814-863-0471 aao@psu.edu

Reasonable Accommodations

Penn State is committed to the policy that every employee shall have equal access to all the programs, facilities, hiring, benefits and privileges related to employment without regard to personal characteristics not related to ability, performance, or qualifications as determined by University policy or by state or federal authorities. University Policy HR09 Reasonable Accommodation for University Employees addresses the procedures University employees should follow when requesting reasonable accommodations. Additionally, a list of frequently asked questions related to employment and reasonable accommodations at Penn State is available by clicking here (FAQ) or below.
The best recommendation we can make for employees who are not sure if a reasonable accommodation would be appropriate or helpful for them is to contact the ADA Coordinator to confidentially discuss any questions or concerns you might have regarding work and disability.


For your convenience, the Reasonable Accommodation Request Form is available as a download from this web site. If you are unable to download a copy of the Reasonable Accommodation Request Form, please contact The Affirmative Action Office, Penn State, 328 Boucke Building, University Park, PA 16802; Tel. (814) 863-0471

Recognizing that some duties are specifically unique to many jobs, information related to an employee’s essential job duties may be obtained in a variety of ways; for example: the employee’s written job description, verbal feedback from the employee performing the job (to be verified by the supervisor), from the Functional Questionnaire the employee completed on their Competencies for Job Classification form and/or the Job Responsibilities Worksheet (if applicable), the Essential and Marginal Job Functional Analysis form, or other methods as might be necessary.
In the context of assessing an accommodation request, medical documentation may be needed.  The Affirmative Action Office has two primary uses for the documentation they obtain from an employee who requests reasonable accommodations: The first is simply to determine whether an actual disability exists to qualify the employee for protection under the Americans with Disabilities Act, as amended (ADA); the second use is to rely on the documentation as the primary guide to develop appropriate reasonable accommodations related to the employee’s request. The analysis involved in recommending appropriate reasonable accommodations almost always involves a greater reliance on the submitted documentation than what is necessary for simply making a disability determination.

Generally, in the context of an accommodation, medical inquiries related to an employee’s disability and functional limitations are permissible and may include consultations with knowledgeable professional sources, such as doctors, occupational and physical therapists, rehabilitation specialists, and organizations with expertise in adaptations for specific disabilities.  The Affirmative Action Office is the University unit charged with collecting medical documentation. In the event that medical documentation is required, the employee will be provided with the appropriate forms to submit to their medical provider.  The employee has the responsibilityto ensure that the medical provider follows through on requests for medical information.

All medical-related information shall be kept confidential and maintained separately from other personnel records.  However, supervisors and managers may be advised of information necessary to make the determinations they are required to make in connection with a request for an accommodation.  First aid and safety personnel may be informed, when appropriate, if the disability might require emergency treatment or if any specific procedures are needed in the case of fire or other evacuations.  Government officials investigating compliance with the ADA may also be provided relevant information as requested.
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