The Catholic University of America

Archived June 19, 2007

I. Introduction
It is the policy of The Catholic University of America (CUA) to provide reasonable accommodations upon request for qualified individuals with a disability who are employees or applicants for employment. CUA will adhere to all applicable federal and local laws, regulations and guidelines with respect to providing reasonable accommodations as required to afford equal employment opportunity to qualified individuals with a disability. Reasonable accommodations are provided in a timely and cost-effective manner.

II. Definitions
ADA/504 Coordinator: The Equal Opportunity Officer acts as the Coordinator for the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) and for Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act.

Americans With Disabilities Act Planning Team, ADAPT: The CUA committee charged with planning for compliance with ADA. Members are appointed by the EPresident and currently include the Vice President of Administration, a representative from Student Life, the Equal Opportunity Officer, the Vice Provost and Dean of Undergraduate Studies, and a member of the faculty. The university encourages individuals with disabilities to contribute to the planning process.

Individual with a Disabiltiy: A individual with a disability is any person who has, or who has acquired, a physical or mental impairment, has a record of such impairment, or who is regarded as having an impairment, which limits one or more major life activities, such as self care, performing manual tasks, seeing, hearing, speaking, breathing, and working on a temporary or permanent basis.

Physical or Mental Impairment: Any physiological disorder, disfigurement, or anatomical loss or limitation, or any mental or psychological disorder acquired as a result of illness, accident or birth.

Qualified Individual with a Disability: A qualified individual with a disability whose experience, education and/or training enables the person with reasonable accommodations to perform the essential functions of the job.

Reasonable Accommodation: The effort made to make adjustments for the impairment of an employee or applicant by structuring the job or the work environment in a manner that will enable a disabled individual to perform the essential functions of the job. Reasonable accommodation includes, but is not limited to, modifying written examinations, making facilities accessible, adjusting work schedules, restructuring jobs, providing assistive devices or equipment, providing readers or interpreters, and modifying work sites.

Reasonable Accommodations Committee: In order to assist the university community with reasonable accommodations, the Americans With Disabilities Act Planning Team (ADAPT) will review and monitor the provision of reasonable accommodations to employees or applicants.


III. Policy

1. Managers and supervisors must prepare position descriptions for jobs within their units which include defining both essential functional elements or tasks and the environment in which such activities occur. Such documentation may be developed with the assistance of the personnel director and shall be reviewed periodically. Documents prepared or utilized for this purpose may be used for other personnel actions.

2. In considering an individual with a disability for employment or for promotion or in any other personnel action, the existence of their handicapping condition should not adversely affect an employment decision. Employment opportunities will not be denied to anyone because of the need to make reasonable accommodation to the individual's disability.

3. It is appropriate to determine the ability of the person to perform the essential functions of the job with reasonable accommodation. Medical verification of the disability of the person requesting the accommodation may be requested.

4. Immediate supervisors need to pursue reasonable accommodations for applicants or employees which can be handled within the unit's budget. All accommodations must be documented and the information forwarded to the ADA/504 Coordinator. The reasonable accommodations committee, ADAPT, will review requests for accommodations that exceed budget reasonableness and provide advice on possible alternatives.

5. ADAPT shall meet periodically, at least quarterly, to review all reasonable accommodation decisions made by immediate supervisors. It shall meet as needed to review other proposed or requested accommodations which cannot be handled by immediate supervisors. The committee shall consult with the disabled individual and immediate supervisor involved where necessary. It shall act in a timely manner that will enable personnel actions to proceed in their regular course.

6. If the employee wishes to discuss the reasonableness of the accommodations or has a grievance related to his or her disability, the Equal Opportunity Officer should be consulted. Complaints of discrimination on the basis of disability will be handled in the same manner as other discrimination complaints.

7. An employee and his or her supervisor should periodically monitor the effectiveness of the accommodation.

8. If the necessary accommodations would impose undue hardship on the operation of the department or unit, individuals with a disability shall be afforded the opportunity to provide reasonable accommodations for themselves. However, individuals with a disability shall not be afforded the opportunity to make accommodations which affect a temporary or permanent change to the facilities of the institution or which involve restructuring of the job in question without the written consent of the individuals and departments involved.

IV. Implementation

This policy shall be implemented as part of the personnel policies of the university and shall be reviewed regularly as part of the administration of such practices. Copies of CUA's Employer Guide to the Americans With Disabilities Act, Title I: Employment are available from the Office of Human Resources.