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Handbook for Student Law for Higher Education Administrators


James Ottavio Castagnera

The Handbook for Student Law for Higher Education Administrators is a practical tool, intended for administrators dealing with students in higher education, focusing principally on four-year institutions. Addressing the ever-developing relationship between higher education and the law, the book will provide the academic administrator with the means to knowledgably and confidently navigate the many legal threats and challenges facing colleges today. Using examples from real cases and scenarios from different institutions, the handbook provides sample policies, checklists, and advice that administrators can apply to a wide variety of situations, both preventatively and proactively. Also included are relevant 2008-09 amendments to the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Federal Educational Rights and Privacy Act, and each chapter includes a section on the impact of the Higher Education Opportunities Act of 2008. The Handbook for Student Law for Higher Education Administrators is a compendium of practical knowledge and guidance, useful for any administrator dealing with the legal minefield that is higher education.


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Chapter 8 Physical, Mental, and Learning Disabilities 195


CHAPTER 8 Physical, Mental, and Learning Disabilities Overview “Today, there are more st udents with documented d isabilities in h igher educa- tion t han e ver before— 140,142 freshme n report ed ha ving a disability i n 1 996 (HEATH Resource Center, 1998). That figure represents over 9% of all fresh- men (HEATH Resourc e Center, 1 998), as co mpared with only 2.6% in 19 78 (HEATH Resource Center, 1995). Although the process has been slow, colleges and universities (hereafter referred to as ‘11 colleges’) have made their programs more and m ore accessible, sometimes in good fai th, sometimes due to coercion by federal agencies and courts. Only modest progress was made between 1973 (the passage of Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act) and 1990 (the passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act; ADA); however, once the ADA was passed and amended and regulations were promulgated, institutions that had made little or no progress in making their buildings and programs accessible increased their efforts. Presumabl y, this i ncrease i n pa rt is beca use of the sli ghtly bro ader coverage of the ADA, publicity surrounding the passage of the ADA, an increase in the number of administrative appeals and lawsuits, and growth in the number of students requesting accommodation. The greater demand for a ccommodation can be attributed primarily to the fact that many current college students received either an Individualized Education Program (IEP; as is required by the Individu- als wit...

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