2.11.1 Workplace Accommodations for Individuals with Disabilities

A. Purpose

The University of Texas at Tyler (UTT) is committed to providing an educational, living and working environment that is welcoming, respectful and inclusive of all members of the UTT community.

As part of this effort, UTT is committed to providing faculty, staff, and visitors with equal access and opportunity to all UTT programs, activities, and facilities. The UTT strives to promote an environment that is free from both physical barriers and barriers of attitude.

In accordance with federal and state laws, including but not limited to the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA) and the ADA Amendments Act of 2008 (ADAAA), the UTT prohibits discrimination based on disability in the application process, employment relationship, programs, services and activities. The purpose of this policy also is to provide reasonable accommodations to qualified persons with disabilities unless doing so creates an undue hardship.

B. Persons Affected

This policy applies to all UTT faculty, staff, visitors, and applicants for admission to or employment with the UTT..  

C. Definitions

Disability: With respect to an individual, a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities of such individual; a record of such an impairment or being regarded as having such an impairment. The impairment may be permanent, chronic or progressive. A condition that is temporary, episodic or in remission may also be considered a disability under the ADAAA if the condition is substantially limiting when active.

Qualified Individual with a Disability: an individual with a disability who possesses the requisite skills, education, experience and training for a position, and who can perform, with or without accommodation, the essential functions of the position the individual desires or holds.

Substantial Limitation (substantially limiting): an impairment that prevents the performance of a major life activity that the average person in the general population can perform; or a significant restriction as to the condition, manner, or duration under which an individual can perform a particular major life activity, as compared to the average person in the general population.

Reasonable Accommodation: a modification or adjustment to the job application process, work environment or learning environment enabling a qualified individual with a disability to be eligible for a position, perform the essential functions of a position, or enjoy the same benefits and privileges of employment as are enjoyed by similarly situated employees without disabilities. The UTT provides reasonable accommodations to qualified individuals with a disability in order for the individual to enjoy equal benefits and privileges of work and to enable performance of the essential functions specified in the job description. A reasonable accommodation may include making facilities readily accessible to and usable by individuals with disabilities, job restructuring, part-time or modified work schedules, acquisition or modifications of equipment or devices, appropriate adjustment or modifications of examinations, training materials, the provision of qualified readers or interpreters or other similar accommodations.

Undue Hardship: undue hardship shall conform to definitions provided by Federal and State statutes. In determining whether an accommodation would impose an undue hardship, factors to be considered include the nature and cost of the accommodation, financial consideration and resources, the impact of the accommodation on the nature and operation of the department, and how the request would affect the health and safety of other employees or students.

D. Policy and Procedures

It is the policy of UTT to provide equal access and opportunity to job applicants and otherwise qualified persons with disabilities in compliance with Sections 503 and 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended, and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990, and ADA Amendments Act (ADAAA) of 2008. The UTT prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability in all aspects of the application process and the employment relationship. This policy is also used to comply with the Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA) and the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act. 

  1. Requests for Accommodation
    1. Employees.  A UTT employee can initiate a request for accommodation by contacting the Office of Human Resources or by completing and submitting the Request for Reasonable Accommodation Form.  If a supervisor receives an accommodation request, they should timely refer the employee to the  Office of Human Resources to ensure the UTT reviews, approves, and maintains accurate records regarding requests for accommodation.  
    2. Job Applicants and Applicants for Student Admission. Applicants for employment may request an accommodation (verbally or in writing) for the employment application process by contacting the  Office of Human Resources or advising the department in which they will be interviewing, or advising the chair of the search committee, of the need for accommodation.  The individual may also complete and submit the Request for Reasonable Accommodation Form to the  Office of Human Resources.  
    3. Visitors. Visitors may request an accommodation (verbally or in writing) by contacting the department hosting the event, program, or activity. The employee who has been notified of the request for accommodation should notify the  Office of Human Resources so that the official processing of the request can begin. 

    Requests will be reviewed and responded to in a timely manner.  The  Office of Human Resources will engage in the interactive process with the individual requesting the accommodation and the department or program to make a determination as to whether the accommodation will be provided, and will inform the requestor of the accommodation determination.

    Accommodation requests will be evaluated on an individual basis. Relevant factors include but are not limited to: the fundamental requirements of the applicable academic program, technical standards of the program, essential functions of the individual’s position, duties and obligations of the department, impact on operations of the department, impact on operations of the University, duration of the accommodation, and feasibility of alternative accommodation.  

  2. Complaint Procedure 

    Filing the Complaint

    1. UTT employees, visitors and applicants for employment or student admission who believe that they have unfairly been denied a reasonable accommodation by the  Office of Human Resources may file a complaint with the Chief Human Resources Officer or designee.  
    2. The complaint must be in writing and filed within five (5) business days after the complainant becomes aware of the accommodation decision. A complaint must include the name and contact information of the person filing the complaint, a description of the basis of the complaint, and any documents supporting the complaint.  
    3. The complaint shall be investigated and a written statement containing the determination and/or proposed resolution shall be sent to the complainant within fifteen (15) business days of the receipt of the complaint.
    4. The Office of Human Resources shall maintain records related to the complaint.
    5. Complaints otherwise alleging discrimination on the basis of disability should be filed as provided for under the Handbook of Operating Procedure (HOP), 2.4.1, Nondiscrimination Policy and Complaint Procedure.
  3. Retaliation. Retaliation against an individual for requesting an accommodation or exercising any complaint or appeal rights related to such request, is strictly prohibited.  Individuals who believe they have experienced retaliation should submit a timely report to their supervisor or Office of Human Resources .     
  4. Confidentiality and Documentation.  In evaluating and implementing an accommodation request, the UTT will protect the requesting individual’s privacy to the extent allowable by law. However, following receipt of a request, the UTT official, administrator, supervisor(s), or designee(s) will discuss the accommodation request as necessary with the requestor and select others, for purposes of evaluation and or implementation of the accommodation.     

E. Responsibilities

The Chief Student Success Officer and the Office of Human Resources is over this policy. Responsibility for implementation of this policy has been delegated to the Assistant Director of Student Accessibility and Resources.

F. Review

This policy shall be reviewed every five years by the following stakeholders: 

Associate Dean of Students 

Director of Environmental Health and Safety 

Faculty Senate President 

Student Government Association President

Office of Human Resources

APPROVED:  07/2019

AMENDED: 12/2021

AMENDED: 06/2023