Policies and Procedures
ADA Policy Statement of Purpose
It is the policy of the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh to provide reasonable accommodations for qualified individuals with a disability who are employees or applicants for employment. The University of Wisconsin Oshkosh will adhere to all applicable federal and state laws, regulations, and guidelines with respect to providing reasonable accommodations which are required to afford equal employment opportunity to qualified individuals with a disability. Reasonable accommodations will be provided in a timely and cost-effective manner. Employment opportunities shall not be denied because of the need to make reasonable accommodations to an individual’s disability.
If you have questions regarding this policy, contact the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh Director of Equal Opportunity & Access. Learn more about GEN 1.2.(2). Disability Accommodation Policy and Procedures
How Applicants for Employment Request Accommodations
All applicants 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 sent to all applicants for employment: “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 because of a disability, please call the Office of Equal Opportunity & Access at 920-424-2296. Employment opportunities will not be denied to anyone because of the need to make reasonable accommodation to a person’s disability.”
Applicants who have received job offers will make accommodation requests using the Reasonable_Accommodation_Request_Form
How Current Employees Request Accommodations
UW Oshkosh employees can request reasonable accommodations through the Office of Equal Opportunity & Access.
Employees can request accommodations using the Reasonable_Accommodation_Request_Form. If an employee prefers, they may also call the Office of Equal Opportunity & Access to schedule an appointment to discuss their request.
The Decision-Making Process
A. An employee who wants to request an accommodation fills out the Reasonable_Accommodation_Request_Form and gives it to the Office of Equal Opportunity & Access.
B. The Office of Equal Opportunity & Access reviews the request. If the request is straightforward and does not involve significant issues or expenses, the Director of Equal Opportunity & Access or designee will approve the request. If the request involves issues which are more complex or involve a major budget commitment, the Director of Equal Opportunity & Access 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 ADA Coordinator or designee 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.
D. The file and any documentation regarding an employee’s request for accommodation will be kept in the Office of Equal Opportunity & Access. This is separate from the employee’s personnel file.
Policies and Guidelines
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.
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, his/her supervisor, and the Office of Equal Opportunity & Access need to evaluate the effectiveness of the accommodation. If modifications to the accommodation are needed, they should be requested using the procedures outlined in this policy.
The Appeal Process
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 Equal Opportunity & Access. The appeal must be in writing, stating the reason for the disagreement. The Director of Equal Opportunity & Access will reevaluate the decision, considering any additional information from medical or vocational rehabilitation experts. The Director of Equal Opportunity & Access 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.