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Handbook of Operating Procedures
Chapter 9 - General Provisions
Publication Date: November 11, 2014
Responsible Executive: VP for Business Affairs


9.02 Persons with Disabilities


I. POLICY STATEMENT


It is the policy of The University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA) to provide an educational and working environment that provides equal opportunity to all members of the UTSA community and complies with all federal and state laws concerning the employment and educational access for persons with disabilities. Furthermore UTSA is committed to providing an inclusive, accessible and safe environment where all students, employees, visitors and applicants are treated respectfully and equitably. The University strives to promote an environment that is barrier free from both physical barriers and barriers of attitude.


II. RATIONALE


The purpose of this policy is to prohibit discrimination based on disability in all programs, services and activities, and to provide reasonable accommodations to qualified persons with disabilities unless doing so creates an undue hardship.  This policy is in accordance with state and federal regulations.


III. SCOPE


This policy applies to all students, employees, visitors and applicants at UTSA.


IV. WEBSITE ADDRESS FOR THIS POLICY


http://www.utsa.edu/hop/chapter9/9-2.html


V. RELATED STATUTES, POLICIES, REQUIREMENTS OR STANDARDS


UTSA or UT System Policies or the Board of Regents' Rules & Regulations

  1. UTSA HOP policy 9.01, Nondiscrimination and Sexual Harassment and Sexual Misconduct
  2. Student Disability Services
  3. UTSA ADA Disability Resources

Other Policies & Standards

  1. The Americans with Disabilities Act Amendments Act of 2008
  2. The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990
  3. Rehabilitation Act of 1973
  4. U. S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission  - Disability Discrimination

VI. CONTACTS


If you have any questions about HOP policy 9.02, Persons with Disabilities, contact the following office:

Staff, Faculty, Applicants and Visitors: Human Resources Department
210-458-4648

Students: Student Disability Services
210-458-4157


VII. DEFINITIONS


Applicant: Is a person that qualifies and officially applies for an available, posted, or an advertised position for employment with UTSA.

Persons with a Disability: A person with a disability is one who has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities.

Reasonable accommodation: Reasonable accommodation is any modification or adjustment to a classroom, task or the work environment that will enable a qualified student, visitor, applicant or employee with a disability to participate in the essential elements of the program, activity or application process or to perform essential job functions.  Reasonable accommodation also includes adjustments to assure that a qualified individual with a disability has rights and privileges in their academic pursuits or employment equal to those of employees or students without disabilities.

Undue Hardship: Undue hardship is defined as an action requiring significant difficulty or expense when considered in light of a number of factors. These factors include the nature and cost of the accommodation in relation to the size, resources, nature, and structure of the University’s operation. Undue hardship is determined on a case-by-case basis.

Essential job functions: Job functions which are fundamental to a position and which an employee must be able to perform with or without reasonable accommodation.

Qualified Individual: A qualified individual with a disability is defined as one who possesses the requisite skills, qualifications, education, experience and training for a position or admission, and who can, with or without reasonable accommodation, perform the essential elements of a course, curriculum, or job function the individual desires or holds.

Service animals: Service animals are defined as any breed of dogs (and miniature horses) which are individually trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of an individual with a disability.           


VIII. RESPONSIBILITIES


  1. Qualified applicant with disability
    1. Request reasonable accommodations to provide equal access and opportunity with the application process at UTSA.
  2. Employee with a disability
    1. Request a reasonable accommodation to perform the essential functions of the job.
  3. Supervisors of Employee with disability
    1. Supervisors who receive a request for accommodation will immediately notify the ADA Coordinator so that the official processing of the request can begin.
    2. Any supervisor who, in the course of job performance counseling, is informed by an employee that a physical or mental condition may be affecting the employee's work performance shall refer the employee to the ADA Coordinator and notify that office of such referral.
  4. Student with a disability
    1. Request a reasonable accommodation through Student Disability Services.
  5. Student Disability Services (SDS)
    1. SDS works to facilitate the coordination of accommodations for University programs, services, academic courses, and related activities for students with disabilities.
    2. SDS certifies eligibility for services, determines reasonable accommodations, and develops plans for the implementation of accommodations for students with disabilities.
    3. The SDS staff will assist students by collaborating and resolving issues with faculty in the implementation of accommodations as they occur.
  6. Human Resources
    1. Liaison for faculty, staff and applicants with disabilities in ensuring reasonable accommodation by the University.
  7. The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) coordinator
    1. Assists faculty, staff, applicants and visitors in the processing of reasonable accommodation requests.
  8. The Office of Equal Opportunity Services (EOS)
    1. Receives and investigates complaints alleging discrimination or harassment on the basis of a disability, including complaints regarding service animals or other issues pertaining to access.
    2. The EOS investigates these complaints and processes them in accordance with HOP policy 9.01, Nondiscrimination and Sexual Harassment and Sexual Misconduct.

IX. PROCEDURES


  1. Reporting of Discrimination based on Disability
    1. UTSA encourages any person (faculty, staff, student, applicant or visitor) who believes that he or she has been subjected to, or witness of, discrimination based on disability to immediately file a complaint with UTSA’s Office of Equal Opportunity Services and to utilize the procedures set forth in HOP policy 9.01, Nondiscrimination and Sexual Harassment and Sexual Misconduct.  
  2. Student Accommodations
    1. Students requesting academic accommodations based on disability will need to contact SDS and follow the accommodation request procedures located on the SDS website.  SDS will notify the student in writing of its decision to grant or deny the requested academic accommodations.
    2. If the student disagrees with the SDS decision, the student must first discuss his or her complaint with the assigned SDS counselor within ten (10) business days after the date of the documented decision. 
    3. The student then may choose to request that SDS re-review its accommodation decision by submitting additional information and/or documentation for SDS’ consideration.  Should the student choose to do so, he or she must submit such information/documentation within ten (10) business days after meeting with his or her assigned SDS counselor as outlined in (2) above.  Once SDS has completed its re-review, SDS will notify the student in writing of its decision after the re-review.  Please see the SDS website for specific review periods and decision deadlines If the student does not wish to submit additional information/documentation to SDS for it to re-review its accommodation decision, or if the student is not satisfied with the outcome of SDS’ re-review of its accommodation decision, the student may file a grievance with the Vice President of Students Affairs (VPSA).
      1. A student shall submit a grievance in writing to the VPSA within ten (10) business days of meeting with his or her assigned SDS counselor in accordance with (2) above or within ten (10) business days of being informed of SDS’ re-review decision conducted in accordance with (3) above. 
      2. The grievance needs to contain the name and address of the student filing the grievance, and state the factual basis for the grievance
      3. The VPSA, in consultation with the ADA Coordinator, shall investigate the grievance and provide a written decision to the student within ten (10) business days.
      4. Failure of a student to process a grievance to the next step within the specified time limit shall constitute abandonment of the grievance unless the student and the ADA Coordinator or the student and the VPSA agree upon an extension of time.
      5. All written correspondence processed during the grievance process shall be sent to the student by registered mail with a receipt requested.
      6. The decision of the VPSA is final.
    4. If a student has a grievance with an instructor’s implementation of the approved accommodation, the student must first discuss this situation with SDS immediately. In addition to contacting SDS the student may follow the grievance procedure as outlined in the current Information Bulletin.
    5. At any time if a student feels they are being discriminated, harassed and/or retaliated against as a result of participating in the accommodation process they must report this information to UTSA’s Office of Equal Opportunity Services immediately (see section A above).
  3. Applicant and Visitor Accommodation
    1. Applicants for employment and visitors may request an accommodation through the ADA Coordinator.  The Coordinator may be contacted by phone at 210.458.4031 or by email at annette.rabago@utsa.edu. Additional information is located on the ADA Disability Resources page.
    2. If an applicant or visitor disagrees with the ADA Coordinator’s response to the accommodation request they may submit a complaint to the Office of Equal Opportunity Services. (see Section A “Reporting of Discrimination based on Disability”)
  4. Employee Accommodation
    1. Employees in need of an accommodation based on a disability will need to place the request verbally or in writing.  This request may go through the Human Resource Department or the employee’s immediate supervisor.  The Employee Accommodation Request form is available to assist in the request.  Detail procedures for the processing of this request are available on the Employee Relations site.
    2. Upon completion of the accommodation request an employee will receive a reasonable accommodation determination.  If the employee disagrees with this determination they may discuss this with the ADA Coordinator within ten (10) business days of receiving the determination.
    3. If an employee is not satisfied with the decision given by the ADA Coordinator they may file a grievance with the Vice President for Business Affairs (VPBA). 
      1. An employee shall submit a grievance in writing to the VPBA within fifteen (15) business days of being informed of the decision given by the ADA Coordinator.
      2. The grievance needs to contain the name and address of the employee filing the grievance, and state the factual basis for the grievance.
      3. The VPBA shall investigate the grievance and provide a written decision to the employee within ten (10) business days.
      4. Failure of an employee to process a grievance to the next step within the specified time limit shall constitute abandonment of the grievance unless the employee and the VPBA agree upon an extension of time.
      5. All written correspondence processed during the grievance process shall be sent to the employee by registered mail with a receipt requested.
      6. The decision of the VPBA is final.
    4. If an employee has a grievance with the implementation of the approved accommodation by their supervisor, the employee must first discuss this situation with the ADA Coordinator immediately.
    5. At any time if an employee feels they are being discriminated, harassed and/or retaliated against as a result of participating in the accommodation process they must report this information to UTSA’s Office of Equal Opportunity Services immediately (see section A above).
  5. Individuals with Service Animals
    1. In accordance with the ADA and ADAAA, individuals with service animals are to be provided equal access to programs and services within UTSA campuses and to any activities or events that pertain to the curriculum or job duties as individuals without service animals.    For additional information regarding service animals, please contact Student Disability Services (SDS) or the ADA Coordinator.
      1. Compliants regarding Service Animals are not considered complaints regarding Reasonable Accommodation; they are considered complaints of discrimination and should be directed to EOS. 

X. SPECIAL INSTRUCTIONS FOR INITIAL IMPLEMENTATION


None


XI. FORMS AND TOOLS/ONLINE PROCESSES


Employee Accommodation Request Form


XII. APPENDIX


None