Access ServicesUnderstanding Accessibility
Accessibility is a Civil Right and is Federal Law
The Americans with Disabilities Act Amendments Act and section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 are federal civil rights laws that prohibit discrimination on the basis of disability. These laws are enforced by the U.S. Department of Justice and the U.S. Department of Education, and they apply to Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota. If something at Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota is not accessible, we must remediate it to the extent required by law.
Making something accessible means a person with a disability is afforded the opportunity to acquire the same information, engage in the same interactions, and enjoy the same services as a person without a disability in an equally effective and equally integrated manner with substantially equivalent ease of use. A person with a disability must be able to obtain the information as fully, equally, and independently as a person without a disability.
From recent Office of Civil Rights resolution agreements, including University of Cincinnati Resolution Agreement Office of Civil Rights compliance review #15-13-6001, Dec. 2, 2014
According to “Universal Design in Higher Education: Promising Practices,” universal design is “the design of products and environments to be usable by all people, to the greatest extent possible, without the need for adaptation or specialized design.” When designers apply universal design principles, their products and services meet the needs of potential users with a wide variety of characteristics. Universal design principles can be applied to many products and services, including instruction.