Emory Report

July 24, 2000

 Volume 52, No. 38

Focus: Human Resources

The Americans with Disabilities Act

The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 has now been in effect for a decade. To mark this occasion, celebrations have been scheduled locally, regionally and nationally. As with other antidiscrimination legislation, additional defining and refining is taking place as cases are tested through the courts. With the help of the Office of Disability Services, here are some commonly raised questions about Emory's program:

What kind of help is available for employees through the Office of Disability Services?

The office provides support and reasonable accommodations in the following areas: modification to work environment, auxiliary aids, structural accessibility and job restructuring or reassignments as appropriate on a case-by-case basis.

Who is the office contact person?

The contact person is Gloria McCord, director. She can be reached at 404-727-6016 or via e-mail at gmccord@emory.edu.

When I make contact, will I automatically receive services?

No. You must complete a registration form, followed by an intake appointment with the director.

What kind of documentation is needed?

Medical documentation from an appropriate health care professional is needed to substantiate a disability. The kind of services provided will be negotiated once the Office of Disability Services receives the documentation.

Must I disclose the nature of my medical disability to my direct line supervisor?

No. The identification of a medical disability is strictly voluntary. However, if a reasonable accommodation is being considered, contact may be required with the supervisor for general information while maintaining confidentiality of the specifics. It is inappropriate for any medical-related documentation to be kept in the office of a direct line supervisor.

Who determines a "reasonable" accommodation?

The reasonableness of an accommodation is driven by the medical documentation, the appropriateness of the request, cost (if any), sound wisdom and good judgment on behalf of Disability Services staff. It should be noted that consultation might be sought from other employee support resources.

If I have an issue with access or parking as it relates to a medical disability, whom should I contact?

Contact the Office of Disability Services at 404-727-6016.

Will my medical information be kept confidential?

Absolutely. However, if a reasonable accommodation is required, then others may need to be involved-but not without employee consent.

If I believe that I am being treated unfairly, due to a disclosed medical disability, by my supervisor or anyone else in the workplace, whom should I contact?

Contact the Office of Disability Services at 404-727-6016.

Who is responsible for making my needs known as it relates to my medical disability?

Employes are responsible for identifying themselves with the Office of Disability Services, especially if an accommodation is needed.

Wynell Lauver is communications coordinator for Human Resources

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