Edward Waters College offers programming and services for faculty, staff, students, and management to support diversity, inclusiveness, equal access, equitable treatment, and cultural understanding and competency. We offer training and consultation on achieving and supporting diversity in the workplace, on Americans with Disabilities Act issues, and on preventing and resolving discrimination and discriminatory harassment.
Americans with Disabilities Act Information
What is ADA Compliance?
The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA) is a federal anti-discrimination statute which provides civil rights protection to individuals with disabilities in the areas of employment, public accommodations, State and local government services, and telecommunications. The ADA was designed to remove barriers which prevent qualified individuals with disabilities from enjoying the same opportunities that are available to persons without disabilities. Similar protections are provided by Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and by the Florida Civil Rights Act.
The ADA provides that no qualified individual with a disability shall, on the basis of disability, be excluded from participation in or be denied the benefits of the services, programs, or activities of Edward Waters College.Disability discrimination can occur whenever a qualified individual with a disability is denied the same equal opportunities as other university students, faculty and staff because of their disability status.
Under applicable disability laws, an individual with a disability is a person who (1) has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities; (2) has a record of such an impairment; or (3) is regarded as having such an impairment. Temporary, non-chronic impairments that do not last for a long time and that have little or no long-term impact usually are not disabilities. The determination of whether an impairment is a disability is made on a case-by-case basis.
How do you define “a person with a disability”?
Under the ADA, an individual with a disability is a person who has: a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities; a record of such an impairment; or is regarded as having such an impairment. Temporary, non-chronic impairments that do not last for a long time and that have little or no long term impact usually are not disabilities. The determination of whether an impairment is a disability is made on a case-by-case basis.
What is a “major life activity” under the law?
To be considered a person with a disability, the impairment must substantially limit one or more major life activities. Examples of major life activities include walking, speaking, breathing, performing manual tasks, seeing, hearing, learning and caring for oneself.
What does “qualified” mean?
To be protected, a person must not only be an individual with a disability, but must be qualified. For students, a qualified individual with a disability is a person who, with or without reasonable modifications to rules, policies or practices; the removal of architectural, communication or transportation barriers; or the provision of auxiliary aids or services, meets the essential requirements for the receipt of services or participation in programs or activities provided by the college.
For college employees, a qualified individual with a disability is a person who satisfies the requisite skill, experience, education and other job-related requirements of the employment position and who, with or without a reasonable accommodation, can perform the essential functions of the position.
Reasonable Accommodations: Employees
A reasonable accommodation is a modification or adjustment to a job, employment practice, or the work environment that makes it possible for a qualified individual with a disability to enjoy an equal employment opportunity. The college will provide a reasonable accommodation to the known disability of a qualified applicant or employee with a disability unless the accommodation would impose an undue hardship.
Examples of reasonable accommodations may include, but are not limited to:
- job restructuring
- modified work schedules
- obtaining or modifying equipment or devices
- modifying examinations, training materials or policies
- providing qualified readers and interpreters
- reassignment to a vacant position
- making facilities readily accessible to and usable by individuals with disabilities
Reasonable Accommodations: Students
A reasonable accommodation is a reasonable modification in policies, practices, or procedures, when the modifications are necessary to avoid discrimination on the basis of disability, unless the modifications would fundamentally alter the nature of a college service, program or activity. Examples of reasonable accommodations may include, but are not limited to:
- note taking services
- text conversion to alternative accessible formats
- audio and video tapes
- qualified interpreter services
- adjusting time limits on tests
- making facilities and/or programs readily accessible to and useable by individuals with disabilities
When and how does the University provide reasonable accommodations?
The college is obligated to make a reasonable accommodation only to the known disability of an otherwise qualified employee or student. In general, it is the responsibility of the employee or student to make the disability status and subsequent need for an accommodation known to the appropriate college official. Students may request accommodations through the Compliance Officer and employees may make a request through their supervisor or through the Office of Human Resources.
Once on notice of the need for accommodations, it is the responsibility of the college official and the individual with a disability to discuss possible accommodations and assess the reasonableness and effectiveness of each potential accommodation.
Determinations regarding accommodations on campus will be made on a case-by-case basis. Determining a reasonable accommodation is very fact-specific. In general, the accommodation must be tailored to address the nature of the disability and the needs of the individual within the context of the requirements of the job or the program of study. If there are two or more possible accommodations, and one costs more or is more burdensome than the other, the university will give primary consideration to the preference of the individual with a disability; however, the college may choose the less expensive or burdensome accommodation as long as it is effective.
What is Title IX?
Title IX protects people from discrimination based on sex in education programs or activities that receive Federal financial assistance. Title IX states that:
No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance.
What is Covered by Title IX?
Defined as unwelcome, sexually based, verbal, written or physical conduct. Sexual harassment creates a hostile environment, and may be disciplined when it is:
- Sufficiently severe, persistent or pervasive that it,
- Has the effect of unreasonably interfering with, denying or limiting employment opportunities or the ability to participate in or benefit from the college’s educational programs, and is
- Based on power differentials (quid pro quo), the creation of a hostile environment or retaliation.
Acts of verbal, non-verbal, physical aggression, stalking, intimidation, or hostility based on gender or gender-stereotyping constitute gender-based harassment. In order to constitute harassment, the conduct must be such that it has the effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual’s academic or employment performance or creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive academic environment.
Any adverse employment or educational action taken against a person because of the person’s perceived participation in a
complaint or investigation of discrimination or sexual misconduct.
Non-Consensual Sexual Contact
Any sexual touching, however slight, with any object, by any individual upon any individual, that is without consent and/or by force.
Non-Consensual Sexual Intercourse
Any sexual touching, however slight, with any object, by any individual upon any individual, that is without consent and/or by force
Intimate Partner Violence (inclusive of Domestic Violence and Dating Violence)
Violence between those in an intimate relationship with each other. This includes any behaviors that intimidate, economically control, manipulate, humiliate, isolate, frighten, terrorize, coerce, threaten, or injure someone. Intimate partner violence can be a single act or a pattern of behavior in relationships. Intimate partner relationships are defined as short or long-term relationships between persons intended to provide some emotional/romantic/and or physical intimacy.
Course of conduct directed at a specific person that would case a reasonable person to feel fear. Stalking involves continual harassment made against the expressed wishes of another individual, which causes the targeted individual to feel emotional distress, including fear and apprehension. Stalking behaviors may include pursuing or following, non-consensual communication or contact including in-person, telephone, voice messages, electronic messages, text messages, unwanted gifts, trespassing, and surveillance or other types of observation.
Occurs when an individual take non-consensual or abusive sexual advantage of another for their own advantage or benefit, or to benefit or advantage anyone other than the one being exploited, and that behavior does not otherwise constitute one of the other sexual misconduct offenses.
What Can You Do?
If you are having a problem with another person that you might be able to solve or change, here are some helpful tips to try to fix the situation:
- Admit that a problem exists.
- Tell the person what you find offensive.
- Document everything you can.
- Tell someone what is happening.
If you have been a victim of any of the areas mentioned, follow these guidelines and get help immediately:
- Get to a safe place.
- It is normal to feel shocked, but don’t feel guilt or shame because it is never the victim’s fault.
- Do not change ANYTHING about the scene or yourself. This means you shouldn’t change your clothes, wash, comb your hair, or alter anything about the environment in which the act occurred.
- Get help! Contact the police, go the E.R., call a crisis center, etc.
- File a report