About the Americans with Disabilities Act at UAF
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is a federal civil rights mandate that provides protections to veterans and people with disabilities. All students and employees have the right to fully participate in a safe and welcoming learning and work environment.
The Department of Equity and Compliance provides services to the following locations:
- UAF main campus
- College of Rural and Community Development campuses:
- Bristol Bay
- Community and Technical College
- Interior Alaska
- UAF eLearning and Distance Education
UAF provides reasonable accommodation to employees or job applicants with a disability unless doing so would cause significant difficulty or expense. A reasonable accommodation is any change in the work environment (or in the way things are usually done) to help a person with a disability apply for a job, perform the duties of a job, or enjoy the benefits and privileges of employment.
Examples of reasonable accommodations include making the workplace accessible, acquiring or modifying equipment, providing flexible leave or modifying work schedules, or providing qualified readers or interpreters.
Confidentiality notice: Medical documents must be kept confidential. They will be sealed and maintained in secure storage separate from personnel files. Supervisors may NOT disclose that an employee is receiving a reasonable accommodation, because this usually amounts to a disclosure that the individual has a disability. If a co-worker inquires about what is perceived to be “special” treatment, point out that many workplace issues are personal, and that it is UAF's policy to assist any employee encountering difficulties and to respect employee privacy.
University of Alaska policies regarding reasonable accommodation
P04.02.030. Reasonable Accommodation for People with Disabilities: Prohibition Against
All members of the university community have a right to a working and learning environment free of all forms of illegal discrimination including discrimination against people with disabilities. It is the university's intent that no employee, or user of university facilities, be subjected to unlawful discrimination based on disability.
P04.02.033. Request for Accommodation.
- The purpose of this process is to educate the person or persons involved about the applicable provisions of the law, to provide a non-retaliatory environment to determine accommodations, and to initiate change in behavior, practice, or treatment that will lead to a positive work environment.
- A university employee who believes that the employee requires accommodation must present medical documentation to the employee’s immediate supervisor, with copies to the AAO or designee, when the disability or need for accommodation is not known or obvious to the supervisor.
- An informal complaint to the AAO must state the employee's name, and provide a detailed description of the practice or action that allegedly requires accommodation or constitutes discrimination on the basis of disability.
- No person who acts in good faith will be subject to restraint, interference, coercion, reprisal, or retaliation for initiating a request or complaint or participating as a witness or in another capacity in any proceeding designed to foster compliance with this policy and university regulation.
- In attempting to informally determine an appropriate accommodation or resolve a complaint, the AAO will obtain and clarify relevant information from the employee, the supervisor, the regional personnel director, and other involved persons. The outcome of a reasonable accommodation generally will not include documentation copied to the personnel file or widespread distribution of decisions regarding any accommodations made. However, any documentation relating to a disability complaint will be kept in a separate file apart from the employee's personnel file.
P04.02.034. Formal Complaint.
An employee who claims to have been subjected to discrimination based upon a disability and who has exhausted the reasonable accommodation process may initiate a written formal complaint. Formal complaints must be presented to the ADA coordinator and must include, at a minimum, the following information:
- the name of the complainant and the respondent;
- a clear and concise description of the event and the alleged discriminatory action or conduct;
- an explanation of the impact upon the complainant of the alleged discriminatory action or conduct;
- a summary of attempts taken to resolve the complaint informally; and
- the remedy requested.
P04.02.035. Determination of Formal Complaint.
- The AAO and ADA coordinator are responsible for ensuring compliance with the provisions in the Americans with Disabilities Act and other applicable laws in their efforts to coordinate disputes involving people with disabilities within the university.
- The ADA coordinator will determine whether there is reasonable basis to justify relief in the form of a reasonable accommodation. If so, the ADA coordinator will identify appropriate solutions, including recommendations for reasonable accommodation, and report those recommendations to the respondent's immediate supervisor, regional human resources office, and other appropriate administrative officers.
- Unjustified delay or refusal to implement the solutions or the reasonable accommodations recommended by the ADA coordinator may lead to referral to an appropriate administrative officer to obtain proper and timely action. An employee who delays or refuses unjustifiably to implement the recommendations is subject to disciplinary action.
- If the ADA coordinator determines that there is not just cause to support a disability discrimination complaint, the coordinator will notify the complainant in writing of that determination and the reason therefore. The complainant may appeal the ADA coordinator's determination or the respondent’s alleged improper action by submitting a grievance to the grievance council at Step 3 of the grievance resolution process contained in P04.08 and R04.08. The grievance must be filed within 45 working days of the date on which the complainant received the ADA coordinator's written determination.