As an Indiana State University Manager/Administrator (M/A), one of
your primary responsibilities or objectives is to get your employees
together to accomplish the desired goals and objectives of your
particular department using available University resources efficiently
and effectively, while ensuring compliance with University policy, and state and federal law.
In fulfilling your responsibilities as a M/A, it is imperative that you know:
What May Constitute a Disability under the ADAAA of 2008?
According to the U.S. EEOC, the ADAAA of 2008 emphasizes that the definition of disability should be construed in favor of broadly covering individuals to the maximum extent permitted by the terms of the ADA.
What this expanded definition means to a M/A, is that ailments that were previously not considered disability are now being recognized as such based on the impact that the ailment has on the individual’s ability to perform basic activities (“Major life activities”):
- Caring for oneself, performing manual tasks, seeing, hearing, eating, sleeping, walking, standing, sitting, reaching, lifting, bending, speaking, breathing, learning, reading, concentrating, thinking, communicating, interacting with others, and working.
- Functions of the immune system, normal cell growth, digestive, bowel, bladder, neurological, brain circulatory, respiratory, endocrine, and reproductive functions.
**These examples are not exclusive; a disability may include activities not identified within these examples.
The WHAT; HOW; and WHEN to administer a reasonable accommodation?
“WHAT” is a reasonable accommodation? According to the U.S. EEOC, “a reasonable accommodation is any change or adjustment to a job or work environment that permits a qualified applicant or employee with a disability to participate in the job application process, to perform the essential functions of a job, or to enjoy the benefits and privileges of employment equal to those enjoyed by employees without disabilities.”
Reasonable accommodation may include: ISU ADA Policy
“WHEN” do I provide a reasonable accommodation? Requesting an accommodation is the responsibility of the staff or faculty to identify themselves as individuals with a disability; provide documentation of the disability; and make known the type of accommodation needed.
“HOW” to administer a reasonable accommodation? When dealing with providing an accommodation in any form or fashion, big or small, the M/A should always contact the office of Affirmative Action for assistance to ensure consistency and compliance with University policy, and state and federal law.
I. Internal Resources
Employment Discrimination Training Module
Request for ADA Training
II. External Resources
The ADA: Your Responsibilities as an Employer
Wabash Valley Disability Services Directory
Accommodation Procedures and Forms
Procedures and Forms
- As a M/A, will I have any say in the accommodation provided?
The accommodation will be the result of dialogue between the staff or faculty member, the OAA, and the department. The OAA will review the accommodation request and make a recommendation to the department based on the facts, precedent, University policy, and state and federal law.
- What if the accommodation requested by the staff or faculty member is unreasonable?With or without accommodation, the staff or faculty member MUST meet the essential functions of the position. The requested accommodation must fall within a qualification standard that is job-related and consistent with business necessity. If these two points are not satisfied, the M/A does not have to implement the requested accommodation.
- What if there are alternative methods outside of those requested by the employee?
The University is not required to provide the requested accommodation (verbatim) when there are alternatives methods available that will provide the same assistance or yield the same result.
- What if a staff or faculty member has informed you that they are disabled, but has never formally requested an accommodation; is there a time limit on when they must request an accommodation?
The ADA does not compel employees to ask for accommodations by or at a certain time or date. If there are performance based issues related to the staff or faculty member, the M/A should proceed with progressive discipline in the SAME way he or she would with any other employee’s performance.
- What if the staff or faculty member is requesting an accommodation that can easily be provided by office/department/unit without any intervention by the office of Affirmative Action?
Pursuant to University policy, the OAA is the “designated representative of the institution” as it relates to the ADA. The implementation of ADA accommodations in any form should be filtered through the OAA for recording and compliance purposes.
- What if my office/department/unit cannot afford the accommodation requested?
The University is required to make an accommodation if it would not impose an “undue hardship” on the operation of the University’s business; this analysis is not evaluated departmentally. If departmental funds are not available, the University may still be required to purchase or accommodate using other available financial resources (The request is considered in light of factors like the University’s financial resources).
- What if the staff or faculty member has performance issues?
A M/A should evaluate the job performance of a staff or faculty member with a disability the same way it evaluates any other employee’s performance. A staff or faculty member may ask for a reasonable accommodation before or after being told of performance problems. (Please see the “How to Manage an Employee with a Disability Toolkit” provided by the OAA).
- What if the staff or faculty member is also eligible or using FMLA?
Requesting an accommodation is the responsibility of the staff or faculty member to identify themselves as an individual with a disability. All questions involving accommodations or FMLA should be directed to the OAA or Staff Benefits.