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Disability Accommodation Policy - ADA

Purpose

Columbia College supports individuals with disabilities and is committed to helping disabled individuals overcome workplace barriers.  In addition, Columbia College prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability and ensures equal employment opportunity for all qualified individuals with disabilities.  The College is committed to providing reasonable accommodations to qualified employees and applicants and does not discriminate on the basis of disability in any employment decisions or in any terms, conditions, or privileges of employment.  The institution will engage with employees and qualified applicants with disabilities to determine appropriate, reasonable accommodations in compliance with all applicable local, state and federal laws.  Set forth in this policy is information and guidance for employees and applicants regarding the College’s Disability Accommodation policy.

Individuals with questions about this policy or who wish to request an accommodation, including applicants who may need a disability accommodation during the application and interview process, should contact the Human Resources Office. The Human Resources Office contact information is as follows: 

Address:
Columbia College Human Resources
1001 Rogers Street
Missouri Hall, Room 123
Columbia, MO 65203
Phone: 573-875-7495
Email: humanresources@ccis.edu

Scope

This policy applies to College employees and applicants for employment.

Policy

It is the policy of Columbia College to comply with all federal and state laws concerning the employment of persons with disabilities and act in accordance with regulations and guidance issued by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).  Furthermore, it is our policy to treat all qualified individuals with disabilities in a non-discriminatory manner in regards to application procedures, hiring, job assignments, promotion and demotion, discharge, compensation, training, leaves of absence, fringe benefits, and other terms, conditions and privileges of employment.

Columbia College will engage in an interactive process to determine if we can reasonably accommodate qualified individuals with a disability so that they can perform the essential functions of a job unless doing so would cause significant difficulty or expense for the College (“undue hardship”) or cause a direct threat to workplace safety.  The College is not required to provide the exact accommodation the employee or job applicant requests.  If more than one accommodation is effective, the College may determine which accommodation to provide. 

If an employee (1) provides notice that the employee needs a reasonable accommodation to perform the essential functions of the employee’s position; or (2) the College has actual or constructive notice that an employee may have a disability for which the employee needs reasonable accommodation, the College shall initiate the interactive process.  Qualified individuals with disabilities may make requests for reasonable accommodations to their supervisor or directly to Human Resources.  An applicant with a disability who believes an accommodation is necessary to complete the application process should contact Human Resources.

A Human Resources representative will engage in the interactive process to discuss and identify if the employee or applicant is (1) disabled within the meaning of the ADA or applicable state anti-discrimination law; and (2) if so, whether the employee can be reasonably accommodated in their position.  The interactive process requires good faith participation from both the employee or applicant and the College. 

During this interactive process, the College may require medical documentation from the treating physician of the employee or applicant for the purpose of gathering information needed to make a determination.  This may vary depending on the nature and extent of the disability and the accommodation requested.  The College reserves the right to seek additional medical opinions on these issues at the expense of the College.  Thereafter, the supervisor and Human Resources will determine the feasibility of any potential accommodation, considering factors such as the nature and cost of the accommodation, the accommodation’s impact on the operation of the facility, and the accommodation’s impact on the ability of other employees to perform their duties in a safe and efficient manner.  The College is not required to provide an accommodation that will eliminate an essential function of the position, lower production standards, or provide personal use items or amenities.

After consulting with the employee’s supervisor, Human Resources shall make the final determination as to whether the employee is disabled under the ADA and can be accommodated in their position.  Once a decision has been made, Human Resources will inform the employee or applicant of the decision regarding the accommodation request. The employee or applicant may request a review of approved reasonable accommodations to Human Resources if they believe they have not been granted a reasonable accommodation or that a granted accommodation has not been implemented properly.

This policy is neither exhaustive nor inclusive.  Columbia College is committed to taking all actions necessary to ensure equal employment opportunity for qualified individuals with disabilities in accordance with the ADA and all other applicable federal, state and local laws, including the provision of reasonable accommodations to qualified individuals with disabilities.

Definitions

Disability: Under the ADA and ADA Amendments Act of 2008, disability means a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities, a record of having such an impairment, or being regarded as having such an impairment.

Major life activities include, but are not limited to: caring for oneself, performing manual tasks, seeing, hearing, eating, sleeping, walking, standing, lifting, bending, speaking, breathing, learning, reading, concentrating, thinking, communicating, and working. 

Reasonable Accommodations: A reasonable accommodation is any change or adjustment to a job or work environment that permits a qualified person with a disability to participate in the job application process, to perform the essential functions of a job, or access benefits and privileges of employment equal to those accessed by staff without disabilities.

Qualified Individual: An individual who, with or without reasonable accommodation, is able to perform the essential functions of the position that such individual holds or desires.

Essential Functions: Job activities that are determined by the College to be essential or core to performing the job; these functions cannot be modified.

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