Disability Accommodation Policy
William Paterson University (WPU) is committed to providing equal access to employment and educational opportunities for individuals with disabilities. WPU recognizes that individuals with disabilities may need reasonable accommodations to participate in or benefit from University educational programs, services and activities, and to have equal employment opportunities. WPU will make a “good faith” effort to provide reasonable accommodations to persons identified as having disabilities.
The University does not discriminate on the basis of disability in its hiring and employment practices and complies with all applicable federal and state laws, regulations and guidelines with respect to providing reasonable accommodations.
Under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), and the ADA Amendments Act of 2008 (ADAAA), an individual is considered to have a "disability" if s/he has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities, has a record of such impairment, or is regarded as having such impairment.
The New Jersey Law Against Discrimination (NJLAD) states that "disability" means physical disability, infirmity, malformation or disfigurement which is caused by bodily injury, birth defect or illness including epilepsy and other seizure disorders, and which shall include, but not be limited to, any degree of paralysis, amputation, lack of physical coordination, blindness or visual impediment, deafness or hearing impediment, muteness or speech impediment or physical reliance on a service or guide dog, wheelchair, or other remedial appliance or device, or any mental, psychological or developmental disability resulting from anatomical, psychological, physiological or neurological conditions which prevents the normal exercise of any bodily or mental functions or is demonstrable, medically or psychologically, by accepted clinical or laboratory diagnostic techniques. Disability shall also mean AIDS or HIV infection.
SERVICES FOR STUDENTS
The Office of the Vice President for Student Development, specifically the Coordinator of Disability Services, coordinates services for students with disabilities. These services include assistance in registration, parking, referrals, adapted classroom activities and other special needs. It is the responsibility of the student to self identify and provide recent documentation of her/his disability to the Coordinator of Disability Services at: http://www.wpunj.edu/disabilityservices/
SERVICES FOR APPLICANTS AND EMPLOYEES
Requesting Reasonable Accommodation
WPU will make a reasonable accommodation to an individual with a disability unless it is determined that the accommodation would impose an “undue hardship”.
"Reasonable accommodation" means 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 benefits and privileges of employment equal to those enjoyed by employees without disabilities. A qualified individual with a disability is a person who meets legitimate skill, experience, education, or other requirements of an employment position that s/he holds or seeks, and who can perform the essential functions of the position with or without reasonable accommodation.
Applicants who may need adjustments to any aspect of the application/interview process due to a disability as defined under the ADA or NJLAD should make such request in advance, if possible.
Employees seeking accommodations must self identify. Employee requests for accommodations should be submitted to the Office of Human Resources accompanied by the Reasonable Accommodation Request Form for record keeping purposes. Supervisors who are are notified of an employee’s request for accommodation should immediately forward the request to the Office of Human Resources. To view materials concerning disability accommodation forms and procedures, please visit the Office of Human Resources web page: http://www.wpunj.edu/human-resources/
After receiving a request for an accommodation under the ADA, a representative from the Office of Human Resources will engage in dialogue with the individual requesting the accommodation to obtain and share information about the request and his/her needs to aid in the determination of a reasonable accommodation. The interactive process may require additional documentation that describes the employee’s disability, evaluating possible accommodations, searching for solutions, and consulting with outside resources.
The University is not required to provide an accommodation that will have the effect of eliminating an essential function(s) of the job in question. Further, the University is not required to provide an accommodation that would cause an undue hardship. Such accommodations are deemed to be unduly costly, extensive, substantial, or disruptive, or would fundamentally alter the nature or operation of the University. Factors included in determining whether an accommodation is an undue hardship include costs of accommodation, financial resources and nature and structure of the operation as well as employer size.
Funding for Accommodations
If an accommodation is deemed appropriate and reasonable, costs related to the implementation of the accommodation are the responsibility of the department in which the employee works. The Office of Human Resources will work with the employee’s department in addressing cost related concerns.
All information related to requests for accommodations will remain confidential to the extent possible and will be maintained in the Office of Human Resources in secure files separate from academic and personnel records.
The Office of Employment Equity and Diversity (OEED) is responsible for ensuring the University’s compliance with its equal opportunity and non-discrimination obligations arising under federal, state and local laws and regulations. If an individual disagrees with the determination and/or proposed accommodation, s/he may contact the Office of Employment Equity and Diversity, (973) 720-2389 for assistance in resolving the disagreement. If necessary, OEED will conduct an investigation.
Rev. June 2011