PSA: Surcharges and the ADA

It is important to note that as a disabled student, you should not incur a surcharge for services provided in order for you to enjoy equal access to services, programs, and activities. The excerpt below is from Title II of the ADA, but similar clauses exist in other areas of civil rights law.

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Link: ADA Title II Technical Assistance Manual.

II-3.5400 Surcharges. Although compliance may result in some additional cost, a public entity may not place a surcharge only on particular individuals with disabilities or groups of individuals with disabilities to cover these expenses.

    ILLUSTRATION: A community college provides interpreter services to deaf students, removes a limited number of architectural barriers, and relocates inaccessible courses and activities to more accessible locations. The college cannot place a surcharge on either an individual student with a disability (such as a deaf student who benefited from interpreter services) or on groups of students with disabilities (such as students with mobility impairments who benefited from barrier removal). It may, however, adjust its tuition or fees for all students.