Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act / Americans with Disabilities Act Compliance: Employees - January 2005 Revision
Notice of the Board’s policy on non-discrimination in employment practices will be posted through annual newspaper notices, written in the Board Policy Handbook, posted throughout the district, and published in any district statement regarding the availability of employment positions.
Information regarding the District’s policy on non-discrimination in employment practices will be provided to potential employees in pre-employment settings.
In the planning of training sessions for employees, availability of training sessions (including physical access to the training site) will not be limited so as to discriminate against employees with disabilities.
In determining hiring, transfer or promotion of employees, placement will not be determined or influenced by any employee’s disabling condition. It is the prerogative of the employer, however, to determine office, classroom, or other area of work based on already accessible work areas.
Each job description is written to:
Identify any environmental factors that could create a barrier for a person with a disability;
Ensure that all essential physical, mental and intellectual qualifications have been defined and justified;
Identify the types of abilities which would qualify a person to fulfill the essential functions of a job.
“Reasonable accommodation” may include for employees, where such would not impose “undue hardship”:
making facilities used by employees readily accessible to and usable by persons with disabilities;
job restructuring and part-time or modified work schedules;
acquisition or modification of equipment or devices;
the provision of readers or interpreters and other similar actions. (This is not an all-inclusive list of possible accommodations.)
The District will not use employment tests or other selection criteria that tend to screen out persons with disabilities unless those criteria are demonstrably job related.
Reasonable Accommodation Requests/Procedures
- An employee who believes he or she requires an accommodation to meet the essential functions of the job may request an accommodation.
- The employee must initiate a request for reasonable accommodation accompanied by documentation of the condition, if necessary, which may qualify as a disability. The type of documentation, if needed, will depend on the disability and can be, among others, medical, psychological or diagnostic.
- The District 504/ADA Coordinator is the Director of the Office of Equal Opportunity Services (OEOS). The OEOS should be contacted to obtain a packet to apply for an ADA Accommodation. The instructions in the packet should be followed and all paperwork completed and returned to OEOS. Upon completion of the documentation to OEOS, options will be explored and a determination made of what occurs next.
- At no time prior to this contact should the administrator agree to a specific accommodation or make a financial commitment to the employee. Many accommodations can be accomplished on site with no need for modification and at no cost.
- Options may include, but are not limited to, the development of an employee accommodation plan, physical access request, further medical clarification, job restructuring and/or transfer.
- When the necessary accommodation is complicated or requires District funding, the District ADA Accommodation Committee may need to be involved for physical access issues and before financial commitments are made. Any consideration of job restructuring or transfer must include the involvement of the Human Resources Department. When necessary, the ADA Accommodation Committee will assist the administration in determining the most cost effective accommodation that meets the need, considering also the employee’s suggestions on his or her Accommodation Request.
- All accommodations agreed upon and initiated are to be documented by the employee’s supervisor and the 504/ADA Coordinator using the Employee Accommodation form. A copy of this form is maintained by the 504/ADA Coordinator, who keeps confidential records on disability accommodations separate from the Human Resources Department personnel files. No disability records will be kept in the Human Resources Department personnel files.
- APS considers all requests for accommodation to determine if the request is reasonable and necessary to meet the essential functions of a job.
- This is an interactive process involving as many individuals as necessary to ensure that the employee receives whatever reasonable accommodation he or she needs in order to perform the essential functions of his or her job.
- Individuals who are deaf and/or hearing impaired may directly contact the Lead Interpreter to obtain sign language interpreter services. If the individual knows in advance the dates an interpreter will be needed, he or she may make the request for all known dates at the time of the initial contact. Please contact the APS department listed herein as soon as you are aware of your need. Requests for interpreters must be made at least 48 hours in advance of the event. Please make your request to: APS – Lead Interpreter – Aztec Complex, 2611 Eubank Blvd., NE., Albuquerque, NM 87112. Phone number (505) 362-3238 or 362-1293 (email@example.com)
- For information regarding service animals in schools and at school activities, please refer to the “Animals in School” procedural directive. This procedural directive states in Item I: Service animals may be used in school environments and for off-campus school activities. In order to use service animals, prior approval must be obtained from the appropriate site administrator and associate superintendent. Documentation must be provided indicating that the service animal has (a) received all required vaccinations, and (b) successfully completed appropriate training.
Dispute Resolution Procedures
APS provides a dispute resolution process for Section 504/ADA complaints. The procedure provides for the prompt and equitable resolution of the dispute. The procedure follows these steps:
- The complainant will file a written complaint, stating the specific facts of his or her dispute, the alleged discriminatory act, and the remedy requested with the Section 504/ADA Coordinator/Designee.
- The Section 504/ADA Coordinator/Designee will make all reasonable efforts to resolve the matter informally at the administrative level most immediate to the complaint.
- In the event the complaint cannot be resolved informally, the District will convene an informal hearing no later than ten (10) working days after the filing of the complaint. The complainant must attach any copies of documents that he or she wishes to be reviewed in support of his or her claim prior to the hearing. This request is sent to the Section 504/ADA Coordinator/Designee who is responsible for making all arrangements for the informal hearing. The appropriate administrator will be contacted by the Section 504/ADA Coordinator/Designee regarding the hearing request. The administrator will provide copies of any documents that support his or her previous decision regarding the employee accommodation. Both parties will receive a copy of the documentation that is submitted prior to the informal hearing. Witnesses may be called and cross-examined. The informal hearing will be facilitated by the Section 504/ADA Coordinator/Designee. The Hearing Panel will consist of the ADA Specialist and three (3) individuals who do not have a vested interest in the site or the individual who is making the appeal, the Physical Access Specialist and the 504/ADA Coordinator/Designee who will act as the hearing officer. These individuals will be selected from the ADA Accommodation Committee. Within ten (10) working days of the hearing, the 504/ADA Coordinator/Designee will provide a written copy of the determination to both parties. The complainant may appeal the outcome of the hearing to the Superintendent within ten (10) working days of the receipt of the determination. The appeal must be in writing. It must be submitted with copies of the original complaint, the minutes of the hearing and the written determination. The Superintendent may, at his or her discretion, convene within ten (10) working days a second hearing at which the parties may present additional testimony and argument.
- Within ten (10) working days of a second hearing or initial hearing, the Superintendent provides both parties with a written decision.
- Timelines set forth herein may be waived upon mutual consent or showing of good cause.
- The complainant will be notified of his or her rights of appeal at each step of the process.
- Section 504/ADA: Physical Access for Students, Parents and Employees with Disabilities
- Section 504/ADA Compliance: Students
- Disability Harassment: Students
- Discrimination and Harassment: Students
- Discrimination and Harassment: Employees
NSBA/NEPN Classification: GBA
Revised: May 1995
Revised: February 1996
Revised: April 1996
Revised: May 1997
Revised: May, 2000
Revised: January 2005
Revised: June 20, 2006