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Accommodation of Persons with Disabilties

Disability law is generally enforced through federal and state equal opportunity agencies. Unlawful discriminatory action by the university may result both in litigation against the university and possible loss of federal financial assistance. Because of the extensive legal regulation designed to assist persons with disabilities and to heighten public sensitivity to barriers faced by persons with disabilities, it is important the campus community be informed of its responsibilities under applicable disability law.

AMERICANS WITH DISABILITIES ACT

The Americans with Disabilities Act (commonly referred to as the “ADA”) was enacted into law in 1990 and modeled after Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. The ADA attempts to establish a uniform program to protect persons with disabilities from discrimination. While BYU is obligated to observe Title I provisions with respect to employment, it is exempted from the provisions of the public accommodations required under Title III because of its affiliation with and sponsorship by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. BYU will attempt in good faith to comply with those provisions of the ADA from which it is exempted to the extent reasonably practicable as determined at the sole discretion of BYU.

SECTION 504

Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (commonly referred to as “Section 504”) is a broad federal anti-discrimination statute legally applicable to BYU as a recipient of federal financial assistance. This Act prohibits discrimination against otherwise qualified individuals with disabilities desiring to participate in BYU’s programs and activities and requires BYU to provide them reasonable accommodations, provided such action does not place an undue hardship on the university. At BYU, Section 504 is generally applicable to both personnel and students with disabilities.

Section 504 contains extensive regulations that govern a number of BYU programs and activities, including, but not limited to:

  • Admissions
  • Academic programs
  • Auxiliary aids
  • Student housing
  • Financial aid
  • Employment
  • Career counseling and placement
  • Physical education and athletics,
  • Extracurricular and social activities
  • Health care and health insurance
  • Transportation services

TO REQUEST AN ACCOMMODATION

Students

It is the student’s obligation to request academic adjustments to accommodate a disability and to assist the university through an interactive process to identify appropriate and effective academic accommodations. Disabled students needing and desiring an accommodation in the classroom or other school-related activity should contact the University Accessibility Center (UAC), 1520 WSC, Telephone 801-422-2767. UAC personnel will document the disability and determine appropriate accommodations.

Service and Therapy Animals

The UAC is also responsible to address requests pertaining to service and therapy/emotional animals. BYU is committed to accommodate reasonably persons with disabilities who require the assistance of a service or therapy animal and, at the same time, mindful of the health and safety concerns of the campus community. Thus, the university strives to address the need of the disabled individual while considering the potential impact of service and therapy animals on other campus patrons.

Employees

It is the policy of BYU not to discriminate in employment against qualified individuals with a disability who, with or without reasonable accommodation, can perform the essential functions of an employment position without creating an undue hardship on BYU. Employees with disabilities who are seeking an accommodation should make their needs known to management or the Equal Opportunity Manager, D-282 ASB, extension 2-5895. The employee, management, and Equal Opportunity Manager will coordinate in documenting the disability and identifying a reasonable accommodation.

Reasonable accommodation is usually accomplished by joint and flexible problem solving between the employer and the individual with a disability. Essential functions are those fundamental job duties that are intrinsic to the employment position and that are not marginal, peripheral or incidental to the performance of the job. Undue hardship is any accommodation action which would be unduly costly or which would fundamentally alter the nature of a job.

Parking Accommodation for Disabled Personnel

BYU complies with applicable disability law and provides parking spaces specifically marked for use by persons with disabilities. Personnel with disabilities are urged to use these parking spaces. In certain circumstances, otherwise qualified personnel with disabilities may request a reserved parking stall if it is needed to make the work place accessible.

To request a reserved stall, the disabled employee must complete the Designated Parking Stall Request Form available on this website and submit it to the Equal Opportunity Manager, D-282 ASB. The application must include the following:

  • Evidence of a disability special group license plate or placard issued from the State of Utah;
  • Medical documentation from a licensed physician concerning the applicant’s physical limitations and the expected length of time the applicant will likely remain disabled; and
  • A letter of support from the employee’s immediate supervisor.

Upon receiving the application, the Equal Opportunity Manager will convene a meeting with the Disability Parking Committee (comprised of the EEO manager and representatives of the Traffic Office, University Accessibility Center, and Student Health Services) to consider the application. As needed, further investigation of the applicable facts and circumstances underlying the application will be conducted by a member of the Disability Parking Committee. Throughout the process, a good faith attempt will be made to facilitate a parking arrangement that is mutually acceptable to the Disability Parking Committee and the employee.

In the event an arrangement acceptable to the committee and applicant is not reached, the matter will be referred to a three-person panel, appointed by the Assistant Administrative Vice President – Human Resource Services, consisting of a licensed physician from the Student Health Center, a member of the Risk Management and Safety Office, and any person employed by the university who has a similar disability. This panel shall review the application, conduct further investigation, as needed, and make a recommendation as to the disposition of the application to the Assistant Administrative Vice President – Human Resource Services who shall make the final determination.

FUNDING REASONABLE ACCOMMODATIONS FOR STUDENT AND PERSONNEL WITH DISABILITIES

A general contingency fund to provide reasonable accommodations for students and personnel with disabilities is administered by the Student Life Vice President. Colleges and departments that require financial assistance beyond their means to provide reasonable accommodations for student and personnel with disabilities will send their request to the Disabilities Issues Advisory Committee (DIAC). The DIAC will review the request and submit a recommendation, based upon legal and ethical considerations, to the Student Life Vice President who will determine whether funds are to be disbursed from the general contingency fund to the college or department.

BYU organizations should consult with the UAC to receive assistance in fulfilling their responsibility to provide reasonable accommodations for students. The UAC will not be required to fund accommodations beyond its specific charge.

DISABILITY GRIEVANCE PROCEDURE

CURRENTLY ENROLLED STUDENTS

Faculty members and individual campus administrative units are responsible to make reasonable accommodations for students with disabilities in order to remove barriers to the accessibility of university programs and activities resulting from a disability. While it is anticipated that most requests for accommodation will be informally resolved at the lowest feasible level of decision-making, occasionally the student will be dissatisfied with the outcome of the accommodation effort. In such cases, the student may initiate a grievance by submitting a written request for a specific accommodation together with appropriate medical or other documentation to the Equal Opportunity Manager who is designated as BYU’s Section 504 Coordinator.

Upon receiving the grievance, the manager will conduct an adequate, reliable, and impartial investigation of the facts and circumstances of the allegation. The manager, in good faith, will attempt to conclude the investigation within 45 days of receiving the complaint. The student will be given a fair opportunity to respond to the facts before a decision is reached. The manager may choose to convene a meeting among the affected individuals in an effort to reach a consensus as to a reasonable accommodation. As appropriate, a report of findings will be issued to the complainant and other involved parties.

If an agreement satisfactory to all of the parties is not reached, the Equal Opportunity Manager will notify the Dean of Students who will appoint a three-member review panel consisting of a faculty, administrative or staff person; a member of the Disability Issues Advisory Committee (DIAC); and, if reasonably practicable, a student with a similar disability. The panel shall review the request for accommodation and the documentation and evidence gathered in the investigation and make a recommendation for disposition of the request to the Associate Academic Vice President – Undergraduate Students or the Associate Academic Vice President - Graduate Students, depending on who has administrative responsibility for the area in which the accommodation is requested. The Associate Academic Vice President shall make the final university determination with respect to the requested accommodation. No further appeal is available.

NOT CURRENTLY ENROLLED STUDENTS

If a student with a disability was inappropriately denied reasonable accommodation in one or more classes and wishes to file a complaint, the individual may submit a written statement of complaint to the Equal Opportunity Manager. The complaint must be received no later than 180 days from the last day of the semester in question. The complainant must supply information showing that he or she followed the established procedures for receiving an accommodation. The manager will investigate the facts and circumstances of the allegation, and, in good faith, attempt to conclude the investigation within 45 days of receiving the initial complaint.

The complaining student will be given a fair opportunity to respond to the facts determined in the investigation. As appropriate, a report of findings will be issued to the complainant and other involved parties. If the complainant is not satisfied with the outcome, he or she may appeal to the Associate Academic Vice President – Undergraduate Students or the Associate Academic Vice President - Graduate Students, depending on the complainant’s status. The Associate Academic Vice President shall make the final determination according to fundamentally fair procedures, including providing the student with an opportunity to be heard. No further appeal is available.

PERSONNEL

Personnel who believe they have been the target of unlawful discrimination in employment, based on disability, may seek resolution by contacting the Equal Opportunity Manager, D-282 ASB, extension 2-5895. Upon receiving a complaint, the manager will initiate an adequate, reliable and impartial investigation that includes the opportunity for the complainant to identify witnesses and present other evidence. The manager, in good faith, will attempt to conclude the investigation within 45 days of receiving the initial complaint. The parties to the grievance will be notified of the disposition of the investigation to the extent permitted by applicable law.

If the complainant is not satisfied with the investigatory findings, the individual may appeal the outcome to the Assistant Administrative Vice President – Human Resource Services. The Assistant Administrative Vice President – Human Resources shall make the final determination according to fundamentally fair procedures, including providing the complainant with an opportunity to be heard. No further appeal is available.

DUTY TO PREVENT RECURRENCE AND RETALIATION

In cases where it has been determined that unlawful discrimination has occurred, the University will take steps to prevent its recurrence and to correct any discriminatory effects on the complainant and others, if appropriate.

Likewise, retaliation against an individual who has filed a complaint of unlawful discrimination based on disability will be considered a separate violation of policy. University personnel or students who retaliate against an individual for filing a complaint or participating in an investigation may be subject to sanction, including termination, suspension, dismissal and/or being banned from campus, depending on the circumstances and severity of the retaliation.

THE UNIVERSITY RESERVES THE ABSOLUTE RIGHT TO DEVIATE FROM THESE PROCEDURES.

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Updated by the HRS Web Team, Brigham Young University, Provo, UT 84602 - Copyright 2008. All Rights Reserved.