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1,925: Definitions and Guidelines to Address the Needs of Employees with Disabilities

Revised: December 2014

I. Policy Statement
The University of Nevada, Reno does not discriminate in the hiring and advancement of employees on the basis of disability.

The University is committed to compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA), the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, and the Fair Housing Act of 1968

A. Section 12101(b) of the Americans with Disabilities Act:"It is the purpose of this Act -...to provide a clear and comprehensive national mandate for the elimination of discrimination against individuals with disabilities."

B. Section  794(a)of the Rehabilitation Act:"No otherwise qualified, handicapped individual in the United States, as defined in section 706(8) of this title, shall solely by reason of her or his disability, be excluded from the participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance..."

C. 24 CFR 100.5 of the Fair Housing Act:It is the policy of the United States to provide, within constitutional limitations, for fair housing throughout the United States.  No person shall be subjected to discrimination because of race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status, or national origin in the sale, rental, or advertising of dwellings, in the provision of brokerage services, or in the availability of residential real estate-related transactions."

The University is dedicated to providing reasonable accommodation to ensure equal access to employment and advancement opportunities for individuals with disabilities.  It is necessary to request documentation from an appropriately credentialed health care professional in order to determine an appropriate accommodation.  Some University positions may contain specific requirements which will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis in determining whether an otherwise qualified individual with a disability can perform the essential functions or core duties of the position.  Employment requirements defined as essential functions or core duties of positions by the State, NSHE or the University or any related licensing or certification requirements are not regarded as discriminatory.  

II. Procedures and Definitions

The Office of Equal Opportunity/Title IX is responsible for the coordination of requests from individuals with qualifying disabilities under the Rehabilitation Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act, and the Fair Housing Act.  The Office houses the University's Accommodation Coordinator and is responsible for overseeing compliance with state and federal regulations.  

A. Individuals with Disabilities
The ADA broadly defines a covered disability in three different ways in terms almost identical to current federal law under the Rehabilitation Act and the Fair Housing Act.  Specifically, an individual has a covered disability if the individual either:
(1) "has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities of such individual"; or

(2) "has a record of such an impairment"; or

(3) "[is] regarded as having such an impairment."

B. Identification
The University is committed to a reasonable approach in the identification of individuals with qualifying disabilities.  Individuals requesting an accommodation may self-identify as having a disability at the time of hire or at any time during their employment.  Information provided to Human Resources on the Personal Data form is maintained in Human Resources.  Information provided to the Office of Equal Opportunity/Title IX is maintained in a confidential database.  Information regarding an approved accommodation will need to be disclosed to those responsible for implementing and funding it.
Applicants for University positions may request accommodation in the testing process (for classified positions) or application and selection process by contacting Human Resources.  

C. Documentation
An individual with a qualifying disability will generally be requested to provide documentation of substantial limitation(s) to a major life activity in order to be considered for reasonable accommodation(s).  Documentation may include, but not be limited to, a diagnosis by a qualified health care professional, a prognosis of the condition, an analysis of the functional limitations imposed by the disability, and a recommendation for accommodation to enable the otherwise qualified employee to perform the essential functions or core duties of the position.  

D. Accommodation:
The University has an obligation under the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Rehabilitation Act, and the Fair Housing Act to provide "reasonable accommodations" to applicants or employees with qualifying disabilities unless doing so creates an "undue hardship" for the University.


III. Process for Requesting, Determining, and Providing Reasonable Accommodations

A. The process of requesting a reasonable accommodation begins when an employee requests that a supervisor, other University official, or the Coordinator consider an accommodation at work due to a qualified disabling condition.  The employer is entitled to independent confirmation from a qualified health care professional that the employee has a qualifying disability for which a reasonable accommodation is requested.  A qualified health care professional will be asked to provide documentation with regard to disabilities.

B. When an employee requests an accommodation, the supervisor or University official shall refer the employee to the Coordinator.  Once contacted, the Coordinator will engage in an interactive process with the employee which may include consultation with other parties necessary to the determination.  The Coordinator will request supporting documentation in order to review and assess the request.  

C. The University Accommodation Committee has the responsibility of determining what reasonable accommodations, if any, the University should provide to the employee.  The committee, appointed by the Vice Provost, Faculty Affairs, shall include representatives from Human Resources, the Disability Resource Center, Risk Management, the Office of Equal Opportunity and Title IX, and the academic faculty.  The Coordinator presents the request and supporting documentation to the committee.  The committee evaluates these materials and determines what reasonable accommodations, if any, should be made. 

D. The Coordinator then notifies the employee, the supervisor, and other appropriate University official of the approved accommodations.  The supervisor or other University official shall be responsible for implementing the approved accommodations as soon as reasonably possible. The cost of accommodation, if any, shall be shared equally by the dean or vice president and the Office of the Provost.  The supervisor or other University official shall notify the Coordinator that the accommodation has been implemented.

E. Requests that a decision made by the University Accommodation Committee be revisited shall be made directly to the committee.  Appeals of the committee's response to such a request shall be made to the Office of the Provost.

F. The Coordinator may review the implementation of any approved accommodation as needed.

IV.  Complaints Alleging Discrimination on the Basis of Disability

Complaints alleging discrimination on the basis of disability shall follow the procedures specified in the Board of Regents Handbook, Title 4, Chapter 8, Section 13.

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