The University of South Florida is committed to creating a diverse, equitable, and inclusive environment for all students, employees, and visitors. Part of this commitment is to assure equal opportunity in employment and education for individuals with disabilities. The university is an Equal Opportunity/Equal Access employer and therefore complies fully with the requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA), the ADA Amendment Act of 2008, and all other federal and state laws and regulations prohibiting discrimination on the basis of disability or handicap. Human Resources oversees the university's Disability and Accommodations policy (#0-108) as it relates to employment by determining eligibility for accommodation, and by reviewing and approving or denying requests for accommodation. This page is designed primarily to provide guidance and information to employees who have questions about or would like to request a disability accommodation.
The purpose of an accommodation under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is to enable employees with a disability to perform the essential functions of the job. Employers are required to provide a reasonable accommodation to qualified individuals with disabilities, except when such accommodation would cause an undue hardship. ADA may have interactions with other laws such as the Family Medical Leave Act and Workers’ Compensation. The HR Business Partner, ADA and Return to Work Programs, administers ADA and assists employees and departments with the process.
who is a qualified individual:
A qualified individual with a disability is a person who meets legitimate skill, experience, education, or other requirements of an employment position that he or she holds and who can perform the "essential functions" of the position with or without reasonable accommodation.
what is a reasonable accommodation:
A reasonable accommodation includes modifications or adjustments to the work environment, manner, or circumstances under which the position is customarily performed. Through the interactive process, a number of possible reasonable accommodations may be identified and provided to an employee. Each case must be reviewed on an individual basis. Types of accommodations may include:
- making existing facilities accessible;
- job restructuring;
- part-time or modified work schedules;
- acquiring or modifying equipment;
- changing tests, training materials, or policies; and
- providing qualified readers or interpreters.
what is an undue hardship:
An undue hardship would be a requested accommodation that would pose significant difficulty or expense to the employer. An accommodation is not considered reasonable if it:
- imposes financial difficulty;
- is unduly extensive, substantial, or disruptive; or
- would fundamentally alter the nature or operation of the business.
If you need to request an accommodation:
If you need to request an accommodation or you are a supervisor looking for more information, refer to the forms below or contact Central Human Resources at HR-ADA-Request@usf.edu or (813) 974-5384.
To request an accommodation, the employee and the employee’s appropriate health care provider should complete the applicable forms listed below. These forms are to be returned to Central Human Resources at the Tampa Campus. Medical documentation is maintained in a confidential file, separate from an employee’s personnel file, secured to the extent permissible under law.
The Interactive Process
Each disability accommodation request is different and unique. Consequently, every request is analyzed and processed on a case-by-case basis. However, the general steps of the interactive process typically follow those described below. Anyone involved in the interactive process should not hesitate to ask questions at any point during the process.
Central Human Resources does not share medical information provided by the employee with the department or unit in which they work. The Office will only share information regarding the accommodation requested.
- Employee- complete the reasonable accommodation request form. This form must be submitted along with the medical provider's certification of the
employee's disability. There are no “magic words” required to make a request but the
employee must initiate the request in writing or verbally.
- The forms once completed should be submitted to Central Human Resources.
- Central Human Resources will make an initial review of the accommodation request and
make notes of any additional documentation that is needed to move forward. Initial
contact will be made to the employee by either phone, email, or letter.
- Communication will take place with Central Human Resources: with the employee and
with the employee’s supervisor (or designee) and possibly the unit’s HR Liaison.
- A written response will be provided for each request once the interactive process
is concluded. The disposition of each request will be either approved, modified, or,
denied with reasons.
- Written confirmation of receipt of request – upon receipt of the accommodation request,
a notification will be provided to the employee requesting an accommodation by either
email, phone call, or letter.
- Time frame for processing requests – depending upon the circumstances, each employee’s request will be handled as expeditiously as possible.