Students with Disabilities

Cornell College is committed to compliance with federal law regarding students with disabilities. Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 states: "No otherwise qualified individual in the United States, as defined in section 706(7) of this title, shall, solely by reason of his handicap, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance..." (29 U.S. Code, paragraph 794).

The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 states that a handicap shall be defined as "a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more of the major life activities." (42 U.S. Code, paragraph 12102[2]).

The Office of Civil Rights, Department of Education, states that any postsecondary education program which receives Federal financial assistance "shall make such modifications to its academic requirements as are necessary to ensure that such requirements do not discriminate or have the effect of discriminating, on the basis of handicap, against a qualified applicant or student" (34 Code of Federal Regulations, paragraphs 104.41 and 104.44[a]). In addition to academic adjustments, "a recipient ... shall take such steps as are necessary to ensure that no handicapped student is denied the benefits of, excluded from participation in, or otherwise subjected to discrimination ... because of absence of educational auxiliary aids for students with impaired sensory, manual, or speaking skills" (34 Code of Federal Regulations, paragraph 104.44[d]).

The concept of academic adjustments is not aimed at giving students with disabilities undue special advantages in order to help them pass, nor does it require that they be graded on a different scale from their classmates; it requires educational access and opportunity, not a guarantee of success.

A student qualifies for disability services at Cornell when the student provides current documentation of the disability from a medical doctor (M.D.), educational or school psychologist (Ph.D.), or other individual licensed by the state of origin to diagnose learning or physical disabilities, to the Office of Academic Support and Advising, where it is placed on file as a confidential record. Cornell College reserves the right to determine what constitutes appropriate documentation. The student must also request appropriate accommodation from the instructor of each course within the first three days of each Block.

More information about accommodations for students with learning disabilities is available on the Cornell web site under "Disability Services."