According to Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, “No otherwise qualified individuals with handicaps in the United States… shall, solely by reason of his/her handicap, be excluded from the participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance…”.
Since Kirtland Community College receives federal financial assistance, the Rehabilitation Act applies.
The Americans with Disabilities Act also applies to Kirtland by prohibiting discrimination in the areas of employment, public services, public accommodations, and telecommunications relay services.
Both the Rehabilitation Act and the ADA require that Kirtland make reasonable accommodations to allow otherwise qualified individuals to participate in a program or activity.
These laws do not mean that academic standards should or will be lowered. Nothing in the Rehabilitation Act or the ADA abridges the freedom of an institution to establish academic requirements and standards. Before Kirtland is required to make an accommodation, individuals must make their disabilities known.
Determining a reasonable disability accommodation in the college learning environment requires individual analysis. The key is accommodating the disability, not altering course content.