Reasonable Accommodation Program (RAP) Practice Directive - P445
REVISED: May 2004
445.1 The Reasonable Accommodation Program (RAP), in accordance with the American's with Disabilities Act (ADA), provides qualified faculty and staff with disabilities, reasonable accommodations, related consultations, and services. Under the ADA, a qualifying disability is defined as any mental or physical impairment that substantially limits a major life activity, i.e., seeing, walking, breathing, etc.
445.2 The Reasonable Accommodation Program shall apply to all eligible temporary, probationary and permanent academic and nonacademic employees including confidential employees and management employees covered by the Management Personnel Plan.
445.3 Individuals who wish to request a reasonable accommodation must complete a "Request for Reasonable Accommodation Form", obtained from the Disability Programs and Resource Center (DPRC), SSB 110. Individuals may contact the office in person, by phone, or by mail to obtain the form. The form can also be obtained from the Human Resources Department reception desk, ADM 252.
445.4 The individual must forward the completed "Request for Reasonable Accommodation Form" along with written verification of a disability from a qualified health care provider to the DPRC for evaluation and determination of eligibility.
445.5 Should it be determined by the DPRC Director that additional documentation is necessary to establish the employee's eligibility, the Director shall affect its acquisition by forwarding to appropriate person (s) documents of inquiry. The process will be initiated in order to substantiate the employee's condition as being a qualified disability and the ability of the employee to perform the essential functions of his/her job. Inquiries may be made of the employee's Health Care Provider.
445.6 Further medical documentation is necessary only if the existing information is insufficient to determine whether the individual has a disability and /or which of the essential job functions requires accommodation.
445.7 Should be results of the inquiry indicate that the employee does not meet the established definition of a qualified individual with a disability, the employee will be advised in writing by the DPRC Director. The Director will advise the employee of any available alternative options.
445.8 The DPRC Director may meet with the Associate Vice President of Human Resources, Safety and Risk Management or Director of Employee Relations to discuss case findings and strategy for implementation prior to meeting with the department and employee.
445.9 If the employee is determined to be a "qualified individual with a disability", the Director, department/unit head and the employee shall identify and implement the accommodation. The Associate Vice President of Human Resources, Safety and Risk Management or Director of Employee relations may participate in the implementation if necessary. An effective reasonable accommodation is one that permits the employee to perform the essential functions of the position without endangering him/herself or others. However, reasonable accommodation need not be the best accommodation nor the one requested by the employee or recommended by the employee's health care provider.
445.10 All approved reasonable accommodation requests shall be documented in writing by the employee, department/unit head, and the DPRC Director. The request and any supporting documentation shall be kept in a separate confidential file in the DPRC. Copies of documents pertaining to the reasonable accommodation request shall not be kept in the employee's official personnel file.
445.11 If the employee meets ADA criteria, but cannot be accommodated in his/her own department/unit for reasons of undue hardship or is determined to be a direct threat, other options shall be considered pursuant to relevant provisions contained in Title I of the ADA and/or Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act.
445.12 During the period inquiries are being made to determine an employee's eligibility for an accommodation, an interim accommodation may be provided for the employee by his/her department/unit if during this time the employee is unable to perform the essential functions of his/her job. The interim accommodation shall remain in effect until the feasibility of reasonable accommodation or alternative has been determined pursuant to the existing policy and procedures. The employee shall be advised by the DPRC Director that the accommodation provided is temporary and may only be in effect through the time required to evaluate the reasonable accommodation request. The employee shall be further advised by the DPRC Director that the interim accommodation may not be the accommodation that the employee is seeking or the best accommodation. However, the interim accommodation must permit the employee to perform the essential functions of his/her job. An employee who receives an interim accommodation shall be advised in writing by the DPRC Director that the provision of the interim accommodation shall not be used as evidence that the department/unit has assumed responsibility for the provision of permanent accommodation.
445.13 The DPRC Director shall receive copies of all written communications between the department/unit and the employee regarding reasonable accommodation.
445.14 Employees who believe accommodation has not been provided in a timely manner pursuant to the existing policy and procedures may seek reconsideration and/or redress through established university policies and procedures, existing collective bargaining agreements and appropriate State and Federal enforcement agencies.
445.15 In requesting reasonable accommodation, employees may elect to be assisted by a representative of their choice.