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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, December 19, 2016

Justice Department Reaches Agreement with Princeton University to Resolve Americans with Disabilities Act Compliance Review

The Justice Department announced today that it reached an agreement with Princeton University to resolve a compliance review initiated in May 2014 regarding Princeton’s treatment of students with mental health disabilities and its policies and practices related to requests for reasonable modifications, withdrawals and leaves of absences. 

The agreement details specific steps Princeton will take to strengthen its policies, practices and training to benefit all current and future Princeton students with disabilities.  Under the agreement, Princeton will:

  • revise its policies to explicitly describe the types of accommodations students with disabilities may request, including modifications to university policies, rules and regulations; where students may submit each type of accommodation request; and how Princeton will evaluate those requests;
  • revise the websites for its Office of Disability Services and its Office of the Dean of Undergraduate Students to direct students to relevant policies and procedures related to requesting reasonable accommodations;  
  • revise its leave policy and practices, consistent with regulations implementing Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA); and
  • provide annual training, including references to updated policies, on Title III of the ADA, with a focus on mental health disability discrimination, to all faculty and staff responsible for evaluating and/or deciding requests from students for reasonable accommodations.

“This agreement reflects the critical role that colleges and universities play in fulfilling the ADA’s promise of equal opportunity, full participation, independent living and economic self-sufficiency,” said Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Vanita Gupta, head of the Civil Rights Division.  “By working directly with students with disabilities to determine appropriate accommodations, colleges and universities can meet their obligations under the ADA.”

“The ADA, which is one of this country's most comprehensive pieces of civil rights legislation, prohibits discrimination and guarantees that people with disabilities have the same opportunities as everyone else to participate in the mainstream of American life,” said U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman of the District of New Jersey.  “Through this agreement, students with disabilities move closer to achieving full equality and integration into places of higher education.” 

For more information please visit the department’s website www.ada.gov.  Those interested in finding out more about the ADA may also call the Justice Department’s toll-free ADA information Line at 800-514-0301 or 800-514-0383 (TDD).

The compliance review was conducted jointly by the Civil Rights Division’s Disability Rights Section and the U.S. Attorney’s Office of the District of New Jersey.  Additional information about the Civil Rights Division is available on its website at www.justice.gov/crt.  Additional information about the U.S. Attorney’s Office of the District of New Jersey is available on its website at www.justice.gov/usao/nj.

Princeton University

16-1502
Topic: 
Civil Rights
Updated December 19, 2016