2.11.1 Accommodations for Individuals with Disabilities

A. Purpose

The purpose of this policy is to give guidelines and procedures for accommodating University students, employees, job applicants, and visitors with accessibility needs in compliance with federal laws, including the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act Amendment Act (ADAAA) of 2008. The University prohibits discrimination based on disability in both the application process and during the employment relationship.

B. Persons Affected

This policy applies to all University students, employees, applicants, and visitors having a known physical or mental impairment as defined under the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, the ADA, the ADAAA (2008), and the Texas Commission on Human Rights Act, Chapter 21, Texas Labor Code. 

Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, Titles I and V (ADA)  

Americans with Disabilities Act Amendments Act of 2008, (ADAAA 2008) Rehabilitation Act of 1973 

Texas Commission on Human Rights Act, Chapter 21, Texas Labor Code 

C. Definitions

Disability: Any employee, student, applicant, or visitor having a known mental or physical impairment that substantially limits at least one or more life activities of that individual; a record of such an impairment; or being regarded as having such an impairment. Impairments may be chronic, episodic, progressive or permanent. Episodic impairments or those considered in remission are still considered a disability under the ADAAA if, when active, the condition would substantially limit a major life activity.

Qualified Individual with a Disability: A qualified individual with a disability who is employed or seeking employment is an individual who meets all the skills, experience, knowledge, educational and other job requirements for the position and can perform the essential functions of the position with or without reasonable accommodation. A qualified student with a disability is a student who with or without reasonable accommodations is able to meet all of a program’s academic requirements or technical standards.

Applicant: Is a person that qualifies and officially applies for an available, posted, or an advertised position for employment with U. T. Tyler.

Essential job functions: Job functions which are fundamental to a position and which an employee must be able to perform with or without reasonable accommodation.

Undue Hardship: Undue hardship is defined as an action requiring significant difficulty or expense when considered in light of a number of factors. These factors include the nature and cost of the accommodation in relation to the size, resources, nature, and structure of the University’s operation. Undue hardship is determined on a case-by-case basis.

Reasonable accommodation: Modifications or adjustments to a job application process that enable a qualified applicant with a disability to be considered for the position he or she desires; modifications or adjustments to the work environment, or to the manner or circumstances under which the position held or desired is customarily performed, that enable a qualified individual with a disability to perform the essential functions of that position; or modifications or adjustments that enable U. T. Tyler employees with a disability to enjoy equal benefits and privileges of employment as are enjoyed by other similarly situated employees without disabilities.  

For students, reasonable accommodations can include but are not limited to the following:

  1. Program modifications, such as changes in the length of time permitted for the completion of degree requirements, substitution of specific courses required for the completion of degree requirements, and adaptation of the manner in which specific courses are conducted;
  2. Adjustments to testing situations such as extended time for taking a test or taking a test in a separate room; and
  3. Auxiliary aids and services such as qualified interpreters, note-takers, assistive listening devices or other effective methods of making aurally delivered materials available to students with hearing impairments; adaptive technology, assistive devices, orally given tests, screen readers, or other effective methods of making materials available for students with visual impairments or print disorders, and classroom equipment made accessible for use by students with manual impairments, and other similar services and actions.

D. Policy and Procedures

  1. Initiating the Accommodation Process for applicants, employees, supervisors, visitors and/or students. 
    1. Applicants.  Applicants seeking employment with the University may obtain information concerning accommodations in the application process by contacting the Office of Human Resources. Applicants may seek an accommodation for the application process or may seek a workplace accommodation after the offer of employment. This request may be initiated verbally or in writing.
    2. Employees or Supervisors. Employees or supervisors may obtain information concerning disabilities and accommodation directly from the Office of Human Resources. Supervisors who receive a request for accommodation must immediately notify the Office of Human Resources so that official processing of the request can begin. This request may be initiated verbally or in writing. The University will not consider an employee’s request for information as a formal request for accommodation. 
    3. Visitors. Visitors may initiate a request for accommodation by contacting the department hosting the event, program, or activity. The employee who has been notified of the request for accommodation should notify the Office of Human Resources so that the official processing of the request can begin. This request may be initiated verbally or in writing.
    4. Students.  Students may obtain information concerning eligibility and accommodation directly from the Office of Student Accessibility and Resources.
  2.  Eligibility for Accommodation Services.
    1. Applicants or Employees. Once the applicant or employee has initiated the accommodation request, the Office of Human Resources will request a recent employee accommodation medical certification dated within 30 days of the request. The Office of Human Resources will analyze the request and, to determine eligibility for accommodation, confer with the employee, employee’s supervisor, or the applicant to ascertain the individual’s requirements for reasonable accommodations and make a determination regarding which accommodations are necessary. If the employee or applicant is unable to demonstrate a disability, or does not request a reasonable accommodation under the applicable statute or regulation, the request may be denied. UT Tyler will meet its obligations to provide the most sufficient accommodation to satisfy the employment needs of the employee or applicant without posing an undue hardship on the department.
    2. Students. A student requesting accommodation services is required to register for services through the Student Accessibility and Resources office. The student requesting services should attempt to apply for services at least four weeks prior to the beginning of the semester. An online application is available with includes the option of electronic disability documentation submission.  An intake interview with a Student Accessibility and Resources case manager will complete the eligibility process.
  3. Student Documentation Guidelines. Although documentation of disability may not be required in all cases, submission is strongly encouraged as it will assist in defining eligibility and effective accommodations. The sources of information used for determining eligibility for disability services may include a student’s self-report, direct observation/interaction with the student, and/or documentation for qualified evaluators or professionals. When documentation is submitted, it should include the following:
    1. Information typed on letterhead or other official diagnostic document, dated and signed by the qualified professional(s)with listed credentials;
    2. Diagnostic statement and methodology that may include assessment instruments, diagnostic criteria and/or test scores;
    3. Statement to include functional limitations, symptoms, severity, and/or expected progression
    4. Information on how each condition/disability affects the individual with regard to physical, emotional, or cognitive limitations and the severity and limitations within the classroom and/or testing environment;
    5. Treatments, medications and related side-effects, assistive devices, adaptive technologies and/or services currently prescribed or in use;
    6. Specific recommendations as to the types of reasonable accommodation such as extra time for testing, separate testing environment, auxiliary aids, etc.
  4. Procedures
    1. Accommodation for Employment and Employees: 
      1. Applicants for employment can initiate a request for accommodation by contacting, verbally or in writing, the Office of Human Resources, the department in which they will be interviewing, or the chair of the search committee to inform them about the possible need for accommodation. Any such inquiry shall be immediately forwarded to the Office of Human Resources for review of the request and determination, if applicable, of reasonable accommodation.
      2. Any employee can initiate a request for accommodation by notifying, in writing, the immediate supervisor or the Office of Human Resources of the nature of the disability and the accommodation being requested. Any such request received by the immediate supervisor shall be immediately forwarded to the Office of Human Resources for review and determination, if applicable, of a reasonable accommodation to be made.
      3. Individuals will be required to submit a recent medical statement dated within 30 days of the request. 
      4. The Office of Human Resources will analyze the request and, to determine eligibility for accommodation, confer with the employee, employee supervisor or the applicant to ascertain the individual’s requirements for reasonable accommodations and make a determination regarding which accommodations are necessary. If the employee or applicant is unable to demonstrate a disability, or does not request a reasonable accommodation under applicable statute or regulation, the request may be denied.
      5. UT Tyler is not required to provide the “best” or “most desired” accommodation. UT Tyler can meet its obligations as long as the proposed accommodation is sufficient to satisfy the employment needs of the employee. 
    2. Accommodation for Visitors 
      1. A visitor can initiate a request for accommodation by contacting the department hosting the event, program, or activity. A designee of the event, service, or activity will immediately notify the Office of Human Resources so that the official processing of the request can begin.
      2. Individuals may be required to provide a medical statement which contains a diagnosis, prognosis, and a description of the specific impairment(s), the major life functions or activities affected by the impairment. Individuals may be asked to submit additional medical information if the information previously provided is incomplete, unclear or inconsistent. If the individual does not provide the required documentation and information within a reasonable period of time prior to the event, service, or activity, the request for accommodation will be cancelled for lack of necessary information.
      3. Determination of the approval or denial of the request for accommodation will be the responsibility of the Office of Human Resources in consultation with the event, service, or activity coordinator.
    3. Students.  Faculty members are encouraged to place information in each course syllabus regarding the availability of disability support services. The following statement is recommended: 

      Disability/Accessibility Services: In accordance with Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the ADA Amendments Act (ADAAA) the University of Texas at Tyler offers accommodations to students with learning, physical and/or psychological disabilities.  If you have a disability, including non-visible a diagnosis such as a learning disorder, chronic illness, TBI, PTSD, ADHD, or you have a history of modifications or accommodations in a previous educational environment, you are encouraged to visit https://hood.accessiblelearning.com/UTTyler and fill out the New Student application.  The Student Accessibility and Resources (SAR) office will contact you when your application has been submitted and an appointment with the Assistant Director Student Accessibility and Resources/ADA Coordinator.  For more information, including filling out an application for services, please visit the SAR webpage at http://www.uttyler.edu/disabilityservices, the SAR office located in the University Center, # 3150 or call 903.566.7079.”

      Once eligibility has been determined by the accessibility case manager, accommodations decided upon, and training in use of the Student Accessibility and Resources online service system, a Faculty Notification Letter is electronically sent to the instructors. The student is responsible for electronically uploading their courses and making their accommodation requests each succeeding semester via their online profile. The student is encouraged to discuss with the faculty member relevant information that will assist in providing the approved accommodation. Faculty are responsible for providing specifically indicated accessibility adjustments upon receipt of the emailed Faculty Notification Letter. The faculty member will assure that the student receives the approved accommodation. An accessibility case manager is available to the student and faculty member for consultation.

  5. Grievance Procedure
    1. Employees, Visitors, or Applicants for Employment.  Any employee, applicant, or visitor who believes that he or she has been denied a reasonable accommodation, discriminated against on the basis of disability, or retaliated against due to an accommodation request may submit a complaint to the Office of Human Resources or may initiate a grievance in accordance with the U. T. Tyler grievance policy and procedures (Policy 4.19.1).
    2. Students.  Complaints concerning disability accommodations shall be filed in writing to the Assistant Director of Student Accessibility and Resources. The Assistant Director will present the case within five (5) working days to the Chief Student Success Officer who will pursue the grievance with the appropriate academic institutional officer. A written decision will be mailed to the complainant within ten (10) working days of its receipt by the Chief Student Success Officer.

E. Responsibilities

The Chief Student Success Officer and the Office of Human Resources is over this policy. Responsibility for implementation of this policy has been delegated to the Assistant Director of Student Accessibility and Resources.

F. Review

This policy shall be reviewed every five years by the following stakeholders: 

Associate Dean of Students 

Director of Environmental Health and Safety 

Faculty Senate President 

Student Government Association President

Office of Human Resources

APPROVED:  07/2019