Disability Discrimination Policy Summary

Bethel University and Bethel University Foundation 

Purpose and Policy Summary

Bethel University and the Bethel University Foundation (hereinafter referred to as Bethel) are committed to principles that enable the educational and professional enhancement of men and women of all abilities. Bethel complies with the Americans with Disabilities Act and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the applicable state and local laws prohibiting discrimination against qualified individuals with disabilities. Bethel will not tolerate disability discrimination by or against its prospective students, applicants, students, faculty, or staff. All community members must comply with this policy, whether on campus or off campus,when engaged in activities sponsored by Bethel, or otherwise related to Bethel or its business. Such activities include, but are not limited to classes, seminars, meetings, and study abroad programs. In addition, visitors, volunteers, vendors, consultants, third parties, or any person who provides services to Bethel are required to comply with the provisions of this policy.

In accordance with these laws, Bethel provides reasonable accommodations for individuals with documented disabilities. Qualified individuals with disabilities are encouraged to seek admission to the university and apply for employment. Individuals seeking employment must be able to perform the essential functions of a job with or without reasonable accommodations. Bethel desires to promote institutional programs and employment practices that are accessible to all individuals with disabilities.

The Office of Accessibility Resources and Services (OARS) seeks to meet individual needs by coordinating and implementing internal policy regarding programs, services, and activities for individuals with disabilities. The OARS functions as a source of information and advice and as a communication link among individuals with disabilities, faculty and staff members, and the community at large. Accommodating qualified individuals with disabilities in a mainstreamed environment is the overall objective of the OARS office.

If a prospective student, applicant, student, faculty, or staff member with a disability requires accommodations to benefit from Bethel’s programs, services or activities, he/she should contact the Director of Accessibility Resources and Services or the Office of Human Resources. OARS receives and reviews disability-related documentation and handles the approval of requested reasonable accommodations. The process of documentation review involves an individual assessment of the individual’s disability with respect to the documentation presented and the accommodations requested. OARS focuses on providing services needed by students, staff, and guests of the university with disabilities to minimize the extent to which their disability affects their opportunities in the Bethel academic environment.

If a member of the Bethel community has a concern or has become aware of an instance of disability discrimination involving a prospective student, applicant, current student, faculty member, staff member, or third party, the Section 504 Compliance Officer must be contacted immediately. Bethel will investigate and take prompt corrective action against any disability discrimination by or against its community members. Bethel has adopted the following policy and procedures as a basis for community guidance, education, and complaint resolution.

All complaints will be taken seriously and no one who acts in good faith to report disability discrimination, including third parties (e.g., vendors), will suffer actual or threatened retaliation or reprisal. Complaints of discrimination will be treated in confidence to the extent feasible, given the need to conduct a thorough investigation and take corrective action.

If it is determined through an appropriate and prompt investigation that disability discrimination has occurred, effective corrective action will be taken to eliminate the discrimination, attempt to ensure it does not recur, and appropriately care for those who may have been harmed. Depending on circumstances and the severity of the conduct, corrective action will vary. Resolution steps could include one or more of the following for students: training, advising or coaching from student life, BUILD, or christian formation and church relations professionals, reflection paper, behavioral probation, suspension, dismissal, or expulsion. For employees resolution steps could include one or more of the following: training, advising or coaching from a professional, verbal or written warning, or termination.

The purposes of this policy include:

  • Prohibiting all forms of discrimination based on disability,
  • Creating and promoting a positive work environment that is free from any form of discrimination,
  • Encouraging good faith complaints when discrimination based on disability has occurred, and
  • Providing options for addressing and resolving complaints of disability discrimination.

For a full copy of the policy, visit our website: https://confluence.bethel.edu/x/nYmw 

Reporting Disability Discrimination

If you have personally experienced any form of disability discrimination, tell someone as soon as possible. In order to initiate Bethel’s response and resolution process under this policy, you or another person must notify the Section 504 Compliance Officer. If a member of the Bethel community has a concern or has become aware of an instance of possible disability discrimination involving a prospective student, applicant, current student, faculty, or staff member, the Section 504 Compliance Officer must be contacted immediately. You may also choose to remain anonymous and submit an online anonymous report: https://www.bethel.edu/human-resources/complaints-concerns/submit-anonymous-report/. This report is separate from initiating an informal or formal complaint through Bethel University.

Contact Information:
  • 24-Hour Emergency:
    • 911
  • 24-Hour Emergency On-Campus: 
    • Office of Security and Safety, 651.638.6400, Office location: HC103
  • Cara Wald, Vice President of People and Organizational Development and Title IX Coordinator/Title IX Coordinator
    • c-wald@bethel.edu, Office: 651.635.8657, Cell: 612.709.4783, Office location: ANC530
  • Shaune Younkers, Title IX and Compliance Specialist
    • s-younkers@bethel.edu, Office: 651.638.6992, Office location: ANC530

If any changes are made to the persons holding these positions, current information will be available on Bethel’s website.

Confidential Resources:

  • Counseling Services: 651.635.8540
  • Christian Formation and Church Relations: 651.638.6372

Non-discrimination Policy

Bethel complies with all applications of federal, state and local laws and regulations which prohibit discrimination against, or harassment of, protected classes of individuals such as the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and similar laws. Please refer to the following for concerns of disability discrimination, racial and ethnic harassment or sexual misconduct: Disability Discrimination Policy and Procedures, Racial and Ethnic Harassment Policy and Sexual Misconduct Policy and Procedures. For any concerns referenced in the aforementioned policies or any other concerns of discrimination, please direct your communication to: 

Vice President of People and Organizational Development and Title IX Coordinator/Compliance Officer: Cara Wald
Bethel University Office of Human Resources
2 Pine Tree Drive, Suite 530
Arden Hills, MN 55112 
or to: 
Director of the Office of Civil Rights
Department of Education
Washington, D.C. 20201

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