Information for Faculty and Staff with Disabilities
Obtaining Accommodation for Employees
Towson University is committed to the principle of equal opportunity in providing effective reasonable accommodations to employees with documented disabilities. Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act and the Americans with Disabilities Act, defines a disability as "a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities". Major life activities are defined as the ability to perform functions such as walking, seeing, hearing, speaking, breathing, learning, working, or taking care of oneself.
It is important to note that impairment in and of itself does not necessarily constitute a disability. The degree of impairment must be significant enough to "substantially limit" one or more major life activities. Therefore, documentation provided by a qualified professional must address the substantial limitation posed by the particular disability for which the accommodation is being requested. We are requesting medical information (diagnosis and prognosis) which could be used to help determine: 1) whether the employee meets the criteria for an individual with a disability under the Americans with the Disabilities Act of 1990 and 2) any reasonable accommodation which might enable the employee to fulfill the essential function of their job.
Employees may discuss their needs for accommodation with their supervisors, Human Resources, or the Director of Disability Support Services (410) 704-4424. During the interview process if supervisors have employee candidates with disabilities, who need accommodations, the university has the obligation to provide that accommodation.
Guidelines for Obtaining An Accommodation
The following guidelines for documenting a disability are provided to assist the employee and evaluator in providing appropriate documentation of a disability. Documentation serves as the foundation that legitimizes an employee's request for appropriate accommodations. Documentation should include the following information pertaining to the particular disability for which the accommodation is being requested:
A clear statement of the disability including diagnosis and prognosis.
Documentation for eligibility should be current, (the age of acceptable documentation is dependent upon the disabling condition, the current status of the employee, and the employee's request for accommodations).
A summary of evaluation procedures as well as diagnostic test/evaluation results used to make the diagnosis.
Medical information should include a statement of the functional impact or limitations of the disability.
Each recommended accommodation should be accompanied by an explanation of its relevance to the disability that is diagnosed.
Date of first meeting with employee and date of most recent meeting with employee.
The employee/candidate must provide either the supervisor, Human Resources representative, or the DSS director with documentation of a disability and a completed Reasonable Accommodation Request Form.
The individual to whom the documentation and form is provided must then initiate the reasonable accommodation review process as follows:
A review of the employee's job will be conducted to identify the essential functions of the job, equipment needs, and possible worksite modifications.
If needed, a letter outlining the essential functions of the job will be sent to the employee's doctor, who will be requested to give a detailed report of the limitations imposed by the employee's disability.
A review of the employee's situation will be conducted with other appropriate offices.
The DSS director, the supervisor and a Human resource Representative will review accommodation recommendations with the employee. The final determination for providing appropriate and reasonable accommodations rests with the University. Final recommendation will be provided to the employee in writing.
The DSS office will provide the cost of the accommodation.
The employee's right to privacy must be respected in compliance with the Americans with Disability Act.