CSU and UC:
Campuses Generally Provide Access for Students With Disabilities
CSU and UC:
- Have established adequate policies requiring campuses to comply with ADA.
- Campuses have adequate guidelines to provide services.
- Students indicate high level of satisfaction with services.
- Campuses generally comply with ADA; however, some have not completed self evaluations or eliminated all physical barriers.
Results in Brief
To address the needs of students with disabilities, the federal
government passed the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (Rehabilitation
Act). The Rehabilitation Act states that no otherwise qualified
disabled individuals shall, solely by reason of the disability,
be excluded from participating in, be denied the benefits of,
or be subjected to discrimination under any program receiving
federal assistance. In 1990, the federal government reinforced
its commitment to individuals with disabilities by enacting the
Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), which provides people with
disabilities civil rights protection and places emphasis on providing
them with full opportunities and adequate access. Specific provisions
of both the Rehabilitation Act and the ADA regulate programs and
activities provided by public entities.
Because the California State University (CSU) and University of
California (UC) postsecondary systems are considered to be public
entities, they must comply with the provisions of the Rehabilitation
Act and ADA. We reviewed the CSU and UC systems as a whole and
six individual campuses within the two systems to determine whether
each public entity is complying with the ADA and providing computer
access to its students with disabilities. During our review, we
noted the following:
- Overall, the Chancellor's Office of the CSU and the Office
of the President of the UC have developed adequate policies requiring
their respective campuses to comply with provisions of the ADA.
- In addition, the four CSU and two UC campuses that we visited
have developed adequate guidelines to meet the needs of, and provide
access to, their students with disabilities.
- Furthermore, students at the six campuses we reviewed indicated
a high level of satisfaction with services provided by their respective
campuses. However, some CSU students commented that campus faculty
members need to be more aware of the ADA requirements.
- Although the campuses we visited provide students with disabilities
with adequate access to computers, we did note conditions at two
CSU campuses where students' access to computer software and equipment
may be impeded.
- Although the campuses we visited have developed guidelines
to address the needs of disabled students, not all the campuses
fully complied with the ADA requirements for self-evaluations.
For example, one CSU campus had not completed its self-evaluation,
and another CSU campus did not adequately address the elements
as required by the ADA Technical Assistance Manual.
- Finally, although the ADA requires public entities to remove
physical barriers by January 26, 1995, progress to remove the
barriers at the four CSU campuses that we reviewed has been slow.
In contrast, a significant portion of the barriers have been removed
from the two UC campuses.
To increase campus awareness of ADA requirements, the Chancellor's
Office of the CSU should instruct its campuses to provide training
classes or seminars and require mandatory attendance for faculty
To address conditions and remove barriers that may be denying
access to its students, the Chancellor's Office should do the
- Ensure that CSU Sacramento eliminates the access barrier to
the library as soon as possible, and require the campus to provide
an alternative means of accessibility for all students with disabilities
until the barrier is eliminated.
- Instruct CSU Stanislaus to consider expanding the hours of
its disabled services office or purchase additional adaptive equipment
that can be placed in an open computer lab.
- Require all campuses to complete their self-evaluations as
soon as possible and address the elements outlined in the ADA
Technical Assistance Manual when completing their self-evaluations.
To maximize access for its students with disabilities, the CSU
Chancellor's Office and the UC Office of the President should
do the following:
- Instruct campuses to remove the architectural barriers identified
in the transition plans as soon as possible. Furthermore, to expedite
the process of eliminating the barriers, the campuses should look
for alternative sources of funding to pay for the barrier removals.
The UC concurs with the findings and recommendations in the report.
In addition, the president believes that the report recognizes
the university's efforts to make campus programs accessible. Finally,
the president stated the UC system will continue its efforts to
remove architectural barriers identified in its campuses' transition
The CSU Chancellor also concurred with the findings and most of
the recommendations in the report. However, CSU does not agree
with our recommendation to encourage students to transition out
of the hightech centers to open labs. While they recognize that
the intent of the recommendation is to encourage mainstreaming
of services and academic opportunities for students with disabilities,
the CSU plans to encourage students to obtain services where it
is most advantageous to the student and the campus.