ADA Reasonable Accommodation Policy and Procedure Guide

Issuance No: A26
Issuance Date: December 6, 2016
Subject: ADA Reasonable Accommodation Policy and Procedure Guide

I. Introduction

The purpose of this guide is to assist staff of the Northwest Workforce Development Board (NW WDB) and its service providers in processing accommodation requests. This policy and procedure guide is to provide a framework on handling accommodation requests, not to replace the policies of the service provider’s organization.

It is the policy of the NW WDB to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act and provide reasonable accommodations to qualified individuals with disabilities to enable them to:

      • Be considered for the aid, benefits, services, training or employment as desired; and/or
      • Perform the essential functions of their jobs; or to receive aid, benefits, services, or training equal to that provided to qualified individuals without disabilities; and/or
      • Enjoy benefits and privileges of the aid, benefits, services, training, or employment equal to those that are enjoyed by other similarly situated individuals without disabilities unless providing such accommodation would impose an undue hardship.

II. Key Terms as defined by Missouri Division of Workforce Development (DWD) Issuance 10-2012

      • Disability:
        • A physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more of the major life activities of such individual;
        • A record of such an impairment; or
        • Being regarded has having such an impairment.
        • Refer to §1630.3 for exceptions to this definition.
      • Essential Functions:
        • Fundamental job duties of the employment position the individual with a disability holds or desires.
        • The term “essential functions” does not include the marginal functions of the position.
        • Refer to §1630.2 for additional information regarding essential functions.
      • Major Life Activities:
        • Functions such as caring for oneself, performing manual tasks, walking seeing, hearing, speaking, breathing, learning, and working.
      • Reasonable accommodation:
        • Modifications or adjustments to a job application process that enable a qualified applicant with a disability to be considered for the position such as qualified applicant desires; or
        • 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 a covered entity’s employee with a disability to enjoy equal benefits and privileges of employment as are enjoyed by its other similarly situated employees without disabilities.
        • Refer to §1630.2 for additional information regarding “reasonable accommodation”.
      • Undue hardship:
        • Significant difficulty or expense incurred by a covered entity, when considered in light of the factors set forth in paragraph (p)(2) of this section (§1630.2).
        • Refer to §1630.2 for additional information regarding “undue hardship”.

III. Effective Communication and Other Assistance

Each service provider shall be responsible for establishing a procedure that ensures effective communication between the qualified individual with a disability and service provider staff throughout the accommodation process. Effective communication may require arranging for sign language interpreters, assistive listening equipment, alternative formats for people with visual impairments, or other approaches. In addition, the service provider shall also be responsible for providing such other reasonable assistance as is requested throughout the accommodation process, as well as through the process of any necessary appeals.

IV. What Accommodations Are Reasonable?

The reasonableness of an accommodation will depend upon the circumstances of each case. For additional clarification as to what are reasonable accommodations in the employment context, refer to 29 CFR Part 32. Reasonable accommodations include, but are not limited to:

      • Making facilities that are not otherwise required to comply with Federal accessibility standards physically accessible to and usable by people with disabilities (g., providing ramps, rest room grab bars, signage, etc.);
      • Restructuring of job or training tasks (g., reallocating non-essential typing, telephone or other clerical assignments among employees, assignment of non-essential tasks to others, eliminating non-essential tasks, etc.);
      • Modifying schedules
      • Providing or modifying equipment, devices or materials (g., raising a desk on boards for a person who uses a wheelchair, providing flashing lights and volume controls on intercoms and telephones, installing text telephones [TTYs], providing large-print computer display programs, or materials in alternative formats, including Braille, audio tape or enlarged print, etc.);
      • Providing qualified readers, interpreters, or other support services for all aspects of programs and activities including the application, interview, and testing processes, and during training and employment-related activities.
      • Permitting the individual with a disability to use aids or services that the program is not otherwise required to provide. For example, although a program generally would not be required to provide a motorized scooter to an individual with mobility impairment, reasonable accommodation may include providing an area to stow such a mobility aid, if necessary.

The providers are not required to provide personal items to individuals with disabilities. Such items include hearing aids, prosthetic limbs, wheelchairs, or eyeglasses. However, such items may constitute reasonable accommodation where they are specifically designed to meet needs that are related to the program or activity in which the person is participating, or the job the person is performing. For example, eyeglasses designed to enable the individual to view a computer monitor, but which are not otherwise needed outside of the program or activity in which the person is participating, or the job the person is performing, may constitute a reasonable accommodation.

Where more than one possible reasonable accommodation exists, the provider should give primary consideration to the individual’s preference in determining what accommodation it will provide.

Accommodations may be considered “unreasonable” only if they impose an undue hardship for the specific program/job in question. For example, shifting tasks among clerical employees to accommodate an employee with a disability may be reasonable where a sufficient number of employees exist among whom the tasks can be distributed; however, such an accommodation may be unreasonable in a very small office with few employees.

The factors listed in the definition of “undue hardship” in 29 CFR 37.4 must be considered in making this determination. Where the service provider determines that the accommodation requested by the individual would impose an undue hardship, or the modification requested would result in a fundamental alteration, the service provider must propose an alternative accommodation or modification that would ensure that, to the maximum extent possible, the person with a disability receives the aid, benefits, services, training, or employment offered by the program.

V. Process for Customers and General Public

Customers and members of the general public may request accommodations through any staff member of the service provider.  Signage notifying customers and the general public of the availability of accommodations shall be posted prominently in the reception area of each service provider.  Literature (in the appropriate format) shall be provided to customers by the service provider as part of the registration process.

Individuals desiring accommodations shall meet with a member of the service provider staff to discuss their need for an accommodation.  Requests for accommodations can be made verbally or in writing.

Each service provider shall designate a staff member responsible for reviewing accommodation request.

Within 10 business days of receipt, the designated staff person shall either grant or deny the request in writing. Provisions of this accommodation should commence immediately, once the request is granted.

Where the request is denied on the basis of undue hardship or fundamental alteration, the program must propose an alternative accommodation or modification that would ensure that, to the maximum extent possible, the person with a disability receives the aid, benefits, services, training, or employment offered by the program.

Each request for accommodation shall be kept in a log.  This log should include the nature of the request, the final decision/outcome, and any documentation/explanation necessary to support the final decision/outcome.  This log must be treated as confidential medical information.  According to DWD issuance 09-2015 “[medical] information must be kept ‘confidential and separate’ from the electronic case management record and from the customer’s main paper or the other confidential records.”

Customers and members of the general public who are not satisfied with the final decision/outcome of a service provider of the NW WDB may file a complaint by following the non-discrimination complaint and grievance policies set forth by DWD.

VI. Process for Service Provider Staff

It is the responsibility of each service provider’s organization to disseminate to their employees, their respective reasonable accommodation policy.  Each service provider’s reasonable accommodation policy shall include an internal appeals process.  Employees shall also be made aware that if they are not satisfied with the final decision/outcome of their employer, they may file a complaint by following the non-discrimination complaint and grievance policies set forth by DWD.

VII. Process for Northwest Workforce Development Board Staff

Staff of the NW WDB will follow the policy as set forth by the grant recipient, North Central Missouri College (NCMC).  NW WDB staff shall also be made aware that if they are not satisfied with the decision of NCMC, they may file a complaint by following the non-discrimination complaint and grievance policies set forth by DWD.
 

 

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