It is illegal to discriminate against an otherwise qualified individual with a disability. The Community Colleges recognize the multitude of barriers that confront persons with disabilities in access to both employment and education. Consistent with state and federal statutes that affirm and protect the equal opportunity rights of persons with disabilities, the Community Colleges adopt a policy of non-discrimination and equal opportunity for otherwise qualified persons with disabilities. Any employee or student who believes he/she has been a victim of discrimination due to a disability may file a complaint pursuant to the Complaint Procedures found at Section L of this Policy.
a. In Employment
The Community Colleges will take constructive measures to ensure equal opportunity in all areas of employment including recruitment, selection, upgrading, opportunities for training and development, rate of compensation, benefits and all other terms and conditions of employment. Further, the Colleges will periodically examine all existing employment policies, practices and facilities to ensure that they do not pose a disparate impact for otherwise qualified persons with disabilities. Where such disparity is found, it will be corrected as quickly and completely as is reasonable under existing circumstances. Accordingly, all College facilities may not be available and accessible at a particular time.
b. In Education
The Colleges will periodically examine all existing admissions, student support and other student life policies, practices and facilities to assure that they do not pose a disparate impact for otherwise qualified disabled students. Where such disparity is found, it will be corrected as quickly and completely as is reasonable under existing circumstances. Accordingly, all College facilities may not be available and accessible at a particular time. The Colleges will adopt a policy of non-discrimination with respect to admissions, access to programs and facilities and services for all otherwise qualified disabled persons.
c. Reasonable Accommodations
A “reasonable accommodation” under state and federal law is defined as “modifications or adjustments to an application process, job, work environment, the way in which work is customarily performed, or a course of study that permit a qualified individual with a disability to perform the essential functions of a position or to enjoy the benefits and privileges of employment or education equally with persons without disabilities.”
Reasonable accommodations in employment may include, but are not limited to:
- making existing facilities used by employees readily accessible to and usable by persons with disabilities;
- job restructuring;
- modification of work schedules;
- providing additional unpaid leave;
- acquiring or modifying equipment or devices; and
- providing qualified readers or interpreters.
The Community Colleges are not required to lower performance standards to make an accommodation and are not obligated to provide personal use items, such as eyeglasses or hearing aids.
Reasonable accommodations in education may include, but are not limited to:
- in-class aids, such as note takers;
- extended time for examination;
- quiet rooms or alternate locations for testing;
- alternatively formatted testing; alternatively formatted textbooks and other course materials; and/or
- access to assistive technology.
Possible course reductions or substitutions on the basis of a disability will be carefully evaluated. Students with disabilities must meet the essential requirements of all academic degree programs.
d. Interactive Process
State and federal laws define the “interactive process” as an ongoing communication between, among other parties, employer and employee, college and student, with a known disability in an effort to provide reasonable accommodation. Both parties must engage in the interactive process and communicate directly with each other in order to formulate and effective accommodation plan. Neither party can delay nor interfere with the process.
e. Undue Hardship and Fundamental Alteration
The Community Colleges are required to make reasonable accommodations to qualified individuals with disabilities unless doing so would impose an undue hardship on the operation of a College’s business or result in a fundamental alteration of a job or academic course or program. Undue hardship means an action that requires significant difficulty or expense when considered in relation to factors such as a College’s size, financial resources, and the nature and structure of its operation. Fundamental alteration is a change that is so significant that it alters the essential nature a job or an academic course or program.
f. Process for Requesting a Reasonable Accommodation
An employee or job applicant seeking a reasonable accommodation for a disability may contact the College’s Office for Human Resources. A student or student applicant seeking a reasonable accommodation for a disability may contact the College’s Disability Services Office. All requests for an accommodation are evaluated on a case-by-case basis. Individuals seeking accommodations should be prepared to submit current medical documentation for review in the accommodation process.