Legal Brief: Services Available to Kent State Students Through the Americans With Disabilities Act

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“Legal Briefs” appears in e-Inside monthly to keep faculty and staff informed of legal issues and their implications. Content is provided by the Office of the University Counsel, whose mission is to ensure high-quality legal services to Kent State University in a timely, cost-effective manner, to reduce litigation and to ensure legal compliance. An archive of “Legal Briefs” is available online.

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) provides civil rights protection to individuals with disabilities similar to rights provided to individuals on the basis of race, color, sex, national origin, age and religion. The ADA guarantees equal opportunity for individuals with disabilities in public accommodations, employment, transportation, state and local government services and telecommunications. In regard to matters involving students, Kent State’s ADA compliance is monitored by the U. S. Department of Education.

For students with “varying degrees and types of disabilities,” Kent State provides assistance through each campus’s respective
Office of Student Accessibility Services (SAS) or Office of Student Disability Services (SDS). As the new semester gets underway, now is a good time to make sure that faculty and staff are aware of the following guidelines related to student disabilities and the ADA:

  • Any student who wishes to request accommodations based on his or her disability should contact SAS, or her or his respective campus disability office, as soon as possible. The Kent Campus office can be reached at 330-672-3391 or .
  • When a request is made, the student must submit current documentation of his or her disability for the SAS office to review and approve.
  • A member of the SAS staff will engage in an interactive process with the student – and when appropriate the respective faculty members -- to determine the necessary, appropriate and reasonable accommodations for the student.
  • Once an accommodation has been approved and provided by SAS, no individual faculty or staff member has the authority to unilaterally deny or alter a student’s accommodation.

Students can contact the SAS office to inquire about the process for requesting accommodations. Students wanting to find out more about their disability rights under university policy, Ohio law and the ADA should contact the Office of Affirmative Action at 330-672-2038.

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