University Accessibility Procedures
The following information is intended to assist University of Alaska employees - including staff, faculty and student employees - and visitors with navigating the steps to request workplace accommodations and address barriers that exist in the University's online and physical spaces.
If you have any questions related to these procedures, please contact the ADA Accessibility Team.
Who does this step? The employee who needs accommodations.
What do I do? Start by filling out the Accommodation Request Form. You may also let your supervisor know you've begun the accommodations process with HR. You may be asked to have your provider fill out the Medical Information Form. When your provider has filled it out, please email it to the Access and Equity team. If you would like to make your request verbally, or would prefer to go over your request over the phone, please call Access and Equity Specialist, Heather Swanson, ATACP, at 907-450-8232
Remember: Though the ADA requires that your requests for reasonable workplace accommodations be honored whether or not they are presented in writing, we strongly suggest filling out a form in order to create a record of negotiations for future reference or in case of conflict.
Who does this step? The supervisor who received an accommodation request OR the employee who has requested accommodations.
What do I do? After receiving the Accommodation Request form, review the request and initiate the Interactive Process with your employee or supervisor to determine what accommodations you may be able to provide. This is the perfect time to involve the ADA Accessibility Team, who will help facilitate the process, and support both you and the employee throughout.
Remember: Supervisors and employers are obligated to honor a request for reasonable accommodations, even if an employee does not submit the request in writing. This might mean that supervisors step up to write a memo to submit that summarizes all the accommodations that were verbally requested to submit to the employee for review and approval. Employees may also use “plain language” to request an accommodation, and are not required to mention the ADA or use the phrase “reasonable accommodation.”
For help identifying an accommodations request, or if you receive a verbal request for accommodations, please document receipt of the request using a Record of Action form that you submit to ADA Accessibility Team; or, reach out to us for assistance.
Who does this step? Both the requesting employee and receiving supervisor.
What do we do? With guidelines of the Interactive Process in mind, determine if there are reasonable accommodations that would allow the employee to fulfill the essential functions of the job. Both the supervisor and employee are encouraged to introduce ideas to accommodate the employee’s needs. The ADA Accessibility Team will also provide ideas, facilitate the conversation, and make a final determination on which accommodations will be granted.
Remember: Conversations, negotiations, and identified accommodations should be documented via the Record of Action form. If you believe you will need to deny certain accommodations requests, please do not do so without the input of the ADA Accessibility Team.
Who does this step? The receiving supervisor.
What do I do? Submit all completed forms, including the Record of Action form, the Accessibility Request form (if submitted), and any supporting information to the ADA Accessibility Team for storage in a confidential file separate from other employee information.
Remember: There are important confidentiality rules around medical information and disability disclosure that are designed to help protect employee privacy in the workplace. A disabled employee’s coworkers are not entitled to know why they receive accommodations. You may only give other managers and supervisors an employee’s disability information on a need-to-know basis.
Who does this step? Both the supervisor and the employee.
What do we do? Keep the conversation going. Check in with each other to determine how things are going. If things aren’t going well, consider discussing a modification of provided accommodations, or another, additional request for accommodations.
Remember: Communication is integral to making the interactive process work. If an employee has new or emerging needs, they should communicate that to their supervisor. If a supervisor notices that an accommodation is no longer working well for an employee, they should communicate that to see if there’s another accommodation that could work better.
For questions at any step of the process, or assistance, please contact the ADA Accessibility Team: email@example.com.
To contact the team via Alaska relay service, visit the Alaska Relay website.
Even if you have worked with the Disability Student Services office to receive academic or housing accommodations, you should still make a separate request for accommodations upon starting a new job. You’ll follow the same process above.
You should initiate a new interactive process with your supervisor or employer to ensure that 1) they are aware that you need a reasonable accommodation, and 2) you get the right reasonable accommodations to ensure that you can equally access your work duties and workplace benefits.
To do so, please fill out this form, and present a copy to your supervisor. (A more detailed summary on workplace accommodations can be found in the above section.)
If you have already provided documentation of your disability to receive academic accommodations and need an accommodation for the same disability at work, please make note of that in the form. The ADA Accessibility team will work with you and your DSS office to try and minimize the amount of work and effort you have to duplicate.
Tips for Student Employees
- There are extensive legal rules around what employers and supervisors may or may not ask and assume of employees, so the easiest way to start the conversation around reasonable accommodations is by disclosing your need.
- Supervisors are required to keep your medical, disability, and accommodation information confidential, even from your coworkers, and may only tell other managers or supervisors on a need-to-know basis.
- Supervisors are also not required to rescind discipline for poor performance prior to knowing an employee needs a reasonable accommodation due to disability. This stands even if the poor performance was due to not having reasonable accommodations. So, if you think you’ll need a reasonable accommodation, speak up and start the conversation early!
Please note: the UA HR ADA Accessibility Team can't help with classroom accommodations. For academic or classroom accommodations, please reach out to your campus' disability student services office.
The University is committed to providing reasonable accommodations for any qualified applicant or employee, absent undue hardship. All applicants to the University of Alaska have equal employment opportunity based exclusively on their demonstrated ability or demonstrated potential ability.
If you need assistance with applying for positions online, please contact the ADA Accessibility Team.
To contact us via Alaska relay service, visit the Alaska Relay website.
To request a non-workplace accommodation:
- Please contact the UA Access and Equity team
- You may be asked to have your medical provider fill out the Medical Information Form. When your provider has filled it out, please submit it at this secure link.
- If you would like to make your request verbally, or would prefer to go over your request over the phone, please call 907-450-8200.
To request a reasonable accommodation during a visit, please contact the University of Alaska ADA Accessibility Team.
Students needing academic accommodations should request them separately. UA HR does not provide academic and classroom accommodations for students.
For more information on requesting academic accommodations for classes, exams, and student housing, etc., contact your campus-specific Disability Student Services office.
To resolve a minor conflict or to adjust your accommodations if they are no longer working for you, please contact the ADA Accessibility Team before filing a grievance.
For more information on submitting a grievance, please visit our Equity & Compliance page.
We want to know! If you experience a barrier that prevents full access, please fill out a Barrier Report for the campus you are trying to access