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Disability Certification

Disability Certification and Support for UVM Faculty and Staff

Definitions

Disability:  A physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities.  An individual with a disability also includes someone who has a “record” of such a condition, and someone who is “regarded” as having such a condition.

Qualified Individual with a Disability:  An individual with a disability who, with or without reasonable accommodation, can perform the essential functions of the job.

Reasonable Accommodation:   A reasonable accommodation is one that will allow a faculty or staff member with a disability to perform the essential functions of the job without undue administrative or financial burden to the University.   Reasonable accommodations may include barrier removal, job restructuring, part-time or modified work schedule, acquisition or modification of equipment or devices, adjustment or modification of exams, training materials, or policies, provision of qualified readers or interpreters, software or other similar accommodations.

Procedures

An employee who believes he or she requires a reasonable accommodation to perform the essential functions of the job must first be certified as a person with a disability by the University. To initiate the process, the employee may make an appointment with the ADA Liaison in Human Resource Services, 232 Waterman, by calling 656-8623. The interactive process begins with a discussion about the need for an accommodation, the existing medical condition, and the documentation that is required from the individual’s health care provider for a determination that the employee has a certified disability.   The employee will be required to provide his or her health care provider with a letter and certification form.   The completed form must be returned to the ADA Liaison in Human Resource Services.  The documentation must be from a duly licensed health care professional.

Documentation used to determine whether the employee has a disability will be kept on file separately from the employee’s University personnel file and will remain confidential, to the extent permitted by law.  Information will be disclosed to the supervisor and other University officials only to the extent necessary to determine and implement appropriate, reasonable accommodations.

If the above process does not result in sufficient documentation, the ADA Liaison will request that the employee provide additional information.  The University may require specific additional information from the health care provider. The University may also request an independent assessment if the University cannot determine whether an employee has a disability based on the information provided by the employee’s health care professional.

If the employee is found to have a disability, the ADA Liaison will discuss possible accommodations with the supervisor and other campus professionals, as necessary. When an accommodation requires central funds, the ADA Liaison will assist the employee and/or appropriate administrative official in preparing and processing a document called “Faculty/Staff Request for Accommodations.”

Once a reasonable accommodation is agreed upon and any necessary funding is secured, the ADA Liaison will continue to work with the employee, the supervisor and other necessary University officials to implement the accommodation as efficiently as possible.

If, following the provision of accommodations under this procedure, the employee wishes to request a modified accommodation, this request must be made to the ADA Liaison, and will be considered using the procedure outlined above.

Any disagreements about implementing agreed upon accommodations should be brought to the attention of the ADA Liaison.

If the employee and supervisor cannot reach agreement regarding an accommodation, the employee may make a written appeal to the next level supervisor with a copy to the ADA Liaison. A staff member who is still not satisfied after review by the next level supervisor may seek final review from the Vice President for Finance and Administration.  A faculty member who is not satisfied with the next level review may seek final review from the Provost.

An individual who believes her or she has been subject to discrimination on the basis of a disability may file a complaint with the Office of Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity.  Before filing a complaint with AA/EO regarding an accommodation, the individual should attempt to reach consensus on reasonable accommodation by following all steps in the procedure outlined above.

This procedure will be reviewed periodically to ensure its effectiveness.

Contacts

Questions related to the daily operational interpretation of this policy should be directed to:

ADA Liaison
University of Vermont
Human Resource Services
232 Waterman Building
Burlington, Vermont 05405
(802) 656-8623

Questions or concerns related to disability-based discrimination should be directed to:

Executive Director, Affirmative Action and Equal Opportunity
University of Vermont
428 Waterman Building
Burlington, Vermont 05405
(802) 656-3368

Last modified October 02 2009 03:32 PM