Requesting an Accommodation

Employees may request reasonable accommodations as defined by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

Employees discussing accommodations

Step 1

Provide Information About your Disability to the ADA Coordinator

It is recommended that the employee submit two forms:

  1. ADA-001: Request for ADA Eligibility and Accommodations, to be completed online by the employee;
  2. ADA-002 Documentation of Disability; this form can be submitted as an attachment to the ADA-001 form. The ADA-002 should be completed by an appropriate diagnosing professional.

After the ADA coordinator receives adequate information about the disability, the coordinator will make an eligibility determination (i.e., whether the employee is eligible or not for protection under the ADA). Either way, the employee will receive a letter regarding eligibility status. If an employee believes they have already provided adequate information to another office at NC State (e.g., Leave Administration or a supervisor), they should let the ADA coordinator know. The ADA coordinator will review the existing documentation and inform the employee as to whether any additional information is needed. Medical information provided to the ADA coordinator is kept confidential.

If you are not currently seeking workplace accommodations, you may wish to suspend the process at this step. The documentation submitted will be held by the ADA coordinator in an inactive file until you indicate that you wish to resume the process. No information will be shared with your supervisor until you indicate that you wish to resume the process.

Step 2

Procure an Accommodations Meeting

If you are eligible and interested in pursuing workplace reasonable accommodations, we will schedule a meeting for the employee, the employee’s supervisor and the ADA coordinator.

During the meeting, participants will discuss:

  1. the employee’s essential job functions;
  2. the employee’s functional limitations;
  3. ideas for reasonable accommodations.

At no point in the meeting are diagnoses disclosed unless disclosure is initiated by the employee. The goal of the meeting is to come to an agreement, through an interactive process, on reasonable accommodations for the workplace. More than one meeting may be required. The agreement, completed on the ADA-005 form, serves as a starting point for accommodations. If at any point, you or your supervisor find that the accommodations are not serving the purpose adequately, you or your supervisor may request a meeting to revisit the accommodations agreement.

An accommodation does not necessarily have to be exactly what the employee requested or had in mind, as long as the accommodation offered is a reasonable alternative. According to the Americans with Disabilities Act, to be “otherwise qualified” for one’s position, an employee must be able to perform their essential job functions with or without an accommodation. If, through the interactive process, it is determined that no reasonable accommodations are available, the employee may no longer be otherwise qualified for the position.

Definitions

The following terms and definitions may be helpful.

a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more of the major life activities of such individual; a record of such an impairment; or being regarded as having such an impairment.
an employee with a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits a major life activity who is entitled to reasonable accommodations from NC State.
the fundamental job duties of the employment position that the individual with a disability holds or desires. The term “essential function” does not include marginal functions of the position.
includes any physiological disorder or condition, cosmetic disfigurement or anatomical loss affecting one or more body systems, such as neurological, musculoskeletal, special sense organs, respiratory (including speech organs), cardiovascular, reproductive, digestive, genitourinary, immune, circulatory, hemic, lymphatic, skin and endocrine; or any mental or psychological disorder, such as an intellectual disability (formerly termed “mental retardation”), organic brain syndrome, emotional or mental illness and specific learning disabilities.
a means recommended by the EEOC in which employees and employers work together in demonstrating a good faith effort to comply with the ADA, to streamline the accommodation process and to help ensure that effective accommodations are provided.
refers to activities that an average person can perform with little or no difficulty. Major life activities include, but are not limited to: caring for oneself, performing manual tasks, seeing, hearing, eating, sleeping, walking, standing, sitting, reaching, lifting, bending, speaking, breathing, learning, reading, concentrating, thinking, communicating, interacting with others and working; and the operation of a major bodily function, including functions of the immune system, special sense organs and skin; normal cell growth; and digestive, genitourinary, bowel, bladder, neurological, brain, respiratory, circulatory, cardiovascular, endocrine, hemic, lymphatic, musculoskeletal and reproductive functions. The operation of a major bodily function includes the operation of an individual organ within a body system.
an individual who satisfies the requisite skill, experience, education and other job-related requirements of the employment position such individual holds or desires and who, with or without reasonable accommodation, can perform the essential functions of such position. The ADA prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability against a qualified individual.
a modification or adjustment to a job, the work environment or the way things are usually done that enables a qualified individual with a disability to enjoy an equal employment opportunity. Reasonable accommodation is a key nondiscrimination requirement of the ADA.
an impairment is a disability if it substantially limits the ability of an individual to perform a major life activity as compared to most people in the general population; an impairment need not prevent, or significantly or severely restrict, the individual from performing a major life activity in order to be considered substantially limiting.
significant difficulty or expense incurred by a covered entity, when considered in light of certain factors. These factors include the nature and cost of the accommodation in relationship to the size, resources, nature and structure of the employer’s operation. Where the facility making the accommodation is part of a larger entity, the structure and overall resources of the larger organization would be considered, as well as the financial and administrative relationship of the facility to the larger organization. Employers do not have to provide accommodations that cause an undue hardship.