A Brief Overview:
The Americans with Disabilities Act is the law that requires nondiscriminatory policies in institutions that serve the public, whether publicly or privately owned. It seeks to ensure that persons with disabilities are afforded the same rights as other Americans. The ADA contains five titles. The Lee’s Summit R-7 School District comes under Title II of the ADA. The U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights (OCR) enforces Title II in public elementary and secondary education systems. The Lee’s Summit R-7 School District has proactively taken measures to address structural barriers and program access issues, but occasionally a patron may call the district or a specific facility to request assistance.
Who is protected?
- Persons with physical or mental impairments
- Persons with records of physical or mental impairments
- Persons regarded as having a disability
Persons Who May be covered by the ADA:
- Parents, guardians or family members attending school functions or activities
- Members of the community who wish to attend an activity that is open to the public
In order to comply with Title II the Lee’s Summit R-7 School District:
- Must evaluate all programs, services and activities to ensure nondiscriminatory policies and procedures.
- Cannot discriminate in employment policies and practices.
- Must create a plan to ensure that all programs, services and activities in the Lee’s Summit R-7 School District are offered in at least one accessible facility.
- Must provide reasonable accommodations for persons with disabilities.
Examples of programs, services and activities covered include:
- Any program or activity conducted in facilities owned by the Lee’s Summit R-7 School District.
- Any PTA/PTO meeting, musical program or public gathering in facilities owned by the Lee’s Summit R-7 School District.
- All aspects of the employment relationship.
- Services carried out by external or internal contractors.
- After-school activities and social events.
- Classroom activities or field trips.
- All services provided for students and staff.
ADA Accommodation Request Procedures:
If a patron needs an accommodation to participate in an activity, program, or service offered by the Lee’s Summit R-7 School District, they are to contact the building administrator or principal where the event is taking place at least 72 hours in advance. They can also call the district’s Safety Supervisor at 816.986.2197 and if necessary leave a message. Messages and requests are then forwarded to the appropriate administrator or principal for action. It is the responsibility of the administrator to contact the patron and address the specific request. The Safety & Environmental Supervisor and/or site personnel are always available to assist implementing all “reasonable accommodation” requests.
This information may be posted on a sign at each location near major entrances. Publication of this information is also encouraged in district and location specific publications. If a patron is dissatisfied with the accommodations made or denial of accommodations that are determined to not be “reasonable” they can contact site administration or Safety & Environmental supervisor.
What is a reasonable Accommodation?
In the context of public education, it is easier to define what is not reasonable and assume that if the accommodation needed does not clearly fall under those guidelines, it is probably reasonable. There are three kinds of accommodations that are not considered reasonable: (1) It is not a reasonable accommodation if making the accommodation or allowing participation poses a direct threat to the health or safety of others; (2) It is not a reasonable accommodation if making the accommodation means making a substantial change in an essential element of the curriculum (educational viewpoint) or a substantial alteration in the manner in which you provide your services; and (3) It is not a reasonable accommodation if it poses an undue financial or administrative burden.
If you assistance determining whether a request is reasonable contact site administration or Safety & Environmental supervisor.
Ryan Hall, CSP, CSRM, CPSI
Safety/Environmental Supervisor, 986.2197.