[MUSIC] In the previous video presentation, we discussed the definition of disability and accommodations that can be made for students with documented disabilities in post secondary institutions. In this presentation I will further explain the meaning of the term disability and highlight key legislation related to protecting the rights of people with disabilities. Disability is an umbrella term that refers to impairments that may be physical or mental. A disability could be a neurological disorder such as cerebral palsy, or it could be a learning disability such as autism. A motor impairment might be a loss of limbs, and a mental impairment might be a post-traumatic stress disorder. The term disability includes a broad spectrum of impairments. A disability is not an inferior or aberrant status, but rather a part of life. Let's consider the disability terminology used in oral or written communication because it reflects ethical standards of respect and dignity regarding disabilities. Plus, we want to recognize the importance of using person first language. This is important, as a disability is only one part of an individual and not the whole person. Examples of acceptable and appropriate terminology would be references such as persons with disabilities, a person with an intellectual disability, a person with a visual impairment. Examples of unacceptable terminology include, handicapped, physically or mentally challenged, retarded, disabled person, blind person, and wheelchair bound person. It is important to be aware that preferences for terminology differ among people with disabilities, and among people in various geographic regions. In the U.S., there are three key pieces of legislation that directly address the rights of individuals with disabilities by establishing anti discrimination rules, and accessibility guidelines. First, the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 and it's 2008 Amendment. Our civil rights legislation that prohibits discrimination based on a person's disability. It extends previous legislation that made it unlawful to discriminate based on disability or national origin. The 2008 Amendments to the ADA extended the meaning and types of disability to increase the number of individuals covered by the ADA. Second, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 focuses on higher education institutions that receive federal funding. These institutions must provide qualified students with access to their programs without discrimination. And third, Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 applied to the Federal Government and general public, who are required to provide equal access to technology for qualified individuals. This includes software, hardware, and other telecommunication products. For more information about these statutes, review the readings found in module one. The legislation also provides guidelines about the complain process for filing a lawsuit if the rights of persons with disabilities are violated. You might be wondering, how do these laws affect faculty who are responsible for the education of students with disabilities in the university setting? It is mandatory for universities to make reasonable accommodations for students with disabilities, that will allow them to access course materials, services, activities, and physical spaces. You might also want to use your favorite search engine and search Higher Education Accessibility Lawsuits for information about institutions that have faced legal action related to student rights or inaccessible educational materials. For individual faculty members it is important to work with your institution's disability services staff to ensure students with disabilities have equal access to materials and activities in your courses. In addition to our U.S. laws, I want to mention the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. That presents an international perspective. According to the World Health Organization, approximately 15% of the world's population or over a billion people are people with disabilities and approximately 80% of them live in developing countries. The United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities was adopted by the United Nations General Assembly in 2006. The purpose of the present convention is to promote, protect, and ensure the full an equal enjoyment of all human rights and fundamental freedoms by all people with disabilities and to promote respect for their inherent dignity. The Convention recognizes attitudinal and environmental barriers that hinder the full and effective participation of people with disabilities in society on an equal basis with others. For example, a person using a wheelchair, might have difficulties gaining employment, not because of the wheelchair, but because there are environmental barriers. Such as. Inaccessible buses, or staircases which impede access. According to Article 24 of the Convention, all people with disabilities have the right to an education without discrimination. Students should have the opportunity for an inclusive education including reasonable accommodations. Plus academic and social development through full and equal participation in programs. To recap, disabilities is an umbrella term that includes a broad number of impairments. In the U.S., the Americans With Disabilities Act and sections 504 and 508 of the Rehabilitation Act Protect the rights of people with disabilities. Qualified students have the right to full and equal participation in educational opportunities without discrimination. Outside of the U.S., many countries follow guidelines outlined by the United Nations Convention on the rights of persons with disabilities. As faculty and staff increase their awareness of disabilities, they can ensure that their course materials, and activities are accessible. Accessibility is not a one time fix, but rather an iterative process of continually improving course materials. A disability is not an inferior, or barren status, but rather a part of life.