Americans with Disabilities
Thomas Goode Jones School of Law, Faulkner University, recognizes its legal obligation to make reasonable accommodations designed to make its educational program and activities accessible to otherwise qualified persons with disabilities. By providing access to qualified students with disabilities, the law school demonstrates its belief that the legal profession will benefit from the skills and talents of these individuals.
For purposes of this policy, a person with a disability is defined as any person who has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities; has a record of such impairments; or is regarded as having such impairment.
For purposes of this policy, an otherwise qualified person with a disability is defined as an individual with a disability who meets the academic and technical standards requisite to admission and participation in the law school’s educational program and activities.
Major Life Activities: The phrase “major life activities” refers to normal functions such as caring for one’s self, performing manual tasks, walking, seeing, hearing, speaking, breathing, learning, and working.
To comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act and other applicable laws, the law school will provide, as necessary, reasonable and readily achievable accommodations, including academic adjustments and auxiliary aids to ensure otherwise qualified students with disabilities access to the school’s services, programs and activities. The Associate Dean for Academic Affairs is responsible for law school policies affecting students with disabilities. While the law school will strive to accommodate students as fully as possible, reasonable adjustments or accommodations do not include measures which fundamentally alter the academic program of the law school or which place undue administrative or financial burdens on the law school. Students with disabilities who require accommodations must make those needs known to the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs as soon as possible. Students are responsible for making these needs known in a timely fashion and for providing appropriate documentation and evaluations in appropriate cases. The student should not assume that this information is known by the law school because it was included in an application for admission or in the student’s application to take the Law School Admission Test.
The law school seeks to accommodate students with disabilities on an individual basis. Individual students are given reasonable and necessary accommodations based on specific information and assessment data documented by a professional from outside the law school who, in the judgment of the school, is qualified to provide such information and assessments. Heidi Guy, Disability Services Coordinator (334-386-7185) makes available information as to the existence and location of services, activities, and facilities that are accessible to and usable by persons with disabilities.
For more information regarding disability services, visit Project Key.
Information about a student’s disability and accommodations is treated as confidential under applicable laws and law school policies and is provided only to individuals who are privileged to receive such information on a need-to-know basis.
Verification of Disability
A student with a disability must provide to the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs current professional verification certified by a licensed physician, psychologist, audiologist, speech pathologist, rehabilitation counselor, physical therapist, occupational therapist, or other professional health care provider who, in the opinion of the law school, is qualified in the diagnosis of the disability. The verification must reflect the student’s present level of functioning of the major life activity affected by the disability. The cost of obtaining the professional verification will be borne by the student.
If the initial verification is deemed incomplete or inadequate to determine the present extent of the disability and the appropriate accommodations needed, the law school has the discretion to require supplemental assessment of a disability. The cost of the supplemental assessment will be borne by the student.
Temporary impairments are not commonly regarded as disabilities, and only in rare circumstances will the degree of limitation rendered by a temporary impairment be substantial enough to qualify as a disability pursuant to this policy.
Records and Privacy
The law school will maintain confidential records within the Project Key Office relating to accommodations based upon disability. The records will include the documentation submitted to verify the disability. Upon graduation or termination of enrollment, these records shall be archived apart from official educational records. All documents produced by consultants in the performance of services for the law school will remain the property of the law school.
Post Graduation Policy and Services
The law school will assist students in documenting accommodations received during law school as an aid in requesting accommodations for bar examinations.
The law school does not discriminate on the basis of a disability. Any information concerning an applicant’s disability provided during the admissions process is voluntary or optional and is maintained in accordance with laws relating to confidentiality. The law school uses this information only for the purpose of overcoming past performance difficulties that the students may have experienced due to disabilities as reflected in their academic records. No limitations are placed on the number or proportion of persons with disabilities who may be admitted or enrolled. In order to provide the accommodations on a timely basis, it is recommended that new students inform the law school of the need for accommodations well in advance of their matriculation.
It is the policy of the law school to employ, retain, or admit faculty members, staff, and students on the basis of individual merit. However, the law school believes that diversity in the faculty, staff and students is directly related to the value of its educational mission. The benefits to be derived, especially in the context of the study of law, mandate that special care be taken to achieve a high level of diversity among faculty members, staff, and students. Aspiring lawyers who have been exposed to diverse views will bring to the bar an enhanced appreciation of their unique role in society and their special responsibilities in the administration of justice for all people. The law school’s commitment to diversity, however, is informed by its mission statement and its affiliation with Faulkner University.
Policy and Procedures to Provide Services to Faculty and Staff with Disabilities
To comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act and other applicable laws ensuring equal employment opportunities to qualified individuals with a disability, reasonable accommodations are made for the known physical and mental limitations of an otherwise qualified individual with a disability unless an undue hardship, direct threat to health and safety or other job-related consideration exists.
Applicants or employees who require accommodation to perform the essential functions of the job should contact the Human Resources Department of Faulkner University to request such an accommodation. The accommodation she/he is requesting or needs to perform the job should be specified. We will discuss the request together, and if necessary, we will investigate barriers that make it difficult for the applicant or employee to have an equal opportunity to perform his/her job. As appropriate, we also will identify together accommodations necessary for effectively allowing the performance of the job’s essential functions. Necessary accommodation will be made unless precluded by an undue hardship or other permissible considerations.
If you believe that you have been unlawfully discriminated against, submit a written complaint to the Human Resources Department as soon as possible. If the complaint relates to Human Resources Department personnel, submit your complaint to our EEO specialists or the President of Faulkner University. Your complaint should be as specific as possible; for example, you should include the names of the individuals involved, the names of any witnesses, the specific dates, what exactly was said or done, and by whom, etc.
We will investigate your complaint and attempt to resolve the situation. If we determine that unlawful discrimination has occurred, appropriate remedial action will be taken. Whatever action is taken will be made known to you, to the extent that we can do so without violating the privacy rights of others, and we will remedy any loss to you as a result of the discrimination. We will not retaliate against you for filing a complaint and will not willingly permit retaliation by management, employees, or your co-workers.