Background: the ADA, Educational Equity, Disability Services
The Americans with Disabilities Act is a civil rights act that was passed into law in 1990. This law prohibits discrimination against individuals based on disabilities. The 2008 amendment to the ADA defines a disability as “a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more of the major life activities.”
At Penn State, the Office of the Vice Provost for Educational Equity is responsible for fostering diversity, including diversity of ability. The Office for Disability Services helps to coordinate services for individuals with disabilities. Additionally, each campus location has an individual or office dedicated to providing such services.
Disability issues identified on the Office for Disability Services Web site includeattention deficit/hyperactivity disorders, deaf and hard of hearing, learning disorders, mobility impairments, neurological disorders, physical/health-related disorders, psychological disorders, and visual impairments.