Disabilities Services for Faculty and Staff with Disabilities
Ursinus College does not discriminate against faculty and staff with disabilities. The Human Resources Office oversees the provision of reasonable accommodations for faculty and staff.
Federal law defines a disability as any physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities, having a record of such an impairment, or being regarded as having such impairment. A “qualified individual with a disability” is a person as defined above who is capable of performing the essential functions of a particular job or of participating in a particular course of study with or without reasonable accommodations.
The college will provide reasonable accommodations for qualified faculty and staff with disabilities to allow them to perform the essential functions of their jobs. Determinations regarding what constitutes a reasonable accommodation are made on a case-by-case basis. Examples of accommodations may include such things as: making programs and activities readily accessible to and usable by individuals with mobility or other disabilities; modifying equipment or devices to allow people with disabilities to use them; providing auxiliary aides and services for effective communications; modifying a work schedule; restructuring job responsibilities; or reallocating non-essential (marginal) job functions. Questions regarding reasonable accommodations may be directed to the Assistant Director of Human Resources. It is the obligation of a faculty or staff member with a disability who wants an accommodation to seek that accommodation.
Requesting Workplace Accommodations
Faculty and staff who seek reasonable accommodations should contact the Assistant Director of Human Resources. Employees must complete the Accommodation Request Form and have their medical provider complete the Accommodation Medical Authorization Form . The requests and medical information provided will be treated as sensitive and confidential and will only be shared as necessary with those who have a need to know in order to provide the reasonable accommodation. Students who would like assistance related to their work-study or other employment at the college should also contact Office of Disability and Access at (484) 762-4329.
When determining whether a request for an accommodation is reasonable, the factors that are considered include whether the individual can fulfill the essential functions of the position with or without an accommodation, and whether the provision of the accommodation would be an undue hardship for the college.
Requesting Accommodations for the Online Application Process for Prospective Employees
Consistent with our commitment to equal employment opportunity, the college provides reasonable accommodations to qualified individuals with disabilities who need assistance in applying electronically for a position with the college, unless doing so would impose an undue hardship for the college. To request an accommodation for this purpose, please contact the Assistant Director of Human Resources or call 610-409-3073. Accommodation requests are considered on a case-by-case basis.
Funding for Accommodations
If a request for a reasonable accommodation is granted, the department to which the employee reports is typically responsible for funding the accommodation. If the cost is beyond that department’s capacity to support, the supervisor should contact the department head or the divisional vice president responsible for that department to secure funding.
Appeals of Accommodation Denial
Any Ursinus faculty or staff member who believes a request for a reasonable accommodation was denied should follow the following process:
In the case of accommodations requested by a member of the faculty, the faculty member should submit the appeal to Interim Vice President for Academic Affairs, Heather Lobban-Viravong (firstname.lastname@example.org; 610-409-3065), or to an identified designee of the Vice President for Academic Affairs.
In the case of accommodations requested by a non-faculty staff member, the non-faculty staff member should submit the appeal to the Interim Vice President for Finance and Administration, Michelle Yurko (email@example.com; 610-409-3005), or to an identified designee of the Vice President for Finance and Administration.
Appeals must, absent extraordinary circumstances, be made within two weeks of the denial of the accommodation request. The appeal must explain all reasons why the faculty or staff member believes the determination was incorrect. Attempts to resolve the matter informally, including discussions with the concerned parties, will be made. If informal efforts to resolve the matter are unsuccessful, the designated appeal officer will investigate the matter and take action deemed appropriate and consistent with this policy and the applicable law, which may include: a) affirming the prior denial; b) overturning the prior denial; or c) returning the matter to the HR office for further consideration, with an explanation of why. The decision of the appeal officer is final.
The college strictly prohibits retaliation against any individual who submits an accommodation request or who submits an appeal of a denial of an accommodation request. An individual who believes that they have been retaliated against for submitting an accommodation request or appeal of an accommodation request denial may submit in person, by mail and/or by email a written report of relevant information and related materials to the Associate Vice President of Finance and Administration.