Case name: Letter to: Argosy University, No. 09‐14‐2280 (OCR 03/15/16).Ruling: The Office for Civil Rights found that Argosy University failed to engage a student in an interactive process to secure needed accommodations. However, it also found insufficient evidence that the fact that she was not placed at a practicum site was discriminatory.What it means: Programs with practicum components have a responsibility to work with students requesting accommodations to ensure they have access to those educational opportunities.Summary: A complainant alleged that Argosy University discriminated on the basis of her disability when it failed to engage in an interactive process with her to determine the accommodations needed for a practicum required as part of her program, and when she did not receive a practicum placement.The student, who was enrolled in the Master of Arts in Counseling Psychology program, was registered as a student with a disability and was receiving academic adjustments for dyslexia. The student told the Office for Civil Rights that she had also been diagnosed with ADHD and spinal stenosis. However, she had not provided documentation of these conditions to the institution or requested accommodations for them prior to 2014.In April 2014, she told the associate director of student services about her back‐related condition and stated that she wished to amend her accommodation notification letter to include a limitation on climbing stairs. She was informed that accommodation letters for practicum sites could not be issued, and told to follow the practicum agency's process for requesting accommodations. Despite that, the student tried to submit documentation of this condition, but claimed the university would not accept it, and that when she tried to bring up the issue with the director of clinical training, department chair, and academic advisor, she was again informed that accommodations should be procured through the practicum site.OCR found that the university violated Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act by failing to consider her request for an accommodation at a clinical practicum site that would address her disability‐related inability to climb stairs. However, it did not find the fact that she did not receive a practicum placement discrimination. Her participation was contingent on passing a group counseling course with a B– or higher, but she failed the first time and got a C the second time.
Disability Compliance for Higher Education – Wiley
Published: Jan 1, 2018
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