Reasonable Accommodation

One aim of the ADA was to make educational institutions more accessible for the disabled. This aim covers “reasonable accommodations” such as the following:

  • Modification of application and testing
  • Allowing students to tape-record or videotape lectures and classes
  • Modification of class schedules
  • Extra time allotted between classes
  • Notetakers
  • Interpreters
  • Readers
  • Specialized computer equipment
  • Special education

Accommodation also includes physical changes to an educational institution’s buildings, including the following:

  • Installing accessible doorknobs and hard-ware
  • Installing grab bars in bathrooms
  • Increasing maneuverability in bathrooms for wheelchairs
  • Installing sinks and hand dryers within reach
  • Creating handicapped parking spaces
  • Installing accessible water fountains
  • Installing ramps
  • Having curb cuts, sidewalks, and entrances that are accessible
  • Installing elevators
  • Widening door openings

Public accommodation is not required if a particular aid or service would result in either fundamental alteration of the services offered or the facility if the accommodation would impose an undue burden. (See Southeastern Community College v. Davis, 442 U.S. 397 (1979)). Under the U.S. Supreme Court’s interpretation, Congress intended that undue burden and hardship must be determined on a case-by-case basis.


Inside Reasonable Accommodation