Simulation: ADA Mediation/ Environmental Law

Factual Summary

A second year student at a state college that uses a wheel chair to get around complains that he is unable to get into the music building since it has no ramp and the stairs are really tall. To access the building he relies on his fellow students to carry him into the building and this is becoming a hassle a detrimental to his studies. The state university counters that due to its age ( 200yrs) and the historical architectural significance of the building, it would cost over $ 1 million to put access ramps to make the building ADA compliant.

According to the Law all public entities that offer services to the public should be ADA compliant providing relevant accommodation to the participants as long as it doesn’t cause “undue hardships”. In this situation the State University which is a public entity claims that those modifications would be very expensive and at the same time the Student is being discriminated against by not being able to access the music building which is in turn affecting his studies negatively.

LEGAL ISSUES

The legal questions being raised here are these; should the college be forced to undertake an expensive modification on its historical architectural gem to accommodate the 2nd year student who uses a wheel chair to get around? Isn’t the student allowed by the law to have access to the services being offered by the public entity (who is required by law to provide reasonable accommodation to the disabled)? What is the overall impact of construction of the access ramps and other modifications on the music building? Can alternatives to these modifications be done to enable reasonable accommodation to the student?

SIMULATION: ADA MEDIATION/ ENVIRONMENTAL LAW

LEGAL CONCEPTS

According to the act the disabled person has a right participate in regular programme, so he is supposed to get access to the resources to enable him to pursue his education successfully( ADA act Title II -3.4300).

The State college is within the law to want to conserve the historic architectural significance of the music building as provided in the act. “In achieving program accessibility in historic preservation programs, a public entity must give priority to methods that provide physical access to individuals with disabilities. Physical access is particularly important in an historic preservation program, because a primary benefit of the program is uniquely the experience of the historic property itself.” ADA Act Title I-5.5000 Historic preservation programs.

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