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The University of Texas at Dallas

Workplace Accommodation

UT Dallas is committed to a diverse workforce and a campus culture of inclusion. In doing so, we seek to provide accommodations for any employee with disability-related limitations or restrictions that may impact their ability to perform their job.

Under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), an accommodation is a reasonable modification or adjustment to the work environment that enables a qualified person with a disability to perform the essential functions of a position, or to enjoy the same benefits and privileges of employment as enjoyed by non-disabled employees.

The Office of Human Resources encourages early engagement in requesting an accommodation. Employees may request an accommodation at any time during the course of their employment. This involves engaging in an interactive process.

The interactive process is a formal practice in which the employee, their medical provider and the employer determine the precise limitations created by the disability and explore possible reasonable workplace accommodations. This requires good faith participation from both the employee and department leadership. Managers should approve accommodations only after following this process.

During the interactive process, the Employee Relations representative may ask for documentation from the employee’s treating medical provider in order to document the medical need for an accommodation. The inquiry will be limited to information necessary to determine disability and appropriate reasonable accommodation(s). Having a medical condition alone is not enough to make an employee eligible for an accommodation. In addition, the Employee Relations representative will also request information from the employee regarding the specific job tasks, duties or workplace conditions impacted by their disability. Under the ADA, an employee must have a condition that qualifies as a disability. UT Dallas reserves the right to follow-up with the employee’s medical provider to gather information that will aid in the identification of a reasonable accommodation.

A reasonable accommodation may consist of the following:

  • Modified work schedule
  • Modified job duties
  • Providing assistive equipment

The Employee Relations team will work with department leadership to determine the feasibility of the requested accommodation, considering factors such as:

  • Specific workplace barrier(s) that impede the employee’s ability to perform the essential functions of their position,
  • The effectiveness of the requested accommodation in enabling the employee to perform their essential functions,
  • The nature and cost of the accommodation,
  • The accommodation’s impact on the operation of the department, and
  • The accommodation’s impact on the ability of other employees to perform their duties in a safe and/or efficient manner.

The University is not required to provide an accommodation that will eliminate an essential function of the position or lower production standards, nor must it provide personal use items or amenities (a personal use item is one that is needed in accomplishing daily activities both on and off the job – thus, an employer is not required to provide an employee with a prosthetic limb, a wheelchair, eyeglasses, hearing aids, or similar devices if they are also needed off the job).

Individual requests may not necessarily be granted if there are alternate means of achieving the same result.

This process applies to:

  • Temporary Work Accommodations that allow injured or ill employees to return to work while still undergoing medical treatment and/or recovering from an illness or injury.
  • Ongoing/Permanent Accommodations that allow employees with a disability to perform the essential functions of their job during the duration of their employment, or until the accommodation is no longer deemed necessary or reasonable.

Students requiring accommodations should contact the Office of Student AccessAbility.

Visitors to UT Dallas requiring accommodations should contact the ADA Coordinator by phone at 972-883-5331 or email [email protected]

Sign Language Interpreting and Captioning Requests

UT Dallas employees should contact [email protected] to request sign language interpreting and captioning services.

Requests must be made at least three business days in advance of the need for an interpreter or captioning. Employees should notify the Employee Relations team if any changes are needed to an existing request.

Students requiring sign language interpreting and captioning services should contact the Office of Student AccessAbility.

Ergonomics

An accommodation may not always be necessary. There may be times when adjustment(s) to the workspace can help employees reach increased efficiency and comfort. UTD employees who need an ergonomic evaluation should contact the Occupational Safety & Health Manager to request an ergonomic evaluation.

A typical ergonomic assessment will take less than 30 minutes to complete. Any immediate changes that can be made to improve the workspace will be identified at the time of the assessment. Additional recommendations will be provided in a report submitted to the employee and their supervisor.

In the event that the evaluation leads to a recommendation of a workplace accommodation, Employee Relations will work with Campus Occupational Health & Safety to gather information on the modifications recommended to the workplace. Employee Relations will engage with the employee in the interactive accommodation process to determine whether the employee can be reasonably accommodated.

Pregnancy

UT Dallas is firmly committed to protecting the rights of expectant mothers and complying with Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act as amended by the Pregnancy Discrimination Act of 1978 and the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act. UT Dallas treats students, faculty, and staff affected by pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions in the same manner as other individuals unable to work or participate in their education because of their physical condition.

Staff and faculty requiring pregnancy-related accommodations should contact Employee Relations to begin the interactive process to assess accommodations. Accommodation determinations are made on a case-by-case basis and may remain in effect through the length of the employee’s pregnancy. Individuals requiring Family and Medical Leave due to their pregnancy should contact the Leave Administration Manager at [email protected].

Students requiring pregnancy-related accommodations should contact the Office of Student AccessAbility. Students requiring leave due to their pregnancy should contact the Dean of Students Office.

Service Animals

An employee’s request for a service animal as a reasonable accommodation in the workplace is treated as any other accommodation request. The employee should work with Employee Relations to follow the interactive process described above.

Students requiring service animals should reach out to the Office of Student AccessAbility.

Religious Accommodations

UT Dallas welcomes diversity of religious beliefs and practices, and recognizes the contributions differing experiences and viewpoints can bring to the community. There may be times when a work requirement conflicts with religious observances and practices. If that happens, employees may request a reasonable accommodation of their religious practices. In all cases, the employee should reach out to Employee Relations to discuss their request.

If an employee wishes to observe a religious holiday on a day the University is scheduled to be open, please consult the Religious Holiday section of UTD Policy UTDBP3048 for guidance.

Students requiring a religious accommodation should contact the Dean of Students Office.