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Students with disabilities attending UNC Charlotte are protected by laws that ensure equal access to education.

Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 protect the civil rights of individuals with disabilities. These laws state that “no otherwise qualified individual with a disability shall, solely by reason of his/her disability, be excluded from the participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any program or activity of a public entity.”

In a post secondary education setting, the term "otherwise qualified"  means "a person who meets the academic and technical standards requisite to admission or participation in the education program or activity, with or without reasonable modifications to rules, policies or practices; the removal of architectural, communication or transportation barriers; or the provision of auxiliary aids and services."

A "person with a disability" is defined as "any person who 1) has a physical or mental impairment which substantially limits one or more major life activities [including walking, seeing, hearing, speaking, breathing, learning, and working], 2) has a record of such an impairment, or 3) is regarded as having such an impairment."

The following represents just a sample of disabilities covered by the law: AIDS, Cancer, Cerebral Palsy, Diabetes, Epilepsy, head injuries, deafness/hearing loss, specific learning disabilities, loss of limbs, Multiple Sclerosis, Muscular Dystrophy, psychiatric disorders such as depression and anxiety, speech impairments, spinal cord injuries, and visual impairments.

Under this legislation students with disabilities are entitled to reasonable and appropriate accommodations to ensure equal access to education. The university does not provide accommodations of a “personal nature.” Students are responsible for their own transportation, assistance with homework, coaching, mobility training, personal care attendants, and activities outside the university.

Our Academic Accommodations and Personal Care Attendants web pages provide further information.

To find out on how these laws affect students at UNC Charlotte, please contact our office for further information.