Metro State University is committed to fostering an accessible and inclusive environment for all employees. The Center for Accessibility Resources (CAR) is available to engage in confidential discussions with employees about removing barriers in the workplace and requesting reasonable accommodations. CAR works collaboratively with employees and University departments to create an environment that respects and values the diverse abilities and contributions of all employees.
Interactive process for requesting reasonable accommodations
At CAR, we facilitate an interactive process designed to identify potential barriers to access and explore reasonable accommodation options that enable employees to perform their duties effectively in an inclusive work environment. We recognize that every accommodation request is unique, and CAR is dedicated to tailoring our services to meet individual needs.
Employees are encouraged to initiate the interactive process by contacting CAR to discuss their specific needs and concerns. Requesting reasonable accommodations is a voluntary and confidential process. To begin the process, please schedule a Welcome Interview with the Director of CAR, Kristin Burgess.
As necessary, CAR will consult with all relevant parties to collect information regarding the essential functions of the employee's job to determine reasonable accommodations and if fulfilling any of the accommodation requests would be an undue hardship for the University. CAR will provide guidance, resources, and support, ensuring that all relevant parties are engaged in finding effective solutions. In certain situations, departments may take proactive measures to eliminate the barriers entirely, thus alleviating the need for an accommodation request.
A reasonable accommodation refers to modifications or adjustments made to the work environment, job responsibilities, or policies and practices to enable an individual with a disability or medical condition to perform their essential job functions. The purpose of a reasonable accommodation is to provide equal employment opportunities and remove barriers that may prevent individuals with disabilities from fully participating in the workplace.
Reasonable accommodations are specific to each individual and depend on the nature of their disability or medical condition. Examples of reasonable accommodations may include:
- Physical Modifications: Making structural changes to the workplace, such as installing ramps, elevators, or accessible restrooms to improve accessibility for employees with mobility impairments.
- Assistive Technology: Providing specialized equipment or software, such as screen readers, speech recognition software, or ergonomic furniture, to enhance job performance and ensure equal access to information and technology.
- Flexible Work Arrangements: Allowing adjustments to work schedules, telecommuting options, or job-sharing arrangements to accommodate individuals with chronic health conditions or other disabilities that may require flexibility.
- Job Restructuring: Modifying or redistributing non-essential job tasks to accommodate an employee's functional limitations while ensuring essential job functions are still performed.
- Communication Assistance: Providing interpreters, captioning services, or assistive listening devices to ensure effective communication for employees who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing.
- Policy Modifications: Adjust certain policies or procedures, such as attendance policies or dress codes, to accommodate employees with disabilities or medical conditions.
It is important to note that reasonable accommodations are determined on a case-by-case basis, taking into account factors such as the individual's specific limitations, the nature of the job, and the resources available to the university. The interactive process, involving discussions between the employee and the appropriate university departments, helps identify and implement the most suitable reasonable accommodation.
The goal of providing reasonable accommodations is to create an inclusive work environment that allows employees with disabilities to perform their job duties effectively and participate fully in all aspects of university employment.