Home > Resources > Legal/Policy
circular green icon symbol showing a gavel and pad
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act (Section 504) are three pivotal laws that ensure equitable access to education, employment, and the community. These federal mandates guide accommodation decisions through key concepts such as “effective communication”, the “interactive process” in accommodation decision-making, and the “subjective experience” of an individual with a disability.

Sound policies and procedures can also support deaf individuals with an equal opportunity to access a wide-range of opportunities. Through proactive planning, an organization can reduce barriers for deaf individuals accessing postsecondary environments.

Laws Concerning Accommodations: Summary of Section 504, IDEA, and ADA

Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) work together to protect children and adults with disabilities from exclusion, discrimination, and unequal treatment in education, employment, and the community.
 
Topics: Deaf 101, Legal/Policy
Useful For: Administrators, Disability Services Professionals, Employers, New Users, Parents, Students, Teachers
 

Effective Communication

Effective communication affords deaf individuals the ability to share and/or receive information in a manner that is successful for them. Effective communication increases the opportunity for full and equal participation in any situation. Effective communication is fluid and allows all parties to receive and respond to information equally.
 
Topics: Deaf 101, Legal/Policy
Useful For: Administrators, Audiologists, Disability Services Professionals, Employers, New Users, Parents, Students, Teachers
 

Equitable Access Guide: Understanding Legal Responsibilities for Institutions (Second Edition)

This resource is for professionals who want a better understanding of the legal foundations in serving deaf students. Disability law attorneys and experienced practitioners explain institutional responsibilities and provide tips for implementing policies and procedures.
 
Topics: Legal/Policy
Useful For: Administrators, Disability Services Professionals
 

Interactive Process Tools: Checklist and Sample Questions for Deaf Students

The interactive process engages deaf individuals and disability services professionals in a collaborative discussion regarding the impact of deafness
 
Topics: Legal/Policy
Useful For: Administrators, Disability Services Professionals, Interpreters, New Users, Speech-to-Text Provider
 

Disability Services Handbook Templates

This collection of handbook templates is designed for a disability support service provider to download and personalize for his or her institution's needs. These handbooks contain information for orientation to and standardization of procedures as well as general information about how these service providers can work effectively within a postsecondary education setting and with deaf students. Templates are included for faculty, interpreters, note takers, speech-to-text providers, and students. (Revised: 2017)
 
Topics: Legal/Policy, Transition
Useful For: Administrators, Disability Services Professionals
 

Policies and Procedures: Excessive Student Absences

Deaf students have the same rights as their hearing peers, including the right to be absent. However, when they are absent from class, disability service professionals become concerned that the funds being expended for interpreters or speech-to-text services are not being used prudently. By establishing policies and procedures for students and staff to follow, disability service professionals are able to balance the need for access with the need to demonstrate responsible budgetary management.
 
Topics: Legal/Policy
Useful For: Administrators, Disability Services Professionals
 

Technical Standards in Healthcare Careers

Improved access and advancements in technology have allowed deaf individuals who might not have previously considered a career in the healthcare field to now pursue this option. Nonetheless, barriers continue to exist, caused in part by the technical standards established by academia and training programs. Technical standards are a set of abilities and characteristics a person is required to possess to gain admission to an educational or training program.
 
Topics: Legal/Policy, Other Access Topics
Useful For: Administrators, Disability Services Professionals, Employers
 

The Standards for Educational and Psychological Testing and Deaf Individuals

The 2014 Standards for Educational and Psychological Testing significantly elevated the importance of fairness in testing.

 
Topics: Legal/Policy, Testing
Useful For: Administrators, Audiologists, Disability Services Professionals, Teachers, Vocational Rehabilitation Professionals
 

Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) Video

This two-part video explains the Americans With Disabilities Act and how it applies to postsecondary education for students who are deaf.
 
Topics: Legal/Policy, Transition
Useful For: Administrators, Audiologists, Employers, Interpreters, New Users, Parents, Students