Americans with Disabilities

What is the Americans with Disabilities Act?

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) protects individuals with disabilities from discrimination. It requires that an employer provides \”reasonable accommodation\” if needed to perform \”essential functions\” of a job. The ADA makes it unlawful for an employer to discriminate against a qualified individual because of a disability in any employment practices such as recruiting, firing, hiring, pay, promotions, and all other employment-related activities.

For more information about the ADA process, click here to watch a short e-learning screencast.

A disability is defined as a physical or mental impairment which substantially limits a major life activity or bodily function. ”Substantially limiting” is defined without regard to any ”ameliorative effects” of mitigating measures, such as medication, prosthetics, hearing aids, mobility devices, or any other types of medical assistance.

A ”major life activity” can include seeing, hearing, walking, performing manual tasks, communicating, working, or other activities. A ”major bodily function” can include the immune system, digestive system, respiratory system, and other functions.

An individual with a disability may require an accommodation to perform the essential functions of a job. Depending on the circumstances, example accommodations could include:

Making existing facilities readily accessible and usable by individuals with disabilities.
Modifying a work schedule, such as including more frequent breaks.
Restructuring a job position.
Acquiring or modifying equipment or devices, such as a headset or a sit/stand desk.
Providing a qualified reader or interpreter.
These are only examples. The accommodations that can be made in your case may depend on the nature of your disability, your school, and other factors.

To request accommodations under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), follow these steps:

1. Complete the Employee Request for Accommodation

2. Have your physician complete the Medical Verification Form

3. Send the completed forms, along with a description of the accommodations you’re requesting (if possible), to the HR Disability Management Team:

Human Resources Disability Management
Phone: (720) 423-3312
Fax: (720) 423-3853

The Disability Management Team will then schedule a meeting, called the interactive process, to discuss accommodations.

The interactive process is a meeting that includes you (the employee), your supervisor or principal, the HR support partner, and a member of the HR Disability Management Team. The purpose of the meeting is to discuss the accommodations that can be made. You can help the meeting to be more effective if you communicate to Human Resources ahead of time what accommodations you may need. That gives all parties involved a chance to help determine whether the accommodations can be met, or come up with other effective options and alternatives.

The interactive process meeting usually takes about an hour. Every situation is unique, so depending on the circumstances, it may or may not be possible to make a decision during this meeting.