Presentation on theme: "Southeastern Community College v. Davis, 442 U.S. 397 (1979) LSJ 434/CHID 434 Winter 2008 Sherrie Brown."— Presentation transcript:
Southeastern Community College v. Davis, 442 U.S. 397 (1979) LSJ 434/CHID 434 Winter 2008 Sherrie Brown
2 Section 504 No otherwise qualified individual with a disability... Shall, solely by reason of her or his disability, be excluded from the participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance. 29 USC Section 794(a)
3 Section 504 HEW Regulations Qualified individual means: –[a] handicapped person who meets the academic and technical standards requisite to admission or participation in the [school’s] education program or activity.
4 FACTS –Hearing impaired LPN applies to RN program –School denies her admission on basis that she is unqualified because of her disability. –District Court agrees with school—she was not “otherwise qualified” as required by 504. –Fourth Circuit disagreed and remanded so that District Court could consider her qualifications without regard to disability—in part based on new 504 regulations. –College appealed to Supremes arguing violation of Section 504.
5 ISSUE(S) Does Section 504 prevent Southeastern Community College from imposing physical qualifications for admission to their clinical training program? Does Section 504 require the community college to undertake “affirmative action” that would dispense with the need for effective oral communication?
6 HOLDING Section 504 does not require the community college to ignore physical limitations in admission decisions. Section 504 regulations require modifications to the community college programs but not affirmative action—i.e., not fundamental alterations, substantial modifications.
7 REASONING Interpreted Section 504 narrowly—i.e., that Davis was not otherwise qualified because of her disability. “An otherwise qualified handicapped person is one who is able to meet all of the programs requirements in spite of his handicap.” Congressional intent was clear that affirmative action (substantial, fundamental alterations in programs) was not required under Section 504.
8 SIGNIFICANCE Clearly allows covered entities to apply physical (and we assume, mental) criteria in admissions/employment etc. Also sets the standards for Reasonable Accommodations ADA adopts the standard announced here for Reasonable Accommodations.
9 Please consider these… When is person able to meet all of programs requirements in spite of his or her disability and therefore be “otherwise qualified”? Where does the reasonable accommodation requirement fall in the analysis? Where is the dividing line between an unreasonable refusal to modify an existing program--illegal discrimination—and reasonable refusal to modify an existing program? Do you think that court might have decided differently if justices were more aware of how individuals who are deaf communicate? Or if case was in 21 st Century?