6,500: Classroom Instruction and Regulations Concerning Disabled Students

Last Revised: April 1999

The most recent U.S. Department of Health and Human Services regulations include a section entitled "Academic Adjustments"; its provisions appear below. All members of the faculty should be familiar with these regulations and should attempt to make adjustments in their classes when appropriate. According to the university attorney, failure to comply with the HHS regulation could result in personal liability on the part of the teaching faculty as well as liability on the part of the institution.

The University has made provisions for some kinds of academic assistance for disabled students, and faculty members should inform the Disability Resource Center whenever a student requests special instructional provisions in a class. 

  1. Academic Requirements - A recipient to which this sub-part applies 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 disabled applicant or student. Academic requirements that the recipient can demonstrate are essential to the program of instruction being pursued by such student or to any directly related licensing requirement will not be regarded as discriminatory within the meaning of this section. Modifications may include changes in the length of time permitted for the completion of degree requirements, substitution of specific courses required for the completion of degree requirements, and adaptation of the manner in which specific courses are conducted.
  2. Other Rules - A recipient to which this sub-part applies may not impose upon disabled students other rules, such as the prohibition of tape recorders in classrooms or of guide dogs in campus buildings that have the effect of limiting the participation of disabled students in the recipient's education program or activity.
  3. Course Examinations - In its course examinations or other procedures for evaluating a student's academic achievement in its program, a recipient to which this sub-part applies shall provide such methods for evaluating the achievement of students who have a disability that impairs sensory, manual, or speaking skills as will best ensure that the results of the evaluation represent the student's achievement in the course, rather than reflecting the student's impaired sensory, manual, or speaking skills (except where such skills are the factors that the test purports to measure).