Assigned to ED                                                                                                    AS PASSED BY COMMITTEE






Fifty-Fifth Legislature, Second Regular Session





higher education; individuals with disabilities


Prescribes documentation that an Arizona public university or a community college must deem sufficient to establish that an enrolled or admitted student has a disability.


The federal Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) is established to ensure that all children with disabilities have free, appropriate public education that emphasizes special education and related services designed to meet their unique needs and prepare them for further education, employment and independent living. A public school must have an Individualized Education Program (IEP) in effect for each child with a qualifying disability in specified categories. An IEP is a written statement that includes: 1) a child's academic achievement and functional performance and goals; 2) the services, aids, support and any individual accommodations to be provided; 3) the projected beginning date of the services and modifications; and 4) beginning when the child is 16 years old, appropriate postsecondary goals and the transition services to assist in reaching those goals (20 U.S.C. §§ 1400 and 1414).

Section 504 of the federal Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (Section 504) prohibits discrimination, exclusion from participation and denial of benefits based on disability under any program or activity receiving federal financial assistance (29 U.S.C. § 794). A Section 504 plan is a written statement developed for a pupil with a disability that includes the provision of regular or special education and related aids and services, including assistive technology, that is designed to meet individual educational needs (A.R.S. § 15-731).

The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA) prohibits discrimination against individuals with disabilities in all areas of public life, including jobs, schools, transportation and all public and private places that are open to the general public (ADA; 42 U.S.C. § 12101).

There is no anticipated fiscal impact to the state General Fund associated with this legislation.


1.   Requires a public university or a community college to adopt policies that make any of the following submitted by an enrolled or admitted student sufficient to establish that the individual is an individual with a disability:

a)   documentation that the individual has had an IEP in accordance with the IDEA, including an IEP that is not current on the date of the determination that the individual has a disability;

b)   documentation describing services or accommodations provided to the individual according to a Section 504 plan;

c)   a plan or record of service for the individual from a private school, a local education agency, a state educational agency or an institution of higher education provided in accordance with the ADA;

d)   a record or evaluation from a relevant licensed professional finding that the individual has a disability;

e)   a plan or record of disability from another higher education institution; or

f) documentation of a disability due to service in the uniformed services.

2.   Allows a public university or community college to ask for additional documentation from an individual who had an IEP but was subsequently evaluated and determined to be ineligible for services under the IDEA, including an individual determined ineligible during elementary school.

3.   Allows a public university or community college to establish less burdensome criteria than the prescribed documentation to establish that an individual has a disability.

4.   Requires the adopted policies to be transparent and explicit regarding the process by which the university or community college determines eligibility for accommodations for an individual with a disability.

5.   Requires a public university or community college to disseminate the policies on documentation sufficient to establish that an individual has a disability to students, faculty and the public in accessible formats, including:

a)   during any student orientation; and

b)   on the university's or community college's website.

6.   Directs a public university or community college to engage in the interactive process to establish a reasonable accommodation for an individual according to Section 504 and the ADA.

7.   Specifies that the documentation policy requirements do not affect:

a)   the meaning of reasonable accommodation or record of impairment under the ADA; and

b)   rights and remedies under the ADA.

8.   Becomes effective on the general effective date.

Amendments Adopted by Committee

1.   Applies the documentation acceptance requirements to a public university or community college for enrolled or admitted students, rather than for individuals seeking admission.

2.   Removes the requirement that a public university or community college must continue the reasonable accommodation process until an accommodation is found that meets the needs of the individual and does not impose an undue burden on the university or community college.

3.   Specifies that the requirements do not affect the meaning of reasonable accommodation or record of impairment, or the rights and remedies under the ADA.

House Action                                                              Senate Action

ED                   1/18/22        DP     9-1-0-0                  ED                 3/8/22      DPA     7-0-1

3rd Read          1/27/22                  55-1-4

Prepared by Senate Research

March 11, 2022