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Disability Law

Disability Law and Guidance  Includes:

The fundamental purpose of these regulations is to protect qualified individuals from discrimination based on their disability. The purpose of the Office of  Access Services (A.S.) is to eliminate barriers, to provide reasonable accommodations in order to level the playing field for such persons. The following definitions apply in regard to disability law:

  • Disability:  A physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities; a record or documentation of such an impairment; or being regarded as having such an impairment.
  • Documentation: Must be current; must be from an appropriate professional, such as a medical doctor, psychologist and/or psychiatrist, and must include: a) Diagnosis of disability, b) Functional limitations on major life activities, and c) Recommendations for reasonable modifications.
  • Major Life Activities:
    Caring for oneself, performing manual tasks, walking, seeing, hearing, speaking, breathing, learning, working, sitting, standing, lifting, reaching, sleeping.
    - Mental and emotional processes such as thinking, concentrating, and interacting with others.
    EXCLUSIONS to Major Life Activities:
    - The EEOC excludes compulsive gambling, kleptomania, pyromania, and psychoactive disorders that are a result of current use of illegal drugs.
    - Traits and behaviors of stress, irritability, chronic lateness, and poor judgment, in and of themselves are not included in the definition of disability.
    - A qualified person with a disability may not pose a direct threat to the health and safety of themselves or others. 
  • Qualified Individual:  A person with a disability, who with or without reasonable accommodation for a NHCC program or activity meets the essential eligibility requirements for the program or activity.  
  • Reasonable Accommodations:
    - Reasonable modifications to ensure equal access.
    - Removal of architectural barriers.
    - Provision of auxiliary aids and/or services.
    EXCEPTION to Reasonable Accommodations:
    - An accommodation is not reasonable if it results in undue burden or hardship for NHCC.
    - An accommodation is not reasonable if it results in a fundamental alteration or compromises the essential elements of an academic standard. Students with disabilities must meet the same academic requirements as other NHCC students.  

Related Regulations and Policies Includes: 

  • Class Attendance and Participation. Class attendance and participation is an obligation of all students. No right or privilege exists that permits students to be absent from a given number of class meetings. Absences from class for valid reasons (including disability related situations) are excused only by the instructor.
  • Code of Student Conduct. All students, with or without a disability are held accountable to the standards of behavior within this policy.
  • Privacy of Information. A disability diagnosis and supporting documentation is considered private information and such information is generally limited to the Disability Access Services Office. The release of private information requires a student’s written authorization. The exception to this is noted in Section IV Release Without Consent of NHCC Privacy of  Education Records policy.
  • Student Complaints and Grievances. This policy underscores the importance and the value of using the most direct approach to resolving a concern or complaint. Any student with a concern or complaint about disability access services should first attempt to address their concern with the Director of Access Service, Tom Lynch. In the event the concern or complaint remains unresolved after this first step, student may next address their concern with the Dean of Student Services, Tadael Emiru.

Nothing in NHCC policy or procedure prevents individuals who believe that they have a grievance under the ADA from contacting the Minnesota Department of Human Rights, the Equal Opportunity Commission, or the U.S. Department of Justice.


Contact Information

Location: LRC 170 -172
Fax: 763-493-0565
MN Relay: 1-800-627-3529

Tom Lynch, A.S. Director

Jessica Neumann, Accommodations Specialist


Drop-In Hours
Monday - Thursday: 8 a.m. - 12 p.m.

Other hours Monday-Friday
available by appointment