Illinois State University is committed to the inclusion of individuals with disabilities and to continually improving the accessibility of our campus, programs and activities. Illinois State University recognizes that individuals with disabilities may require reasonable accommodations to have equally effective opportunities to participate in or benefit from our educational programs, services, activities, and employment opportunities. Therefore, all qualified job applicants with disabilities will be provided equal employment opportunities and all qualified students with disabilities will be provided equal opportunities and access to University academic programs, services, and facilities in accordance with the requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA), Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, and other applicable federal and state regulations.
Illinois State University provides equal opportunity to qualified persons with disabilities in all terms and conditions of employment. Illinois State University will provide reasonable accommodations, upon request, to qualified persons with disabilities who are employees and job applicants.
Applicants for Employment
Upon request, all job application materials will be made available in alternative formats. Job applicants will be notified that they can request reasonable accommodations for the application and interview processes.
Requests for accommodations shall be made to an individual designated by the hiring department.
Upon receiving a request for a reasonable accommodation, the designated person will contact the Office of Human Resources for assistance.
A representative from the Office of Human Resources will evaluate the applicant’s request and determine what, if any, accommodation is appropriate. The Human Resources representative may request medical documentation of the applicant to verify the disability.
If an accommodation is deemed appropriate, the Human Resources representative will arrange the accommodation or assist the hiring department in arranging the accommodation.
If Human Resources representative determines that no accommodation is required, or the individual desires an alternative accommodation, s/he may contact the Associate Vice-President of Human Resources to appeal the original accommodation decision. The Associate Vice-President of Human Resources shall consider the appeal and issue a written decision.
If an individual disagrees with the decision of the Associate Vice-President of Human Resources, s/he may file a complaint with the Office of Equal Opportunity, Ethics, and Access as outlined in Part D of this procedure.
Applicants who have received job offers may make accommodation requests following the same procedure used for employees as outlined below.
Employee Accommodation Requests
A current ISU employee who believes they require a reasonable accommodation to enable them to perform the essential functions of their job shall inform their supervisor/manager of the need for a reasonable accommodation.
When an employee requests a reasonable accommodation, the supervisor/manager will contact the Office of Human Resources and refer the employee to the appropriate Human Resources representative.
The employee will meet with the Human Resources representative who will explain the reasonable accommodation process and request the appropriate medical documentation.
The Human Resources representative, in consultation with the employee, supervisor, and the person in the department who has the authority to approve accommodations, will:
a. Discuss the purpose and essential functions of the particular job involved. Completion of a step-by-step job analysis may be necessary;
b. Determine the job-related limitation(s) created by the employee’s disability, including requesting and evaluating documentation from the employee's medical professional;
c. Identify the potential accommodations and assess the effectiveness of each accommodation that may enable the employee to perform the essential functions of the job; and,
d. Recommend the reasonable accommodation that is most appropriate for both the individual and the employer. While the individual’s preference will be given consideration, Illinois State University may choose among equally effective reasonable accommodations.
The employee, supervisor/manager, and the Human Resources designee will complete and sign a reasonable accommodation agreement detailing the accommodation to be provided. The employing department will implement the agreed upon accommodation.
If the employee who requested an accommodation disagrees with the recommended accommodation, s/he may request that the Associate Vice-President of Human Resources reconsider his/her request. If the employee disagrees with the Associate Vice-President of Human Resources decision, s/he may file a complaint with the Office of Equal Opportunity, Ethics, and Access as outlined in Part C of this procedure.
After accommodations are provided, the employee and his/her supervisor will evaluate the effectiveness of the accommodation within the timeline established by the Human Resources representative.
If at any time there is a question about the continuing nature of an employee’s reasonable accommodation, the employee or the supervisor/manager may contact the Office of Human Resources.
1. The Office of Human Resources may request medical documentation from a job applicant or university employee and will request permission from the applicant or employee to contact her/his medical practitioner. Information from the medical practitioner is necessary to document the applicant/employee’s job-related limitation(s) and to assist in determining an effective reasonable accommodation. The applicant/employee requesting an accommodation is responsible for providing the medical documentation requested. Supervisors/managers will not be informed of or have access to an employee’s medical information. Supervisors/managers will be informed of restrictions on the work duties of the employee and about possible accommodations. First aid and safety personnel may be provided with specific information if the disability may require emergency medical treatment.
2. If the Office of Human Resources finds the medical documentation insufficient to provide an accommodation, the Human Resources representative will explain why the documentation is insufficient and request more complete information from the applicant/employee.
3. If the applicant/employee still fails to provide sufficient documentation from their health care professional to substantiate a disability and the need for a reasonable accommodation, Illinois State University may refuse to provide the accommodation or require the employee be examined by an appropriate health care professional of the University's choice and at the University's expense.
Copies of correspondence and documentation related to the reasonable accommodation process will be filed with the Office of Human Resources. No correspondence or documentation relating to the accommodation request will be placed in an individual's personnel file. If a supervisor or manager receives medical documentation or other information relating to an employee’s disability, that information should be transferred to the Office of Human Resources. No disability documentation will be maintained in individual departments or divisions.
Illinois State University provides equal opportunities and reasonable accommodations for individuals with disabilities to enable them to participate fully in, and enjoy the benefits of, its services, programs and activities.
Program Participant Accommodations
1. Disability Concerns will assist program units in providing accommodations for program participants. Disability Concerns shall not, however, be the designated contact person for program participants. The individual program shall designate a contact person in accordance with procedures established by their division/college/work unit.
2. All publications, program announcements and materials shall be made available in alternative formats upon request. Program announcements and registration materials shall indicate that reasonable accommodations are available upon request.
3. Each division/college/work unit shall have a process for filling requests for materials in alternative formats and requests for accommodations to enable persons with disabilities to fully participate in their programs/events.
4. Upon receiving an accommodation request, the program unit shall contact Disability Concerns. Disability Concerns will assist the unit, if necessary, in determining and providing the appropriate accommodation. All accommodations requested and provided shall be documented.
5. If a program unit wishes to verify an individual's disability and/or assess the appropriateness of the requested accommodations, the unit shall submit this request to Disability Concerns. Program units may not independently deny an accommodation request.
6. If the individual requesting an accommodation is not satisfied with the recommended accommodation, s/he may contact the Director of Disability Concerns to request a reconsideration of her/his accommodation request. If the requestor disagrees with the Director's decision concerning that reconsideration, s/he may file complaint with the Office of Equal Opportunity, Ethics, and Access as outlined in Part D of this procedure.
1. Upon request, all University publications, program announcements, and program materials shall be made available in alternative formats.
2. Publications will include the following statement or its equivalent:
"This document is available in alternative formats upon request by contacting (name, host department) at (phone number, email address).
3. Registration materials and program announcements, which include bulletins, flyers, brochures, letters, public service announcements, or other materials used to inform the public of the event or program must also include the following statement:
"If you require an accommodation to fully participate in this program/event, please contact (name, host department) at (phone number, email address). Please allow sufficient time to arrange the accommodation."
A program may designate a date by which it would like to receive accommodation requests. However, a program may not refuse to provide an accommodation just because the request was not made by the designated deadline. The program must attempt to provide the accommodation. Please contact Disability Concerns for assistance.
4. If an event includes a meal, the registration materials should include the following statement: “If you have special dietary needs, please contact (name, host department) at (phone number, email address).
Verification of Disability for Program Participants
If verification is requested:
a. Disability Concerns shall assess the need for verification of the requester’s disability.
b. If Disability Concerns decides that verification is not needed, it will inform the program unit and assist that unit in completing the accommodation process.
c. If Disability Concerns decides that verification is needed, it will ask for the name of and contact information of the person requesting the accommodation. Disability Concerns will ask that individual to provide the necessary medical documentation.
d. The individual requesting an accommodation is responsible for providing the requested medical information.
e. If the individual’s disability is verified, Disability Concerns will notify the program unit and assist it in providing the accommodations. Disability Concerns will not provide the unit with information about the verified disability beyond what accommodations are necessary.
f. If the individual’s disability is not verified, and no accommodation is necessary, Disability Concerns shall notify both the program unit and the individual requesting an accommodation. Disability Concerns shall also explain to the individual requesting accommodation the reasons for denial.
g. If the individual requesting an accommodation is not satisfied with the recommended accommodation, s/he may contact the Director of Disability Concerns to request a reconsideration of her/his accommodation request. If the requestor disagrees with the Director's decision concerning that reconsideration, s/he may file a complaint with the Office of Equal Opportunity, Ethics, and Access as outlined in Part D of this procedure.
A student with a disability who has been accepted to Illinois State University is encouraged to contact Disability Concerns to schedule an intake appointment. A student with a disability is not required to contact Disability Concerns nor will Disability Concerns insist a student use accommodation services. However, if a student wishes to receive accommodation services from the University, s/he must complete the following intake process.
1. The student must schedule an intake appointment with Disability Concerns.
2. The student should submit documentation of his/her disability to Disability Concerns before the initial intake appointment, if possible. If documentation has not been submitted in advance, the student should bring documentation with him/her to the intake appointment. Documentation of the disability must be provided in order for a student to receive all accommodation services. Documentation requirements are published in Disability Concerns Student Handbook. All documentation is confidential. Information about a student's disability is not shared with any department without a voluntary Release of Information Request signed by the student.
3. The Disability Concerns case coordinator will review the documentation. At the intake appointment, the case coordinator and the student will discuss services appropriate for the student and determine what accommodations, if any, are to be provided.
4. Each student is required to sign a contract that outlines his/her responsibilities in using the accommodation services provided by Disability Concerns. The Contract of Responsibilities shall be reviewed and explained in an accessible format to ensure that both the student and the case coordinator understand and agree to its content. Students must adhere to their Contracts of Responsibilities to receive accommodations.
5. Upon request, Disability Concerns will send Letters of Introduction to a student’s advisor. If requested, Letters of Introduction for faculty will be provided to the student. The student is responsible for delivering these letters to his/her professors.
Detailed student responsibilities and expectations are outlined in the Disability Concerns Student Handbook. Students are required to fulfill those responsibilities and expectations in order to continue to receive services from Disability Concerns.
Appeals and Grievances
If a student has a concern about her/his services or accommodations, the student should discuss that concern with the case coordinator. If the student believes the case coordinator has not effectively addressed his/her concerns, the student should contact the Director of Disability Concerns. If the student does not accept or agree with the resolution offered by the Director of Disability Concerns, the student may file a complaint with the Office of Equal Opportunity, Ethics, and Access as outlined in Part D of this procedure.
Faculty members who have questions or concerns about the recommended accommodations should contact Disability Concerns.
Student Accommodation Status Definitions
Pending: Prior to completion of the intake process, the status of a student with a disability is considered "pending." Documentation of the disability and a completed intake form are necessary for a student to receive complete services.
Active: Once intake procedures are complete, a student becomes "active" and is eligible to receive services from Disability Concerns. The student remains active as long as s/he continues to take sequential classes at Illinois State University. (Summer registration is not required)
Former: Upon leaving the university, a student's file will be maintained in confidential archived records and labeled "former." Accommodation services are not available to a former student, but that student can be provided information concerning transition to the workplace. If a former student re-enrolls at Illinois State University, the student must initiate the intake process in order to become "active."
Illinois State University has adopted internal grievance procedures to provide prompt and equitable resolution of complaints alleging a violation of the University Anti-Harassment and Non-Discrimination Policy against faculty, staff, students and applicants.
Filing A Charge
Any job applicant, guest, student, faculty member, or university employee who believes s/he has been treated in violation of the University Policy on Harassment and Discrimination based on disability may file a formal complaint with the Office of Equal Opportunity, Ethics, and Access.
Cooperation with an Investigation
It is an expectation that one who files a complaint will actively provide information that will support his or her complaint in the time and manner deemed necessary and appropriate by the University to conduct the investigation. Failure to cooperate with the investigation process in a timely manner will impede the investigation and may, at the discretion of the University, result in the delay or denial of accommodation requests.
Complaints will be evaluated using a “preponderance of the evidence” standard. In general, the complainant carries the burden of proof to demonstrate that he or she has a disability, provide official documentation regarding that disability, and that a reasonable accommodation is necessary in order for the complainant to complete an essential function of being a student or an essential function of the employment position. However, if the proposed accommodation is unreasonable or would constitute an undue hardship the University may refuse to provide the accommodation. In addition, the University has the right to select between equally effective methods of accommodating individuals with a disability.
Investigation Time Frame
The Office of Equal Opportunity, Ethics, and Access has 60 working days from the date of the filing of the formal complaint to complete the investigation and issue findings. The office reserves the right to extend this time by a reasonable period according to the scope of the investigation, the availability of witnesses, and the cooperation of the parties. The charging party will be notified of such extension in writing.
Statute of Limitations
To be actionable, a disability discrimination complaint must be filed with the Office of Equal Opportunity, Ethics, and Access within 180 days of the most recent alleged incident of disability discrimination.
Retaliation against one, who in good faith, brings a disability complaint alleging a violation of the University Policy on Harassment and Discrimination, or who in good faith participates in the investigation of a complaint pursuant to this policy, is prohibited. Substantiated retaliation shall constitute a violation of this policy and may result in disciplinary action.
While confidentiality cannot be guaranteed, all persons involved in the investigation of a disability discrimination complaint are expected to treat all information as confidential unless disclosure of the information is compelled by law.
Right to Advisor/Legal Counsel
Any individual involved in a disability discrimination complaint has the right to bring an advisor or legal counsel to meetings or interviews scheduled by the Office of Equal Opportunity, Ethics, and Access. Please note, however, that any party desiring to exercise this right must notify the Office of Equal Opportunity, Ethics, and Access (OEOEA) at least 72 hours prior to the meeting. If such notice does not occur, the OEOEA has the right to reschedule the meeting.
If the Office of Equal Opportunity, Ethics, and Access findings are unacceptable to either the Complainant or the Respondent, either party may file an appeal with the President of Illinois State University. Appeals must be made in writing and within 7 business days from the receipt of the Office of Equal Opportunity, Ethics, and Access findings letter.
The President shall decide the appeal as soon as possible, but no later than 60 days of the final submission of appeal materials, unless the time needs to be extended for unforeseen reasons. The President’s decision shall be in writing include an explanation, and be submitted to the Complainant, the Respondent, and the Office of Equal Opportunity, Ethics & Access. This written decision on the appeal shall constitute the final administrative action.
Initiating body: Office of Equal Opportunity, Ethics, and Access
Contact: ADA/504 Coordinator 309-438-3383
Revised on: 06/2012