1.10 Reasonable Accommodation

Last Revised: 20 January 2010

Refer Questions to: Director, Equal Opportunity Programs


This policy applies to faculty, teachers, staff, students, and guests in all offices and divisions of Gallaudet University.


In compliance with Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act, and other non-discrimination laws and regulations, Gallaudet University will not discriminate against an otherwise qualified person with a disability in any aspect of employment or deny access to any person with a disability in its programs, services, or public facilities. Furthermore, as the only institution of higher education in the world designed specifically to educate and serve deaf and hard of hearing persons, Gallaudet University is a leader in communication accessibility and promotes direct visual communication among all members of the campus community.

Gallaudet will, upon disclosure, attempt to make reasonable accommodations for disabled persons if needed. Employees with a covered disability should request an accommodation from their unit administrator. Students should confer with the Office for Students With Disabilities. Employees and students may be asked to provide documentation to support their request. The University is not required to provide an accommodation that imposes an undue hardship, fundamentally alters the nature of the program, service, or activity, or poses a threat to the health or safety of employees, students, or others.

Any individual who believes he/she is unfairly or unlawfully denied a reasonable accommodation can meet informally with the Director of Equal Opportunity Programs. Formal grievance procedures are available to faculty, staff, and students:

No reprisal or retaliation of any kind will be taken against any individual who has, in good faith, reported instances of or filed a complaint regarding discrimination or has participated in procedures to redress complaints of discrimination. Gallaudet University is committed to taking appropriate action against those who violate its policy of non-discrimination.

Approved by: Gallaudet University Administration


Roles and Responsibilities

  1. The Office for Students With Disabilities (OSWD)
    The Office for Students With Disabilities provides individually tailored, comprehensive support services and programs for students with disabilities. Students should contact the Office for Students with Disabilities to learn how to request services and what forms are used.
  2. The Director of Equal Opportunity Programs (EOP)
    The Director of EOP is responsible for assuring that the intent and spirit of non-discrimination laws and regulations and affirmative action are followed at Gallaudet University. The EOP Director also serves as the ADA compliance officer, and, in this role, helps facilitate reasonable accommodations and administers complaint procedures.
  3. Unit Administrators
    Unit administrators are responsible for cooperating with the EOP Director, Human Resources Services, and the Office for Students with Disabilities to provide for the effective and timely implementation of this policy.

In the context of assessing an accommodation request, medical documentation or a psycho-educational evaluation is required. Medical documentation is used to determine if the employee or student legally meets the definition of disabled and to identify an effective accommodation.

For the purpose of determining a reasonable and effective accommodation, documentation must be received from an appropriately qualified diagnostician on letterhead with an original signature. It must identify the type of disability, explain the limitation on any major life activities, describe the current level of functioning in an academic or employment setting, and list recommended accommodations.

Documentation for students should be submitted to the Office for Students With Disabilities. Documentation for faculty, teachers, and staff may be submitted to the unit administrator, senior administrator, or EOP Director. This information will be kept confidential and shared only if necessary to enable the accommodation

If the documentation provided does not support the existence of a disability or the need for an accommodation, the employee or student may be asked to provide additional information.