Section 504 of the Vocational Rehabilitation Act (1973), Americans with Disabilities Act (1990), and Americans with Disabilities Act Amendment Act (2008) have greatly facilitated the expansion of services for individuals with disabilities in postsecondary educational settings. Section 504 provides that “no otherwise qualified handicapped individual in the United States…shall solely by reason of his/her handicap be excluded in the participation in, be denied the benefit of, or be subjected to discrimination under any program or activity receiving federal financial assistance.” The ADA and ADAAA, use the terms disability instead of handicap, extends civil rights protection to people with disabilities. Neither Section 504, ADA nor ADAAA are meant to protect individuals with disabilities from the consequences of their behavior or to make available to them programs and services for which they are not “otherwise qualified.” These legislative acts do not guarantee success; they simply require the removal of physical, attitudinal and programmatic barriers to services and education.
AFFIRMATIVE ACTION AND DISABILITY RIGHTS
You are protected by Section 504, ADA, and ADAAA if you have a disability that substantially limits one or more major life activity. If you have a physical, psychological, medical or learning disability that may impact your course work, Disability Support Services will review your documentation and determine with you what accommodations are necessary and appropriate. All information and documentation is confidential. The regulations place certain responsibilities upon the University to see that the needs of students with disabilities are met.
THE UNIVERSITY IS MANDATED TO:
- Provide all students equal opportunity to participate in activities.
- Ensure that campus buildings conform to the requirements set by Federal Law.
- Provide nondiscriminatory standards in all academic areas and appropriate educational accommodations, when necessary.
- Provide housing comparable in cost, convenience and accessibility to that which is provided for students without disabilities.
- Provide nondiscriminatory financial aid programs, scholarships, student employment, counseling, academic advising and career development services.
The Director of Disability Support Services will speak with students who are interested in knowing more about Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action and about its application to the Stony Brook Campus in particular. You are encouraged to contact Disability Support Services if you believe your rights have been violated. If no satisfactory resolution is found, student complaints of discrimination may be filed with:
Office for Diversity and Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity
632-6280 (Voice/TT), Website
Informal inquiries or concerns can be made with:
Campus Ombuds Office
For more specific information regarding State and Federal assistance, you may wish to contact:
Equal Employment Opportunity
1801 L Street NW
New York State Division of Human Rights
Veterans Memorial Highway
State Office Building Room 3A-8
Hauppauge, New York 11788