024.711 - Reasonable Accommodation for Academic Appointees with Disabilities


Departments, Colleges, and other academic units should contact their Divisional Academic Personnel Coordinator when requests for reasonable accommodation are made by academic appointees, in part because these requests may also involve a partial or full leave of absence. Divisional Academic Personnel Coordinators will consult with and/or involve the campus Disability Management Coordinator for guidance on the interactive process and providing reasonable accommodation. Consultation with the Academic Personnel Office on these issues and in reviewing essential job functions is recommended.

Kelly Roberts, Disability Management Coordinator: roberts@ucsc.edu and 459-4602.

Susan Fellows, Director, Academic Employee Relations: sfellows@ucsc.edu and 459-5032.


The University provides reasonable accommodation to otherwise qualified academic appointees who are disabled or become disabled and need assistance to perform the essential functions of their positions. Accommodation options will be considered in an interactive process with the appointee. Both the University and the appointee are expected to participate in the interactive process in good faith.

Related Policies

For other related policies, refer to the Academic Personnel Manual sections listed below:

a. APM - 710, Leaves of Absence/Sick Leave

b. APM - 715, Leaves of Absence/Family and Medical Leave

c. APM - 730, Leaves of Absence/Vacation

d. APM - 758, Leaves of Absence/Other Leaves With Pay

e. APM - 759, Leaves of Absence/Other Leaves Without Pay

f. APM - 080, Medical Separation

The Interactive Process

The interactive process is an ongoing dialogue between the appointee and appropriate representative(s) of the University about possible options for reasonably accommodating an appointee with a disability. During the interactive process the University considers information related to the essential functions of the job, functional limitations, possible accommodations, the reasonableness of possible accommodation, and the implementation of reasonable accommodation. The interactive process will also assess whether the proposed accommodation poses an undue hardship to the University. This information will be used by the University to determine what, if any, reasonable accommodation will be made. The interactive process for reasonably accommodating an appointee with a disability, including the reasons for reasonable accommodation, should be documented.

a. Unless the disability or the need for accommodation is known to the University, it is the responsibility of the academic appointee to inform the chair or unit head that an accommodation is needed in order for the appointee to perform the essential job functions of the position (see APM - 210-1-d, other relevant academic personnel policy, or job description for criteria for standards.) When the University knows of an appointee’s disabling condition, the chair or unit head is encouraged to initiate a discussion with the academic appointee to determine if there is a need for accommodation.

b. Upon receipt of information about the need for accommodation, the chair or unit head should consult with the department personnel manager (or equivalent officer) and the campus Disability Management office (or equivalent) to determine if the appointee is an otherwise qualified individual with a disability and, if so, to obtain assistance in reviewing essential job functions and the possible need for accommodation.

Consistent with campus procedures, the chair or unit head, in consultation with the Disability Management office (or equivalent) should consult with the academic appointee to determine any specific physical or mental limitations as they relate to the performance of the essential job functions, and to discuss the appointee’s preferences with regard to accommodation. The chair or unit head may request that the appointee provide written documentation from a licensed healthcare provider, including a statement of the appointee’s functional limitations. If requested, the appointee is responsible for providing medical documentation to assist in understanding the nature of the appointee’s functional limitations. Documentation provided by the appointee may be subject to confirmation by a University-selected healthcare provider. The University shall pay the cost of an assessment by a University-selected healthcare provider. This information will be used by the University to determine what reasonable accommodation, if any, will be made.

c. Consistent with campus procedures, the University will provide reasonable accommodation for essential job functions. Reasonable accommodation for an otherwise qualified academic appointee who is disabled or becomes disabled may include, but is not limited to:

1. making existing facilities readily accessible to and usable by the disabled appointee

2. providing classrooms with appropriate accessibility and instructional facilities

3. restructuring the job to eliminate non-essential job functions

4. granting a leave of absence in accordance with policy, see APM - 710, APM - 758, and APM - 759

5. reduction of appointment percentage on a temporary basis with corresponding reduction in duties, compensation and benefits

6. modifying the appointee’s work schedule

7. acquiring or modifying equipment or devices

8. providing qualified readers or interpreters

9. reassignment to an available alternative position for which the academic appointee is qualified

In addition to the examples given above, a permanent reduction in time with corresponding reduction in duties, compensation and benefits may be considered.

d. If it is not possible to provide reasonable accommodation to allow the performance of essential job functions, or if the accommodation would pose an undue hardship, the University may initiate a medical separation review (see APM - 080, Medical Separation).