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ADA and Reasonable Accommodation Policy

Updated November 2018

The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA), as amended, and applicable state law protects qualified applicants and employees with disabilities from discrimination in hiring, promotion, discharge, compensation, job training, fringe benefits, classification, referral, and other aspects of employment on the basis of disability.  It is the policy of Cambridge College not to discriminate against qualified individuals with disabilities, individuals with a record of a disability, or individuals with a perceived disability. 

Cambridge College will reasonably accommodate qualified individuals with a disability so that they can perform the essential functions of the employment position that such individual holds or desires.

Definitions

“Disability” means a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities of the individual; a record of such an impairment; or being regarded as having such an impairment.  In general, major life activities include, but are not limited to:  caring for oneself, performing manual tasks, seeing, hearing, eating, sleeping, walking, standing, lifting, bending, speaking, breathing, learning, reading, concentrating, thinking, communicating and working.

“Qualified individual” means an individual who meets the skill, experience, education, and other job-related requirements for the position, and who can perform the essential functions of the employment position, with or without a reasonable accommodation.    

“Essential functions of the job” refers to those job activities that are determined by the College to be essential or core to performing the job. 

“Reasonable accommodation” is required under federal and state law unless doing so would create an undue hardship, compromise the health and/or safety of members of the College community, or fundamentally alter the nature of the College’s employment or academic mission.  A few examples of reasonable accommodations may include making existing facilities readily accessible to and usable by individuals with disabilities, job restructuring, part-time or modified work schedules, reassignment to a vacant position, acquisition or modification of equipment or devices, appropriate adjustment or modifications of examinations, training materials or policies, the provision of qualified readers or interpreters, and other similar accommodations for individuals with disabilities.

“Undue hardship” means an action requiring significant difficulty, expense, and/or disruption (i.e. administrative burden) or an action that would fundamentally alter the College’s policies or procedures, the nature of the job function, and/or fundamental nature of the College’s academic programs. 

In determining whether an accommodation would impose an undue hardship on the College, general factors to be considered include, but are not limited to:

  • The nature and cost of the accommodation.
  • The overall financial resources of the College; the effect on expenses and resources or the impact of such accommodation upon the College’s operations.
  • The number, type and location of the College’s campuses/offices.
  • The type of operations of the College, including the composition, structure and functions of the workforce.

Confidentiality

Information about an employee's documented disability will be kept in a file separate from the personnel file in the HR department. This file will be kept confidential to the extent practicable and will only be shared with individuals within the College to the extent allowed by law.  However, once HR has been informed of an individual’s documented disability and request for accommodations, the individual’s supervisor, the union steward (if applicable) and those in the appropriate chain of authority may be notified of an individual’s request for an accommodation and invited to participate in the discussion regarding possible reasonable accommodations.

Requests for Accommodation and Interactive Process

All qualified individuals seeking a reasonable accommodation must contact HR to receive and submit a completed ADA Request for Reasonable Accommodation Form, along with a current physician statement which includes: the nature of the impairment/disability, its severity, the duration; the activities limited by the impairment(s)/disability; the extent to which the impairment(s)/disability limits the employee’s ability to perform the essential duties/functions of the job along with recommendations for a reasonable accommodation(s).  The College may require further testing or evaluation by qualified individuals to verify or further establish the impairment/disability and the need for accommodation.   Upon HR’s’ receipt of the required documentation, HR will consult with the employee’s supervisor, the union steward (if applicable) and other appropriate parties, if necessary, to determine what, if any, reasonable accommodation(s) may be provided.  HR will meet with the qualified individual and engage in an interactive dialogue to explore and clarify the reasonableness of any accommodation(s) being sought before reaching a final decision. 

The HR department is responsible for administering this policy, including resolution of reasonable accommodation, safety and undue hardship issues.