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UCSB’s Disabled Students Program modified its online application system in response to a lawsuit filed last quarter by fourth-year global studies major Alexander Stern.
Stern filed litigation against the UC Regents in October to contest a campus policy allegedly banning disabled students from applying for jobs within the program, such as note-taking and exam proctoring. Although the program amended its procedure to allow all students access to its job applications, the UC refutes the charges and the lawsuit remains unresolved.
In its defense, the UC asked the court to strike down Title II of the 1990 Americans with Disabilities Act, which prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability by public entities.
According to Stern, the UC has yet to counter any of the claims raised in his argument.
“The University remains committed to arguing that every disabled person ‘may be less able, due to their disabilities, to perform the essential function of the [exam proctor and notetaker] positions,’” Stern said in an email. “Instead of arguing this case on the facts, the University still has not disputed a single factual claim in my court complaint.”
In a statement issued last week, Chief Campus Senior Counsel Nancy Hamill said UCSB denies that any type of discriminatory policy was ever in effect.
“As a campus community, UCSB is committed to making our campus accessible and to making the educational experience here the best possible for those with disabilities of all kinds,” Hamill said in the press release.
However, Stern said the university’s comments on the issue are not representative of the message their policies send.
“The University has a nice form response for the press which says how great the disabled are,” Stern said. “However, every brief they have filed with the court describes the disabled as a group as being presumptively incompetent.”
Associated Students President Harrison Weber recently signed a resolution — passed unanimously by the Associated Students Legislative Council— that aims to publicly decry the university’s alleged inequity.