Disabilities & Accommodation
Wayne State University is committed to a policy of non-discrimination and equal opportunity in all of its operations, employment opportunities, educational programs and related activities.
Several statutes set out the legal responsibilities of the University with regard to students and employees with disabilities – namely the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and Michigan’s Persons With Disabilities Civil Rights Act (PWDCRA).
A Qualified Individual With A Disability
The ADA has a three-part definition of "disability." This definition, based on the definition under the Rehabilitation Act, reflects the specific types of discrimination experienced by people with disabilities. Accordingly, it is not the same as the definition of disability in other laws, such as state workers' compensation laws or other federal or state laws that provide benefits for people with disabilities and disabled veterans.
Under the ADA, an individual with a disability is a person who:
- has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities;
- has a record of such an impairment; or
- is regarded as having such an impairment.
An “individual with a disability” is someone with a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities. The ADA covers all persons with disabilities in the United States, whether or not they are citizens and without regard to racial or ethnic origin.
Employment of Qualified Individuals with Disabilities
If you are a qualified individual with a disability, the ADA protects you from discrimination and requires employers to make reasonable accommodations for employees.
For these purposes, a “qualified individual with a disability” is defined as an individual with a disability who, with or without reasonable accommodation, can perform the essential functions of the employment position.
To be recognized as an individual with a disability, you must self-identify that you have a disability and need an accommodation. To ensure the provision of reasonable and appropriate services, you must contact the appropriate office related to your University status (faculty, staff) and present current documentation of disability to the appropriate office (this may include medical information and documentation). Once that office receives all required documentation, you will be contacted within one or two weeks. The University will provide an appropriate accommodation in a reasonable amount of time.
Reasonable accommodation is any change or adjustment to a job or work environment that permits a qualified applicant or employee with a disability to participate in the job applications process, to perform the essential functions of a job or to enjoy benefits and privileges of employment equal to those enjoyed by employees without disabilities.
Each accommodation is special and unique to that individual. The University responds to providing an accommodation on a case-by-case basis. A request for an accommodation and the documentation provided are kept confidential and are not a part of an employee's personnel file.
If you think you need an accommodation to perform the essential functions of your job or a job you are applying for, and you are part of the non-academic staff, contact the Office of Equal Opportunity at 577-2280.
If you think you need an accommodation to perform the essential functions of your job or a job you are apply for, and you are part of the faculty and academic staff, contact the ADA Coordinator in the Office of the Provost at 577-2200.
Discrimination against qualified individuals with disabilities in the provision of educational programs is also prohibited.
For these purposes, a “qualified individual with a disability” is defined as an individual with a disability who, with or without reasonable modifications to policies or the provision of auxiliary aids and services, meets the essential eligibility requirements for the programs or activities.
“Reasonable modifications” include modifications in policies, practices or procedures when the modifications are necessary to afford service to individuals with disabilities unless the making of the modification would fundamentally alter the nature of those goods or services. Modifications that create an undue burden for the institution are not required.
The University’s Students Disability Services facilitates reasonable modifications for students with disabilities and serves as a resource by providing technical assistance, information and disability awareness training to those in the University’s community. Contact the office at 577-1851 or visit their website at http://studentdisability.wayne.edu.
-- updated April, 2011