8.3 Disability Services

Generally, otherwise qualified students participating in any online college class who have a qualifying disability may receive reasonable accommodation for that disability as provided by U.S. disability law.

  • Otherwise qualified means that the student has successfully met all of the admissions criteria without reference to their disability issues.
  • Qualifying disability is one that significantly limits a major life activity. For example, reading, writing, hearing, etc. This disability would usually be one of a permanent or chronic nature rather than a broken bone, for example, which will heal quickly.
  • Disability law refers primarily to Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and to the Americans with Disabilities Act, As Amended (ADA-AA).

At the post-secondary level, the focus shifts in providing services to those with disabilities. In K-12 education, the Individuals with Disabilities in Education Act (IDEA) requires that the school guarantees “success” at the level of ability of the student. In post-secondary education, Section 504 only guarantees programmatic “access” and reasonable accommodation does not require changing the essential nature or requirements of the program.

It is the student’s responsibility to request reasonable accommodation for a disability. Such a request should be made as soon as possible since accommodations are not retroactive and so the accommodations can be discussed, and if possible, facilitated without changing the essential nature of the program.

BYU-Idaho Disability Services provides detailed information for students. Students should contact Disability Services for assistance with any specific problems or requests for accommodation.

Missionaries faced with questions regarding disabilities and/or university services should note the following:

  1. Missionaries should not attempt to determine if a student has a disability.
  2. Missionaries should not discuss disabilities and/or accommodations with potential students, admitted students, parents, priesthood leaders, or other interested parties.
  3. Where a request for accommodation is made, missionaries should advise the student to contact BYU-Idaho Disability Services.
  4. For institute courses, please refer students to the local institute director for guidance based on the Seminaries and Institutes of Religion Policy Manual.