POLICIES AND PROCEDURES

 

INTRODUCTION TO UNIVERSITY SERVICES

St. Cloud State University welcomes students with disabilities. A wide range of services are available. Students who enter the university should consider making their needs known by calling or going to Student Disability Services, located in 202 Centennial Hall, to find out about services and activities. Students registered with Student Disability Services automatically become eligible for priority registration.

Students who have contacted SCSU for services but are not satisfied with the services provided should make an appointment to discuss their concerns with the Vice President of Student Life and Development and the Director of Student Disability Services.

Students who have contacted SCSU for services and who feel they have been discriminated against because of their disability should make an appointment to visit with the Equity & Affirmative Action Officer.

 

OPERATING PRINCIPLES

SCSU is committed to the following operating principles regarding people with disabilities.

SCSU prohibits and actively discourages discrimination against people with disabilities. Toward this end, the SCSU community will continue to develop training and resources to promote sensitivity and awareness of disability issues.

SCSU is committed to providing equal access and reasonable accommodations for people with disabilities. Toward this end, SCSU will continue to develop and coordinate policies and procedures, such as: access to employment, academic programs, co-curricular activities, and facilities.

SCSU administrative officers will provide leadership in improving access for people with disabilities and will be responsible for implementing the principles of equal access and accommodation at SCSU.

SCSU will organize its disability services in a way that promotes, to the greatest extent possible, self-determination for people with disabilities and that engage the entire campus community in access issues.

In order to respect the independence, rights, and dignity of people with disabilities, requesting an accommodation or identifying oneself as having a disability will be voluntary.

SCSU will treat data on people with disabilities with confidentiality in accordance with data privacy laws and established SCSU regulations. No information will be collected for administrative purposes except information that is essential for program development, implementation, determination of reasonable accommodation, required by law, or oversight agency.

RIGHTS AND RESPONSIBILITIES

Rights and Responsibilities of People with Disabilities

People with disabilities at SCSU have the right to:

  • Equal access to employment, courses, programs, services, activities, and facilities offered through SCSU;
  • An equal opportunity to work and learn, and to receive reasonable accommodation, academic adjustments, and/or auxiliary aids and services;
  • Appropriate confidentiality of all information regarding their disability and to choose to whom outside of SCSU, information about their disability will be disclosed, except as disclosures are required or permitted by law, or oversight agency.
  • Information, available in accessible formats.

People with disabilities at SCSU have the responsibility to:

  • Meet qualifications and maintain essential institutional standards for employment, courses, programs, services, activities, and facilities;
  • Identify as an individual with a disability when an accommodation is needed and seek information, counsel, and assistance as necessary;
  • Demonstrate and/or document (from an appropriate professional) how the disability limits their participation in courses, programs, services, jobs, activities and facilities;
  • Follow published procedures for obtaining reasonable accommodations, academic adjustments, and/or auxiliary aids and services.

Rights and Responsibilities of SCSU

SCSU has the right to:

  • Identify and establish essential functions, abilities, skills, knowledge, and standards for courses, programs, services, jobs, activities, and facilities and to evaluate faculty, staff, and students on this basis;
  • Request and receive documentation that supports requests for accommodations, academic adjustments, and/or auxiliary aids and services; if the individual fails to provide appropriate documentation;
  • Select among equally effective accommodations, adjustments, and/or auxiliary aids and services;
  • Deny a request for accommodation if the accommodation would pose an undue hardship on the conduct of SCSU business.

SCSU has the responsibility to:

  • Provide information to faculty, staff, students, and guests with disabilities in accessible formats upon request;
  • Ensure that courses, programs, services, jobs, activities, facilities, and when viewed in their entirety, are available and usable in the most integrated and appropriate settings;
  • Evaluate faculty, staff, students, and applicants on their abilities and not their disabilities;
  • Provide or arrange reasonable accommodation, academic adjustments, and/or auxiliary aids and services for faculty, staff, students, and guests with disabilities in courses, programs, services, jobs, activities, and facilities;
  • Maintain appropriate level of confidentiality of  records and communication, except where permitted or required by law;
  • Determine if a person is a qualified individual according to ADA guidance, defined as the following:
    • a person who has an impairment which substantially limits one or more major life activities;
    • a person who has a record of such an impairment; or
    • a person regarded as having such impairment.

     

CONFIDENTIALITY AND RELEASE OF INFORMATION

St. Cloud State University is committed to ensuring that all information regarding a student, applicant, or employee is maintained as confidential as required or permitted by law. Any information collected is used for the benefit of the individual and affirmative action reporting purposes only. This information may include test data, grades, biographical history, disability information, performance reviews, and case notes.

Guidelines about the treatment of such information have been adopted by Student Disability Services and Human Resources. They are rigorously followed and shared with students and employees. These guidelines incorporate relevant state and federal regulations, guidelines established by relevant professional associations, and relevant aspects of SCSU policies.

1. No one has immediate access to student files at Student Disability Services or employee files at Human Resources. Any information regarding disability gained from medical examinations or appropriate post admission/hiring inquiry shall be considered confidential and shall be shared with others within the institution as authorized by law. Disability related information is to be treated the same as medical information. For example, SCSU faculty, staff, departments or supervisors do not have a right or a need to access diagnostic or other information regarding an employee’s or student’s disability: they only need to know what accommodations are necessary or appropriate to meet the individuals disability related needs. If an individual has requested an accommodation, they will be informed as to what information is being provided to the faculty, department, supervisor, or staff regarding the request. To protect confidentiality by assuring limited access, all student disability related information must be filed with Student Disability Services and all employees’ disability related information must be filed with the Human Resources department.

2. Information in files will not be released except in accordance with federal and state law, which requires release in the following circumstance if a student or employee:

  • states they intend to harm themselves or another person(s); or
  •  reports the use of an illegal drug for non medical purpose during pregnancy; or
  • describes any physical abuse, neglect, or sexual abuse of children or vulnerable adults within the last three years (this includes the occurrence of abuse or neglect to the student if he or she was under age eighteen at the time of the abuse);
  • Reports or describes sexual exploitation by counseling or health care professionals.

3. A student or employee file may be released pursuant to a court order or subpoena.

4. A student or employee may give written authorization for the release of information when she or he wishes to share it with others. Before giving such authorization, the individual should understand the information being released, the purpose of the release, and to whom the information is being released. Information will not be released without consent unless it is required by federal or state law.

5. A student or employee has the right to review his or her own file.

 

STUDENT COMPLAINTS

Students with disabilities are responsible for contacting Student Disability Services if reasonable accommodations are not implemented in an effective or timely way. Student Disability Services works with SCSU personnel and students with disabilities to resolve disagreement regarding recommended accommodations. Students with disabilities who believe they have been discriminated against on the basis of their disability may file a complaint with the Office of Equity & Affirmative Action.

SCSU Complaint Procedure and the Americans with Disabilities Act

The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA) was enacted to protect individuals with disabilities against the problems of discrimination in such critical areas as employment, housing, public accommodation, education, transportation, communication, health services, and access to public service.

The purpose of the act is to provide a clear and comprehensive national mandate for the elimination of discrimination against individuals with disabilities, to bring persons with disabilities into the economic and social mainstream, and to provide enforceable standards addressing discrimination against individuals with disabilities.

Procedure for filing a Discrimination Complaint Based on Disability

The ADA also requires SCSU to adopt and publish complaint procedures. An individual who believes she or he has been discriminated against on the basis of disability can file a complaint with the Office of Equity & Affirmative Action.

To file a complaint alleging discrimination, notify the Office of Equity & Affirmative Action in person or in writing affirmativeaction@stcloudstate.edu, and provide the following information:

1.  The issue involved in the alleged discriminatory act;

2.  Identification of the complaining party's alleged disability;

3.  The date of the alleged discriminatory act(s);

4.  Details of what allegedly occurred; and

5.  Identification of witnesses who have knowledge of the alleged discrimination.

If it is determined that law and/or SCSU policy was violated, a remedy to the problem will be offered. If is determined that there was no violation, the complainant will be informed, and other options for possible resolution of the complaint will be explained.

 

EMPLOYEE COMPLAINT PROCEDURES

Human Resources work with SCSU personnel and employees with disabilities regarding accommodations. Employees with disabilities who believe they have been discriminated against on the basis of their disability may file a complaint with the Office of Equity & Affirmative Action.

SCSU Complaint Procedure and the Americans with Disabilities Act

The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA) was enacted to protect individuals with disabilities against the problems of discrimination in such critical areas as employment, housing, public accommodation, education, transportation, communication, health services, and access to public service.

The purpose of the act is to provide a clear and comprehensive national mandate for the elimination of discrimination against individuals with disabilities, to bring persons with disabilities into the economic and social mainstream, and to provide enforceable standards addressing discrimination against individuals with disabilities.

SCSU has designated the Assistant Human Resources Director as the ADA coordinator. The assistant director is responsible for coordinating SCSU efforts to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act, 42 U.S.C.S. Section 12101, et seq. (ADA) and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973.

Procedure for Filing a Discrimination Complaint Based on Disability

MnSCU System procedure 1B.1.1 for Board policy 1B.1 describes the policy for the Report/Complaint of Discrimination/Harassment - Investigation and Resolution. All complaints and reports of discrimination should be made to the designated affirmative action officer. Such complaints and reports will be promptly investigated and appropriate action taken. This process is the procedure to be used to end inappropriate behavior, investigate for fact-finding, and facilitate resolution.

Complaints of discrimination should be sent to:

Equity & Affirmative Action Officer

Email:  affirmativeaction@stcloudstate.edu

Administrative Services Building 102

320-308-5123 (Voice)

1-800-627-3529 Minnesota Relay Service (MRS)

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