The federal Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990, as amended in 2008, and other federal laws -- including, without limitation, Sections 504 and 508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Workforce Investment Act of 1998 -- prohibit discrimination against qualified individuals with disabilities as students, job applicants, employees, and users of public accommodations and services at the University of Georgia (UGA). These laws also require that UGA's programs, services and activities, when viewed in their entirety, be readily accessible to and usable by qualified individuals with disabilities and require that UGA make reasonable modifications to its policies, practices, and procedures to give equal access to qualified individuals with disabilities. See:
- UGA Notice of Provision and Applicability of the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Rehabilitation Act.
- UGA Faculty, Staff and Job Applicants with Disabilities and related Policy Memorandum
The University of Georgia’s Non-Discrimination and Anti-Harassment Policy (“NDAH Policy”) likewise prohibits discrimination and harassment of individuals with disabilities within the University Community.
An individual with a disability is a person who has:
- a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities (e.g., walking, eating, breathing, sleeping, major bodily functions, etc.), OR
- a record of such impairment, OR
- who is regarded as having such impairment.
To be qualified, an individual with a disability must meet the basic skill, education, training or other eligibility requirements of the relevant job or academic program, and must be able to perform the essential functions of the relevant job or academic program, either with or without reasonable accommodation. In other words, employment or academic standards are not lowered for persons with disabilities.
Some examples of reasonable accommodations include, but are not limited to:
- Reasonable modifications to rules, policies, or practices (e.g., adjusting exam times or methods, modified work schedule)
- Removal of architectural, communication, or transportation barriers
- Provision of assistive technology and auxiliary aids and services (e.g., interpreters, readers, note-takers)
- Modification of equipment or devices
How UGA students with disabilities can request accommodations
The University of Georgia is committed to providing equal educational opportunities to all students who qualify for admission, and offers qualifying students with disabilities a variety of services and accommodations to ensure that both facilities and programs are accessible. The University’s Disability Resource Center (DRC) exists to assist students with requesting and coordinating reasonable accommodations and to connect students with the appropriate resources and supports to ensure a welcoming and accessible educational experience. This includes during orientation and campus visits.
To talk with a DRC coordinator about requesting accommodations or to schedule an intake interview, students should contact the DRC at (706) 542-8719 or (706) 542-8778 (tty) or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Students can also begin the accommodations process by visiting the DRC's Register for Services page.
In evaluating requests for accommodations, the DRC will take into consideration, without limitation, self-reports, records of past accommodations and services from high school and other colleges, formal psychological or medical evaluations, and letters from health service providers. Documentation guidelines for specific categories of disabilities are available on the DRC’s website.
For further information on accommodations, services and resources for students and other University community members with disabilities, please visit the DRC’s website.
How UGA employees and job applicants with disabilities can request accommodations
University employees and job applicants may request accommodations by contacting UGA Human Resources’ Faculty and Staff Relations at (706) 542-9756. Current employees may also request accommodations by completing the Employee Accommodation Request Form and returning it to:
University of Georgia
Human Resources, Faculty & Staff Relations
315 S. Thomas Street
Athens, GA 30602
A request for accommodation can be made 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.
Appeals of employee requests for disability accommodations are handled by the Equal Opportunity Office which houses the Disability Coordinator for the University.
For further information, please visit UGA Human Resources' "Disability services and accommodations" webpage.
How guests and visitors with disabilities can request accommodations
Guests and visitors at the University of Georgia who need accommodations should contact the University department or office that is hosting or coordinating the relevant activity or event to request the specific accommodation(s) needed. Guests and visitors may also contact the Equal Opportunity Office which houses the Disability Coordinator for the University.
Guest and visitor requests for accommodation(s) are encouraged to be made in as much advance of the relevant activity or event as possible.
Text telephone users may route inquiries through the Georgia Relay Center at 711.
Additional information on disability accommodations, services and resources
For further information on disability accommodations, services and resources for University community members, please visit UGA's Disability Resource Center’s webpage, which includes a list of Campus Resources, and the Equal Opportunity Office’s Disability Services and Disability Discrimination webpages.