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SUNY Plattsburgh
ADA - Reasonable Accommodation Policy for State Employees

Approved by Executive Council on 2/12/08

Statement of Policy

The State University of New York, College at Plattsburgh is committed to ensuring equal employment opportunity and equal access to services, programs and activities for all persons, including those with disabilities.  It is SUNY Plattsburgh's policy to provide reasonable accommodation to a qualified person with a disability to enable such person to perform the essential functions of the State government position for which he or she is applying or in which he or she is employed.  This policy is based on the New York State Human Rights Law, Sections 503/504 of the Federal Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended, and the American with Disabilities Act (ADA), and Executive Order 6.
 
It is the policy of SUNY Plattsburgh to make reasonable accommodations for individuals with disabilities on a flexible, case-by-case basis. Programs and/or departments are expected to have the flexibility and capacity to provide reasonable accommodations when needs arise.  Otherwise qualified individuals with documented disabilities (as defined by applicable state and federal regulations, including those regarding perceived disability), are eligible to request reasonable accommodations.  The responsibility for initiating a request for accommodations lies with the individual with a disability. Every individual making a request for reasonable accommodations must provide sufficient documentation to support his or her request.  Submitted documentation must be from an appropriate, qualified professional.  In accordance with federal and state regulations, SUNY Plattsburgh will treat disability-related information in a confidential manner. 

This Policy applies to all employment practices and actions.  It includes, but is not limited to, recruitment, the job application process, skills assessment, hiring, training, disciplinary actions, rates of pay or other compensation, advancement, classification, transfer and reassignment, and promotions.  

Designated Campus Contact for Employees with Disabilities

Michael Thompson, Human Resource Associate in Human Resource Services (see E) is the designated contact person for employees with disabilities requesting reasonable accommodations.  The designated contact person follows policy and procedures for employee requests for accommodations (including Procedures for Implementing Reasonable Accommodation in New York State Agencies), and is available to assist faculty and staff in gaining a greater understanding of the law and to clarify institutional obligations under the law to provide reasonable accommodations.

Procedures for Accessing Accommodations

Many employee requests for accommodation have been addressed directly by the employee's supervisor, director, or department chair.  Also, both the Office of the Provost and the Registrar have addressed accommodation requests of teaching faculty, including classroom assignments.  Although these practices are not discouraged, there are times when accommodation decisions are complex.  It may be difficult for a supervisor or department chair to determine whether or not a request is reasonable, or the request may involve an expense beyond the department's immediate resources.  The following procedure has been developed to ensure that an employee requests for reasonable accommodation are treated in as consistent and equitable a fashion as possible

A. Requests for Reasonable Accommodation 

  1. A request and determination of a reasonable accommodation is handled through the designated campus contact.  Employees and applicants should contact Human Resource Services, 564-5062.  All other requests should be directed to the office sponsoring the specific program or activity. 
     
  2. Individuals with disabilities may choose to self-disclose information about their disability at any time to the appropriate campus contact.  However, in order to ensure sufficient time to coordinate auxiliary aids and services, it is the responsibility of the individual to make the request in a timely manner.  If a request is made in an untimely fashion, every effort will be made to accommodate the request.   However, because many accommodations require early planning, it cannot be guaranteed that all requests for accommodations will be met.  Untimely requests may result in delay, substitution, or denial of an accommodation.  
     
  3. The responsibility for requesting or initiating a request for accommodation lies with the individual with a disability.  
     
  4. Verification of a disability is required. It is the responsibility of the individual with a disability to provide documentation that supports her or his request for reasonable accommodation.  Disability documentation must clearly indicate:  
  • The existence of a disability (as defined by state and federal regulations),
  • That the disability substantially limits a major life activity, including a statement of the nature and extent of the limitations; and, 
  • A statement of what accommodation(s) is/are recommended/requested.

Specific guidelines for documentation of a disabling condition may be obtained from Human Resource Services or the NYS Department of Civil Service, Division of Diversity Planning and Management (518) 457-8023.

  • Once a qualified individual with a disability has requested an accommodation, the designated campus contact will take steps to determine an appropriate accommodation.  The appropriateness of an accommodation is often determined through a flexible, interactive process that involves the individual with a disability, the appropriate department(s), and the designated campus contact.  Early consultation is essential whenever questions of compliance and/or funding for an accommodation are involved.
  • Final responsibility for selection of the most appropriate accommodation rests with the institution.  (See Section C, D, for appeal/complaint procedures).

B.   Reasonable Accommodations

1.  Factors to determine whether a requested accommodation is considered reasonable include:

  • The individual is "otherwise qualified"
  • The request does not compromise the essential functions of the job
  • The request does not create an undue financial or administrative burden
  • The request does not create a danger to the employee or others
  • The request is not of a "personal" nature

2.  An employee with a disability must be able to perform the essential functions of his or her job with or without reasonable accommodations.

C.  Appeal of Accommodation Determination

Employees and visitors have an opportunity to appeal a decision regarding an accommodation. Appeals may be handled informally in a case review involving the person seeking accommodation(s), the designated campus contact and the appropriate faculty, administrator, or supervisor.  If a mutually acceptable accommodation cannot be determined with the designated campus contact and relevant SUNY Plattsburgh personnel, an internal complaint may be filed with the Affirmative Action Officer (see E).

D.   Complaint Procedure

SUNY Plattsburgh has adopted an internal complaint procedure for the provision of prompt and equitable resolution of complaints alleging discrimination.  Individuals with a disability at SUNY Plattsburgh, who consider themselves victims of discrimination based on a disability, may file a complaint with the Affirmative Action Officer.   Procedures for employees wishing to file a complaint may be obtained from the Affirmative Action Officer or Human Resource Services.  The Affirmative Action Officer shall receive any complaint of alleged discrimination, shall assist the complainant in defining the charge, and shall provide the complainant with information regarding the options for filing internal complaints or external complaints through the federal Office of Civil Rights and/or the New York State Division of Human Rights.
 

E.    Disability Accommodations Resources
Along with supervisors, department directors, and other administrative personnel on campus as indicated above, the Facilities Department addresses concerns that are brought to their attention, and may be the most appropriate recipient of a request regarding building and grounds concerns:

Questions or concerns regarding policy, services, complex accommodations, or allegations of non-compliance should be directed to the designated campus contact:

Individuals who believe they have experienced discrimination on the basis of disability and have been unable to arrive at a mutually acceptable resolution with the designated campus contact and appropriate personnel may file a complaint with the Affirmative Action Officer.  Individuals should contact:

 

Contact Information

For more information about Administrative Policies approved by Executive Council, please contact:

Sean Brian Dermody
Assistant to the Vice President for Administration
Management Services Office
Office: Kehoe 710-11
Phone: (518) 564-2539
Fax: (518) 564-2540
Email: dermodsb@plattsburgh.edu