Justice Department Reaches Agreement With Princeton University To Resolve Americans With Disabilities Act Compliance Review
NEWARK, N.J. – The Justice Department and the U.S. Attorney’s Office, District of New Jersey, announced today that they have 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.
“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,” U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman, District of New Jersey, said. “Through this agreement, students with disabilities move closer to achieving full equality and integration into places of higher education.”
“This agreement reflects the critical role that colleges play in fulfilling the promise of the ADA: equality of opportunity, full participation, independent living, and economic self-sufficiency,” Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Vanita Gupta, head of the Civil Rights Division, said. “By working directly with students with disabilities to determine appropriate accommodations, colleges and universities can meet their obligations under the ADA.”
For more information or for a copy of the agreement, 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 for the District of New Jersey. Additional information about the Civil Rights Division is available on its websites at www.justice.gov/crt . Additional information about the U.S. Attorney’s Office/District of New Jersey’s Civil Rights Unit is available on its website at: https://www.justice.gov/usao-nj/civil-rights-enforcement .
The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael E. Campion, chief of the U.S. Attorney’s Office/District of New Jersey’s Civil Rights Unit, and Erin Richmond, trial attorney, U.S. Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division, Disability Rights Section.