FAQ’s

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

1. What kinds of medical conditions are considered a ‘disability’?

The Americans with Disabilities Act (as amended) defines disability as a physical or mental impairment that prevents or seriously restricts a major life activity other than working. Life activities include, but are not limited to walking, seeing, hearing, speaking, breathing, learning, or taking care of oneself.

Major life activities also include major bodily functions, which include but are not limited to functions of the immune system, normal cell growth, digestive, bowel, bladder, neurological, brain, respiratory, circulatory, endocrine, and reproductive functions.

2. What kinds of accommodations can I receive?

An accommodation is any adjustment to a job, work environment or work policy/practice that would help a person with a disability:

  • Apply for a job
  • Perform their job duties or
  • Enjoy benefits and privileges of employment equal to those enjoyed by staff without disabilities (such as trainings or Yale sponsored events/trips).

Accommodations can include, but are not limited to:

  • Equipment, software or products that can help increase, maintain or improve the functional capabilities of persons with a disability
  • Flexible work arrangements
  • Adjustments to workplace policies
  • Job reassignment
  • Job restructuring (for marginal duties)
  • Classroom reassignment (for faculty members)

3. How do I make a request for a reasonable accommodation?

You can make a request for an accommodation at any time orally or in writing. You should request a reasonable accommodation from the Office for Equal Opportunity Programs. You can contact the office via phone or e-mail at equalopportunity@yale.edu. You can also make a request by completing the Employee Accommodation Request Form.

If you make a reasonable accommodation request to someone other than an OEOP staff member, such as your manager or the Human Resources Generalist who supports your department/unit, these individuals should forward the request to OEOP as soon as possible.

Once your request is received by OEOP, you will be assigned a case manager who will engage with you in an interactive process designed to understand your needs and identify and implement any accommodations that would be reasonable and effective.

4. Should I share my doctor’s note with my manager?

If you would like an adjustment or change concerning some aspect of your job or a benefit of employment for a reason related to a medical condition, you are not required to share your note with your manager.

You should share your doctor’s note with the Office for Equal Opportunity Programs (OEOP) if you are seeking a workplace accommodation. You can send the note to the office via fax at (203) 432-7884, via e-mail at equalopportunity@yale.edu or in person at our offices on the fourth floor of 221 Whitney Avenue.

If you are in the accommodation program and have a doctor’s note related to your accommodation, you should not share the note with your manager. You should send it to your OEOP case manager.

5. Who will receive information about my disability?

Any medical information provided as part of the accommodation process will be maintained confidentially by the Office for Equal Opportunity Programs (OEOP) in accordance with the law.

Although OEOP will not share your medical diagnosis or any details related to your treatment, OEOP will share information regarding your request and any existing workplace accommodation as necessary to identify and implement a workplace accommodation. The information disclosed will be no more than is necessary to process the request and OEOP will inform recipients about confidentiality requirements.

Under some circumstances, first aid or safety personnel may be informed of your limitations to provide emergency treatment or special evacuation assistance.

Please note that the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008 (GINA) prohibits covered employers (like Yale) from requesting or requiring genetic information of an individual or family member of the individual, except as specifically allowed by the law.

To comply with this law, we ask you to refrain from providing any genetic information when responding to this request for medical information. “Genetic information”, as defined by GINA, includes an individual’s family medical history, the results of an individual’s family medical history, the results of an individual’s or family member’s genetic test, the fact that an individual or any individual’s family member sought or received genetic services, and genetic information of a fetus carried by an individual or an individual’s family member or an embryo lawfully held by an individual or family member received assistive reproductive services.

6. Where is my information stored?

If you are requesting an accommodation (or are in the accommodation program), any records, history or information provided by you or your medical provider as part of the accommodation process will be maintained by the Office for Equal Opportunity Programs (OEOP) and will not be a part of your personnel file. Any records related to your disability maintained by OEOP will be treated as confidential and access is limited to protect your privacy.

7. Who pays for equipment needed as a reasonable accommodation?

The Office for Equal Opportunity Programs pays for equipment needed as a reasonable accommodation for individuals in the accommodation program.

TYPES OF REASONABLE ACCOMMODATIONS

8. How do I secure a sign language interpreter?

If a deaf or hearing-impaired faculty member, staff member or applicant needs an American Sign Language interpreter for a work-related reason, the Office for Equal Opportunity Programs will secure a qualified interpreter (or interpreter service) for that individual. If you need Sign Language services, please request an interpreter no later than 10 business days prior to the service date.

9. I need to park next to my workplace due to a medical condition. How do I arrange that?

The Office for Equal Opportunity Programs manages a special parking program for employees with temporary or permanent disabilities. OEOP manages the program, Yale Transit assigns individual spaces. If you need to change your parking space due to a medical condition, you or your medical provider should send a completed request form to OEOP via fax at (203) 432-7884, scan to equalopportunity@yale.edu or mail to the Office for Equal Opportunity Programs, 221 Whitney Avenue, P.O. Box 208295, New Haven, CT 06520-8295.

10. I need help getting around campus due to a medical condition. What are my options?

The Office for Equal Opportunity Programs manages a Special Services Van program for employees with temporary or permanent disabilities. If you need help getting around campus due to a medical condition, you or your medical provider should send a completed request form to OEOP via fax at (203) 432-7884, scan to equalopportunity@yale.edu or mail to the Office for Equal Opportunity Programs, 221 Whitney Avenue, P.O. Box 208295, New Haven, CT 06520-8295. The Special Services Van is operated by Yale Transit and operates within defined boundaries. Please contact Yale Transit with any questions about the boundaries of the Special Services Van.

11. Can I receive an accommodation when I’m on a trip conducting Yale business (or on a Yale-sponsored trip)?

Yes, you can receive a reasonable accommodation that would help you perform your job duties or enjoy the benefits and privileges of employment while you are on a Yale sponsored trip (or a trip conducting Yale business). If you are interested in obtaining a reasonable accommodation for this purpose, you should contact the Office for Equal Opportunity Programs at least 60 days prior to your trip, to ensure that you receive support in a timely manner.

OTHER ISSUES

12. What laws protect individuals with disabilities 

The federal and state laws that protect individuals with disabilities requesting a reasonable accommodation in their workplace are the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA), the Americans with Disabilities Amendments Act of 2008 (ADAA), Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Connecticut Fair Employment Practices Act (CFEPA).

The ADA is a federal civil rights law that prohibits discrimination against persons with disabilities (and those who are perceived as disabled or have a record of a disability). The ADA prohibits employers from discriminating on the basis of disability and requires employers to provide reasonable accommodations to qualified applicants and employees with disabilities. Yale’s ADA Coordinator is Valarie J. Stanley, Director of the Office for Equal Opportunity Programs.

Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 prohibits discrimination on the basis of an employee’s disability in University programs and activities. Yale’s Section 504 Coordinator is Valarie J. Stanley, Director of the Office for Equal Opportunity Programs.

The CFEPA prohibits discrimination on the basis of a person’s present or past history of disability and requires employers to provide reasonable accommodations to employees with disabilities.

Yale also maintains a written affirmative action program for the employment and advancement in employment of persons with disabilities in accordance with Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973.

13. How can I obtain more information about Yale’s policies related to workplace accommodations?

For more information about Yale’s policies related to workplace accommodations or equal opportunities for persons with disabilities, please contact the Office for Equal Opportunity Programs at (203) 432-0849 or at equalopportunity@yale.edu.

14. What steps does Yale take to ensure that its websites and physical locations can be accessed and used by everyone?

The Provost’s Advisory Committee on Resources for Students and Employees with Disabilities helps the University assess the needs of students and employees with disabilities and recommend policies, processes and resources for improving campus accessibility. This committee has a Facilities Access Group sub-committee which helps assess the accessibility of buildings and grounds.

Yale recently adopted a Web Accessibility Policy that furthers the university’s commitment to making information, programs and activities on its websites and web applications accessible to people with disabilities. The Web Accessibility Policy applies to all websites and applications that conduct university business. Those who own such sites or are in roles that require them to work on University websites and web applications should:

  • Read and familiarize themselves with the policy;
  • Review the Best Practices series of articles maintained by Yale’s Information and Technology Services (ITS);
  • Attend trainings to learn more about the accessibility policy, how to create and maintain accessible digital content and accessibility and front-end best practices;  and
  • Explore the Usability and Website Accessibility website maintained by ITS.

15. How can I receive an ergonomic assessment?

You can receive an ergonomic assessment of your workplace by contacting the Environmental Health and Safety (EHS) Safety Advisor who supports your area.

16. What should I do if I need to take time off (or need a modified schedule) because of my medical condition?

If you need to change your schedule or take time off for medical reasons, you should contact Yale’s Employee Service Center to discuss your leave options.

17. Who can help students who need an accommodation?

Yale’s Resource Office on Disabilities helps identify appropriate accommodations for students with disabilities. 

18. What should I do in the event of an on-campus emergency?

You should consult with your department/unit to evaluate their emergency procedures. All employees are encouraged to consult Yale’s Office of Emergency Management (link) to develop emergency plans for a wide range of incidents.