Disabilities – Policy for Assisting Students with Disabilities
Rider University supports the protections available to students with disabilities under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, the Americans with Disabilities Act as amended, and the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination.
Services for Students with Disabilities (SSD) facilitates equal access to the programs and activities at Rider University for students with disabilities, as defined by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
Students must initiate contact with SSD in order to receive services and to arrange reasonable accommodations, such as course adjustments, course substitutions and auxiliary aids. Any Rider student who supplies SSD with appropriate documentation of a disability is eligible on a case-by-case basis for reasonable accommodations. Students with disabilities should contact SSD (Joseph P. Vona Academic Annex, Room 8, 609-895-5492) to discuss available services and reasonable accommodations, including academic adjustments.
Only students with documented disabilities that prevent equal access to an academic course or program are entitled to reasonable accommodations, which may include course adjustments, course substitutions and auxiliary aids. A reasonable accommodation is an accommodation that provides the student with equal access to the academic course or program, including all course or program materials, but does not impose an undue burden on the University or constitute a fundamental alteration to the course or program in question. Knowledge of the essential course and program standards resides primarily with the individual faculty member and/or the academic department.
SSD evaluates the disability documentation provided by the student, collects additional information from the student, and gathers information from relevant educational support personnel (e.g., high school guidance counselors), medical and psychological professionals, and other pertinent sources outside of Rider University. When the student’s disability has been sufficiently documented and potential reasonable accommodations have been identified, the student is provided a Notice of Academic Adjustments specific to each course and encouraged to present that Notice of Academic Adjustments to the relevant faculty member and to discuss, in a private setting, how the reasonable accommodations will be implemented.
If any such faculty member has concerns that the accommodations constitute a fundamental alteration to the course or program in question, that faculty member shall promptly contact SSD to initiate discussion and resolution of those concerns.
If the faculty member does not demonstrate to SSD that the accommodation constitutes a fundamental alteration of the course or program in question, the accommodation shall be put in place. If the faculty member demonstrates to SSD that the accommodation constitutes a fundamental alteration of the course or program in question, alternate accommodations, to the extent available, shall be made. If SSD and the faculty member are unable to mutually agree on this issue, they shall appeal it to the Provost or his/her designee, who shall hear both positions, review any necessary documents, and render a final decision.
If such an appeal is taken to the Provost or his/her designee, and the semester has already begun, the Provost or his/her designee shall determine at the outset of the appeal process whether or not the student will suffer an immediate negative impact, if the proposed accommodation is not yet in place. If the determination is that the student will suffer such an immediate negative impact, then the proposed accommodation will be put into place pending resolution of the appeal. If no such immediate negative impact is apparent, the proposed accommodation will be withheld, pending resolution of the appeal. In either case, the Provost or his/her designee will make every reasonable effort to render his/her decision within four working days of the initiation of the appeal.
This policy is designed to ensure the University’s compliance with Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, the Americans with Disabilities Act as amended and the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination, and to enable every Rider student with a disability to enjoy an equal opportunity to achieve his/her full potential while attending this University.