AF(LEGAL) - ACCESS TO PROGRAMS, SERVICES, AND ACTIVITIES
Social Security Numbers
It shall be unlawful for an ESC to deny to any individual any right, benefit, or privilege provided by law because of the individual's refusal to disclose his or her social security number.
The above provision does not apply to:
- Any disclosure that is required by federal statute. The United States Internal Revenue Code provides that the social security number issued to an individual for purposes of federal income tax laws shall be used as the identifying number for taxpayers;
- Any disclosure to an ESC maintaining a system of records in existence and operating before January 1, 1975, if such disclosure was required under statute or regulation adopted before such date to verify the identity of an individual; or
- Any use for the purposes of establishing the identity of individuals affected by any tax, general public assistance, driver's license, or motor vehicle registration law within an ESC's jurisdiction.
Statement of Uses
An ESC that requests disclosure of a social security number shall inform that individual whether the disclosure is mandatory or voluntary, by what statutory authority such number is solicited, and what uses will be made of it.
Privacy Act of 1974, Pub. L. No. 93-579, sec. 7(b), 88 Stat. 1896, 1897 (1974)
Individuals with Disabilities
No qualified individual with a disability shall, by reason of such disability, be excluded from participation in or be denied the benefits of the services, programs, or activities of the ESC, or be subjected to discrimination by the ESC. Nor shall the ESC exclude or otherwise deny equal services, programs, or activities to an individual because of the known disability of an individual with whom the individual is known to have a relationship or association. 42 U.S.C. 12132; 28 C.F.R. 35.130(g)
A "qualified individual with a disability" is an individual with a disability who, with or without reasonable modifications to rules, policies, or practices, the removal of architectural, communication, or transportation barriers, or the provision of auxiliary aids and services, meets the essential eligibility requirements for the receipt of services or the participation in programs or activities provided by the ESC. 42 U.S.C. 12131(2); 28 C.F.R. 35.104
The ESC shall make reasonable modifications in policies, practices, or procedures when the modifications are necessary to avoid discrimination on the basis of disability, unless the ESC can demonstrate that making the modifications would fundamentally alter the nature of the service, program, or activity. 28 C.F.R. 35.130(b)(7)
The ESC shall take appropriate steps to ensure that communications with applicants, participants, and members of the public with disabilities are as effective as communications with others. To this end, the ESC shall furnish appropriate auxiliary aids and services where necessary to afford an individual with a disability an equal opportunity to participate in, and enjoy the benefits of, a service, program, or activity conducted by the ESC. In determining what type of auxiliary aid or service is necessary, the ESC shall give primary consideration to the requests of the individual with disabilities. 28 C.F.R. 35.160
Auxiliary Aids and Services
"Auxiliary aids and services" includes:
- Qualified interpreters, note-takers, transcription services, written materials, assistive listening systems, and other effective methods for making aurally delivered materials available to individuals with hearing impairments;
- Qualified readers, taped texts, audio recordings, Braille materials, large print materials, or other effective methods for making visually delivered materials available to individuals with visual impairments;
- Acquisition or modification of equipment or devices; and
- Other similar services and actions.
28 C.F.R. 35.104
Limits of Required Modification
The ESC is not required to take any action that it can demonstrate would result in a fundamental alteration in the nature of a service, program, or activity or in undue financial and administrative burdens. Any decision that compliance with its responsibility to provide effective communication for individuals with disabilities would fundamentally alter the service, program, or activity or unduly burden the ESC shall be made by the board after considering all resources available for use in funding and operating the program, service, or activity. The decision shall be accompanied by a written statement of the reasons for reaching that conclusion. 28 C.F.R. 35.164
The ESC shall make available to applicants, participants, beneficiaries, and other interested persons information regarding the provisions of Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and its applicability to the services, programs, or activities of the ESC. The information shall be made available in such manner as the board and executive director find necessary to apprise such persons of the protections against discrimination assured them by the ADA. 28 C.F.R. 35.106
*The ESC shall designate at least one employee to coordinate its efforts to comply with and carry out its responsibilities under Title II of the ADA, including any investigation of any complaint communicated to it alleging its noncompliance or alleging any actions that would be prohibited under the ADA. The ESC shall make available to all interested individuals the name, office address, and telephone number of the employee(s) so designated and shall adopt and publish procedures for the prompt and equitable resolution of complaints alleging any action that would be prohibited under the ADA. [See DAA and BED] 28 C.F.R. 35.107
*Applies only to ESCs that employ 50 or more persons.
The ESC may not substantially burden a person's free exercise of religion, unless the burden is in furtherance of a compelling governmental interest and is the least restrictive means of furthering that interest. [See also DAA(LEGAL)] Civ. Prac. & Rem. Code 110.003
Adverse Action Prohibited
Notwithstanding any other law, an ESC may not take any adverse action against any person based wholly or partly on the person's membership in, affiliation with, or contribution, donation, or other support provided to a religious organization. Gov't Code 2400.002
"Adverse action" means any action taken by an ESC to:
- Withhold, reduce, exclude, terminate, or otherwise deny any grant, contract, subcontract, cooperative agreement, loan, scholarship, license, registration, accreditation, employment, or other similar status from or to a person;
- Withhold, reduce, exclude, terminate, or otherwise deny any benefit provided under a benefit program from or to a person;
- Alter in any way the tax treatment of, cause any tax, penalty, or payment assessment against, or deny, delay, or revoke a tax exemption of a person;
- Disallow a tax deduction for any charitable contribution made to or by a person;
- Deny admission to, equal treatment in, or eligibility for a degree from an educational program or institution to a person; or
- Withhold, reduce, exclude, terminate, or otherwise deny access to a property, educational institution, speech forum, or charitable fundraising campaign from or to a person.
"Benefit program" means any program administered or funded by a governmental entity or federal agency that provides assistance in the form of payments, grants, loans, or loan guarantees.
"Person" has the meaning assigned by Government Code 311.005, which includes a corporation, organization, government or governmental subdivision or agency, business trust, estate, trust, partnership, association, and any other legal entity, except the term does not include:
- An employee of a governmental entity acting within the employee's scope of employment;
- A contractor of a governmental entity acting within the scope of the contract; or
- An individual or a medical or residential custodial health-care facility while the individual or facility is providing medically necessary services to prevent another individual's death or imminent serious physical injury.
"Religious organization" means an organization that is a religious organization under Civil Practice and Remedies Code 110.011(b).
Gov't Code 2400.001
This prohibition may not be construed to:
- Preempt a state or federal law that is equally or more protective of the free exercise of religious beliefs or to narrow the meaning or application of a state or federal law protecting the free exercise of religious beliefs; or
- Prevent an ESC from providing, either directly or through a person who is not seeking protection under this prohibition, any benefit or service authorized under state or federal law.
Gov't Code 2400.005
Exception for Prohibited Contracts or Investments
This prohibition does not apply to an investment or contract with a company that boycotts Israel prohibited under Government Code Chapter 808 or 2270. [See CH] Gov't Code 2400.0015