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Human Resources

How to Request Disability Accommodations

2-2.2.1.6 Procedures for University Employees to Request Disability Accommodations

2-2.2.1.6.1 These procedures are governed by the policy on reasonable accommodation of employees and applicants with disabilities.

2-2.2.1.6.2 Employee instructions.

    In many cases, job modifications can be arranged easily by talking directly with your supervisor, administrator, or department chair. You are not required to disclose to your immediate supervisor the medical basis for requested accommodation.
        Academic employees: Academic employees include: full and part-time faculty, librarians, coaches, graduate assistants, and other academic personnel. Contact your supervisor, department chair, or dean if you need an accommodation or have questions about the accommodation process.
        Staff employees: Staff employees include: civil service (classified) staff, exempt (professional and administrative) staff, and temporary/hourly employees. Contact your supervisor, department head, or appointing authority if you need an accommodation or have questions about the accommodation process.
        Student employees: Student employees include: CWU students employed by the university in federal, state, and non-work study positions, including living group advisors, student body officers, student news staff, interns, and all other student employees. Contact your supervisor or the head of the department in which you work if you need an accommodation or have questions about the accommodation process.
        All employees: General information about the accommodation process and related forms are available in the human resources office. The office is located in Bouillon 140. The telephone number is 509-963-1202.
    Information to be provided by the employee
        Accommodation request: Your supervisor or department head may ask you to complete an employee notification of disability and request for accommodation form. Return the completed form to your supervisor or department head who will review your request and may discuss it with his/her supervisors and others as appropriate. Note that this form does not require you disclose the nature of your disability to those who supervise you.
        Job Analysis: A job analysis for your position may be prepared if more specific information is needed in order to respond to your request. Typically your supervisor or department head will work with his/her supervisor and may consult with human resources, disability support services, environmental health and safety, and others as appropriate. A copy of the completed job analysis will be shared with you.
        Health care provider information: You may be asked to have your health care provider review your job analysis and employee notification of disability and request for accommodation form; and provide disability support services with a health care provider statement.
            The statement should include: A diagnosis and assessment of your particular disability as it relates to your ability to perform the essential functions of your position, with or without accommodation; and any functional limitations which may require accommodation. The statement may also include suggested accommodation(s) which would assist you in performing the essential functions of your position.
            The completed health care provider statement should be returned to the director of disability support services. Do not return the completed health care provider statement to your supervisor or department head. It is your responsibility to see that your health care provider returns the required information to the university.
            The university may choose to secure other medical opinions from health care professionals of its choice at its own expense.

2-2.2.1.6.3 Supervisor instructions.

    Employee's request.
        Supervisors must consider carefully an employee's request for accommodation due to disability. In many cases, job modifications can be arranged easily by talking directly with the employee.
        The employee is not required to disclose to you the medical basis for the requested accommodation. Do not ask the employee for personal medical information or ask questions about the disability itself.
        Supervisors and department heads should not, for any reason, deny a request for accommodation. Should a request not seem appropriate or you wish technical assistance, refer it immediately to disability support services who will evaluate it and may, as appropriate, consult with others.
        Financial support for disability accommodations may be available through the disability accommodation fund. Refer to the CWU Policies Manual section 2-2.2.2.5.2 (and on the back of the employee disability notification form) for the definitions of "disability" and "reasonable accommodation." Funding requests for accommodations relative to impairments and/or conditions which meet the criteria established by these definitions should be made to the director of disability support services, the administrator of the fund.
            The disability accommodation fund would be utilized to respond to: accommodations for eligible students (e.g. sign language interpreters, adaptive technologies); accommodations requests from eligible employees; administrative requests for adaptive classroom furniture, adaptive software and other assistive devices.
            The size of the disability accommodation fund precludes its utilization for accommodations for participants in self-support educational programs and activities such as those offered through continuing education and athletics summer sports camps; building modifications or renovations including lifts and elevators; barrier removal such as ramps and curb cuts; other architectural or physical plant modifications; salaries for adjuncts or other temporary personnel who are covering for employee on disability or sick leave.
    Employee notification of disability and request for accommodation form.
        If more information is needed in order to evaluate the employee's request, or if you wish to secure funding for the accommodation through the disability accommodation fund, ask the employee to complete and return the employee notification of disability and request for accommodation form. (Forms are available in human resources.)
        When you receive the employee's completed request, review the material with your department head and appointing authority.
        You may now have enough information to provide appropriate accommodation. If so, complete the form and send a copy of it to disability support services and human resources.
    Job Analysis.
        If information is needed from the employee's health care provider(s) in order to respond to the request, your department head or appointing authority, as well as the disability support services, human resources, environmental health and safety, and others as appropriate will work with you to develop a job analysis of the position.
        You will provide a copy of the job analysis to the employee, disability support services, and human resources.
    Health Care Provider Statement.
        Disability support services will prepare a health care provider statement and forward it to you.
        Obtain the employee's signature and ask the employee to submit the health care provider statement to their health care provider(s), along with their job analysis and employee notification of disability and request for accommodation form.
        Disability support services will review the documentation provided by the health care provider, determine whether it is sufficient to establish that the employee is a qualified individual with a disability, and so notify the supervisor and the employee.
        Disability support services will share appropriate information from the health care provider statement with you regarding the functional limitations of the employee's disability and any recommended accommodations. The director may provide you with technical assistance and/or refer you to other campus resources such as human resources and environmental health and safety or external agencies.
    Develop Accommodation Plan
        Meet with the employee to discuss potential accommodations. (The director of disability support services will participate in these discussions when disability accommodations funds are requested).
        Consider all options for accommodation including the preferences of the employee.
        Select the accommodation(s) to be implemented and record on the request for accommodation form. Obtain necessary signatures and provide copies to disability support services and human resources. (The director of disability support services selects those accommodations supported by the disability accommodation fund).
        Implement the accommodation plan.
    Confidentiality of Medical Records
        By law, medical records must be treated confidentially. At Central Washington University, medical records, related to reasonable accommodation requests, are maintained in disability support services.
        Do not keep medical records in department files. Should medical records inadvertently come to you, immediately forward them, in a confidential envelope, to the director of disability support services so that they can be filed appropriately.
        Information obtained through the accommodation process must be treated with sensitivity and care. While an employee may choose to discuss such matters with friends and associates on the job, you, as a supervisor, must treat all such information or requests in a sensitive and confidential manner.

2-2.2.1.6.4 University response.

    The university will endeavor to provide reasonable accommodations for employees with documented disabilities in order to keep them in their current positions.
    If a full-time employee with a permanent mental or physical disability can no longer perform the essential functions of his or her position, with or without accommodation, but is able to work at least fifty percent time in some capacity, the university will, after receipt of all needed medical documentation and a skills assessment interview, attempt to place the person in a vacant position for which he or she is qualified.
        The search for such a position will take place over a three-week period and will consider all positions for which:
            Closing dates have not been reached and/or referrals have not been made;
            The employee meets the minimum qualifications and specific position requirements.
        If no such position is available, the employee will be separated from the university.
            Employees so separated are eligible for reemployment assistance for a period of three years.
            For classified employees, such assistance will be governed by the applicable WPRB rules. Such employees should contact their human resource representative to discuss this service.
        Former employees released by their health care providers to return to work should contact human resources to begin the reemployment process.

2-2.2.1.6.5 Complaints or Disputes Related to Requests for Reasonable Accommodation.

    If an employee does not consider the response to an accommodation request to be satisfactory, the individual may contact his or her department head or appointing authority for assurance that appropriate consideration was given to the request.
    Employees who believe that they have been discriminated against on the basis of disability may file informal or formal complaints in the office for equal opportunity, Barge 211. Phone 509-963-2205 or TDD 509-963-2207. (See equal opportunity grievance procedures, CWU policy, 2-2.2.3.1.) A list of state and federal agencies that investigate alleged violations of disability law is also available in the office for equal opportunity.