|Policy Concerning Persons With a Disability and Procedures for Accommodation|
Purpose. The purpose of this policy is to provide procedures for processing requests for accommodations from applicants and employees with disabilities, in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, as amended by the ADA Amendments Act of 2008 or hereafter amended, and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as now or hereafter amended.
"Qualified individual with a disability". A qualified individual with a disability is an individual who, with or without reasonable accommodation, can perform the essential functions of the employment position that such individual holds or desires.
"Disability". A disability is a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more of the major life activities of such individual; a record of such impairment; or being regarded as having such impairment.
"Impairment". An impairment is a physiological disorder, or condition, affecting one or more of the body systems or a mental or psychological disorder, such as emotional or mental illness.
The following are NOT considered to be impairments:
Temporary conditions, such as a broken leg, and those that are minor (such as poor vision that is correctable with eyeglasses)
Environmental, cultural and economic disadvantages
Homosexuality and bisexuality
Physical characteristics (eye and hair color, left handedness)
Personality traits or behaviors
Normal deviations in height, weight or strength
Gender identity disorders or other sexual disorders
Conditions resulting from current illegal use of drugs
"Substantially limiting". An impairment is substantially limiting if it prevents or to a large degree restricts an individual's ability to perform a particular major life activity, as compared to the ability of the average person in the general population performing the same activity. The determination of whether an impairment substantially limits a major life activity depends on the nature and severity of the impairment and the duration or expected duration of the impairment. The impairment's impact must be permanent or long term.
"Major Life Activities". Major life activities include, but are not limited to, functions such as caring for oneself, performing manual tasks, walking, seeing, hearing, speaking, breathing, learning, working, sitting, standing, lifting, reaching, reading, eating, sleeping, bending, concentrating, communicating or thinking.
"Essential functions". The essential functions of a position are those that are central to accomplishing the tasks that are required of the position, not those that are marginally related to the outcome. The following questions can provide assistance in determining which functions are essential to the job:
Will removing the functions fundamentally alter the position?
Is the function included in the written job description?
Is the function specified under collective bargaining agreements?
How much time is spent performing the function?
What are the consequences of the employee failing to perform the function?
How many other employees are available to perform the function?
Does the position exist to perform the function?
What experience is needed to perform the function?
What is the experience of the past and/or current incumbents of the job?
"Reasonable accommodation". A reasonable accommodation is any change in the work environment or the manner in which a job is performed that enables an individual with a disability to enjoy equal employment opportunities. Reasonable accommodation may include:
Making existing facilities used by employees readily accessible to and usable by individuals with disabilities;
Part-time or modified work schedules;
Acquisition or modification of equipment or devices;
Appropriate adjustment or modifications of examinations, training materials or policies;
The provision of assistance by other personnel (e.g. qualified readers or interpreters);
Permitting the use of accrued paid leave or providing additional unpaid leave for necessary treatment.
Reassignment to a vacant position for which the employee is qualified, if the disabled person is unable to perform the original job. (Reassignment should only be considered when there are no possible accommodations that would allow the employee to perform the current position without creating an undue hardship on the employer. The employee should identify vacant positions for which he/she is qualified and which have the equivalent pay status and conditions of employment).
Policy Statement. The School District of Palm Beach County, in accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA), shall not discriminate against a qualified individual with a disability, because of the disability of such individual, in regard to job application procedures, hiring, advancement, discharge, compensation, job training, or other terms, conditions, or privileges of employment, and shall provide reasonable accommodation to such an individual when necessary to enable the individual to perform the essential functions of the position, unless such accommodation would impose undue hardship on the school system. The burden of demonstrating undue hardship will be with the School District in accordance with law. Additionally, accommodation is not required when an individual poses a direct threat, i.e. a significant risk of substantial harm to the health or safety of the individual or others if the risk cannot be eliminated or reduced by reasonable accommodation.
Procedures for ADA Eligibility Determination and Accommodations
Responsibilities of Worksite Administrators/Supervisors. Worksite administrators or supervisors are required to:
Refer employees seeking assistance under the ADA to the EEO/ADA Coordinator at 561-982-0905. No accommodation for a disability as defined in this policy in accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), shall be provided without the approval of the ADA Coordinator.
Refer to the EEO Coordinator at 561-982-0905 any complaints from employees alleging that the school District is not meeting its obligations under the employment and/or accessibility requirement provisions of the ADA.
Responsibilities of Employees. Employees seeking ADA eligibility and accommodation are responsible for initiating requests for any desired disability-related workplace accommodations. As such employees shall:
Contact by telephone or in person the EEO/ADA Coordinator
Complete the following District documents:
Form 2160, ADA Reasonable Accommodation Request located at http://www. palmbeachschools.org/Forms/asp.
Form 2161, Authorization for Release of Employee Medical Information located at http://www. palmbeachschools.org/Forms/asp.
Submit the above completed forms to:
Safe Schools Institute
1790 N.W. Spanish River Blvd.
Boca Raton, FL 33431
Or via fax: 561-982-0944
Responsibilities of ADA Coordinator.
Request and Discussion. Upon receipt of a request for accommodation, the ADA Coordinator shall engage in an interactive process with the employee requesting accommodations, to determine eligibility and reasonable accommodations in accordance with the ADA.
Documentation of Disability. Upon receipt of an AUTHORIZATION FOR RELEASE OF MEDICAL INFORMATION, the ADA Coordinator shall contact relevant medical professionals regarding a request for accommodation, to verify the disability. This may vary depending on the nature and extent of the disability and the accommodation requested. In the event the District determines it is appropriate to obtain a second professional opinion concerning the nature or impact of a mental or physical disability, the District will bear the cost of obtaining the second opinion.
Evaluation. The request for an accommodation will be evaluated once all documentation has been submitted by the employee to the EEO/ADA Coordinator. Appropriate accommodations will be determined following an individualized assessment of each request.
Notification. The ADA Coordinator shall notify the employee and relevant parties of the determination regarding eligibility and accommodation.
Implementation. The ADA Coordinator shall take necessary steps to implement the selected reasonable accommodations, including consulting with other parties (supervisors, equipment and facilities contractors, interpreters) who may be relevant to the ADA request, to determine and plan the implementation of reasonable accommodations.
Confidentiality and Records. All District employees have a legal obligation to maintain confidentiality regarding an employee's disability-related information. To that end, the worksite administrators or supervisors and the EEO/ADA Coordinator shall provide information to others parties, including employees, only when necessary to facilitate accommodations.
Any employee shall retain the right to file a complaint with the appropriate agency other than the EEO/ADA Coordinator.
Inquiries. Questions regarding this policy should be directed to the EEO/ADA Coordinator at 561-434-8637 or 561-982-0905.
|STATUTORY AUTHORITY:||Fla. Stat. §§ 1001.41; 1001.42|
|LAWS IMPLEMENTED:||42 USC § 12101, et seq; 29 USC § 1630, et seq|
|HISTORY:||9/21/94; 5/21/97; 5/11/2011|