REASONABLE ACCOMMODATIONProcedures for Accommodation of Applicants and Employees with Disabilities
The College's Obligation to Provide Accommodations
Under the Americans with Disabilities Act, discrimination includes, but is not limited to, an employer's failure to make reasonable accommodations to the known physical or mental limitations of an otherwise qualified applicant or employee with a disability. A reasonable accommodation is any modification or adjustment to a job or to the work environment that will enable a qualified applicant or employee with a disability to participate in the application process or to perform essential job functions. Reasonable accommodations may include, but are not limited to, making existing facilities used by employees readily accessible to and usable by individuals with disabilities; job restructuring so long as the employee is carrying out the essential functions of the position; modified work schedules; acquisition or modification of equipment or devices; rendering job-related materials into accessible formats such as Braille; or the provision of qualified readers or interpreters. An employer does not have to provide as reasonable accommodations personal use items, such as eyeglasses or a wheelchair, needed in accomplishing daily activities both on and off the job. When an accommodation is requested, it is the College's responsibility to determine whether an applicant or employee has a disability for which an accommodation is required, what constitutes an appropriate accommodation, and whether the accommodations requested are reasonable and feasible. This decision is made by an appropriate College official on a case by case basis and through an interactive process with the individual requesting an accommodation. It is the employee's responsibility to provide sufficient information, upon the College's request, for the College to make this decision.
Procedure for Requesting Accommodations
An applicant for a non-faculty position who requires an accommodation during the application process should inform the Office of Human Resources as appropriate. An applicant for a faculty position who requires an accommodation during the application process should inform the Dean of the relevant department. A non-faculty employee should notify his or her supervisor about the need for accommodation and a faculty employee should notify his or her department chairman or Dean. Any employee may also request an accommodation through the Office of Human Resources. In some cases, an employee may request that the Office of Human Resources not disclose to his or her supervisor or others the disability for which an accommodation has been requested. Human Resources will honor this request whenever possible. However, whether a request not to disclose can be honored will depend on whether it is necessary for the employee's supervisor, department chairman or Dean to know the nature of the disability in order to assist in the decision regarding appropriate accommodations.
Information provided through the reasonable accommodation process must be kept confidential, with the exception of disclosure to supervisors and other personnel who need to be informed in order to assess requests for, implement, or monitor accommodations. Information may also be provided to personnel called on to provide emergency medical treatment to the employee, or government officials investigating compliance with disability laws or regulations. Any written information regarding an employee's medical condition must be kept separate from the employee's regular personnel file. A Dean, department chairman, supervisor, or any other person who has participated in the evaluation or implementation of an accommodation request, must not share information about an employee's medical condition or disability with other employees or inform other employees that an accommodation is being provided because of a co-worker's medical condition or disability, unless the employee reporting the medical condition or disability has consented to such disclosure.
Financial Responsibility for Accommodations
Individual departments are responsible for the costs, if any, associated with the provision of reasonable accommodations. In the event that an otherwise appropriate accommodation would result in excessive financial burden to a particular department, a formal written request for additional funding should be presented to the V.P. of Administration and Finance, as appropriate, outlining the accommodation requested, the cost, and any other information that would be helpful in considering the funding request.
If an employee wishes to make a complaint about the manner in which an accommodation request was handled, or about perceived discrimination by the department against the employee based on the disability and/or request for accommodation, the complaint should be directed to the Director of Human Resources. If the grievance arises out of an action of the Director of Human Resources, it should be filed directly with the Vice President for Administration and Finance.
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