Diversity, Equity & Inclusivity

Disability Inclusion


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Not every disability is Visible.

Not all disabilities are obvious. Disabilities may be physical, emotional or mental. The law protects individuals with disabilities, regardless of the source or expression of the disability.

Disability inclusion is everyone’s responsibility. Please take a moment to watch the video, “Disability Inclusion Starts With You”.

Employees With Disabilities

Santa Monica College is an equal opportunity employer and is committed to the recruitment, hiring, promotion, and retention of individuals with disabilities. Individuals are encouraged to self-identify as an individual with disability during the pre-offer and post-offer phases of the application process, as well as every 5 years.

To self-identify as an individual with disability, please click on the Self-Identification Form. Complete it and return it to the Office of Human Resources.

Employees with disability can request reasonable accommodation from the District if they are unable to preform the essential functions of their job or to gain access to the workplace. Contact Lugina Rogers at 310-434-4060 or rogers_lugina@smc.edu for additional information on reasonable accommodation in the workplace.

Some examples of reasonable accommodation may include: making facilities accessible to individuals with disabilities, modifying work schedules, or buying or modifying equipment (i.e., replace desk, chair or keyboard as an accommodation).

Board Policy​ 3410 (Non Discrimination) and Administrative Regulation 2512 (Accessibility Standards for Electronic and Information Technology) address issues of discrimination on the basis of disability.

Note: SMC is in the process of revising and renumbering Board Policies. See Board Policies for up to date information.

Students With Disabilities

The student population at Santa Monica College includes individuals with disabilities. The Disabled Student Programs and Services (DSPS) is designed to assist students with disabilities so they may have equal access to all programs and activities on campus.

For more information on the DSPS:

Administrative Regulation 4115, Academic Adjustments for Students with Disabilities outlines the process resulting in a request for academic adjustment. For more information on disability resources, see SMC Polices and Regulations

ADA Section 504 Compliance Officer – for questions regarding campus-wide compliance issues including reasonable accommodation, contact Steve Hunt-310-434-4689 or hunt_steve@smc.edu

How Does the Federal Government Define "Disability"?

Under ADA, a person with a disability is a person who has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activity. This includes people who have a record of such an impairment, even if they do not currently have a disability. It also includes individuals who do not have a disability but are regarded as having a disability. The ADA also makes it unlawful to discriminate against a person based on that person’s association with a person with a disability.

The Office of Disability Employment Policy FAQ

What is the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA)?

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is the nation's primary disability nondiscrimination law. One part, Title I, addresses employment, while other parts address issues such as state and local government services and employment, public accommodations, transportation and telecommunications. In 2008, the ADA was amended and thus is referred as the Americas with Disabilities Amendments Act (ADAAA) in certain contexts.

Department of Labor ("DOL") does not administer Title I of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Rather, it is administered by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). However, DOL's Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP) does provide several resources to assist in understanding the employment provisions of the ADA on its ADA webpage.

The Employer Assistance and Resource Network (EARN), a free service funded by Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP), also offers information about the ADA on its website or by calling 1-855-AskEARN (1-855-275-3276) (Voice/TTY). In addition, ODEP's Job Accommodation Network (JAN) offers individualized assistance with accommodations, a key aspect of the ADA's employment provisions. JAN's website is AskJAN.org (Job Accommodation Network.org). Live phone service is also available 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. ET by calling (toll-free) 1-800-526-7234 (Voice) or 1-877-781-9403 (TTY).

For broad information on the ADA, visit the U.S. Department of Justice's ADA website.

Rehabilitation Act of 1973 = Accessibility

The Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (often called the “Rehab Act”) prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability in programs run by federal agencies; programs that receive federal financial assistance; in federal employment; and in the employment practices of federal contractors.

  • Section 501: prohibits federal employers from discriminating against qualified individuals with disabilities. It also obliges them to take affirmative action to hire and advance in employment qualified individuals with disabilities.
  • Section 503: prohibits employment discrimination based on disability by federal contractors or subcontractors and requires affirmative action in the hiring, placement and advancement of people with disabilities by federal contractors or subcontractors.
  • Section 504: prohibits federal agencies, programs, or activities from discriminating against people with disabilities. Requirements under Section 504 include reasonable accommodation for employees with disabilities; program accessibility; effective communication with people who have hearing or vision disabilities; and accessible new construction and alterations. Students with disabilities are to receive educational services needed to succeed in school.
  • Section 508: prohibits federal employers from discriminating against qualified individuals with disabilities and requires that electronic and information technology must be accessible to people with disabilities unless it would pose an undue burden to do so. Comprehensive information about Section 508 can be found on the Section 508 website maintained by the General Services Administration (GSA).

Rehabilitation Act of 1973

Laws and standards of Web Accessibility

If you live in the United States, applicable laws include The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (Sections 504 and Section 508). Many international laws also address accessibility.

The Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) provide an international set of guidelines. They are developed by the Worldwide Web Consortium (W3C), the governing body of the web. These guidelines are the basis of most web accessibility law in the world. Version 2.0 of these guidelines, published in December 2008, are based on four principles:

  • Perceivable: Available to the senses (vision and hearing primarily) either through the browser or through assistive technologies (e.g. screen readers, screen enlargers, etc.)
  • Operable: Users can interact with all controls and interactive elements using either the mouse, keyboard, or an assistive device.
  • Understandable: Content is clear and limits confusion and ambiguity.
  • Robust: A wide range of technologies (including old and new user agents and assistive technologies) can access the content.

These first letters of these four principles spell the word POUR. This may help you remember them.

- Introduction to Web Accessibility

How Does the State of California Define ‘Disability’?

California’s laws have historically offered greater protection than federal law.

Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) is the State of California’s department overseeing disability regulations.

Under FEHA, a person with a disability as a person who has a physical or mental impairment, or a record of a physical or mental impairment (this includes, but are not limited to, chronic or episodic conditions such as HIV/AIDS, hepatitis, epilepsy, seizure disorder, multiple sclerosis, and heart disease) that makes the performance of a major life activity (including working) difficult. This includes people who have a record of such an impairment, even if they do not currently have a disability. It also includes individuals who do not have a disability but are regarded as having a disability. When determining whether a person’s condition is a limitation, mitigating measures should not be considered, unless the mitigation itself limits a major life activity.

California Department of Fair Employment and Housing