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Mitchell First Floor
(509) 963-1202
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Workplace Accommodation

Central Washington University is committed to providing reasonable workplace accommodations to individuals with disabilities. If you are an individual seeking workplace accommodation please review this website and/or contact Human Resources.

Alternative Job Search | Disability Separations | Resources | FAQs

CWU Disabled Parking Update 2019


Accommodation Request Form (PDF)
Accommodation Request Form (Word Doc)
Health Care Provider Certification Form
ADA Accommodations Process


Any employee with a physical or mental impairment, that substantially limits a major life activity and impacts her/his ability to perform the essential functions of a job, may request to explore possible coverage under the American with Disabilities Act and associated reasonable accommodation.

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.

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To Apply

According the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), you only have to let the University know that you need an adjustment or change at work for a reason related to a medical condition in order to begin the accommodation process. You can use "plain English" to make your request and you do not have to mention the ADA or use the phrase "reasonable accommodation."

Workplace accommodation requests are considered by Human Resources. HR will ask you to complete and return the Accommodation Request Form (PDF) or Accommodation Request Form (Word Doc).

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Process Overview

Workplace accommodation is an interactive process. Like most sound management practices, the accommodation process is enhanced by collaboration. This requires the University and employee to work together and think creatively about strategies that lead to a more positive and productive workplace.

Generally, the process begins when an employee informs the University of the need. Individuals do not have to use the word "accommodation," but they must indicate that they have difficulty carrying out their tasks due to a disability.

The employee, HR, and the employee's supervisor will work together to facilitate workplace accommodations. Human Resources will ask the employee (or representative) to fill out and return the Accommodation Request Form (PDF) or Accommodation Request Form (Word Doc).

Human Resources often needs supporting documentation of the disability from a medical professional. The employee will be asked to fill out the medical release portion of the Health Care Provider Certification Form in order to facilitate this need. All medical information received will be stored confidentially and independently from the employee's personnel file.

After identifying the functional limitations to the employee's essential job functions and determining potential accommodations, Human Resources will construct an accommodation plan. The accommodation plan will be documented and signed by the human resources, employee, and the supervisor of the employee.

Reviews of workplace accommodation will periodically take place. Reviews are intended to ensure that the accommodation in place is working, applicable, and that the plan does not need adjustment. During this time Human Resources may request that the employee provide additional medical documentation.

If it is determined that the employee does not have a qualifying disability the employee will be presented with a denial of reasonable accommodation form and provided information as to why the request has been denied.

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Types of Accommodation

A reasonable accommodation is defined, by the U.S. Department of Labor, as any change or adjustment to a job, the work environment, or the way things usually are done that would allow an individual with a disability to apply for a job, perform job functions, or enjoy equal access to benefits available to other individuals in the workplace.

Examples of reasonable accommodations include: making facilities accessible; job restructuring; part-time or modified work schedules; acquiring or modifying equipment; changing tests, training materials, or policies; providing qualified readers or interpreters; leave; and reassignment to a vacant position.

Family Medical Leave (FMLA) Act and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) sometimes work concurrently. To learn more about FMLA please visit the FMLA webpage.

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Alternative Job Search

In the event that it is determined that the employee does have a qualifying disability and cannot complete the essential functions of their position, even with workplace accommodation, the employee and human resources will work together to conduct an alternative job search. Generally, placement is without competition. However, the employee must meet, with or without reasonable accommodation, the minimum qualifications and specific position requirements for any vacant position offered as a reasonable accommodation.

The University is not required to create a position, displace another employee, offer a promotion, or move an employee into a position that they are not qualified for. Refusal by the employee to cooperate with the alternative job placement process, or to provide adequate medical documentation, may result in separation or the employee may not receive accommodation.

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Disability Separations

A disability separation is an action taken to separate an employee from service when the University determines that the employee is unable to perform the essential functions of his or her position, with or without reasonable accommodation, due to a disability.

Disability separation is not a disciplinary action. If no applicable position is available (vacant position), and after the employee has exhausted his or her family medical leave (FMLA) entitlement, the employee may be separated from the University.

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The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is a federal law that protects people with disabilities from discrimination. Learn more >

Washington State has its own law protecting people from discrimination called the Washington Law Against Discrimination (WLAD) Chapter 49.60 RCW. Learn more >

Family Medical Leave (FMLA) is often used as part of an accommodation. Visit the FMLA page to learn more about it.

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) is responsible for enforcing federal laws that make it illegal to discriminate against a job applicant or employee because of the person's race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability or genetic information. Learn more >

Related State and Federal Laws:

Americans with Disabilities Act

Rehabilitation Act of 1973

RCW 49.60

WAC 162-22

WAC 357-26

This information is intended as a general overview of CWU’s Workplace Accommodation policy and procedures (click on the links below to go to the policy and procedure):

CWUP 2-35-040 Reasonable Accommodation of Persons with Disabilities

CWUR 3-45-020 University Employees to Request Disability Accommodations

You may also contact Human Resources at (509)963-1202 or e-mail for further information or with questions.

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Top ofFrequently Asked Questions

My medical condition is permanent; can I have a permanent accommodation?

While your condition may be permanent, Human Resources reserves the right to perform periodic reviews of all reasonable accommodations.

You may want to modify your accommodation or your condition, and/or associated limitations may have changed over time, periodic review of reasonable accommodations helps to maintain the interactive accommodation process. You are encouraged to contact HR if you believe your accommodation needs adaptation.

Accommodation reviews may include a request for updated medical documentation to verify that accommodation needs have not changed. If your condition changes or you have new documentation to provide, please contact Human Resources.

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I am a supervisor and my employee has asked for a change to their workspace due to a medical condition, what do I do?

Accommodations due to an employee's medical condition should be facilitated through Human Resources. It is important that you do not discuss medical conditions with employees, instead refer them to Human Resources. Contact HR to let them know that you referred an employee.

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Is the medical information I submit confidential?

By law, medical information must be maintained confidentially and separate from regular personnel records. For employees, medical records are retained in the Human Resource Department, separate from personnel files.

Human Resources will not communicate confidential medical information; they will only communicate to your department/college information on a need to know basis, such as associated limitations.

You are not required to reveal the diagnosis of your condition or the details of your medical treatment to your immediate supervisor or to co-workers. However, some employees choose to share this kind of information with others. Employees who voluntarily share medical information with co-workers should consider that it may be passed on to others.

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What is the definition of disability?

As of July 21, 2007, the definition of disability, found in RCW 49.60.040 is as follows:

  1. "Disability" means the presence of a sensory, mental or physical impairment that:
    1. Is medically cognizable or diagnosable; or
    2. Exists as a record or history; or
    3. Is perceived to exist whether or not it exists in fact.
  2. A disability exists whether it is temporary or permanent, common or uncommon, mitigated or unmitigated, or whether or not it limits the ability to work generally or work at a particular job or whether or not it limits any other activity within the scope of this chapter.For purposes of this definition, "impairment" includes, but is not limited to:
  • Any physiological disorder, or condition, cosmetic disfigurement, or anatomical loss affecting one or more of the following body systems: Neurological, musculoskeletal, special sense organs, respiratory, including speech organs, cardiovascular, reproductive, digestive, genitor-urinary, hemic and lymphatic, skin, and endocrine; or
  • Any mental, developmental, traumatic, or psychological disorder, including but not limited to cognitive limitation, organic brain syndrome, emotional or mental illness, and specific learning disabilities. Learn more >

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