On October 8, 2018, Phoenix College entered into a Resolution Agreement with the Office for Civil Rights (OCR) to settle a claim of disability discrimination and failure to accommodate. As part of this Resolution Agreement, Phoenix College and the OCR agreed there needed to be more communication between the DRS office and the blind or visually impaired student requesting accommodations. Pursuant to the agreement, the Parties agreed upon the following:
For blind students who seek accommodations from DRS, the DRS will meet with each blind student and each instructor in each course in which the student is registered well in advance of the beginning of each course to:
- Review and discuss the course syllabus and other available information about the format(s) in which the course will be presented;
- Identify all materials that will be provided to or used by students as well as written materials which will need to be converted each week of the semester; and
- Confirm with the student that the format will be usable by the student’s assistive technology or, if appropriate, how equally effective alternate access will be provided. (Ensure you have documented what “equally effective” means for the student).
The College must offer the opportunity for a meeting (as described above) to visually-impaired students who seek accommodations from the DRS. If a visually impaired student accepts an offer for a meeting, the DRS will similarly meet with the student and each course instructor in which the student is registered, as outlined above in A-C.
This new procedure went into effect in Spring for Phoenix College and goes into effect Fall for the rest of the District. Please encourage faculty members to engage in the interactive process in order to provide our students reasonable accommodations in a reasonable time frame.
Thank you for your cooperation. If you have questions, please feel free to contact Melissa Flores or Gene Heppard.