Access, Integration, and Inclusion
This section of Equity Review Process addresses equity issues related to access and integration issues. Federal and state legislation speaks to the need of physical access to a quality education for all students. Chapter 12 of the Iowa Administrative Code requires that districts take steps to integrate students in attendance centers and courses on the basis of sex, racial/ethnic background, and disability. It also speaks to the need for access plus support services to help students with special needs achieve.
The process requirements include:
- Segregation, Integration of Students (Diversity Plan) – This subsection deals with the level of integration and isolation of students in buildings and instructional programs. When these conditions exist, the district is required to review policies and practices to ensure they are not contributing to the segregation or isolation. Areas to be reviewed include: registration handbooks, course descriptions, program brochures, and course enrollment practices.
- Accessibility of Physical Facilities and Educational Programs– Districts have a responsibility to ensure equitable access to instructional facilities for all students. In the case of students with a physical disability or mobility impairment, facilities must be such that the student can enter the building or room without assistance from others. Buildings and areas are to be accessible even though there may not be any students or employees with disabilities at the present time. (NOTE: the standards that determine accessibility will vary depending on the date of the facility’s construction and/or renovation.)
Since all programs and services are to be accessible, the district must think about activities, which are held in buildings where patrons (parents, community persons) and employees with mobility impairments would be denied access because of architectural barriers.