Accessibility and Accommodations

The Office for Access and Equity is committed to fostering an inclusive working and learning environment that is accessible to all. We view accessibility as far more than compliance, it is an aspect of the rich diversity of our university. A culture of equity and inclusion is our goal; compliance is our guide to reach that goal. To that end, we strive to make our information and communications technologies, classroom materials, and physical spaces as accessible as possible.

Below, you can find information about reasonable workplace accommodations for university employees. This section of the site includes information about training opportunities, electronic accessibility, and accessibility maps for university facilities.

Accommodations

Employees and applicants for employment may be eligible for reasonable accommodations that will allow them to perform the essential functions of their position or participate in the hiring process for an open position. 

A reasonable accommodation is any change or adjustment to a job or work environment that does not cause an undue hardship on the department or unit and which 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.

Reasonable accommodations are also available to qualifying employees due to parenting/pregnancy and religious reasons. In addition to the ADA, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and multiple state laws provide reasonable accommodations to employees with sincerely held religious beliefs and pregnant/parenting employees.

To initiate an accommodation request under any of these categories, please use the Request An Accommodation form:

The reasonable accommodations available from the Accessibility and Accommodations Division fall into five categories: disability or medical condition, pregnancy/parenting, parking, religious, and COVID-19. Each of these is described below.

Disability or Underlying Medical Condition

Reasonable accommodations for an employee with a disability may include changing the physical layout of the workplace, restructuring job duties, providing assistive technology or modifying the employee’s work schedule. A reasonable accommodation for an applicant may include making reasonable modifications to the application, screening or interview process to ensure the process is accessible. Reasonable accommodations for individuals with disabilities and underlying medical conditions may be temporary or permanent.

Requirements
  • Employees are required to request a reasonable accommodation.
  • In most cases, the Accessibility and Accommodations Division will request medical documentation or request that your treating provider to complete the Accommodation Medical Request Form.
  • If the employee requests the Division obtain their medical records directly related to the underlying medical condition from the treating provider, an Authorization to Release Medical Records will be needed. If the employee prefers to obtain their own medical documentation, the Authorization is not required.
  • Meet with an Accessibility Specialist and engage in the interactive process.

Parenting/Pregnancy Accommodations

Accommodations for pregnant and parenting employees may include more frequent breaks, limits on lifting, access to places to sit, ergonomic furniture, limiting or eliminating exposure to particular chemicals, time and private lactation space, or other measures that can enable the pregnant or parenting employee to work. Students can also request accommodations based on pregnancy, childbirth or a related condition.

Requirements
  • Employees are required to request a reasonable accommodation.
  • In most pregnancy cases, the Access and Accommodations Division will request medical documentation or request your treating physician to complete the Accommodation Medical Request Form.
  • If the employee requests the Division obtain their medical records from the treating provider, an Authorization to Release Medical Records will be needed. If the employee prefers to obtain their own medical documentation, the Authorization is not required.
  • Engagement in the accommodation interactive process.

Parking Accommodations

Accommodations may be available for employees in need of accessible parking spaces on a temporary or permanent basis. Parking accommodations may be provided to employees needing a reserved space close to their workplace entrance and parking with an accessible aisle.

Requirements
  • Documentation explaining the need for the accessible parking space including either medical documentation, or other applicable information.
  • If medical documentation is needed, the Access and Accommodations Division will request medical documentation or request your treating physician to complete the Parking Accommodation Medical Form.
  • If medical documentation is needed and the employee requests the Division obtain their medical records from the treating provider, an Authorization to Release Medical Records will be needed. If the employee prefers to obtain their own medical documentation, the Authorization is not required.

Religious Accommodations

Religious accommodations may be available to individuals with sincerely held religious beliefs or practices. Examples include, but are not limited to, flexible scheduling, leave for religious observances, and wearing certain dress or hairstyles.

Requirements
  • Individual must attest to their religious belief
  • Engage in the accommodation interactive process.

COVID-19 Accommodations

COVID-19 accommodations may include curbside testing for individuals who are unable to participate in walk-up testing sites due to an underlying medical condition, alternative nasal testing for those who cannot participate in saliva testing, or vaccination exemptions for individuals with a disability; contraindicating medical condition; or a sincerely held religious belief, moral conviction, or conscientious objection.

Curbside Testing Requirements
  • Medical documentation. A 21-day temporary accommodation will be provided if needed to obtain documentation.
  • Accommodation may be temporary or permanent.
Alternative Nasal Testing Requirements
  • An accommodation from the Division is no longer needed to obtain nasal testing as an alternative to the university’s standard saliva based COVID testing. Please contact McKinley Health Center to request alternative testing site and appointment availability information by calling 217-333-2700.
Vaccination Exemption Requirements for Disability or Medical Condition
  • An interim accommodation may be provided if needed to obtain medical documentation.
  • The Accessibility and Accommodations Division will request medical documentation or request that your treating provider to complete the Accommodation Medical Request Form—Vaccine Exemption.
  • If the employee requests the Division obtain their medical records from the treating provider, an Authorization to Release Medical Records will be needed. If the employee prefers to obtain their own medical documentation, the Authorization is not required.
  • Certification of compliance with university COVID-19 testing requirements and face covering guidelines.
  • May require engagement in the interactive accommodation process
Vaccination Exemption Requirements based on Religious Beliefs, Practice and Moral Convictions
  • Individual must attest to their religious practice, beliefs, or moral convictions.
  • Certification of compliance with university COVID-19 testing requirements and face covering guidelines.
  • May require engagement in the interactive accommodation process.