Disability: A person is considered to have a disability if he or she: (1) has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more of his/her major life activities; (2) has a record of such an impairment; or (3) is regarded as having such an impairment.
Examples of a disability under the ADA include: epilepsy, cancer, muscular dystrophy, speech and hearing impairments, and diabetes.
Essential Functions of the Position: An essential function refers to the fundamental job duties of the position. A function may be essential because: (1) the position exists to perform that function; (2) there are a limited number of employees available who can perform that function; (3) The function is highly specialized.
Major Life Activity: A major life activity includes activities such as walking, speaking, breathing, working, seeing, hearing, learning, caring for oneself, and performing manual tasks.
Qualified Individual with a Disability: A qualified individual with a disability is an individual who satisfies the requisite skill, experience, education, and other job-related requirements of his or her position, and who, with or without reasonable accommodation, can perform the essential functions of the position.
Reasonable Accommodation: A reasonable accommodation is any change or adjustment to a job or work environment that allows a qualified individual with a disability to participate in the job application process, perform the essential functions of a job, or enjoy the benefits and privileges of employment equal to those enjoyed by employees without disabilities. Reasonable accommodations are determined through an interactive and collaborative process involving the employee, supervisors/managers, department heads, the Office of Institutional Equity, Risk Management, the Provost’s Office, and/or Human Resources.
Substantially Limits: Whether an impairment is substantially limiting requires examination of three factors: (1) the nature and severity of the impairment; (2) the duration or expected duration of the impairment; and (3) the permanent or long-term impact, or expected impact resulting from the impairment.
Temporary Impairments: Temporary, non-chronic impairments of short duration, with little or no long term or permanent impact (such as a broken leg or the flu), are usually not disabilities. A review of pertinent medical information is necessary to make the determination of whether an individual has a disability that requires accommodation.
Undue Hardship: Under the ADA, it is not necessary to provide an accommodation if doing so would be unduly costly, extensive, substantial, disruptive, or would fundamentally alter the nature or operation of the department or unit.