Office for Institutional Equity Home

Frequently Asked Questions by Employees 


If you have additional questions, please contact Darrell Purdy at or 740.593.9132


My disability is making it hard for me to perform my job, what should I do?

It is the policy of Ohio University to ensure individuals with disabilities have an equal opportunity in employment and promotion by means of reasonable accommodation consistent with Sections 502, 503, and 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, and the ADA Amendments Act of 2008.

If you are experiencing difficulty on your job you can speak with your supervisor (who should notify the Office of Disability Services) or contact the Office of Disability Services to determine if you meet the qualifications to be considered an employee with a disability and may be eligible for accommodations. You can call 740-593-2620 to start your request.

Who is a "qualified individual with a disability?"

An individual with a disability is defined as an individual who:

  •     has a physical or mental impairment that substantially
        limits one (1) or more major life activities;
  •     has a record of such impairment;
  •     is regarded as having such an impairment. Examples
        of individuals who are covered under this definition
  •     individuals with permanent vision or hearing loss;
  •     individuals with mobility impairments;
  •     individuals with mental or psychological disorders
        including intellectual disabilities;
  •     individuals with cosmetic disfigurements;
  •     individuals with serious contagious and non-contagious
        diseases such as AIDS, cancer, or epilepsy.Generally,
        individuals who have temporary limitations are
        not considered to have a disability under the ADA.

What Employment Practices are covered?

Can my supervisor require medical examinations or ask questions about a disability?

Due to the confidentiality protection of the ADA, your supervisor may not ask if you have a disability or the nature of a disability that you have disclosed. At Ohio University your supervisor should not request medical documentation of your disability, rather you should be referred to the ODS to facilitate the process of verifying medical documentation and determining reasonable accommodations.

A prospective employee may be asked to complete a medical examination only if the nature of the examination relates to the specific requirements of a position and is required for all applicants or eligible candidates.

What is a "Reasonable Accommodation"?

The United States Department of Justice defines as reasonable accommodation as:

any modification or adjustment to a job or the work environment that will enable a qualified applicant or employee with a disability to participate in the application process or to perform essential job functions. Reasonable accommodation also includes adjustments to assure that a qualified individual with a disability has rights and privileges in employment equal to those of employees without disabilities.

Do I have to pay for a needed reasonable accommodation?

If the reasonable accommodation is requested based on the nature of your disability and your job, Ohio University will be responsible for financing and implementing the accommodation. You are only responsible for personal needs or elective items that are not required in order to help you perform your job based on the functional limitations of your disability.

What is the process for requesting workplace accommodations?

The request for a reasonable accommodation as an employee at Ohio University may be initiated by the employee at any time. The request may be directed to a supervisor or the Office of Disability Services; however it is ODS that will facilitate the process. ODS will review disability documentation to determine that an employee meets the definition of an individual with a disability. Once an individual is qualified for reasonable accommodation(s), the process for determining the accommodation(s) becomes interactive.

What type of documentations will I need?

In order to help the Office of Disability Services make an informed determination of eligibility and recommendations for accommodations, please have the appropriate healthcare practitioner complete the Medical Inquiry Form and submit the form to ODS. The form may be downloaded by you or the medical professional here.

How are accommodations made?

The process will require coordination with the employee and supervisor to identify potential accommodations that will not interfere with the employee’s ability to perform the essential functions of the job. Some important points to know about seeking an accommodation are:

  •     Accommodations can only be implemented from the
        time of the request forward
  •     Determination of need for accommodation cannot
        undo previous consequences of poor work performance
  •     All employees must be able to complete the essential
        functions of their position
  •     Determination of reasonable accommodations is
        dependent upon the specific limitations of the
        individual’sdisability and the specific functions of
        the job
  •     Information regarding an individual’s disability is
        considered confidential under the ADA