Reasonable Accommodation Policy for Students and Employees With Disabilities

Revised version: June 1, 1998
Approved by Faculty March 6, 1995

Second revision: November 30, 2000
Review by Board May 8, 1995

General Policy

Walla Walla University does not discriminate on the basis of disability in the admission or access to, or treatment or employment in its programs or activities in compliance with Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA). Applicants and/or existing employees with disabilities or handicaps may request reasonable accommodation to enable them to perform the essential functions of their job. Students and/or student applicants with a handicap or disability may request reasonable accommodation to enable them to successfully function in the university environment. If a student or employee wishes to receive information or request reasonable accommodation, they should contact a compliance officer. The compliance officer for employees is the Director of Human Resources; for students needing learning and other support services, the Disability Support Services Coordinator.

Anyone desiring information about the campus safety plan for individuals with disabilities should consult the document Emergency Procedures for Assisting Individuals with Disabilities.


Summary of Applicable Law and Regulations

Section 504: The Rehabilitation Act

Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act provides: "No otherwise qualified individual with handicaps in the United States ...shall, solely by reason of his or her handicap, be excluded from the participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any program or activity receiving Federal Financial Assistance." 29 U.S. C. 794.

The Section 504 compliance standards apply to the following categories of university programs or activities: (1) admissions and recruitment; (2) treatment of students; (3) academic adjustments; (4) housing; (5) financial and employment assistance to students; and (6) nonacademic services. 34 C.F. R. 104.41-104.47.

Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act

Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act prohibits discrimination against qualified handicapped employees working on federal contracts. It also requires institutions holding federal contracts to take affirmative action to hire and promote handicapped individuals.

The Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA)

The ADA provides a comprehensive statutory and regulatory approach to eliminating discrimination against qualified persons with disabilities.

Title I of the ADA applies to employment. Any "qualified individual with a disability"; is entitled to reasonable accommodation under the ADA, provided the individual, "with or without reasonable accommodation, can perform the essential functions of the employment positions that such individual holds or desires." (42 U.S.C. 12111(8)), and provided that the accommodation does not create an "undue hardship" for the employer. 42 U.S.C. 12111(10) (A).

Title III of the ADA applies to public accommodations and services operated by private entities such as the university. The general rules of Title III provide: "No individual shall be discriminated against on the basis of disability in the full and equal enjoyment of the goods, services, facilities, privileges, advantages, or accommodations of any place of public accommodation by any person who owns, leases, or operates a place of public accommodation." 42 U.S.C. 12182(a).

Qualified Individual with a Disability

A person is considered qualified if he/she:

A. Meets all eligibility criteria.

B. Is able (with or without accommodations) to perform the essential functions of an academic program, activity or job and, with respect to students, have attributes (apart from any disability) and academic ability which qualify them for admission to Walla Walla University.

C. Is able to utilize reasonable accommodations in a manner which allows the individual to perform the essential functions of an academic program, activity or job without imposing a direct threat to the health and safely of

1. himself/herself or others, if an employee.
2. others, if a student.


Reasonable Accommodations and Procedures for Students with Disabilities

Accommodation

Qualified individuals with handicaps or disabilities may request reasonable accommodations to enable them to successfully function in the university environment.

Documentation of a Disability

All requests for documentation must be accompanied by a statement of the student's disability from a physician, clinical psychologist, or learning specialist. The documentation must be current, usually within three years.

Procedures for Requesting Accommodation

Upon admission to the university, students should self-declare their known and/or suspected disabilities to the Disability Support Services office in order to be informed of available accommodations on this campus. Each request for accommodation will be assessed individually, based on relevant circumstances and factors. It is the responsibility of the individual seeking an accommodation to identify the disability and to provide documentation of the disability at his/her own expense. Final decision for appropriate accommodation rests with the Disability Support Services Coordinator. Any disagreement at this level shall be handled by the appeals process.


Reasonable Accommodations and Procedures for Employees with Disabilities

Accommodation

Qualified individuals with handicaps or disabilities may request reasonable accommodation to assist them in performing the essential functions of their job or making application for a job.

Procedures for Requesting Accommodation

Any employee or applicant (including faculty, administration, staff and student staff) seeking an accommodation in connection with employment should first contact the Human Resources office. It is the responsibility of the employee to provide the university with adequate notice of the disability, to request the particular accommodation, and to provide in writing any necessary medical verification of a disability-related need for the requested accommodation. The Human Resource office will consult with the person's supervisor and/or other relevant university officials to determine whether a reasonable accommodation is available that will enable the employee to perform the essential functions of the job. The Vice Presidents for Financial Administration and Academic Administration are the university officials with final responsibility for accommodations relating to employment. Any disagreement at this level shall be settled by the appeals process.


Complaint Mediation/Resolution Resources

Appeal Procedures

Appeal procedures are intended to provide a means for an individual to appeal a decision or action regarding an accommodation, modification, auxiliary aid, or academic adjustment, or to otherwise make a complaint about discrimination or harassment based on a disability. It is the intent of the university that all appeals be processed in a manner that promotes the prompt and equitable resolution of complaints. Therefore, individuals with complaints should bring them to the attention of appropriate university personnel as soon as possible after the action(s) causing the complaint. Upon receipt of an informal or formal complaint, university officials will seek a prompt and timely resolution.

An employee or student has the right to refuse an accommodation. This may mean that the employee cannot perform the essential functions of the job and is, therefore, not qualified for the position.

There is no civil rights protection for individuals who do not identify themselves and request the appropriate accommodations, nor are accommodations retroactive (prior to declaration of a disability).

When Making a Complaint

Be specific. Provide a detailed written summary of the incidents or actions taken which are perceived as discriminatory or as a barrier creating lack of access. Include identification of the disability. Include dates, times, names of individuals and/or office(s) involved. Describe and explain your interactions with these individuals or offices. If you are in contact with multiple offices, please notify each office of what efforts other offices have made to resolve your complaint. Keep a record of all written correspondence between yourself and the various offices involved.

Informal Appeal

An individual is encouraged to resolve concerns about accommodations or modifications by communicating with the concerned parties and suggesting an appropriate resolution. The individual may seek informal discussion, advice and assistance from the Disability Support Services (DSS) Coordinator in the Teaching Learning Center (for students) or the Director of Human Resources (HR) (for employees). The request for an informal review and resolution should be in writing and should be directed to the person whose assistance is being sought.

This informal process may lead to resolution of the matter. If not, the individual may choose to follow the formal complaint process described below or utilize complaint procedures with outside agencies. An individual may use the formal procedure without first using the informal procedure.

Formal Appeal

At each level of the appeals process, the person to whom the appeal is directed for resolution will submit their resolution suggestions in writing in response to the appeal. The person reviewing the alleged discrimination may meet with the student, faculty member, or other university officials for further investigation.


Formal Appeals Relating to Accommodations in Academic or Educational Programs and Services

Reconsideration of Accommodation

The student must submit a written request for reconsideration, with suggestions for an appropriate resolution, to the DSS Coordinator. If the matter is not resolved at this level, then the student may file a written appeal with the Director of the Teaching Learning Center, or directly with the Associate Vice President for Academic Administration (AVP). If the student is not satisfied with the action at the AVP level, he/she may make a written appeal to the ADA Committee.

Implementation of Accommodation

If a student believes an accommodation is not being properly implemented, he/she must submit a written request for reconsideration, with suggestions for an appropriate resolution, to the faculty member, advisor, program manager, or other person responsible for the implementation. If the matter is not resolved at this level, then the student may file a written appeal with the School Dean, Department Chair, or Program Director involved. The Dean/Chair/Director may meet with the student and faculty member or other College officials for further information gathering. If the student is not satisfied with the action at this level, he/she may appeal to the AVP. If he/she is not satisfied with the action at the AVP level, he/she may appeal to the supervising Vice President of the department or program.

If the Dean/Chair/Director was initially responsible for the implementation, then the student should begin the appeals process at the AVP level.


Formal Appeals Relating to Employee-Related Accommodation Requests and Implementation

Reconsideration of Accommodation

An employee must submit a written request for reconsideration, with suggestions for an appropriate resolution, to the supervisor or director responsible for the initial decision. If the matter is not resolved at this level, then the employee may file a written appeal with the Director of HR. If the employee is not satisfied with the action at the level of the Director of HR, he/she may make a written appeal to the supervising Vice President of the department involved.

Implementation of Accommodation

If an employee believes an accommodation is not being properly implemented, he/she must submit a written request for reconsideration, with suggestions for an appropriate resolution, to the person responsible for the implementation. If the matter is not resolved at this level, then the employee may file a written appeal with the Director of HR. If the employee is not satisfied with the action at the level of the Director of HR, he/she may make a written appeal to the supervising Vice President of the department involved.

Final Levels of Appeal for Students and Employees

The final level of campus appeal for students and employees is through the university grievance process.

At any time a person may appeal to external bodies such as the Office for Civil Rights, Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, or Washington Human Rights Commission.


Office/Phone Number Directory

Walla Walla University

 

Disability Support Services (DSS) Coordinator/Section 504 Compliance Officer
(509) 527-2366
Teaching Learning Center, Lower level of Village Hall

Director of Human Resources (HR)
(509)527-2141
Administration Building

Associate Vice President for Academic Administration (AVP)/Chair, ADA Committee
(509) 527-2395
Administration Building

Vice President for Financial Administration
(509) 527-2402
Administration Building

Vice President, Office of Student Life
(509) 527-2511
Lower Level, Kellogg Hall

 Other Resources

Office for Civil RIghts, Department of Education
(206) 220-7900 voice, (206) 220-7997 TDD
915 Second Avenue, Room 3310
Seattle, WA 98174

Washington State Human Rights Commission
(206) 464-6500 voice, (206)587-5168 TDD
Seattle, WA 98101

Office of Federal Contract Compliance
(206) 553-7182
1111 Third Avenue, Suite 745
Seattle, WA 98101

Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
(206) 220-6883
909 First Avenue, Suite 400
Seattle, WA 98104-1060

U.S. Department of Labor, Way and Hour Division SEA
(206) 553-4482
1111 Third Avenue, Suite 755
Seattle, WA 98101

Page maintained by Sue Huett
Last update on July 7, 2010