Employee Accommodations

Under Title I of the Americans with Disabilities Act (as revised, 2008), employers must make reasonable accommodations in order to provide employees with disabilities an equal opportunity to participate in employment, programs, and activities.

A reasonable accommodation is a modification to a job or work environment that allows an individual with a disability to perform the essential functions of a job, apply for a job, and have equal access to benefits, rights, and privileges available to other individuals in the workplace.

A disability is a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities of an individual. An individual that has a record of having such an impairment, or is regarded as having such an impairment, may also be eligible for accommodations.  Major life activities can include walking, speaking, breathing, performing manual tasks, seeing, hearing, learning, caring for oneself, sitting, lifting, reading, standing, and working.

More information about the ADA is available from:

Job Accommodation Network ADA Handbook

EEOC: Equal Employment Opportunity is the Law

Examples of Reasonable Accommodations:

(Accommodations are determined based on the nature of the job and department responsibilities)

  • Job restructuring-may involve reallocating or redistributing marginal functions of the job
  • Modified work schedules and flexible leave policies to accommodate medical treatment and restrictions
  • Modification or purchase of equipment and assistive devices
  • Work in other than traditional office setting (telecommuting)
  • Relocation of classrooms
  • Change in parking lot assignment

Information for Employees:

The ADA is a non-discrimination law and the purpose of reasonable accommodations is to enable the prospective or current employee with a disability to perform a job. The University of Delaware is not required to give preferential treatment to individuals with disabilities or lessen qualification standards. The law does require that the University consider reasonable modifications regarding how qualified individuals with disabilities demonstrate their abilities and skills. The responsibility to provide reasonable accommodations falls into these three categories:

  • Equal opportunity in the application process.
  • Enabling workers with disabilities to perform essential job functions.
  • Enabling workers with disabilities to enjoy the same benefits and privileges of employment as enjoyed by workers without disabilities.

Prospective Employees to the University of Delaware:

The University of Delaware does not exclude persons with disabilities and believes that people should be treated fairly and given opportunities equal to those of others working or seeking to work here. If you need a reasonable accommodation in any aspect of the job application process, please notify the Office of Human Resources.

How to Register with Office of Disability Support Services (DSS)

Employees seeking accommodations must schedule an appointment with DSS to request accommodations and auxiliary aids.

Prior to the meeting, the employee should complete a request for accommodation form, provide supporting medical documentation outlining abilities and restrictions, and obtain a copy of their job description. Request for accommodation forms are available on the DSS website.

The functional impact of the disability is considered to determine the type of accommodations that are appropriate.  When determining accommodations, DSS considers the essential functions of the position, limitations imposed by the employee’s disability, barriers in the environment, and the nature and cost of accommodation.

Once eligibility is determined, the employee and supervisor are notified in writing, and reasonable accommodations are implemented expeditiously.  It is your responsibility to notify DSS and/or your supervisor if your accommodations are no longer working or they are no longer needed.

Employee Accommodation Request Form

Employee Medical Certification Form

If Accommodations are Denied

The employee will be notified in writing if the requested accommodation is denied and provided rationale for the denial.  If an alternative accommodation is offered, the reasons for denying the original request and replacing it with the alternative will be explained.

If you need information about disclosure of your disability to your employer or supervisor, please view the Job Accommodation Network for information.

A resource at the University for employee’s who have a condition that may or may not fall under the ADA and would like information prior to meeting with the Director of the Disability Support Services Office is The University’s Faculty and Staff Assistance Program. Please visit the ComPsych® Resources Program and contact ComPsych® if you would like a confidential meeting.

If you have any questions regarding employee accommodations, please contact Elizabeth Reed, Director of Disability Support Services, ADA, and Section 504 at ecreed@udel.edu.