In 2011, when the Department of Justice issued regulations on Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), the regulations were silent as to any safe harbor that would have guaranteed colleges and universities reasonable discretion to address students who posed a threat of harm to themselves. Institutions struggled with how to keep students safe, without running afoul of the ADA or Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act. Since 2011, the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights (OCR) and the U.S. Department of Justice Civil Rights Division (DOJ) have issued several non-binding resolution agreements that affirm standard practices such as individualized assessments, accommodations, and leave policies; though institutions continue to tread carefully in the absence of more formal assurances from the Departments.
This webinar is a follow up to NACUA’s January 26 Briefing, in which Candice Jackson, Acting Assistant Secretary for the U.S. Department of Education Office for Civil Rights, described a set of principles, distilled from various enforcement actions, to guide colleges and universities as they endeavor to lawfully and meaningfully address the very serious issue of self-harm among college students.
In this two-hour webinar Paul Lannon of Holland & Knight, Hannah Ross, General Counsel of Middlebury College, and Madelyn Wessel, General Counsel of Cornell University, will address in greater depth the underlying legal requirements of Title II and Section 504, the application of the principles described by Ms. Jackson, and how colleges and universities should prepare to address instances of the threat of student self-harm. Issues to be addressed will include:
- Lawful and meaningful practices for responding to self-harming students,
- Use of health and safety requirements instead of “direct threat” analysis,
- Individualized assessments, and
- Voluntary and involuntary separations.
The webinar will be of interest to higher education attorneys who advise regarding compliance with the ADA and Section 504 and university administrators who handle campus responses to student mental health issues.