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NDSU Extension Guidelines and Process for Reasonable Accommodations for Extension Programs

NDSU Extension is committed to nondiscrimination based on disability, and all staff members have a responsibility to provide equal access and opportunity to anyone interested in Extension programs.  Appropriate and reasonable accommodations will be provided to people who are involved with Extension programs.

NDSU Policy 100.1, states that an individual may be required to provide relevant, written documentation in order to establish that he/she is a person with a disability and entitled to a reasonable accommodation under the law.

Reasonable Accommodation Examples

Examples of reasonable accommodations include:

Alternative testing, access to class notes, sign language interpreters, audio recorders, auxiliary aids such as captioned videos and large print services, assistive technologies such as auditory trainers, text scanning and speech synthesis, computer readers, and speaking tactile graphics systems.  Reasonable accommodations may also include modifications to rules and policies, elimination of architectural barriers and modifying equipment. In addition, buildings used for programming, should be Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) compliant.

NDSU is also required to make written materials available in alternative formats. If you have this request, please contact Agriculture Communication at (701) 231-7881 to make arrangements in advance and before making a commitment to provide information in a particular format or by a particular date.

An updated list of interpreters for the deaf as well as interpreting services and speech to text web applications is available at the Ag Info Site within the assistant director’s folder.

Publicizing an Event

When publicizing an Extension program or event, the following statement should be included on all promotional materials and localized for each situation:

Requests for accommodations related to disability should be made to (local contact/event organizer) at (phone and email) by (date – two weeks in advance of actual event). 

Review of Accommodations Request

When reviewing accommodation requests for Extension participants, several factors should be considered. 

  1. Participants who have a disability should request reasonable accommodation at least two weeks in advance of an event. This time frame should be included in any marketing materials for the program. Accommodation requests can be made two weeks prior to the event in-person or in writing to the Extension agent or specialist leading the program.

  2. Inquire as to the specific nature of the accommodation request that will enable them to participate.

  3. Determine if any of the advance time frame and specific accommodation requests are reasonable. If the agent or specialist is not sure if the accommodations are reasonable, or if accessibility should be provided, contact district director or respective program leader (ANR, FCW or 4-H) for the program being offered. A review of the request will be done to determine the suggested accommodations and if they are reasonable, safe, and if accessibility should be provided.

  4. Accommodations are considered reasonable if they do not change the fundamental nature of the program or alter the essential criteria for participation. Examples include:
    1. A 4-H member with a disability participating in a horse event asking to modify the reins as needed but still expected to perform the requirements of the class
    2. Someone with test anxiety asking to be exempt from taking the pesticide certification test, would still be required to attend the pesticide training to become certified.

Funding Options

Cost cannot be an excuse to decline accommodation requests. 

There may be alternatives to accommodations – another location or online. The district director or program leader will work with you to determine potential options.  

If it has been established the individual requesting accommodation has a disability and is entitled to reasonable accommodation under the law, you then must consider possible options for this accommodation.

  • Contact respective district director or program leader to discuss options.

  • Work with district director or program leader to determine how to manage the cost of an accommodation. There are multiple options for funding and they include:
    • Determine if there are grant funds to pay for the accommodation.
    • Determine if program funds are available (i.e., pesticide training, leadership training)
    • If it is a county request, determine if county funding is available
    • If a sign language interpreter is needed, determine if funding is available from the North Dakota School for the Deaf (grants)
    • Contact the district director or respective program leader for funds they may have available

ND Freelance Interpreters - resources to assist with requests for reasonable accommodations

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