Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)
Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)
The Compliance Office is a resource for employees with disabilities who need reasonable accommodations to perform their job responsibility, and for those who feel like they are being discriminated against in their university workplace:
Texas A&M University-Kingsville does not discriminate in the hiring and/or advancement of employees on the basis of disability.
The University is committed to compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA), and Sections 503/504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973.
Section 202 of the American with Disabilities Act:
"No Qualified individual with a disability shall, by reason of such disability, be excluded from the participation in or be denied the benefits of the services, programs or activities of any public entity, or be subject to discrimination by any such entity."
Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act:
"No otherwise qualified, handicapped individual in the United States shall solely by reason of handicap, 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."
The University is dedicated to providing reasonable accommodations to ensure equal access to employment, and employment advancement opportunities for individuals with disabilities. It may be necessary to request verification of disability from an appropriately credentialed health care professional in order to determine 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 of the position. Employment requirements defined as essential functions of positions by the State, TAMUS or the University or any related licensing or certification requirements are not regarded as discriminatory.
The Compliance Office is responsible for the coordination of requests from individuals with qualifying disabilities as defined by Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, and Section 202 of the Americans with Disabilities Act. The Director of Compliance is responsible for overseeing compliance with state and federal regulations. The Director of Compliance and Compliance Staff also provides consultation relative to complaints of discrimination or noncompliance. The University has an obligation to provide "reasonable accommodations" to applicants or employees with qualifying disabilities unless doing so creates an "undue hardship" for the University. The process of requesting, receiving, evaluating and determining the most appropriate and reasonable accommodations is an interactive one between the employee seeking the accomodations and the university administration. Only through this collaborative effort of everyone involved, can the university respond in the most effective way to assist the individual employee, and the department for which the employee works.
A. Determine if the requestor is an otherwise qualified person with a disability.
The ADA broadly defines a covered disability in three different ways in terms almost identical to current federal law under the Rehabilitation Act. Specifically, an individual has a covered disability if the individual either:
"has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities of such individual"; or
"has a record of such an impairement"; or
"[is] regarded as having such an impairement."
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 TAMUK Human Resources Office on the personal Data Form is maintained in the Human Resources Management System (HRMS)employee database. Information provided at any time to the Compliance Office is maintained in a confidential database. Medical records are always maintained in a file separate from the employee's personnel file.
Applicants for University positions may request accommodation in the testing process (State positions) or application and selection process by contacting the Compliance Office or Human Resources Office. Supervisors may request information pertaining to the inclusion and eligibility of an individual with a qualifying disability, or appropriate accommodations in the job by contacting the Compliance Office. Information regarding a disability will be released only on a need-to-know basis unless the employee signs a release of information form. An employee must request accommodations to receive them. The university will never offer or suggest accommodations based on a presumption that a disability impairs an individual's ability to adequately perform his or her work responsibilities.
B. Collect and review relevant documentation
The Compliance Office may, on a case-by-case basis, ask an employee seeking a reasonable accommodation to provide documentation of the disability in order to receive necessary reasonable accommodations. Documentation must substantiate limitation(s) to major life activity. Documentation of a qualifying disability may include, but not be limited to, a diagnosis by a qualified health care professional, a prognosis of the condition, the functional limitations imposed by a disability and recommendations for accommodations to enable the otherwise qualified employee to perform the essential functions of employment.
C. Make the determination of the need and implement the reasonable accommodation
After assessment and consultation with the supervisor, the Compliance Office will discuss the request as well as other possible options with the appropriate university administrators responsible for implementing the ultimate decision of accommodation. A recommendation will be made to the supervisor and other appropriate University officials in the department in which the employee is employed, as well as back to the employee. The department official or other appointing authority shall be responsible for implementing the approved accommodation as soon as possible, but in case longer than 30 days unless extenuating circumstances prevail. Any delay in provision of reasonable accommodation shall be explained in writing to the Compliance Office, and will be retained with the file.
The University shall be responsible for ensuring the accommodation provided is an effective accommodation. The Compliance Office shall monitor the implementation of the accommodation for no less than the first 30 days of its execution. If additional modifications are not required the ADA Coordinator will close the file, retaining the records in accordance with the Texas A&M University System Records Retention Schedule.
Allegations of discrimination, having their basis in the decision regarding the involved accommodation can be filed with the Director of Compliance.
It is the policy of Texas A&M University-Kingsville, in compliance with the provisions of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973; to provide reasonable accommodations to meet the academic needs of students with disabilities. The Disability Resource Center (DRC) in the Life Services and Wellness Center, is authorized by the President of the Texas A&M University-Kingsville to prescribe such accommodations for students. Failure to honor an institutional reasonable accommodation authorized by the DRC is a violation of university policy, and federal regulation which may result in disciplinary proceedings.
For more information, please call the Compliance Office at 593-4758.