Needs of Persons with Disabilities
Policy number: 3.2
Policy section: Access & Equity
Revised Date: January 2, 2019
1. Policy Statement
It is the policy of the University to encourage qualified persons with disabilities to participate in University activities, programs, services and as applicants for admission or employment. The University will not discriminate or deny access or participation in its activities, programs, services, admissions or employment on the basis of an individual's disability, on the need to provide reasonable accommodation for a person with a disability, on a perception of disability, or because an individual is affiliated with a person with a disability.
This policy is intended to promote and ensure equality of access and opportunity to the University’s educational and employment programs.
3. Persons with Disabilities
- A person with a disability is one who has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits a major life activity, as defined by law, has a record of the impairment, or is regarded as having the impairment.
- With respect to employment, a qualified person with a disability is one who, with or without reasonable accommodation, can perform the essential functions of the job in question. A qualified student or applicant with a disability is one who, with or without reasonable accommodation, meets the academic standards requisite to admission to the University's educational program.
- Temporary, non-chronic impairments of short duration with little or no residual effects (such as the common cold, seasonal or common influenza, a sprained joint, minor or non-chronic gastrointestinal disorders, or a broken bone that is expected to heal completely) usually will not substantially limit a major life activity and, therefore, will not be considered a disability.
- A qualified individual with a disability is one who does not pose a “direct threat” which is defined as a significant risk of substantial harm to the health and safety of himself or herself or others that cannot be eliminated or reduced by a reasonable accommodation.
4. Reasonable Accommodations and Other Assistance
- The University shall endeavor to provide special teaching aids, services and integrated reasonable accommodations to assure that qualified persons with disabilities are not deprived of opportunity or access to participate in classes, activities, programs, services, and employment
- In accordance with applicable laws, the University shall provide reasonable accommodations to an otherwise qualified individual with a disability, unless such accommodation imposes an undue hardship on the institution.
- An undue hardship is an action that requires significant difficulty or expense or fundamentally alters the nature of a service or program.
- A reasonable accommodation is a modification or adjustment to the work or academic environment that enables a qualified individual with a disability to enjoy equal employment and academic opportunities.
- Examples of reasonable accommodations may include making existing facilities accessible, job restructuring, modified work schedules, reassignment to a vacant position, acquisition or modification of equipment, and the provision of qualified readers and interpreters.
- During the accommodation process, the preference of the individual with a disability will be considered, but the University reserves the right to make the final selection of the accommodation that best serves the needs of the individual and the University.
- All determinations of reasonable accommodation will be made on a case-by-case basis.
- Any work alterations made outside of the procedures outlined in this policy will not be considered reasonable accommodations under applicable laws.
- This policy shall guide facility design, modification, and location of classes and events, whether permanent or temporary, to assure accessibility and accommodation in integrated settings appropriate to the needs of persons with disabilities. Where structural design may prevent accessibility, alternative methods or relocation may be employed to secure a more appropriate accessible and integrated site.
- The President has overall responsibility for development and implementation of appropriate plans and programs relevant to this policy.
- The Office of Institutional Access and Equity shall serve as the coordinator to assist in the development and implementation of University procedures and programs regarding the needs of persons with disabilities.
- The Office of Institutional Access and Equity should be consulted as needed during the accommodation process to ensure compliance with this policy. The Director of Institutional Access and Equity has been designated as the University’s ADA/504 Coordinator and is available to the University community for guidance and counseling.
- Departments are responsible for funding and coordinating reasonable accommodations for persons with disabilities in their areas.
6. Requesting Accommodations
- Faculty and Staff. Employees initiate the reasonable accommodation process by submitting an Employee Reasonable Accommodation Request Form and an Employee Documentation of Disability Form to the ADA/504 Coordinator in the Office of Institutional Access and Equity.
- The Documentation of Disability Form must be completed by an appropriate and qualified health care professional and be submitted before accommodations can be considered.
- Once the ADA/504 Coordinator establishes that the employee is a qualified individual with a disability, he or she will engage in an interactive process with the employee and his or her supervisor to identify and discuss potential reasonable accommodations that will enable the individual to perform the essential functions of the position or to enjoy equal benefits and privileges of employment.
- In compliance with applicable laws and regulations, medical documents relating to a request for a reasonable accommodation will be treated as confidential and will not be included in the employee’s personnel file. Such records will only be shared with University employees on a need-to-know basis in order to implement the accommodation or with others as required by law.
- Employment Applicants. Applicants for employment should contact the Department of Human Resources to request reasonable accommodations during the hiring process.
- Students. Students should contact the Office of Disability Accommodations & Success Strategies (DASS) to request reasonable accommodations. To receive academic accommodations, students must register with DASS and submit appropriate medical documentation.
- Visitors. Departments are responsible for providing reasonable accommodations for visitors with disabilities. Visitors to the University who require an accommodation should contact the department sponsoring the program or service that brings the visitor to campus.
Any person covered by this policy that has a claim of discrimination is encouraged to file a complaint by completing and submitting a Discrimination Complaint Form to the Office of Institutional Access and Equity.
8. Questions and Contact
The Office of Institutional Access and Equity may be contacted at 214-768-3601 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org
Revised: January 2, 2019
Adopted: January 18, 2013