Rights and responsibilities

Metropolitan State University is an equal opportunity, affirmative action institution. The University does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability, veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity or genetic information in its programs and activities.

In accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), its amendments; the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 section 504 and the Minnesota Human Rights Act, no qualified person will be denied access to, participation in, or the benefits of, any program or activity operated by the University because of disability. The University will not discriminate against qualified individuals with disabilities in employment practices and activities, including but not limited to, application procedures, hiring, tenure, promotion, advancement, termination, training, compensation and benefits. The University will not discriminate against a qualified individual because of the known disability of another individual with whom the qualified individual is known to have a relationship or association.

Center for Accessibility Resources’ role

The Center for Accessibility Resources is designated by the university to provide services, resources, and programs to facilitate equitable learning and working opportunities for disabled students and guests of Metropolitan State University. CAR also determines whether individuals are eligible for reasonable accommodations and, if so, the nature of the reasonable accommodation.

Reasonable accommodation

CAR strives to proactively identify and remove barriers to access in order to promote inclusion and minimize the need for individual accommodations. Upon request, the University will provide reasonable accommodation(s) to otherwise qualified individuals as required by law to ensure equitable access to University educational opportunities, programs, services, and activities in the most integrated setting, to the extent such requested accommodation(s) do not impose an undue hardship upon the University, constitute a fundamental alteration to a program or compromise academic integrity. In general, it is the responsibility of the individual to make their disability status and subsequent need for accommodation known to the University.

Supervisors, faculty, program sponsors, service units or unit administrators may not independently deny a request for accommodation.

Facilities

 All newly constructed University buildings, alterations to existing buildings and renovations, including improvements to the path of travel, will meet the most current ADA Accessibility Guidelines (ADAAG) to ensure that they are accessible to and usable by individuals with disabilities.

Students’ rights and responsibilities

Students with disabilities have the right to:

  • Equal access to all parts of university life;
  • Information available in accessible formats; and
  • Confidentiality of all information regarding their disabilities, and the right to choose to whom the information about their disabilities will be disclosed, except as required or permitted by law.

Students with disabilities have the responsibility to:

  • Meet qualifications and maintain essential standards for courses, programs, services, and activities;
  • Self identify as an individual with a disability when accommodations are needed, and to seek information and assistance as necessary;
  • Document how the disability limits participation in university life; and
  • Follow published procedures for obtaining accommodations.

Metropolitan State’s rights and responsibilities

Metropolitan State has the right to:

  • Identify and establish essential functions, disabilities, skills, knowledge, and standards for courses, programs, services, jobs, academic-related activities; and to evaluate students on this basis;
  • Deny a request for accommodations if the documentation does not demonstrate the request is warranted, or if the individual fails to provide appropriate documentation;
  • Select among equally-effective accommodations; and/or
  • Refuse accommodation(s) that impose a fundamental alteration on a program, service, or activity of the University.

Metropolitan State has the responsibility to:

  • Provide information in accessible formats to students with abilities upon request;
  • Ensure that university programs, services, and activities are available in the most integrated settings;
  • Evaluate students and prospective students on their abilities and not their disabilities;
  • Provide reasonable accommodations for students with disabilities to fully participate in university life.
  • Maintain confidentiality of records except where permitted or required by law.

Disability documentation and confidentiality

CAR is the custodian of records for students' obtained for the purpose of providing reasonable accommodation.

Information regarding a disability is considered private and will be shared only as allowed by law. This information is also protected by the federal Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act and the Minnesota Government Data Privacy Act. A copy of the University's Policy 1040 (Privacy of Educational Records) can be accessed at University Policies and Procedures. In general, the following guidelines apply, although students should consult Policy 1040 for more specific information.

Generally, University staff have access to private information only on a need-to-know basis.

A student has the right to review his or her own file.

A student may give written authorization for the release of private information when she or he wishes to share it with others. Any release of such information should contain the following elements: a statement identifying the information being released, the purpose of the release, and to whom the information is being released.

Federal and state laws require release of student information in certain circumstances as described in the University's data privacy policy. These include, for example, certain health and safety emergencies, selected state or federal investigations, or receipt of a court order or subpoena. A complete list of such circumstances if found in the University Policy 1040.

Center for Accessibility Resources may charge a reasonable fee for costs incurred in connection with the copying of information.

Center for Accessibility Resources will retain a copy of all disability related information provided during the period of the student's enrollment. All disability­ related information will be destroyed six years after the last date of enrollment. If a student wishes to have a record expunged prior to the end of this six year period, she or he must make a written request to the Center for Accessibility Resources Director, who will decide whether it is necessary for the office to retain the record.