Campus Policy on Protections for Persons with Disabilities
What is the Americans with Disabilities Act?
What is the purpose of the ADA?
Who is "a person with a disability"?
What is a “major life activity” under the law?
What does "qualified" mean?
What is a reasonable accommodation?
What resources are available?
What should departments do when hosting a public event?
Where Can I Get Help?
Reasonable Accommodation Request Forms - Employment
The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign does not discriminate on the basis of disability in its programs, services and activities.
The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA) is a federal anti-discrimination statute which provides civil rights protection to individuals with disabilities in the areas of employment, public accommodations, State and local government services, and telecommunications. The ADA was designed to remove barriers which prevent qualified individuals with disabilities from enjoying the same opportunities that are available to persons without disabilities. Similar protections are provided by Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and by the Illinois Human Rights Act.
The ADA provides that no qualified individual with a disability shall, on the basis of disability, be excluded from participation in or be denied the benefits of the services, programs, or activities of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
Under the ADA, an individual with a disability is a person who has: a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities; a record of such an impairment; or is regarded as having such an impairment. Temporary, non-chronic impairments that do not last for a long time and that have little or no long term impact usually are not disabilities. The determination of whether an impairment is a disability is made on a case-by-case basis.
To be considered a person with a disability under the ADA, the impairment must substantially limit one or more major life activities. Examples of major life activities include walking, speaking, breathing, performing manual tasks, seeing, hearing, learning, caring for oneself and working.
To be protected by the ADA, a person must not only be an individual with a disability, but must be qualified. For University employees, a qualified individual with a disability is a person who satisfies the requisite skill, experience, education and other job-related requirements of the employment position and who, with or without a reasonable accommodation, can perform the essential functions of the position. For students, a qualified individual with a disability is a person who, with or without reasonable modifications to rules, policies or practices, the removal of architectural, communication or transportation barriers, or the provision of auxiliary aids or services, meets the essential eligibility requirements for the receipt of services or the participation in programs or activities provided by the University.
A reasonable accommodation is any modification or adjustment to a job, an employment practice, or the work environment that makes its possible for a qualified individual with a disability to enjoy an equal employment opportunity. The University shall provide a reasonable accommodation to the known disability of a qualified applicant or employee with a disability unless the accommodation would impose an undue hardship. Examples of reasonable accommodations include, but are not limited to:
- job restructuring
- modified work schedules
- obtaining or modifying equipment or devices
- modifying examinations, training materials or policies
- providing qualified readers and interpreters
- reassignment to a vacant position
- making facilities readily accessible to and usable by individuals with disabilities
A reasonable accommodation is a reasonable modification in policies, practices, or procedures when the modifications are necessary to avoid discrimination on the basis of disability, unless the modifications would fundamentally alter the nature of a University service, program or activity. Examples of reasonable accommodations include, but are not limited to:
- note taking services
- text conversion to alternative accessible formats
- audio and video tapes
- qualified interpreter services
- adjusting time limits on tests
- making facilities and/or programs readily accessible to and usable by individuals with disabilities
The University is obligated to make a reasonable accommodation only to the known disability of an otherwise qualified employee or student. In general, it is the responsibility of the employee or student to make their disability status and subsequent need for an accommodation known to the appropriate University official.
Once on notice for the need for accommodations, it is the responsibility of the University official and the individual with a disability to engage in dialogue to identify possible accommodations and assess the reasonableness and effectiveness of each potential accommodation. Determinations regarding accommodations on campus will be made on a case-by-case basis. Determining a reasonable accommodation is very fact-specific. In general, it must be tailored to address the nature of the disability and the needs of the individual within the context of the requirements of the job or the program of study. If there are two or more possible accommodations, and one costs more or is more burdensome than the other, the University will give primary consideration to the preference of the individual with a disability. However, the University may choose the less expensive or burdensome accommodation as long as it is effective.
If you are a supervisor: The University administration may have available resources to help you accommodate a request by an employee with a disability. Requests for information or assistance regarding your responsibility as a supervisor to make a reasonable accommodation for an employee or applicant may be addressed to the Office of Diversity, Equity, and Access. In addition, campus human resource offices can consult with units on their responsibilities under the law.
If you are a professor or teaching assistant: The Division of Disability Resources and Educational Services (DRES) has developed a manual called Teaching Students with Disabilities, which offers guidance to faculty and teaching assistants on making appropriate accommodations to students with disabilities. The guide is available from the DRES office or on the DRES homepage at the campus and Web site address listed in this brochure.
If you are a student with a disability: DRES has developed a disability resource manual, The Student Guide to Disability Services and Resources, and a booklet of Frequently Asked Questions About Learning Disabilities. DRES also coordinates the planning and implementation of support services for students needing reasonable accommodations. These documents are available from the DRES office or on the DRES homepage at the campus and Web site address listed in this brochure.
If you are an employee with a disability: Qualified individuals with disabilities may seek reasonable accommodations in consultation with supervisors or department heads and managers.
Additional resource: The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign has developed a Campus Access Map that identifies accessible routes and features on campus. The map can be accessed on the Web at: http://www.fs.uiuc.edu/ada/
Accommodations must also be made to members of the public who attend University-sponsored events. The sponsoring department is responsible for accommodating the needs of participants. This means conducting events in accessible locations and may mean providing sign-language interpreters, printed material in Braille, or alternative formats such as audio recordings if requested in advance. Departments should include an accommodation statement in publications inviting participation in University-sponsored events. Specific guidlines to help ensure access and foster accommodations can be found at the Disability website. Additional information and assistance are also available at the Office of Diversity, Equity, and Access.
The campus-wide Coordinator of Compliance & ADA in the Office of Diversity, Equity, and Access may be contacted to help determine which of the offices below would be helpful in a particular case, based on the circumstances and your status as a student, faculty member, staff, or professional employee.
Division of Disability Resources and Educational Services
1207 South Oak Street 333-1970
Office for Project Planning and Facility Management
807 South Wright Street, Suite 320
Office of Academic Human Resources
807 South Wright Street, Suite 420
Office of Diversity, Equity, and Access
100 Swanlund Administration Building
Staff Human Resources
52 East Gregory Street
Campus-wide Committee on Access and Accommodation (CCAA)
c/o Office of Diversity, Equity, and Access
100 Swanlund Administration Building
Copies of this brochure are available at the offices listed above.
This document may be obtained in an alternative format by contacting the Office of Diversity, Equity, and Access at 333-0885 or 244-9850 (TTY).
This brochure describes the policies and resources available to faculty, staff, and students on the subject of rights, protections, and accommodations for persons with disabilities. This brochure is not intended to create new rights, obligations or procedures apart from those established in applicable University policies.
If you have any questions, please contact the Office of Diversity, Equity, and Access at 333-0885.