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The US Department of Justice and Old Dominion University resolved a disability discrimination complaint filed by a graduate student who was retaliated for seeking accommodation. This emerges from a press release released by the ministry on Wednesday. The university will pay the student $ 40,000 in damages, the press release said.

After the student and the university had a dispute over her application for disabled accommodation, ODU officials “ended the student’s working relationship with her professor-advisor, removed the student from the professor’s laboratory, disconnected her from ongoing research, and withdrew hers Participation in a professional conference, ”says the press release. The student was forced to find a new advisor and “change her course of study,” says the press release.

“Students should never have to choose between their right to request appropriate policy changes for their disabilities and their academic achievement,” Gregory Friel, deputy assistant attorney general for the DOJ’s Civil Rights Division, said in the press release.

As a public entity receiving federal funding, Old Dominion must comply with Title II of the Americans With Disabilities Act and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act 1973, which prohibits discrimination in educational activities based on disability, a document in the DOJ settlement agreement said. The agreement confirms that Old Dominion will comply with the law and establish a policy that specifically prohibits retaliation on requests for disability and provides disciplinary action against faculties and staff who violate the policy.

Certain faculties and staff at the university also receive training on disability discrimination laws, including the dean and associate dean of the ODU graduate school, department heads and program directors for all graduate programs, staff in the accessibility and justice and diversity offices. and all faculty members in the department of psychology, the agreement said.

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