Personal Care Attendant Procedure
Personal Care Attendant Agreement and ID Request Form

A. Background
Furman University desires to make its programs and facilities accessible to all students, employees, spectators, participants, and visitors. To aid in ensuring accessibility and compliance with the law, a task force on students with disabilities was established in 1998 to review and update the existing policy on accessibility and to make recommendations for implementation guidelines.

B. Policy

In compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA) and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, Furman University will not discriminate against any person on the basis of a disability. Furthermore Furman University is committed to providing equal access to university programs and facilities to all qualified students regardless of disability, as well as providing equal opportunity for all employees and applicants for employment regardless of disability. The guidelines relating to employees and applicants are found in File 832.1.

C. Guidelines
1.The legal definition of a person with a disability is a person who:
a. has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities, such as walking, seeing, hearing, speaking, breathing, learning, working, or caring for ones self; or
b. has a record of a substantially limiting impairment; or
c. is regarded as having such an impairment.
Physical or mental impairments may include, but are not limited to, mobility/orthopedic impairments, visual impairments, hearing impairments, speech impairments, specific learning disabilities, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, psychological disabilities, neurological impairments, traumatic brain injury, or chronic medical conditions such as cancer, diabetes, or AIDS.

2. Generally, if a student with a disability desires an accommodation, it is the student?s responsibility to identify himself or herself as having a disability and to make a formal request for appropriate accommodations with the university?s Disability Services Coordinator.  Since the process of providing accommodation involves assessing the student?s needs, determining a reasonable accommodation, and coordinating implementation of the accommodation, accommodation requests must be submitted in a timely manner. Suggested timeframes are described in the procedural guide available from the Disability Services Coordinator.

3. The Disability Services Coordinator will submit the student?s documentation to a university-designated professional with appropriate expertise who will determine whether it provides all required information and whether it supports the student?s request for accommodation under ADA. If this review indicates that the students has a disability and an accommodation is appropriate under ADA, then the designated professional will determine the nature of the accommodations that would provide equal access to the academic program and university-administered activities. Recommendations for accommodation in the student?s documentation will be considered, but the designated professional is not obligated to include any or all of these recommendations in the list of accommodations that the university will provide.

When requests involve academic accommodations within a course or within a students? degree program, the designated professional will determine the nature of the accommodation that would be appropriate for providing equal access, and faculty will determine on behalf of the university whether or not the proposed academic accommodations would constitute a substantial alteration to essential element of the educational program (see C3a, C3b, and C3c below). Students who feel they have a right to an accommodation and this has not been granted from the university-designated professional should notify the Disability Services Coordinator as soon as possible (see 7 ? Grievance Process).
a. When it is determined that an accommodation is appropriate, the Disability Services Coordinator will contact the professor of the course to confirm the proposed accommodation. If the proposed accommodation involves an adjustment to a requirement within a course, the professor of the course will indicate whether the proposed accommodation would substantially alter an essential element of the curriculum. If it does not, the Disability Services Coordinator will notify the student that the accommodation may be activated by taking the professor a notification letter and working with the professor to finalize the arrangements for implementation. If a proposed accommodation is considered by the faculty member or members teaching the course to be a substantial alteration of an essential element of the curriculum, appropriate professionals and faculty members will confer in order to clarify what accommodations might be offered that are considered reasonable and appropriate. A student who requests an accommodation that is denied because it would substantially alter an essential element of the curriculum may appeal that decision in writing to the Faculty Appeals Committee. (See File 190.3) The student may appeal the decision of the Appeals Committee to the Vice President for Academic Affairs and Dean.

b.
If the proposed accommodation involves an adjustment to a requirement of the student?s major, the chairs of the major departments will indicate whether the proposed accommodation would substantially alter an essential element of the curriculum. If it does not, the Disability Services Coordinator will notify the student that the accommodation may be activated by taking the chairs a notification letter and working with the chairs to finalize the arrangements for implementation. If a proposed accommodation is considered by the department chairs to be a substantial alteration of an essential element of the curriculum, appropriate professionals and faculty members, including the department chairs, will confer in order to clarify what accommodation might be offered that are considered reasonable and appropriate. A student who requests an accommodation that is denied because it would substantially alter an essential element of the curriculum may appeal that decision in writing to the Faculty Appeals Committee. The student may appeal the decision of the Appeals Committee to the Vice President fro Academic Affairs and Dean.

c.
If the proposed accommodation involves an adjustment to a graduation requirement outside the student?s major, the student must submit a written appeal directly to the Faculty Appeals Committee. After considering the students statement and information provided by the appropriate designated professionals, the Appeals Committee will allow the adjustment if it does not, in its judgment, substantially alter an essential element for the curriculum for that student. The student may appeal the decision of the Appeals Committee to the Vice President for Academic Affairs and Dean.
When a granted accommodation involves a student?s taking a reduced course load, the university still classifies the student as full time for the purposes of residence, university insurance coverage, participation in extra curricular activities and intercollegiate athletics, academic honors such as Dean?s List designation, and scholarship/financial aid as allowed by federal and state guidelines. Students taking a reduced course load as part of an ADA accommodation are eligible for an exception to the comprehensive tuition fee so that they may be charged on a per-course basis. To make these arrangements, students should contact the office of the Associate Academic Dean prior to the beginning of the term in question.

All accommodation provided by the university are individualized and flexible, based on the nature of the disability and the nature of the campus?s academic and physical environment.

4.
The Disability Services Coordinator is committed to ensuring that all information regarding the student?s disability and accommodation remains confidential as required or permitted by law.

Any information regarding a disability gained from medical or psychological evaluations shall be considered confidential as required or permitted by law. The Disability Services Coordinator may discuss the disability with faculty, staff, parents, advisors, and/or coaches if the student signs a written consent form giving permission to do so. Information about the disability will be released only with consent and will be shared with others in the institution on a need-to-know basis only.

A student who chooses to activate any or all of the accommodations provided by the university will present a letter from the Disability Services Coordinator to appropriate faculty or staff, who will then implement the accommodations with the support of the office of the Disabilities Services Coordinator. A faculty or staff member who has any question or concern regarding the appropriateness of the accommodations cited by the Disability Services Coordinator will express it to the Disability Services Coordinator rather than to the student.

5.
Students who are dissatisfied with the determination or implementation of the accommodations provided by the university may utilize the grievance process describe in C7. When the accommodation in question involves an adjustment to an academic requirement, see Guideline C3 (a) through (c), paragraph 4, for the procedure to follow.

6.
Any questions concerning accommodations for student with disabilities from enrolled or prospective students or their parents, or from university faculty or staff, should be directed to the Disability Services Coordinator.

The Disability Services Coordinator maintains a detailed procedural guide that includes the step-by-step process students should follow (including timing of request) and criteria for documentation of disability.

7.
Grievance Process
Students who feel they have been discriminated against due to their disability, or students, faculty or staff who are dissatisfied with the determination or implementation of the accommodations should notify the Disability Services Coordinator as soon as possible. When the accommodation in question involves an adjustment to an academic requirement, see Guideline C.3 (a) through (c), paragraph 4 for the procedure to follow. This grievance process does not preclude the use of any other review, grievance, or appeals processes outlined in university publications. The university reserves the right to prohibit attorneys from this process.
a. Step 1: Informal Review
The Disability Services Coordinator will review the concern, obtain information from the appropriate individuals, and prepare a response to the complainant. If the concerns cannot be resolved through this informal review, then the complainant will notify the Disability Services Coordinator of the request for a formal review. This notification must occur within five (5) working days of the informal review.

b. Step 2: Formal Review
The complainant will provide to the Associate Academic Dean a written statement of the concerns, including a list of persons requested to be present at the review, and the Associate Academic Dean will facilitate the remainder of the grievance process. A formal review with the complainant and the appropriate persons must be schedule within five (5) working days.

If the decision reached by the formal review does not resolve the complaint or if the decision is not properly implemented, a written appeal must be filed with the Chair of the ADA Committee within five (5) working days after the receipt of the formal review decision.

c. Step 3: ADA Committee
The members and chair of the ADA Review Committee are appointed by the President. The President will include faculty members from each academic division, the Affirmative Action Officer, the Director of Computing and Information Services, the Capital Construction Manager, the Director of Academic Assistance, the Retention Coordinator, and the Assistant Director of Counseling as a resource. The ADA Review Committee members will not include the person(s) against whom the complaint is filed or anyone whose participation would create a conflict of interest. The Committee will review the written complain and conduct whatever hearings, investigation, and fact-findings it may consider necessary, but in no case shall the investigation period exceed ten (10) working days. The Chair of the Committee will inform the complainant of the committee?s decision in writing.

If the decision from the ADA Review Committee does not resolve the complaint or if a response is not received within the specified period, the complainant may make a written appeal to the appropriate adjudicator within five (5) working days of the receipt of the ADA Committee?s decision.
Adjudicators:
1. Academic/Classroom accommodations: Vice President for Academic Affairs and Dean
2. Student Activities or Housing accommodations: Vice President for Student Services
3. Building Access accommodations: Vice President for Business Affairs
4. Intercollegiate Athletics accommodations: Vice President for Intercollegiate Athletics
d. Step 4: Adjudicator

The complainant, the Disability Services Coordinator, and the Chair of the ADA Review Committee will provide all pertinent information to the adjudicator who will review the facts and hold whatever discussions are deemed desirable or as the complainant, Disability Services Coordinator, or ADA Review Committee Chair may request. The adjudicator will advise the complainant, the Chair of the ADA Review Committee, and the Disability Services Coordinator of the recommended course of action within five (5) working days after the receipt of the appeal. The decision of the adjudicator will be the final decision for the university.

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