NONDISCRIMINATION ON THE BASIS OF DISABILITY
Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1992 requires that no qualified individual with a disability shall, because the district's facilities are inaccessible to or unusable by individuals with disabilities, be excluded from participation in, or be denied the benefits of the services, programs, and activities of the district or be subject to discrimination. Nor shall the district exclude or otherwise deny services, programs, or activities to an individual because of the known disability of a person with whom the individual is known to have a relationship or association.
Definition A "qualified individual with a disability" is an individual with a disability who, with or without reasonable modification to rules, policies, or practices, the removal of architectural, communication, or transportation barriers, or the provision of auxiliary aids and services, meets the essential eligibility requirements for the receipt of services or the participation in programs or activities provided by the district.
Reasonable Modification The district shall make reasonable modification in policies, practices, or procedures when the modifications are necessary to avoid discrimination on the basis of disability, unless the district can demonstrate that making the modifications would fundamentally alter the nature of the service, program, or activity.
Communications The district shall take the appropriate steps to ensure that communications with applicants, participants, and members of the public with disabilities are as effective as communications with others. To this end, the district shall furnish appropriate auxiliary aids and services where necessary to afford an individual with a disability an equal opportunity to participate in, and enjoy benefits of, a service, program, or activity conducted by the district. In determining what type of auxiliary aid or service is necessary, the district shall give primary consideration to the requests of the individuals with disabilities.
Auxiliary Aids and Services "Auxiliary aids and services" includes (1) qualified interpreters, note takers, transcription services, written materials, assistive listening systems, and other effective methods for making aurally delivered materials available to individuals with hearing impairments; (2) qualified readers, taped texts, audio recordings, Brailed materials, large print materials, or other effective methods for making visually delivered materials available to individuals with visual impairments; (3) acquisition or modification of equipment or devices and (4) other similar services and actions.
Limits of Required Modification The district is not required to take any action that it can demonstrate would result in a fundamental alteration in the nature of a service, program, or activity or in undue financial and administrative burdens. Any decision that, in compliance with its responsibility to provide effective communication for individuals with disabilities, would fundamentally alter the service, program, or activity or unduly burden the district shall be made by the School Committee after considering all resources available for use in funding and operating the program, service, or activity. The decision shall be accompanied by a written statement of the reasons for reaching that conclusion.
The district shall make available to applicants, participants, beneficiaries, and other interested persons information regarding the provisions of Title II of the American With Disabilities Act (ADA) and its applicability to the services, programs, or activities of the district. The information shall be made available in such a manner as the School Committee and Superintendent-Director find necessary to apprise such persons of the projections against discrimination assured them by the ADA.
The district shall designate the Superintendent-Director to coordinate its efforts to comply with and carry out its responsibilities under Title II of ADA, including any investigation of any complaint communicated to it alleging its noncompliance or alleging any actions that would be prohibited under ADA. The district shall make available to all interested individuals the name, office address, and telephone number of the employee(s) so designated and shall adopt and publish procedures for the prompt and equitable resolution of complaints alleging any action that would be prohibited under the ADA. The school system receives federal financial assistance and must comply with the above requirements. Additionally, the School Committee is of the general view that:
1. Discrimination against a qualified disabled person solely on the basis of disability is unfair;
2. To the extent possible, qualified disabled persons should be in the mainstream of life in the school community. Accordingly, employees of the school system will comply with the above requirements of the law and policy statements of this Committee to ensure nondiscrimination on the basis of disability.
SOURCE: MASC July 2016
LEGAL REFS. Rehabilitation Act of 1973, Section 504, as amended
Education for All Disabled Children Act of 1975
M.G.L. 71B:1 et seq. (Chapter 766 of the Acts of 1972)
Title II, Americans with Disabilities Act of 1992, as amended
Board of Education Chapter 766 Regulations, adopted 10/74, as amended through 3/28/78
CROSS REFS.: IGB, Support Services Programs
NOTE: Due to federal and state laws, many school committees are adopting policies and extensive regulations pertaining to Nondiscrimination on the Basis of Handicap. At times, policy, regulations, and specific plans for action are combined in one long statement presented as policy. Other school systems present policy and regulatory statements separately.
Approved by SC: 10/11/18