University job applicants and employees with disabilities requiring accommodations should visit the University Human Resources’ “Disability services and accommodations” webpage or contact Human Resources’ Faculty and Staff Relations at (706) 542-9756. See also:
- UGA Faculty, Staff and Job Applicants with Disabilities and related Policy Memorandum
- How Can I Request Disability Accommodations?
Note that University job applicants should not be asked at the pre-job-offer stage about the existence, nature, or severity of a disability, except that:
- All applicants may be asked if a reasonable accommodation is needed to complete the application process, and
- Applicants with an obvious or visible disability that could reasonably be believed to affect their ability to perform the essential job 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 University 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, University employees may be asked disability-related questions only if it is reasonable to believe that the employee is unable to perform, or cannot safely perform, the essential job functions because of a disability.
Meanwhile, a University 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). The right to ask for accommodation is not waived because not requested at the application or hiring stage.
There are no “magic words” for what constitutes a request for an accommodation and the request need not initially be made in writing. Moreover, the request can come from a third party, such as the applicant or employee’s family member or medical provider. 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 how it affects the applicant’s or employee’s functioning.
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 with the person with a disability to:
- determine if s/he can reasonably be accommodated to enable him/her to perform the essential job functions, and timely provide any such reasonable accommodations.
Where more than one method or type of reasonable accommodation exists, the preference of the person with a disability will be considered but the University is ultimately the decision-maker as to what method or type of accommodation is provided, so long as it is effective.