Policies and Guidance Related to Accessibility and Persons with Disabilities at OSU
As a land grant institution committed to teaching, research, and outreach and engagement, Oregon State University promotes economic, social, cultural, and environmental progress for the people of Oregon, the nation, and the world. One of the core values underlying OSU's mission statement is that diversity is a key to success. OSU is committed to equal opportunity for all, inclusive of age, color, disability, gender identity or expression, genetic information, marital status, national origin, race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, or veteran's status. Furthermore, the university has a moral obligation to open its doors wide for any groups that are underrepresented or that have suffered from discrimination.
People with disabilities must be full members of the educational community. For this to occur, every member of the University community must accept responsibility for being aware of and responsive to the particular needs of people with disabilities. The University recognizes that traditional methods, programs, and services may not accommodate the needs of some persons with disabilities. What persons without disabilities view as conveniences may present serious barriers for people who have disabilities. We must provide reasonable accommodations to ensure equal opportunity and access to all programs, activities, and services of the University. The policy and guidelines set forth below are not only intended to provide direction in avoiding discrimination, but to ensure that OSU operates in an inclusive way.
Otherwise qualified persons may not, on the basis of disability, be excluded from participating in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any academic, extracurricular, research, or other educational program, service or activity. It is the responsibility of every member and entity of the Oregon State University community to help the university achieve these obligations.
- The Office of Equity & Inclusion (OEI) is responsible for overseeing compliance with regard to state and federal regulations that prohibit discrimination on the basis of disability and require reasonable accommodations. Complaints of discrimination based on disability may be filed with OEI. OEI also responds to requests for accommodation from employees with disabilities.
- Disability Access Services (DAS) is responsible for reviewing students’ disability documentation to determine eligibility for accommodations, auxiliary aids, and adjustments in accordance with federal and state laws. Additionally, DAS collaborates with faculty, staff, and OSU departments to assist them in providing accommodations to ensure access to University programs, activities, and services for students with documented disabilities. More information on the services DAS provides to students can be found in the Nondiscrimination Policy Part III: Prospective & Current Students – Accommodations.
- Teaching Faculty must ensure that course instruction and materials are accessible. More information is available in the DAS Faculty & Staff Guidelines as well as on the OSU IT Accessibility site.
- Departments, organizations, auxiliaries, or affiliated entities are responsible for ensuring that their programs, events, goods and services are accessible to the maximum extent feasible, and must provide an opportunity for individuals to request accommodation as well as respond appropriately to any request for accommodation (in consultation with OEI or DAS). The OEI has access to a small fund to partner with departments in fulfilling their obligations to provide reasonable accommodations. The Nondiscrimination Policy Part IV: Other Programs, Services, & Activities has more information on how to plan accessible programs and events.
- Individuals with disabilities are responsible for requesting accommodations in a timely manner. Individuals can request accommodations at any time, however, certain accommodations require advance notice.
- Note that the university is not required to provide auxiliary aids or services for personal use, including but not limited to; attendants, individually prescribed devices, readers for personal use or study, or other devices or services of a personal nature.
- The University shall deny or withdraw recognition of or assistance to organizations that discriminate against individuals based on their disability. In addition, OSU Student Leadership & Involvement requires that all recognized student organizations state a nondiscrimination policy that is at least as broad as the university’s.
Policy of Nondiscrimination on the Basis of Disability
It is the policy of Oregon State University to comply with Sections 503 and 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA), as amended by the ADA Amendments Act of 2008, and other applicable federal and state regulations that prohibit discrimination on the basis of disability. The Rehabilitation Act and the ADA require that no qualified person shall, solely by reason of disability, be denied access to, participation in, or the benefits of, any program or activity operated by the University. Each qualified person shall receive the reasonable accommodations needed to ensure equal access to employment, educational opportunities, programs, and activities in the most integrated setting feasible. Learn more about the OSU Policy of Nondiscrimination on the Basis of Disability.
Policy on Information Technology Accessibility
Oregon State University commits to ensuring equal access to all University programs, services and activities provided through information technology (IT). Learn more about the OSU Policy on Information Technology Accessibility.
Service & Assistance Animal Policy
Oregon State University recognizes the need of certain persons with disabilities to have service animals on-campus or assistance animals in university housing under certain circumstances. Learn more about the OSU Service & Assistance Animal Policy.
Built Environment Best Practices
Oregon State University has adopted "Best Practices" for the design and construction of our facilities. These best practices have been incorporated into the Facilities Services Construction Standards that every project is required to follow. They are broken down into three "parts" and many sections, to follow current building code practice for creating code documents such as those followed by the 2010 ADA Standards for Accessible Design. Learn more about the OSU Built Environment Accessibility Best Practices on this website or by visiting the Facilities Services Construction Standards link above.
Periodically, the Office of Equity & Inclusion sends out memos to the university regarding topics of importance related to disability. View these on the University Memos page on the Accessibility website.
If a faculty member is concerned that an accommodation will lower standards and/or compromise an essential component of or fundamentally alter a course or program, such concern should be raised with DAS at the earliest opportunity, but no later than the first business day following the first day of the class section in which the student is enrolled, or upon receipt of notification of the accommodation, whichever is later.
During the accommodation dispute process, the student should be allowed to proceed under the proposed accommodation until the matter is resolved. If OEI decides it is not appropriate to continue with the accommodation during the process, the faculty member will be notified.
DAS shall immediately attempt informal resolution of the matter. In the event informal resolution efforts by DAS are unsuccessful, DAS shall refer the accommodation dispute to OEI, no later than 30 days prior to the end of the current academic term. Accommodation disputes will follow the Discrimination Complaint Procedures. Learn more about how Disability Access Services determines reasonable and unreasonable accommodations.
Every effort will be made to resolve the dispute as quickly as possible and within the term in which the issue was raised. OEI will decide how the matter should be resolved, once it has received notice of an accommodation dispute. OEI will comply with the time limits prescribed by OSU's Discrimination Complaint Procedures.
Complaints of Discrimination
Complaints of discrimination based on disability may be filed in the Office of Equity & Inclusion (OEI). All members of the University community may raise complaints of discrimination and harassment with OEI. Some of the specific policies and procedures vary based on an individual’s relationship to the University. Individuals wanting to discuss grievance options should contact OEI.