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Policies and Guidance Related to Accessibility and Persons with Disabilities at Oregon State University
Faculty & Staff
Employees with disabilities needing assistance should apply to their departments, though the Office of Equity and Inclusion (OEI) can be contacted at any time for assistance. If a department is unable to provide accommodation, the request should be forwarded to OEI. The OEI, working with other appropriate administrative units, will determine whether or not accommodation can be made and, if necessary, assist departments in securing resources. Contact: Office of Equity and Inclusion (541-737-3556).
The Director of Disability Access Services (DAS) has the responsibility for providing services to students with disabilities. DAS funds auxiliary aids such as interpreters, note takers, alternative testing, and taped text books. This office administers the procedures by which students disclose a disability and request access. Contact: Disability Access Services (541-737-4098).
Customers, Clients, Members of the Public
University services, programs, and activities must be accessible to individuals with disabilities which may include customers, clients, and members of the public. Individual units are responsible for ensuring that their programs, services, and activities are accessible. If a department or college is unable to fund the necessary accommodations, a request for funds may be forwarded to the OEI. The OEI will make a request for funding to the appropriate administrative unit. Contact: Office of Equity and Inclusion (541-737-3556).
The Office of Equity and Inclusion is responsible for overseeing compliance with regard to state and federal regulations that prohibit discrimination on the basis of disability and require reasonable accommodation. Complaints of discrimination based on disability may be filed in the OEI. Contact: Office of Equity and Inclusion (541-737-3556).
Responding to Requests for Accommodation:
An employee with a disability should contact their department to request an accommodation, unless the employee would prefer to work through OEI first. When an employee contacts a department to request a job modification or accommodation, there is no need for the department to contact OEI unless the department wishes to deny the request, or would like to discuss the accommodation with OEI before providing it. Only OEI, through an interactive process including the employee and the department, can assess whether to deny a request for an accommodation. The OEI first determines whether the employee has a qualifying disability; if so, the OEI facilitates a process between the employee and the department to ascertain whether or not reasonable accommodation can be made. As needed, the OEI may also help a department identify and/or secure resources for an agreed-upon accommodation.
Faculty members and department staff should work with Disability Access Services to accommodate the needs of students with disabilities. Visit the Disability Access Services website for information about making your classes and materials accessible to the largest number of students.
Departments should work directly with visitors/conference attendees/job applicants to accommodate their needs. Units seeking sign language interpreters should contact Disability Access Services. If a department is unable to provide accommodation, it may request assistance from the OEI. Learn more about accessible event planning and advertising to ensure access for the campus community and visitors.
Any information you receive regarding the disability of a student or employee should be kept confidential and shared only on a strict need-to-know basis.
Rules Against Acquiring Genetic Information
The Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008 (GINA) prohibits employers and other entities covered by GINA Title II from requesting or requiring genetic information of an individual or family member of the individual. There are six narrow exceptions to this prohibition:
- Inadvertent acquisitions of genetic information do not violate GINA, such as in situations where a manager or supervisor overhears someone talking about a family member’s illness.
- Genetic information (such as family medical history) may be obtained as part of health or genetic services, including wellness programs, offered by the employer on a voluntary basis, if certain specific requirements are met.
- Family medical history may be acquired as part of the certification process for FMLA leave (or leave under similar state or local laws or pursuant to an employer policy), where an employee is asking for leave to care for a family member with a serious health condition.
- Genetic information may be acquired through commercially and publicly available documents like newspapers, as long as the employer is not searching those sources with the intent of finding genetic information or accessing sources from which they are likely to acquire genetic information (as websites and on-line discussion groups that focus on issues such as genetic testing of individuals and genetic discrimination).
- Genetic information may be acquired through a genetic monitoring program that monitors the biological effects of toxic substances in the workplace where the monitoring is required by law or, under carefully defined conditions, where the program is voluntary.
- Acquisition of genetic information of employees by employers who engage in DNA testing for law enforcement purposes as a forensic lab or for purposes of human remains identification is permitted, but the genetic information may only be used for analysis of DNA markers for quality control to detect sample contamination.
Confidentiality of Genetic Information
GINA also prohibits a covered entity from disclosing genetic information about applicants, employees, or members. Covered entities must keep genetic information confidential and in a separate medical file. (Genetic information may be kept in the same file as other medical information in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act.) There are limited exceptions to this non-disclosure rule, such as exceptions that provide for the disclosure of relevant genetic information to government officials investigating compliance with Title II of GINA and for disclosures made pursuant to a court order.
If you have questions or wish to request training for your unit, you may contact:
- Disability Access Services at 541-737-3669 for questions dealing with services to students and classroom instruction; or,
- Office of Equity and Inclusion at 541-737-0868 for general information and training, reasonable accommodation requests, dedicated parking, and financial resources for providing accommodation.