What to Do if Your School Fails to Provide Reasonable Disability Accommodations?
Fighting For Important Causes In State And Federal Courts
Schools have a responsibility to disabled students to provide a safe, accessible learning environment. When a school fails to uphold that responsibility, students can take action for justice.
Before you can hold your school accountable for failing to provide reasonable disability accommodations, you must understand what’s required of the institution. Under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), schools have to make modifications and exceptions where necessary for disabled students. When a school fails to do that, you can file a complaint with the Office for Civil Rights (OCR). Be sure to keep any correspondence with your school documenting your requests for accommodations and any other evidence that shows an ADA violation. Depending on the OCR’s investigation results, your attorney can help you file a lawsuit against your school and hold it accountable for discrimination.
Our attorneys are dedicated to helping disabled students get the justice they deserve against discriminatory educational institutions. For a free case evaluation with the civil rights attorneys at The Law Office of Andrew Shubin, call today at (814) 826-3586.
How Can I Identify a Lack of Reasonable Disability Accommodations at School?
Federal law mandates that schools provide reasonable disability accommodations to students. If your school does not, they may be violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act. Before you can hold your school accountable for this violation, you must understand its responsibility to you and other disabled students.
Under the Americans with Disabilities Act, schools must provide accommodations, which are modifications to tasks and the environment, to provide the equitable opportunities to disabled students. The ADA applies to nearly all public and private schools, including post-secondary institutions that are informed of a student’s disability.
The following are just a few examples of reasonable accommodations schools must provide to disabled students:
- Sign language interpreters
- Note sharing
- Wheelchair ramps
- Alternative assignments
- Course substitutions
- Recorded lectures
- Priority seating
- Use of technology
- Extended testing time
- Extended time for in-class assignments
- Proctored independent testing
- Breaks during exams
- Early registration
If you are disabled and think your school has failed to provide reasonable accommodations, document it. Keep records of correspondence with teachers and school administrators regarding your requests for accommodations. Take photos when applicable. Keep any shred of evidence that can demonstrate a school’s discrimination. Then, speak to a lawyer. A civil rights attorney can help you understand whether or not that’s a school has violated the ADA based on your disability and its actions.
Do I Have to Report a School that Failed to Provide Reasonable Disability Accommodations?
If your school fails to provide reasonable accommodations for your disability, they may be in violation of your rights. The first step in holding your school accountable is to report such violations to the necessary parties. Reporting ADA violations is crucial so that you can document injustice and ableism perpetuate by your school.
Although doing so can feel uncomfortable, it’s important to report your complaint regarding a lack of reasonable disability accommodations to a school itself. Your school may have pathways for students and parents to report such complaints. If it does not, your civil rights attorney can help you report an ADA violation to your school.
Next, you must file a complaint with the Office for Civil Rights of the Department of Education. Disabled students must file this complaint within 180 days of an ADA violation. Students can also file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Justice regarding an ADA violation, for which there is no time limit. Be prepared for the OCR to ask you further questions regarding your school’s discrimination and for it to launch an investigation into your claims. This can be difficult, so it’s wise to have an attorney by your side to help you navigate it.
Your state may also have reporting requirements for Americans with Disabilities Act violations. An experienced civil rights attorney can help you understand the federal and state agencies to which you must report a failure to provide reasonable disability accommodations by your school. Properly reporting an ADA violation to the right agencies is crucial in holding a discriminatory school accountable.
Can I Sue a School that Fails to Provide Reasonable Disability Accommodations?
Students discriminated against at school may be able to file a lawsuit against the institution. That said, holding a school accountable for discrimination can be a difficult and emotional process. If you wish to school your school for failing to provide reasonable disability accommodations, hire an attorney.
A violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act is a violation of your civil rights. You can most likely sue if a school fails to provide reasonable disability accommodations. Before you file a lawsuit against your school for an ADA violation, it’s important to consider the facts of your case.
For example, your age matters. Suppose you are enrolled at a university or college. In that case, your school is only required to provide you with reasonable disability accommodations upon your request. If you did not inform your college of your disability, you might not have a case. However, if you did inform your university of your disability, and it refused to provide you with reasonable disability accommodations, that’s considered an ADA violation. Primary and secondary school students are not required to inform schools of disabilities to receive accommodations.
While building a case against your school for failing to provide reasonable disability accommodations, your civil rights attorney will ask you to turn over any correspondence you may have had with your school regarding accommodations. For example, documents showing repeated requests for accommodations, or retaliation from a school after a student files a complaint, can be invaluable in a lawsuit.
Investigation results from the OCR will inform a student of their right to sue a discriminatory school. The OCR may encourage you to enter into mediation with your school to avoid a lawsuit. Having an advocate by your side during this process is crucial.
Call Our Attorneys if Your School Failed to Provide You with Reasonable Disability Accommodations
If your school has failed to provide you with reasonable disability accommodations, our lawyers can help. For a free case evaluation with the civil rights attorneys at The Law Office of Andrew Shubin, call today at (814) 826-3586.