- How Applicants for Employment Request Accommodations
- How Current Employees Request Accommodations
- The Decision-Making Process
- Policies and Guidelines
- The Appeal Process
UW Oshkosh ADA Procedures
For Employees and Applicants
A. All applicants who are invited for interviews will be informed of the University policy to provide reasonable accommodation for applicants and employees with disabilities. They will be informed that they can request accommodation for interviews and be informed how to make the requests.
The following paragraph will be added if a letter is used as part of the interview scheduling process: "It is the policy of the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh to provide reasonable accommodations for qualified persons with disabilities who are employees or applicants for employment. If you need assistance or accommodations to interview because of a disability, please call 920-424-2296. Employment opportunities will not be denied to anyone because of the need to make reasonable accommodation to a person's disability."
If all interview arrangements are made by phone, this information will be given as part of the phone conversation.
B. If applicants are asked questions regarding their ability to perform required job duties, all applicants should be asked the same questions. This question may be prefaced with a statement regarding the agency’s willingness to provide reasonable accommodations. Note: Applicants may not be asked whether or not they have a disability.
C. If an applicant indicates during the interview process that he or she has a disability, follow-up questions regarding possible accommodations may be pursued.
D. Qualified applicants cannot be denied employment solely on the basis of a need to provide a reasonable accommodation. However, if an applicant who receives a tentative job offer cannot reasonably be accommodated, the offer must be rescinded.
E. Applicants who have received job offers will make accommodation requests using the Accommodation Request Form.
A. Employees will be told about their right to request reasonable accommodations:
- during the orientation for all new employees;
- at the time of the biennial survey to allow employees to self-identify as persons with disabilities;
- in the agency employee handbook.
In addition, if a supervisor becomes aware of a performance issue, in meeting with the employee to discuss the performance issue the supervisor can tell the employee about his/her right to request reasonable accommodations under the ADA.
B. All requests for reasonable accommodations must be in writing using the Accommodation Request Form Copies can be obtained from:
- the Affirmative Action Office, Dempsey 211
- Accommodation Request Form
A. An employee who wants to request an accommodation fills out the Accommodation Request Form and gives it to his or her supervisor.
B. The supervisor reviews the request and discusses it with the Director of Affirmative Action or designee. If the request is straightforward and does not involve significant issues or expenses, the Director of Affirmative Action or designee will approve the request. If the request involves issues which are more complex or involve a major budget commitment, the Director of Affirmative Action or designee may do any or all of the following:
- Meet with the employee and the supervisor to get more information concerning the request.
- Consult with the supervisor and personnel specialist to determine the essential functions of the job.
- Consult with University budget and purchasing specialists.
- Consult with the reasonable accommodation specialist in the State Division of Affirmative Action.
- With the employee's permission, consult with any medical or rehabilitation specialists who may be working with the individual.
C. The employee will be informed of the University's decision regarding the accommodation request within 20 working days. If the 20-day limit cannot be met, the AAO will meet with the employee to agree on a reasonable time limit. The employee will be informed of the decision regarding the accommodation request in writing, using the Accommodation Request Form
D. Distribution of the request form is:
- Placed in the agency AAO confidential file;
A. Employees may be asked to provide verification of their disability. Factors to be considered when deciding whether or not to request verification include:
- Is the employee known to have a disability?
- Does the applicant or employee have an observable disability?
- Does the request expand on an existing accommodation or previously provided accommodation for which a verification was required? Example: an employee with a seizure disorder who needs a driver due to recurring seizures which had been under control.
- Does the request appear inappropriate?
The verification must be provided by an appropriate medical or rehabilitation professional. The employee must bear the initial cost of verification. (Note: This will usually be covered by health insurance.) If the agency requests additional verification of the disability, or the disability's impact on job requirements, the agency will bear the cost.
B. Factors which should be considered when determining reasonableness include:
- Are the job functions for which the accommodation is required essential to the overall performance of the job?
- Is the applicant or employee otherwise qualified to perform the essential job functions?
- Does the accommodation accomplish the desired result, i.e., allowing the individual to effectively perform the essential functions of the job?
- Will the accommodation adversely affect the productivity or work environment of other employees in the work unit?
- Is the cost of the accommodation feasible within the University's budget? If not, can approval be obtained from the Department of Administration (DOA) to use funds which are statutorily reserved for reasonable accommodation?
- Are there other more cost-effective options which will allow the individual to perform the essential functions of the job?
C. As a general rule, the University will purchase equipment only if it is determined that the use of the equipment is necessary in transaction of its official business. The equipment may not be of a personal nature (for example: eyeglasses, hearing aids, etc.) which the employee can reasonably be expected to provide. In determining whether the purchase of a device should be authorized, consideration will be given to how well the employee could perform the job without the equipment and whether the principal benefit will be better job performance by the employee.
D. The employee or applicant will always be the primary person consulted with when determining the most appropriate accommodation. Employees will be given an opportunity to provide, or arrange for, their own accommodations; for example, using volunteer drivers or readers, or providing their own adaptive equipment. However, the procedures in these policies and guidelines must be followed (written request, approval, etc.) even if employees provide or arrange for their own accommodations. This gives documentation of accommodations and ensures that the accommodations are not disruptive to the workplace.
E. If an employee acquires a disability and the University is not able to make reasonable accommodations which will allow the individual to continue in his or her current position, the University will explore possibilities for placement in other positions within the University. The movement to another position may be a transfer, a demotion, or change to part-time employment, and must be made in accordance with applicable collective bargaining agreements, Chapter 230 of the state statutes, and Administrative Rules for Chapter 230. While no legal responsibility exists for alternative placement outside the University, the employee will be counseled regarding his/her rights to other positions in state employment through the University's Human Resources Office or the Office of Affirmative Action.
Note: Under the Federal Rehabilitation Act, accommodation is only required to permit an individual to perform his or her particular job. The responsibility to look for alternative positions is clear in s. 230.37 (2), Stats.: "When an employee becomes physically or mentally incapable of or unfit for the efficient and effective performance of the duties of his [or her] position by reason in infirmities due to age, disabilities, or otherwise, the appointing authority shall either transfer the employee to a position which requires less arduous duties, if necessary demote the employee, place the employee on a part-time service basis and at a part-time rate of pay or, as a last resort, dismiss the employee from the service. The appointing authority may require the employee to submit a medical or physical examination to determine fitness to continue in service...."
F. After accommodations are provided, the employee and his/her supervisor need to evaluate the effectiveness of the accommodation. The Director of Affirmative Action will also be involved in this process. If modifications to the accommodation are needed, they should be requested using the procedures outlined in this policy.
A. If an employee disagrees with a decision regarding an accommodation request, he or she has a right to appeal the decision using the following procedure. Applicants do not have access to this procedure. They have the option to follow the usual discrimination complaint procedure (Personnel Commission, EEOC, etc.).
B. When an accommodation request is denied, an employee may, within 30 calendar days, appeal the decision to the Director of Affirmative Action. The appeal must be in writing, stating the reason for the disagreement. The Director of Affirmative Action will reevaluate the decision, considering any additional information from medical or vocational rehabilitation experts. The Director of Affirmative Action may consult with staff from outside agencies such as DER/DAA, DHSS/DVR or DOA 504 coordinator, in the appeal process--taking care to provide confidentiality for the employee. The affirmative action officer then discusses all information regarding the appeal with the Chancellor. The Chancellor makes the final decision regarding the appeal. The employee receives the final decision regarding the appeal in writing within 30 calendar days after the appeal was filed.