told about. Moreover, the school CAN ask for documented medical evidence. This means that you will have to disclose the exact nature of your mental illness including how it hinders your ability to perform in school.

Expulsion: You CAN be expelled. But only if the school consistently expels students, disabled and otherwise, for the same actions.

You CANNOT be expelled solely for refusing to follow a treatment plan. However, if you break the rules because you didn’t follow the aforementioned plan they CAN expel you.

Read the full law here.