PRP 2060 - Americans with Disabilities

PRP 2060 - Americans with Disabilities

PRP #2060 - ADA Policy

Revision PRP #2060 / Replaces PRP #2060

Reviewed and approved by President’s Executive Staff 08/17/15, Reviewed and endorsed by AFSCME 01/30/17, Reviewed and endorsed by SCUPA 01/20/17, Reviewed and endorsed by SPFPA 02/01/17, Reviewed and endorsed by OPEIU 01/20/17, Reviewed and endorsed by Meet and Discuss 03/20/17, and Endorsed by FORUM 05/03/17.

Introduction

Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania is committed to academic excellence, equal opportunity and freedom from discrimination for all individuals. In keeping with these commitments, and in accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, as amended, and the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, the University will make every reasonable effort to provide equality of opportunity and freedom from discrimination for all members of the University community and visitors to the University, regardless of any disability an individual may have. Accordingly, the University has taken positive steps to make University facilities accessible to individuals with disabilities and has established procedures to provide reasonable accommodations to allow individuals with disabilities to participate in University programs.

An individual with a disability is defined by the ADA as a person who has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities, a person who has a history or record of such an impairment, or a person who is perceived by others as having such an impairment.

The University is committed to the goal of fairly balancing the provision of reasonable accommodations with the academic integrity and rigor demanded of institutions of higher learning.

Reasonable accommodations or modifications may include the provision of auxiliary aids and services for individuals with disabilities, unless the provision of such would fundamentally alter the nature of the course, services, facilities, program or activity the University offers, or would result in an undue financial or administrative burden on the institution. The University is aware of the complexities related to the definition of reasonable accommodation in the postsecondary environment and will actively consult with students, faculty, staff and administration as a matter of course.

Contacts and Resources

Bloomsburg University seeks to provide students, employees and campus visitors with disabilities reasonable and effective accommodations to ensure equal access to the University’s learning and work environments, and sponsored events. The University’s Department of Equity and Accommodations operates as a centralized service for addressing the needs of students with disabilities and as a resource center for students, faculty, and staff.

How to Request an Accommodation for Current Students and Employees

Students: To request an accommodation in the University learning environment, students with a disability must submit appropriate documentation and meet with a staff member in the Department of Equity and Accommodations to discuss the needs and requested accommodation(s). The staff member will review and evaluate the documentation provided by the student. The staff member may further solicit the input of faculty members and department chairs/program directors/deans regarding the potential accommodation(s) considered. Depending on the accommodation requested, the determination of reasonableness may necessitate a continuing dialogue between the student, the academic program dean and/or faculty members, and the Director of the Department of Equity and Accommodations. Descriptions of the process, necessary lead time and required documentation may be accessed online at http://www.bloomu.edu/disabilities or by calling (570) 389-4265/5205, Warren Student Services Center, #043, Monday through Friday, 8:00 am to 4:30 pm. Students attending one of Bloomsburg University’s additional locations off campus should follow this same process.

Employees: To request an accommodation in the University workplace, employees with a disability must contact the ADA Coordinator. Documentation from a professional provider (e.g. psychologist, psychiatrist, or medical provider) is required. This documentation must identify the employee’s diagnosis, including how the diagnosis limits major life activities, and indicate if the employee is able to perform essential job functions in the employee’s current position with or without accommodation(s), as well as the recommended accommodation(s) based on the diagnosis. This documentation must be on letterhead, designate appropriate professional license(s), and be signed by the professional provider. The ADA Coordinator may be reached by contacting (570) 389-4529, Warren Student Services Center, #043, Monday through Friday, 8:00 am to 4:30 pm.

How to Access Resources for Campus Visitors

Prospective Students or Employees, Spectators for an Event or Other Campus Visitors: Questions regarding accessibility and/or accommodations may be addressed by contacting the Department of Equity and Accommodations, Warren Student Services Center, #043, Monday through Friday, 8:00 am to 4:30 pm, (570) 389-4265/5205. As an additional resource, there is a Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania map (www.bloomu.edu/map) for locating and accessing campus buildings.

Seeking Resolution in the Event of a Complaint

Individuals who wish to register a University complaint under PRP #2060, ADA Policy, may elect to begin the process with either informal complaint resolution or the formal complaint resolution.

Informal Resolution Process:

The purpose of the informal resolution process is to encourage the reporting of complaints concerning ADA matters by students, faculty, staff, and/or other parties and to facilitate satisfactory resolution of the complaint as quickly as possible.

The ADA Coordinator will facilitate a discussion between the complainant and the other individual(s) in order to resolve the complaint. If the complaint is resolved, the complainant and other individual(s) will receive a short memorandum setting forth the agreed upon solution. The ADA Coordinator will follow-up with the parties, typically three to four weeks after the agreement is reached, to assess whether the agreement is working. If the complainant is not satisfied with the informal resolution process or outcome, or no longer wants to participate in informal resolution, or if the other individual(s) declines to participate in the informal resolution process, the complainant may file a formal complaint at any time.

Formal Resolution Process:

Students, faculty, staff or visitors wishing to officially register a University complaint under PRP #2060, ADA Policy, may do so by submitting a statement to the ADA Coordinator. The complaint should be filed within 45 days of the alleged violation and must include the issue(s), the complainant's name, telephone number, address, date the complaint is submitted to the ADA Coordinator, and the date of the alleged violation. The ADA Coordinator will initiate the following action:

Investigation Process:

Within 45 calendar days of receiving the complaint, the ADA Coordinator will conduct an investigation and submit the investigation report to the appropriate Vice President. The ADA Coordinator will then assist the Vice President in implementing the agreed upon resolution.

Appeal Process:

An individual shall be entitled to one written appeal of any decision rendered by the appropriate Vice President. Appeals must be based only on new evidence that was not considered during the investigation, evidence of an inappropriate or unfair investigation, or evidence of a denial of due process rights. Appeals shall be filed in writing with the ADA Coordinator no later than ten days after the date the decision was received.

The appeal will be reviewed by the University ADA Complaint Committee which consists of a Dean of Students Office representative, the Assistant Vice Provost for Academic Programs, Policies and Collaborations and Dean of Undergraduate Education, a representative from the Center for Professional Development and Career Experience, the Director of Human Resources and Labor Relations and a faculty representative. The ADA Complaint Committee will make a recommendation and forward the recommendation to the President. The President will rule on all appeals and all rulings are final. All parties will be notified in writing of the decision.

The ADA Coordinator may extend for a reasonable period of time any of the deadlines specified in this section in order to conduct an investigation according to this policy and ADA guidelines.

Informal or Formal Resolution:

In the event that a conflict of interest exists in pursuing the complaint with the ADA Coordinator, or in the event that the complaint is against the ADA Coordinator, the complainant should bring the complaint to the Director of Human Resources.

In the event that a conflict of interest exists in pursuing the investigation report with the appropriate Vice President, or in the event that the complaint is against the Vice President, the ADA Coordinator will conduct the investigation and forward the investigation report to the President for review and final determination.

Individuals are encouraged to use these complaint procedures but are not required to do so and may also choose to pursue complaints in other forums. In addition to or in place of the University’s procedures, complainants may choose to file a complaint with federal or state agencies such as the Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission, 333 Market St., 8th Floor, Harrisburg, PA 17101-2210, (717) 787-9780, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, 801 Market Street, Suite 1300, Philadelphia, PA 19107-3127, (800) 669-4000, or the Office of Civil Rights of the U.S. Department of Education, 100 Penn Square East, Suite 515, Philadelphia, PA 19107, (215) 656-8541,

This policy is not intended to interfere with any rights an employee may have under an applicable collective bargaining agreement. Unionized individuals may also choose to pursue a complaint through the appropriate Collective Bargaining Agreement grievance procedures.

Confidentiality

During this process, the University will make every effort to assure confidentiality and protect the rights of the complainant and other individual(s). To the extent possible, the information reported and disclosed in a complaint and related proceedings will be shared only with individuals responsible for addressing the complaint. The University will maintain an appropriate record in the confidential files of the ADA Coordinator. All documents related to the proceedings will be subject to confidentiality protections provided by law, including the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA).

Statement of Non-Discrimination

Bloomsburg University does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, national origin, ancestry, disability, or veteran status in its programs and activities as required by Title IX of the Educational Amendments of 1972, the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and other applicable statutes and University policies.

For information regarding civil rights or grievance procedures and for inquiries concerning the application of Title IX and its implementing regulation, contact: Title IX Coordinator, Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania, Warren Student Services Center, 400 East Second Street, Bloomsburg, PA 17815; Phone: (570) 389-4529; Email: titleixcoord@bloomu.edu.

Additionally, inquiries concerning Title IX and its implementing regulation can be made to the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Civil Rights, Region III, The Wanamaker Building, 100 Penn Square East - Suite 505, Philadelphia, PA 19107; Phone: (215) 656-6010; Fax: (215) 656-6020.