University of North Carolina at Pembroke
FACULTY and STAFF ACCOMMODATIONS UNDER
AMERICANS WITH DISABILITIES ACT
UNCP will adhere to all applicable federal and state laws, regulations, and
guidelines with respect to providing reasonable accommodations as required to
afford equal employment opportunity to qualified individuals with disabilities. The
University will provide reasonable accommodations to qualified individuals with
disabilities who are employees or applicants for employment. The purpose of
such accommodation is to allow individuals to perform the duties associated with
The purpose of this document is to describe the procedure by which disability-
related accommodations can be requested by current or potential members of
the faculty and staff. A brief overview of definitions is followed by description of
policies and procedures.
The following definitions and explanations may help faculty and staff members
and their departments in consideration of accommodation requests.
1. A qualified individual with a disability is a person who, with or without
reasonable accommodation, can perform the essential functions of the
2. Reasonable accommodations are modifications that facilitate performance
of the essential functions of a job by a qualified individual with a disability.
Examples include, but are not limited to, making facilities accessible, adjusting
work schedules, restructuring jobs, providing assistive devices or equipment,
providing readers or interpreters, and modifying work sites.
3. A job function may be considered essential for any of several reasons,
including but not limited to the following: (a) the reason the position exists is
to perform the function, (b) there are a limited number of available employees
among whom the performance of that job function can be distributed, and/or
(c) the function may be highly specialized so that the incumbent in the position
is hired for his or her expertise or ability to perform the particular function
(e.g., teach a particular required course). Some of the factors that may be
considered in determining whether a job function is essential include the
amount and or percent of time spent performing the function and the
consequences of not requiring an individual to perform the function.
4. Undue hardship includes any action that is excessively costly, extensive,
or disruptive. Administrative units are not required to make accommodations
that would impose an undue hardship on them.
POLICIES AND PROCEDURES
Many accommodation requests are simple and straightforward and have little
impact on department functioning. For example, a person with back pain may
request a better chair for his/her computer work station, an individual with
carpal tunnel syndrome may ask for a wrist rest for his/her computer, or
a faculty member with a mild hearing loss might request a volume device for
the telephone. Other requests may be more complex and have more impact
on the functioning of the unit. For example, a faculty member who acquired a
disability might request an extension of the tenure clock, or modifications to
an office or laboratory. A staff member may become disabled and require
re-assignment of non-essential duties.
Disability-related documentation is not normally needed. In most situations,
the faculty or staff member will have adequate personal knowledge to request
appropriate accommodations. In situations where it is needed, it should be kept
confidential and not incorporated in the personnel file.
FORMAL PROCEDURES TO REQUEST ACCOMMODATIONS
A faculty or staff member who needs a modified work environment as the
result of a temporary or permanent disability is required to arrange
accommodations through the ADA Coordinator’s office. (DSS office, DF Lowry,
Room 107, 910-521-6695)
FORMAL PROCEDURES TO REQUEST ACCOMMODATIONS
The formal procedures to request accommodation shall be used to resolve
1. To initiate a formal request for disability accommodation, the employee
should provide a written request for an accommodation to the ADA Coordinator
2. If disability-related documentation is considered necessary by the
department, it is the responsibility of the employee to make the initial request
to the health care provider(s) (e.g., medical or rehabilitation professionals) for
written verification of the need for a disability accommodation. The letter to the
health care provider(s) should communicate the requirements of the position as
understood by both the department’s supervisor, and ask the health care
provider(s) whether and how (i.e., with what accommodations) the employee
can meet these responsibilities. The letter should request that the health care
provider(s) reveal only such information about the disability as is necessary to
answer the questions posed.
3. If the reply from the health care provider(s) does (do) not, in the opinion of
the ADA Coordinator, include enough information to enable the ADA Coordinator
to make an informed decision about accommodations, the ADA Coordinator
may compose a follow-up letter seeking clarification and additional information.
5. The formal accommodation request and the response by the ADA Coordinator
shall be forwarded to the appropriate Vice Chancellor for approval. The Vice
Chancellor shall file a report on the final disposition of all requests for employee
disability accommodation with the ADA Coordinator office. (Requests for tenure
clock extensions must additionally be approved by the Provost and the
appropriate University Committee.)
7. Requests should not be denied or modified without prior consultation with
the ADA Coordinator.
8. If the Vice Chancellor denies a request, or does not propose an
accommodation that the employee regards as reasonable, the employee
may file a grievance with the ADA Coordinator.
9. In the event that a request for accommodation in the form of a tenure
clock extension is denied or modified, the decision may be appealed to the
Chancellor through the ADA Coordinator.
10. The ADA Coordinator, the Vice Chancellor, or any University Committee,
and all other involved university personnel must make every effort to keep
accommodation requests and related information confidential.
ADA Coordinator 08/09