Policies and Procedures Manual

Chapter 5: Personnel

05:06:01   Americans with Disabilities Act

05:06:01   Americans with Disabilities Act  

Related Tennessee Board of Regents Policy: 5:01:02:00

Purpose

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) was enacted in 1990.  The Act prohibits discrimination in employment against qualified persons who have a disability.  The ADA also prohibits discrimination against persons with disabilities in state and local government services, public accommodations, transportation, and telecommunications.  TBR Policy 5:01:02:00, Equal Opportunity, Affirmative Action, Discrimination and Nepotism, deals with, among other issues, compliance with the ADA at TBR Institutions.

Under the ADA, a person has a disability if he or she has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits a major life activity.  A substantial impairment is one that significantly limits or restricts a major life activity such as hearing, seeing, speaking, breathing, performing manual tasks, walking, caring for oneself, learning or working.

An individual with a disability must also be qualified to perform the essential functions of the job with or without reasonable accommodation, in order to be protected under the ADA.  This means that the applicant or employee must satisfy the job requirements (education, experience, skills, licenses, etc.) and must be able to perform those tasks which are essential to the job, with or without reasonable accommodation.

Reasonable accommodation is any change or adjustment to a job or work environment that permits a qualified applicant or employee with a disability to participate in the job application process, to perform the essential functions of a job, or to enjoy the benefits and privileges of employment equal to those enjoyed by employees without disabilities.  It is a violation of the ADA if an employer fails to provide reasonable accommodation to a known physical or mental limitation of a qualified individual with a disability, unless to do so would impose an undue hardship on the operation of the employer's business.

Undue hardship means that the accommodation would require significant difficulty or expense.  Among the factors to be considered in determining whether an accommodation is an undue hardship are cost of the accommodation, the employer's size, financial resources and the nature and structure of its operation.  If a particular accommodation would be an undue hardship, the employer must try to identify another accommodation that will not pose such a hardship.  The employer must also give the applicant or employee with a disability the opportunity to provide the accommodation or pay for the portion of the accommodation that constitutes an undue hardship.

The ADA does not interfere with Northeast State Community College’s right to hire the best qualified candidate.  Nor does the ADA impose any affirmative action obligations.  The ADA simply prohibits the College from discriminating against a qualified applicant or employee because of his or her disability.

Scope

Northeast State Community College will provide reasonable accommodations for any student, faculty or staff who request accommodation(s).

For students seeking accommodations, please contact the Center for Students with Disabilities, located in C1102A on the Blountville campus.

For employees seeking accommodations, please contact the Human Resources & Organizational Effectiveness office, located in P312 on the Blountville campus.

For ADA grievances, please contact the Vice President of Access and Development.

Please see related Northeast State Policy 05:06:12 Americans with Disabilities Act Grievance Procedure.



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Divisional Review Responsibilities Checklist: Human Resources

Revision History: March 2015