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Policy - Accommodations for Employees with Disabilities

Section 1. Discrimination against a Qualified Person with a Disability

Iona College recognizes and supports the standards set forth in Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990, and similar state laws (hereinafter "applicable law" or "law[s]"), which are designed to eliminate discrimination against qualified individuals with disabilities. Disabilities may include physical or mental impairments which substantially limit one or more of a person's major life activities, and which necessitate modifications to the facilities, programs, or services of the College. Iona College is committed to making reasonable accommodations for qualifying students, faculty, and employees with disabilities as required by applicable laws. Moreover, Iona College is committed to making the campus and its facilities accessible as required by applicable laws. The College cannot make accommodations that are unduly burdensome or that fundamentally alter the nature of the College's programs.

Because the College's Policy is intended to be co-existent with the requirements of applicable laws, nothing in this policy is intended to provide less substantive benefits or procedural protections than are required by these laws. Likewise, nothing in this policy is intended to provide greater substantive benefits or procedural protections than are required by these laws. This also means that the College's ADA Policy and Procedures may have limited or no applicability to the College's study abroad or other programs operated outside the United States. However, practical considerations of style and a desire to present information to the College community in a useful, efficient manner dictate that the precise wording of these laws is not restated verbatim in all provisions of this policy.

Therefore, the specific language of such laws and controlling interpretations thereof are incorporated by reference herein, and in the event of any apparent discrepancy between the language of this policy and such legal authority, the College's obligations will be determined exclusively by the latter.

Section 2. Procedures for Requesting Accommodation

While responsibility for the accommodation of employees with qualifying disabilities must be assumed and shared by all members of the College community, the College has established the following process that is designed to facilitate the reasonable accommodation of employees with disabilities:

a. Eligibility: Any employee of the College may request an accommodation under this procedure.
b. Request for an Accommodation: It is the sole responsibility of the individual seeking an accommodation to make a written request for an accommodation by identifying their disability with supporting documentation that is current, complete and verifiable. The individual must then deliver the written request and the supporting documentation to the Office of the Ombudsperson. Documentation of disability furnished by the employee will be kept confidential and will be shared only with College personnel involved with the coordination and facilitation of services and accommodations, except as is otherwise required by law or a health or safety issue. Since insufficient information may jeopardize the accommodations process, the College reserves the right to request additional documentation considered necessary to the formulation of a reasonable and appropriate accommodation plan. The cost of obtaining any such additional documentation shall be borne by the employee. The College also reserves the right to request an independent evaluation by a professional of its choosing. The cost of obtaining any such independent evaluation shall be borne by the College.
c. Review Process: The Office of the Ombudsperson will review the request, consult with relevant College officials, and then render a determination as to the individuals request. The Ombudsperson must respond to the individuals request in writing no later than thirty (30) days after receipt of the formal written request. Each request will be assessed on a case-by case basis.

Section 3. Documentation

The College requires appropriately current documentation of any or all disabilities for which an accommodation is requested, provided at the expense of the employee requesting the accommodation, prior to determining what services and accommodations may be undertaken for employees with qualifying disabilities. Documentation verifying the learning disability must:

  1. be prepared by an objective professional qualified in the diagnoses of such conditions;
  2. include information regarding the testing procedures followed, the instruments used to assess the disability, the test results, and a written interpretation of these results as they pertain to employment and/or participation in the College's programs;
  3. reflect the individual's present level of functioning in the areas related to the particular accommodations being sought;
  4. be appropriately recent, e.g., prepared within the last several years before the first request for accommodation.

The Ombudsperson ultimately determines whether the documentation submitted is adequate to support a requested accommodation and whether the individual preparing the documentation is qualified to make the diagnosis at issue.

Section 4. Appeals

a. Right of Appeal: If the individual is unsatisfied with the determination for an accommodation, made by the Ombudsperson, he or she may appeal the determination.
b. Procedures Governing the Informal Appeals Process: In the event that the individual finds the resolution of the Ombudsperson unacceptable, the individual should then seek additional assistance from the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs. All parties are required to put forth their best efforts to resolve the matter according to reasonable expectations under state and federal guidelines. The request for an informal review need not be in writing. The informal appeal process is intended to have all relevant parties discuss the matter and resolve the individuals request(s). Although, all parties are highly encouraged to resolve the matter through the informal appeals process, the individual may directly elect to make a formal appeal.
c. Procedures Governing the Formal Appeals Process: The individual must deliver to the Office of the Ombudsperson a written request for a formal review of the initial determination for an accommodation. Upon receipt of this appeal, the Office of the Ombudsperson has fifteen (15) days to resolve the individuals formal review of the initial determination for an accommodation. If the individual remains unsatisfied, and beginning on the sixteenth day after delivery of the request for a formal review, the individual may file a written appeal delivered to the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs. The appeal should be detailed and be supported by all relevant documentation, requesting a specific resolution. At this point, the Provost may choose to meet with the individual or make a decision without such meeting. Next, the Provost will deliver to the individual a written determination and recommendation for resolution of the complaint. The decision of the Provost will be final

Section 5. Contact Information

Dr. Michael Jordan
Iona College
McSpedon Hall, 1st Floor
715 North Avenue
(914) 633-2206

Section 6. Harassment/Discrimination based on a Disability

a. Prohibition of Retaliation: No person shall be subject to discharge, suspension, discipline, harassment, or any form of discrimination for having utilized or assisted in the utilization of the process for requesting an accommodation.
b. Procedures Relating to Harassment/Discrimination Based on a Disability: If the individual feels as though they are being harassed or discriminated against by a member of the College community, the individual may file a complaint with the Ombudsperson under the Harassment and Discrimination Policy and Procedures. This complaint must be in writing, specific as to the allegations, as well as provide a statement for such relief.