Reasonable Accommodations for Employees and Applicants (Disability)

Effective: July 1, 2019
Contact: University Human Resources (UHR) 


Policy Statement
- Purpose
- Who Should Know
- Requesting Accommodation
- Interactive Process
- Providing Accommodation
- Confidentiality


This policy explains the university’s administration and facilitation of the interactive process to identify reasonable disability accommodations. top

Policy Statement


Iowa State University is committed to creating an inclusive environment for employees and recognizes disability as a valued component of diversity. 

It is the policy of Iowa State University to provide reasonable accommodations for qualified individuals with disabilities who are current employees of ISU or applicants for employment at ISU. 

Iowa State University is compliant with state and federal law. top

Who Should Know 

This policy applies to all Iowa State University employees. Additionally, this policy applies to all applicants for employment during the job application process. 

Further, managers and human resource employees have roles in creating an inclusive environment by identifying requests, providing resources, and engaging in the interactive process for reasonable accommodation. top

Requesting Accommodation 

University Human Resources (UHR) encourages early engagement in requesting accommodations for a disability. Employees and applicants may request accommodation at any time during the application process or course of employment. 

Current employees and applicants for employment are responsible for requesting a reasonable accommodation from their manager or UHR. Generally, requests for reasonable accommodation are made to human resources, the UHR Leave and Accommodation Coordinator, or the employee’s manager. Current employees and applicants for employment are also responsible for providing documentation of the disability from their health care provider to UHR in order for UHR to determine if it is a qualifying condition. Employees with a disability or accommodation have the same performance and conduct standards as employees without a disability or accommodation. 

When an employee changes positions within the university, reasonable accommodations from the previously held position will be reassessed in the next position as the essential functions of the next position may be different. Employees are responsible for contacting UHR to request accommodation in their next position. top

Interactive Process 

UHR coordinates the process of reasonable accommodations to maintain consistency across the university. 

The interactive process is initiated after an accommodation request is made and documentation of the request and necessary medical documentation is submitted to UHR. Managers or human resource employees who receive a request for an accommodation must contact the UHR Leave and Accommodation Coordinator to begin the interactive process. 

The process includes the requesting employee or applicant, the employee’s or applicant’s health care provider’s recommendations, the manager, appropriate departmental or university personnel, and UHR working together through an individualized assessment to identify and implement reasonable accommodations that are effective and do not impose undue hardship upon the university. If consensus is not reached on a reasonable accommodation, the Leave and Accommodation Coordinator will make a final determination on behalf of the university. When necessary, and with the consent of the employee or applicant, UHR may contact the employee’s or applicant’s health care provider to seek additional or clarifying information. 

Appeals regarding accommodation requests or accommodation decisions may be submitted to the Office of Equal Opportunity. top

Providing Accommodation 

Accommodation requests will be coordinated through UHR to ensure the employee or applicant is a qualified individual with a disability and the accommodation is determined to be reasonable through the interactive process. UHR will maintain regular communication with the employee or applicant throughout the interactive process, but after an accommodation is made it is the employee or applicant’s responsibility to bring any additional concerns or questions to the attention of UHR. 

An accommodation may be provided as long as it remains reasonable and does not create an undue hardship upon the university. In making this determination, the cost of the accommodation should not be disproportionate to the benefit. Additional review and adjustment of the workplace accommodations may occur. 

An employee is not required to accept an accommodation; however, if the employee rejects a reasonable accommodation necessary to perform the essential functions of their position and cannot, as a result of that rejection, perform the essential functions of the position, the employee may not be considered a qualified individual with a disability. top


UHR maintains confidentiality of medical information obtained through the request for reasonable accommodation process and such records shall not be released except as required by law. Managers will be made aware of limitations and proposed accommodations but will not have access to the documentation of disability. top