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Requesting an Accommodation

Step One – Request

Individual employees are responsible for requesting a workplace accommodation and may do so by completing an Accommodation Request form. Accommodation Request forms are also available in the Office of Human Resources. Applicants who need an accommodation for a disability do not need to complete an Accommodation Request form. These individuals should contact the Office of Talent Management at 607-274-8000 or humanresources@ithaca.edu.

Step Two – Discuss

When a completed Accommodation Request form is received, the employee and his or her supervisor may meet with a disability services coordinator in Benefits who will acknowledge receipt of the request and explain the process. Some accommodation requests are relatively simple and can be resolved quickly. In these situations, a face-to-face meeting may not be necessary. However, an employee maintains the right to request a joint meeting with his or her supervisor and a disability services coordinator.

Step Three - Documentation

An individual who requests an accommodation may be asked to provide a statement from a physician or other health care professional explaining the individual's functional limitation(s). The disability services coordinator will determine what type of documentation is necessary to verify the disability. Documentation submitted should adhere to the following:

  1. Be current.
  2. Be written by someone who has the credentials or expertise in a relevant area to make the recommendation.
  3. State a diagnosis of the employee’s condition.
  4. Demonstrate that the diagnosis or condition requires a workplace accommodation.
  5. Connect the requested accommodation to the functional limitation(s), which stem from the diagnosis or condition.
  6. Be detailed enough for Ithaca College to make an informed decision about the request.

It is the responsibility of the employee to provide the requested documentation regarding his or her disability before any further action can be taken. In the event that the documentation is unclear, the disability services coordinator may contact the health care provider for more information. The College, at its discretion, may require a medical examination to confirm the individual's functional limitations by a health care professional it chooses.

Step Four – Evaluation

Appropriate accommodations are determined following an individualized assessment of each request. The disability services coordinator will work with the employee and the employee’s supervisor to prepare an Individual Accommodation Plan (IAP), which details specific functional limitations, and any related accommodations. It is the final decision of the College regarding what reasonable accommodation(s) will be provided. Generally, a copy of the plan is given to the employee to share with the campus community as the employee sees fit. Benefits may also share the Individual Accommodation Plan with members of the campus community on a need to know basis and with the consent of the employee. Costs associated with the implementation of an IAP are the responsibility of the employee’s department. If the cost exceeds the department’s budget, then the unit should share the expenses. For information regarding additional funding resources for disability related accommodations, contact the Office of Risk Management.

Step Five – Notification

The disability services coordinator will make all reasonable efforts to provide the employee with written notification of the determination within fifteen (15) calendar days of receiving the completed Accommodation Request and related documentation. If additional time is needed to assess a request or to provide an accommodation, the employee will be notified in writing as to the status of the request and the proposed date of determination. Written notifications indicating that an accommodation will be provided will also include an expected implementation date for the accommodation. Benefits will also notify the affected department, at the same time or before this written notification has been sent.