In keeping with its goal to promote diversity among its student population, RUSH University is committed to attracting and educating students who will help to make the population of health care professionals reflective of the national population, including individuals with disabilities. In addition, RUSH University is committed to ensuring equal access to its facilities, programs and services are available to students with disabilities.
Highlights in History: Americans with Disability Act as Amended and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973.
- Prohibits discrimination and guarantees that people with a disability have the same opportunities as everyone else to participate in the mainstream of American life.
- Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 expands upon the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to include “equal opportunity” law for people with disabilities.
- To be protected by the ADA, one must have a disability, which is defined by the ADA as a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities, a person who has a history or record of such an impairment, or a person who is perceived by others as having such an impairment.
“Major life activity” is defined as:
- Breathing, speaking, caring for oneself, seeing, hearing, eating, sleeping, walking, standing, communicating, learning, reading, concentrating, thinking, working, lifting and bending.
- Operations of major bodily functions.
- Functions of the immune system, normal cell growth, digesting, bowel, bladder, neurological, brain, respiratory, circulatory, endocrine and reproductive organs.
Determining who is eligible for accommodations at RUSH University
A reasonable accommodation is a modification or adjustment to an instructional activity, facility, program or service that enables a qualified student with a disability to have an equal opportunity.
To be eligible for accommodations, a student must have a documented disability as defined by the ADA and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973.
As stated above, both the ADA and Section 504 define disability as:
- A physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities of such individual.
- A record of such impairment.
- Being regarded as having such a condition.
For students to be considered for accommodations in a post secondary institution, the above criteria need to be met and:
- The condition must not only substantially limit a major life activity, but the affected activity must be related to the student’s function in the campus environment.
- Accommodations cannot fundamentally alter the nature of the course.
Accommodations Process at RUSH University
- The Office of Student Accessibility Services, or OSAS, requires students to complete a Request for Accommodation Formstack form to submit their request and thus start the interactive process.
- The student must submit Documentation of a Disability according to the guidelines published.
- Upon receiving the Request for Accommodation and supporting diagnostic documentation, the OSAS will set up an intake appointment with the student to discuss their disability, program (including technical standards) and any barriers they may encounter throughout their academic program.
- Accommodations are then approved or denied. If a student is denied accommodations they may follow the grievance policy that is issued with every approval and denial letter
- Approved accommodations will be specific to the student and are valid for the duration of their program, unless otherwise documented on the accommodation letter.
- Upon receiving their approved accommodation letter, students are required to submit a “Faculty Notification” Formstack form. This form ensures the accommodation is released to the appropriate faculty each semester.
Faculty Notification of Accommodations
- Faculty will receive an email entitled “Faculty Notification (Specified Semester and year)” alerting them that they will have a student that semester with an accommodation.
- Upon reading the accommodation letter, faculty are encouraged to engage the OSAS office with any questions/concerns about the implementation of the accommodation(s).
- It is the goal of the OSAS to have these notifications out prior to and/or at the start of each semester so there may be time to prepare.
- Students may apply for accommodations at any time throughout their academic program, so accommodation letters may go out throughout the semester.
If there are testing accommodations, Faculty are required to submit a Formstack form detailing the relevant testing information please complete the proper Formstack:
- Faculty are required to submit their testing information via Formstack within 5 business days of receiving the accommodation letter.
- The Testing Coordinator for the OSAS monitors the forms and coordinates all accommodated testing sessions.
- An email will be sent out to the student and faculty confirming all accommodated testing including date, time, mode of exam and any notes pertaining to the examination.
- Faculty issuing paper examinations (including Scranton) are required to provide the Testing Coordinator a copy of the examination 48 business hours prior to the examination.
- All passwords for examinations are to be sent 48 business hours prior to the examination.
- Faculty are required to modify all online testing platforms (Canvas, Blackboard, Examplify and/or Proctor U) to reflect the additional time accommodation requirements.
- Faculty may enlist the assistance of CTEI to modify time in the testing platform.
- How to modify time within Blackboard: https://rushu.libanswers.com/rulearning-instructor/faq/178030
- Students may require accommodations for clinical/practicum/clerkship/internship/externship and/or away rotations.
- The OSAS works with the student, clinical site director, preceptors, clerkship directors or other relevant staff to determine the proper clinical accommodation.
- There may be the occasion when a student sustains a serious, but time-limited, injury or illness (e.g., a broken bone, mononucleosis, etc.) that requires the student to miss several days of class, clinical practica or limits the student’s ability to perform in the clinical area.
- For the safety of the student, patients, classmates, and staff, the student will engage the OSAS to develop a short-term accommodation plan for all educational settings, including the classroom, lab, and clinical environment where academic performance may be affected.
- These time-limited accommodations are created through an interactive process that includes the student, OSAS, the appropriate faculty and the student’s health care provider in order to facilitate the student is meeting course objectives.
Understanding and Implementing Accommodations
- Upon receiving an accommodation letter, please take the time to read it and should any questions arise, email the Director of Student Accessibility Services.
- If a student is not following the approved accommodation letter, please email the Director of Student Accessibility Services.
- If you will require assistance on implementing the accommodation, please email the Director of Student Accessibility Services.
Service Animals at RUSH University
Individuals with service animals may only be asked the following:
- Is this animal a service animal?
- What is the task they perform?
According to the ADA,
- Only dogs and miniature ponies are recognized as service animals under title II and III of the ADA.
- Under the ADA, a service animal is defined as:
- “An animal (K9 or miniature pony) that has been individually trained to do work or perform tasks for an individual with a disability. The task(s) performed by the animal must be directly related to the person's disability."
- The animal must be trained to take a specific action when needed to assist a person with a disability. For example:
- A student with diabetes may have the animal that is trained to alert him when his blood sugar reaches high or low levels.
- A student with depression may have the animal trained to remind her to take her medication.
- A student who has epilepsy may have an animal that is trained to detect the onset of a seizure and then help the person remain safe during the seizure.
- Where can a service animal go on a RUSH campus?
- Service animals must be allowed in patient rooms and anywhere else in the hospital the public and patients are allowed to go.
- They cannot be excluded on the grounds that staff can provide the same services.
- Allowances are made that service animals are not permitted in surgical suites or areas where patients have diminished immune systems.
- Miniature horses information
- Height/weight requirements: 24-34 inches from floor to shoulders and generally with between 70-100 pounds.
- The miniature horse must be housebroken.
- The miniature horse must be under the owner’s control.
- The facility can accommodate the miniature horse’s type, size and weight.
- The miniature horse’s presence will not compromise legitimate safety requirements necessary for safe operation of the facility.
- Association on Higher Education and Disability
- Coalition for Disability Access in Health Science and Medical Education
- Association of Medical Professionals with Hearing Loss
- National Association of Nurses with Disabilities
- Society of Physicians with Disabilities
- Society for Healthcare Professionals with Disabilities
- Building Accessible Online Courses