University of Georgia Disability Rights:
Providing Equal Educational & Employment Opportunities & Access for Persons with Disabilities
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Committed to a Fair and Respectful Environment for Living, Work & Study
The University of Georgia (UGA) is committed to providing equal educational and employment opportunities and access for qualified individuals with disabilities, including students, job applicants, employees, and users of UGA’s public accommodations and services.
An individual with a disability is a person who has a qualifying physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities, or who has a history of such impairment, or who is regarded as having such impairment. Employment or academic standards will not be lowered for persons with disabilities. Rather, an individual with a disability must be qualified to perform the essential functions of the relevant job or academic program, either with or without reasonable accommodations. Examples of reasonable accommodations include, without limitation, making facilities, equipment or technology accessible; modifying work schedules; providing interpreters or readers; providing assistive technology; allowing for the use of “service animals”; and adjusting exam times or methods.
Students with Disabilities
UGA offers students with disabilities a variety of services and accommodations to ensure that both facilities and programs are accessible. The Disability Resource Center (DRC) is available to assist students who know or suspect that they may have a disability and to help facilitate appropriate accommodations. See http://drc.uga.edu/ or call (706) 542-8719 or (706) 542-8778 (tty).
Applicants and Employees with Disabilities
UGA is committed to hiring and promoting qualified individuals with disabilities. Job applicants and employees requiring accommodation should visit UGA’s Human Resources’ “Disability Services and Accommodations” webpage (https://hr.uga.edu/employees/workplace-concerns/disability-services-accommodations/) or contact UGA’s Human Resources’ Faculty and Staff Relations at (706) 542-9756.
Job applicants should not be asked disability-related questions at the pre-offer stage, except that:
- All applicants may be asked if they need an accommodation to complete the application process, and
- Applicants with an obvious disability that could reasonably affect their ability to perform the essential functions of the position(s) for which they are applying may be asked about their ability to perform such job functions, and whether they will need any accommodation to do so.
After a job offer is made, entering UGA employees may be asked disability-related questions and/or required to take a medical exam, so long as the same questions and/or exam apply to all post-offer applicants in the same job category.
Once employed, UGA employees may be asked disability-related questions only if it is reasonable to believe that the employee is unable to, or cannot safely perform, the essential job functions due to a disability.
A UGA applicant or employee may request an accommodation at any point in the hiring and employment process (i.e., at the application stage, during the hiring interview, after an offer is made, after starting employment). If the disability is not obvious, the applicant or employee can be required to provide reasonable (i.e., not unduly burdensome) documentation from a health care professional of the disability and need for accommodation.
Once a request for accommodation is made, and documentation is provided (if the disability is non-obvious), the University will engage in an interactive process to:
- determine if the person with a disability can reasonably be accommodated to enable them to perform the essential job functions, and if so,
- timely provide any such reasonable accommodations.
Federal law requires that individuals with disabilities be permitted to be accompanied by their service animals in all areas of UGA where the public is normally allowed to go.
Federal law defines “service animal” as “any dog that is individually trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of an individual with a disability, including a physical, sensory, psychiatric, intellectual, or other mental disability.” The work or tasks performed by a service animal must be directly related to the disability of the dog’s handler.
Georgia state law also extends the right to equal public accommodation to service dogs-in-training.
For more information, please see:
- UGA’s Service Animal Policy (http://eoo.uga.edu/policies/service-animal-policy); and
- Related FAQs (http://eoo.uga.edu/policies/service-animal-policy-faqs).
Access to Electronic and Information Technology (EIT)
Federal law requires electronic and information technology (EIT) to be accessible to persons with disabilities. For information on EIT accessibility at UGA, please see:
- UGA Policy Memorandum: Equal Access to Electronic and Information Technology (http://eoo.uga.edu/policies/electronic-information-technology-accessibilty)
- Web Accessibility Group for higher education (http:www.amacusg.gatech.edu/wag/Main_Page)
- University System of Georgia Board of Regents’ Web Accessibility Guidelines (http://www.usg.edu/siteinfo/accessibility)
Disability Discrimination & Harassment
Discrimination and harassment on the basis of an actual or perceived disability in the educational and employment context are prohibited under federal law as well as under UGA’s Non-Discrimination and Anti-Harassment Policy (“NDAH Policy”), located at http://eoo.uga.edu/policies/nondiscrimination-anti-harassment-policy.
As defined by the NDAH Policy, disability harassment occurs where unwelcome verbal or physical conduct based on actual or perceived disability:
- Unreasonably interferes with work/educational performance;
- Creates an intimidating, hostile, or offensive environment; OR
- Unreasonably interferes with or limits one’s ability to participate in or benefit from a program or activity.
Individuals also cannot be subjected to disparate, adverse treatment compared to other similarly-situated persons based on their actual or perceived disability.
Reporting Disability Discrimination or Harassment
If you believe you have requested and been refused a reasonable accommodation or have experienced other disability-related discrimination or harassment, please contact the Equal Opportunity Office (EOO) at (706) 542-7912 or email@example.com.
UGA administrators, supervisors and all persons in positions of authority must report any complaints or knowledge of disability-related discrimination or harassment to the EOO. Failure to do so is a violation of the NDAH Policy.
The NDAH Policy also prohibits retaliation (i.e., adverse action including intimidation or further discrimination/harassment) for making a disability-related complaint or participating in an EOO investigation of such a complaint.
Revised: August 2019