Disability Services

Simmons University is committed to the full participation of all students in its programs and activities. Although Simmons has no academic program specifically designed for students with disabilities who are otherwise qualified for admission, Simmons is committed to providing support services and reasonable accommodations when requested by students who qualify for them.

Simmons University uses a team approach to provide support for students with disabilities. The Disability Services Office is located on the Ground Floor of Lefavour Hall, within the Center for Student Success. The Disability Services staff assist students, both undergraduate and graduate, who have a disability, by reviewing documentation supplied by licensed professionals and by completing Student Accommodation Letters. The Disability Services staff will make referrals for diagnostic services (at student expense), provide advice and personal contact for students with disabilities, and assist with locating needed resources. The Disability Services staff is also available to faculty and staff who have questions regarding a student's accommodation and other issues pertaining to a disability.

Section 504

Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 states that: "No otherwise qualified person with a disability in the United States...shall, solely by reason of...disability, be denied the benefits of, be excluded from participation in, or be subjected to discrimination under any program or activity receiving federal financial assistance."

Colleges and universities receiving federal financial assistance must not discriminate in the recruitment, admission, or treatment of students. Students with documented disabilities may request modifications, accommodations, or auxiliary aids, which will enable them to participate in and benefit from all postsecondary educational programs and activities. Postsecondary institutions must make such changes to ensure the academic program is accessible to the greatest extent possible by all students with disabilities.

The Americans with Disabilities Amendment Act of 2008

The Americans with Disabilities Amendment Act of 2008 is the civil rights guarantee for persons with disabilities in the United States. It provides protection from discrimination for individuals on the basis of disability. The Americans with Disabilities Amendment Act of 2008 extends civil rights protections for people with disabilities to employment in the public and private sectors, transportation, public accommodations, services provided by state and local government and telecommunication relay services.

The Americans with Disabilities Amendment Act of 2008 upholds and extends the standards for compliance set forth in Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 to employment practices, communications, and all policies, procedures, and practices that impact on the treatment of students with disabilities. Employment issues for all institutions are covered under Title I. For all activities, public institutions are covered under Title II; private institutions are covered under Title III.

Because of the public attention given to the passage and implementation of the Americans with Disabilities Amendment Act of 2008, renewed attention is being focused on disability access to institutions of higher education. This focus includes the whole scope of the institution's activities, including facilities, programs, and employment.