Frequently Asked Questions

See below for a list of frequently asked questions related to accommodations, accessibility, ADA at UA, and more. If you have any questions that are not answered here, please contact the ADA Accessibility Team.

 

Requesting an accommodation

For a workplace accommodation, fill out this form to begin.

For a non-workplace accommodation, fill out this form to begin

If you are a student seeking an academic, classroom or housing accommodation, contact your campus’ Disability Student Services office.

If you have a question about where to begin or need assistance filling out these forms, please contact the ADA Accessibility Team.

 As soon as possible. While we will try our best to help at any stage of the process, we can be the most effective in getting you the help that you request if you involve us before the point of crisis. 

Please also reach out to us after you have worked something out informally with your supervisor so that we can document the agreement or solutions you all have come to. 

Finally, reach out to us if you are changing supervisors for any reason; we can facilitate the transition and ensure that the new supervisor is informed of the granted accommodations. We can also work with you both if changes to your granted accommodations need to be made.

The ADA Accessibility Team can help answer your questions about the ADA and disabilities; provide training and support for supervisors and employees on ADA basics, the interactive process, etiquette, and more; and can grant accommodations for employees, faculty, visitors, and student employees. 

The ADA Accessibility Team usually cannot provide advocacy services for employees outside of the workplace, provide ongoing mediation for supervisor-employee conflicts, handle non-ADA related issues (including FMLA), or handle retroactive complaints without a request for updated accommodations (i.e., grievances). 

If you have a question about a situation, however, please do feel free to contact the ADA Accessibility Team. Even if we cannot resolve the issue, we can usually point you towards a team, service, or organization that can.

This depends on the accommodations granted. While it may take time to order and receive specialized equipment, for example, the ADA Team strives to grant either an interim accommodation or a long-term accommodation within two weeks of the date of receiving the request.

We are happy to work with you to get your request processed, no matter how you make the request. Please feel free to reach out to us via email, or telephone to discuss alternative options that work best for you.

For any other questions, please contact the UA HR ADA Accessibility Team, which includes Audrey Coble (Inclusivity Specialist) and Glenn Gambrell (Director of Talent Acquisition). You can also reach out to your campus’ Disability Student Services office.

 

For employees and other requesters

If you are an employee and have been granted workplace accommodations by the UA HR ADA Accessibility Team, then - unless otherwise stated - your accommodations apply in the workplace only

If you are an employee but also need other accommodations (for example, if you are a student, or if you live in on-campus housing), those accommodations should be requested separately. 

Classroom accommodations should be filed with your campus’s Disability Student Services (DSS) office; and housing accommodations should be filed separately with DSS or HR, depending on whether you are a student or an employee.

We understand that things change! If your accommodations aren’t working for you anymore, you have the right to request an adjustment at any time. To change or otherwise adjust your accommodations, please contact the ADA Accessibility Team

Unless you have an accommodation approval letter granted by a member of the ADA Accessibility Team on UA HR letterhead (or a previous accommodation granted by your campus’ HR team prior to the HR reorganization), you likely do not have an ADA accommodation on file. 

If you have spoken to the ADA Team and not yet received a letter, you are engaged in the interactive process, but have not yet received accommodations. 

If you have a disability but have not spoken to the ADA Team or requested accommodations, you do not have ADA accommodations. 

Yes. Please contact the ADA Accessibility Team to file a Record of Action form to document the accommodations provided. This helps us to ensure that we have your information on file in case of a change in supervisors, and also allows us to better serve you and other requesters in the future.

Your accommodation approval letter will grant you the specific accommodations specified on your letter. Your accommodation approval letter does not entitle you to any accommodations outside of what is specifically written on the letter. Usually, your accommodations will apply to the workplace and not outside of the workplace; if you have accommodations granted for a separate location, the accommodations will not apply outside of the designated location. 

If you have certain accommodations, but need additional or different accommodations, please contact the ADA Accessibility Team to file another request. Similarly, if you have accommodations that apply in one particular location but need accommodations for other locations too, please contact the ADA Accessibility Team.

Communication with your supervisor is key! Remember that under the ADA, supervisors are not required to accept sub-par work - even due to a disability. If you are having issues meeting standards at work, let your supervisor know, and promptly involve the ADA Accessibility Team so that we can explore whether an accommodation can help. 

 

For supervisors

None, unless it is on a need-to-know basis with another supervisor or an ADA professional. It is illegal for supervisors to disclose medical or disability information that employees have provided them, including the need for and nature of specific accommodations. 

This applies even if the employee’s coworkers are curious about what they may perceive to be “special treatment.” Please manage these concerns without mentioning the employee’s disability, medical information, or accommodations. If you need assistance with this, please contact the ADA Accessibility Team. 

 

Laws & Policies​

Unfortunately, no. The ADA Team cannot request medical information from your FML file for use with your ADA accommodation request. If the requester has copies of FMLA paperwork that they would like to voluntarily provide to the ADA Team, that is acceptable

A disability is a more broadly used term that can mean a range of things, depending on the context in which it is used. Using the widely-accepted social model of disability, identifying as “disabled” means a person has an impairment that causes them to face systemic barriers, prejudice, oppression, and exclusion. 

Having an ADA accommodation at the University of Alaska means that a person a) meets a specific legal definition of disability as defined under the ADA/AAA, and b) has requested and received an accommodation approval letter listing specific accommodations the employee has been granted in the workplace or in another location.

Though we are the ADA Accessibility Team, not all disability-related accommodations fall under the ADA. The ADA covers the workplace and transportation (except air carriers); the Fair Housing Act (FHA) covers housing; Section 504 covers entities that receive federal funds; etc. (For more details, refer to the accessibility glossary.)

While the ADA Accessibility Team can usually help with most cases, it’s important to keep in mind that eligibility, laws, and definitions can change depending on which Acts apply to a case.

 

Training

To request training for an office, supervisor, or coworker(s), please contact the ADA Accessibility Team and the Labor and Employee Engagement Team. Both can assist with organizing one or more training sessions, or provide asynchronous training resources.