For students and employees, it is advisable to confront any potential conflicts as early as possible rather than waiting until the deadline or event is upon you, leaving everyone little time to plan and consider alternatives in a comprehensive way. For students, this can be accomplished as soon as you receive the course syllabus. If an accommodation is given, students and employees may be required to complete coursework or work assignments in advance of an absence, which further demonstrates the need to address the conflict early.
Instructors and employers should be aware that the time needed for a student's or an employee's accommodation may extend beyond the length of the religious observation itself, including for the purposes of travel or to complete missed coursework or work assignments. Instructors and employers should also be aware that religious observances can vary widely not only between religions, but within them as well, which may call for different kinds of accommodation.
Individuals with physical or mental impairments who are otherwise qualified to perform their work or pursue their studies may request reasonable accommodations to enable them to work or continue their studies. The Americans with Disabilities Act, the Rehabilitation Act, and Iowa's Civil Rights Act enables covered individuals to receive accommodations so long as the accommodations are reasonable and do not cause an undue hardship or fundamentally alter an academic program. An individual's specific request for accommodation may not necessarily be granted if there are other effective means of achieving the same result. Individuals must communicate with university personnel to identify reasonable, effective accommodations.
In all instances, documentation will be required to substantiate the need for an accommodation. It is advisable to confront any potential conflicts as early as possible rather than waiting until the deadline or event is upon you, leaving everyone little time to plan and consider alternatives in a comprehensive way.
Request for Accommodations
All employees may seek additional assistance from the Office of Equal Opportunity or University Human Resources. Students must contact Student Disability Resources at the Student Services Building to inititate the accomodation process. Employees should take the following steps in order to initiate their request:
- Complete the Disability Accommodation Request (DAR) form
- Submit the completed DAR form to your supervisor
- Complete the Documentation of Disability form in conjunction with your physician or health care provider
- You complete Section 1
- Your physician or health care provider completes Section 2
- Note: provide a copy of your job description to your provider
- Submit the completed Documentation of Disability form to University Human Resources at 3810 Beardshear Hall or via fax at 515-294-1702
UHR Employee/Labor Relations will decide if you are eligible for workspace accommodation. Individual requests may not necessarily be granted if there are alternate means of achieving the same result. You must communicate with university personnel to identify reasonable, effective accommodations.
If you are eligible, an ADA Specialist and your supervisor will meet to discuss possible accommodations.
If you disagree with a decision regarding an accommodation request, you may submit a written appeal stating the reason for the disagreement to the Office of Equal Opportunity within 30 calendar days of the date of the decision.
In January of 2008, the Senate of the Government of the Student Body presented a resolution to the Faculty Senate, Graduate and Professional Student Senate, the Office of Equal Opportunity, and the Dean of Students Office. The resolution asked that the absences and religious observances procedure and policy be modified to include specific language regarding the impact of this policy on students and faculty.
The resolution was approved by and finalized by the Provost, Equal Opportunity and University Legal Counsel. The policy below is the result of great collaboration.
Iowa State University welcomes diversity of religious beliefs and practices, recognizing the contributions differing experiences and viewpoints can bring to the community. There may be times when an academic or work requirement conflicts with religious observances and practices. If that happens, students and employees may request reasonable accommodation of their religious practices. In all cases, you must put your request in writing. The instructor or supervisor will review the situation in an effort to provide a reasonable accommodation when possible to do so without fundamentally altering a course or creating an undue burden for the instructor, supervisor or department.
Request for Accommodations
For employees, you should inform your supervisor of the conflict and your requested accommodation at the earliest possible time. You or your supervisor may also seek assistance from University Human Resources or the Office of Equal Opportunity.
For students, you should first discuss the conflict and your requested accommodation with your professor at the earliest possible time. You or your instructor may also seek assistance from the Dean of Students Office or the Office of Equal Opportunity.
Your supervisor will review the request in an effort to provide a reasonable accommodation when possible to do so without creating an undue burden for your supervisor and department.
If an accommodation is given, you may be required to work assignments in advance of an absence, which further demonstrates the need to address the conflict early.
Inquiries regarding ergonomics may be directed to Environmental Health and Safety.