Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Information
Middlebury is committed to creating a diverse, equitable, and inclusive environment for all students, employees, and visitors. Part of this commitment is to ensure equal employment opportunities for individuals with disabilities.
Middlebury complies with the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”). Middlebury does not discriminate against qualified individuals with disabilities in any aspect of the employment relationship and strives to provide reasonable accommodation to otherwise qualified employees or applicants with disabilities. The disability accommodation process is intended to be interactive and collaborative, relying on open communication and active participation between the employee or applicant, the position supervisor, and Human Resources (HR). The primary goal of this process is to foster an environment where an employee or applicant can perform all of the essential functions of the position, with or without reasonable accommodation.
Guidance and information for individuals who have questions about or would like to request a disability accommodation can be found in the resources below.
- ADA Policy
- Request for Accommodation Form
- ADA Request for Accommodation Medical Inquiry Form
- Middlebury’s Disability Resource Center
ADA Compliance Procedures
Middlebury recognizes and supports the standards set forth in Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), the ADA Amendment Act of 2008, and similar state laws, which are designed to eliminate discrimination against qualified individuals with disabilities.
Middlebury’s policy is to provide reasonable accommodation to qualified individuals with disabilities who are employees or applicants for employment. An individual with a disability may request reasonable accommodation in all aspects of employment. Requesting reasonable accommodation will not adversely affect an individual’s consideration for employment, training, promotion, or opportunity to enjoy equal terms, benefits, privileges, or conditions of employment.
Information contained in communications regarding Middlebury activities or opportunities covered by this policy will be made available to an employee with a disability in a manner or format that is accessible to that employee.
Any otherwise qualified employee or applicant will be eligible for reasonable accommodations under this policy. An otherwise qualified employee or applicant is an employee or applicant who meets the skill, experience, education, and other job-related requirements of the position they hold or seek, and who is able to perform the essential functions of the position with or without reasonable accommodation. Nothing in this policy obligates Middlebury to hire or promote an individual with disabilities who, with or without reasonable accommodation, is not the best qualified for the position in question.
A reasonable accommodation is a modification or adjustment to the job application process and/or the position or work environment to enable an individual to be considered for the position sought, to perform the essential functions of the job, or to enjoy the benefits and privileges of employment substantially equal to those enjoyed by others without disabilities, unless an accommodation that would be unduly costly, extensive, substantial, or disruptive or that would fundamentally alter the nature or operation of the business.
Examples of reasonable accommodations include: restructuring jobs by reallocating or redistributing non-essential functions; altering when or how an essential job function is performed; modifying schedules; permitting exceptional use of accrued leave or leave without pay; acquiring or modifying equipment or devices; allowing the use of special equipment or devices provided by the individual; making facilities accessible; or reassigning employees (but not applicants) with disabilities to vacant positions for which they qualify.
Request for Accommodation
Each disability accommodation request is reviewed on a case-by-case basis to honor the uniqueness of each circumstance. The accommodation process is intended to be a supportive and interactive dialogue between the individual and Human Resources. The goals is to identify and implement an accommodation(s) that reduce access barriers and enable employees to successfully perform the duties associated with their position. Middlebury recognizes the need to be sensitive to the needs of the individual while simultaneously meeting the College’s responsibility to comply with the requirements set forth in Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), the ADA Amendment Act of 2008, and similar state laws.
Any employee or applicant may at any time inform their immediate supervisor or Human Resources of a request for a reasonable accommodation under this policy or may indicate that an adjustment or change is needed in their job because of disability-related access barriers. Individuals with disabilities must provide Human Resources with a completed Request for Accommodation form by clicking this link: Request for Accommodation form and a, ADA Employee Request for Accommodation Medical Inquiry Form by clicking this link to a printable PDF form: ADA Request for Accommodation Medical Inquiry Form to assist Middlebury in determining if and what reasonable accommodation should be provided that would enable the employee to perform the essential job functions properly and safely. Employees or applicants with disabilities may also identify equipment, aids or services that they are willing to supply and use. If completion of this form is difficult for an individual, contact Human Resources for assistance. Once the accommodation request is received, Human Resources will review the request and identify any additional documentation that is needed to move forward. Information contained in communications regarding Middlebury activities or opportunities covered by this policy will be made available to an employee with a disability in a manner or format that is accessible to that employee.
Verification of Need
The rationale for seeking information about a employee’s disability is to support HR in establishing disability, understanding how disability may impact an employee, and making informed decisions about accommodations. Professional judgment is an essential component of this process. Ensuring that accommodations provide effective access requires a deliberative and collaborative process that is responsive to the unique experience of each individual, as advised by the ADA. An otherwise qualified individual who requests reasonable accommodation may be required to provide documentation, including medical records, sufficient to establish the existence of the disability and the need for accommodation. Documentation is sufficient if it substantiates that the individual has a disability and needs the reasonable accommodation requested. Sufficient medical documentation should describe the nature, severity, and duration of the impairment, the activity or activities that the impairment limits, the extent to which the impairment limits the employee’s ability to perform the activity or activities, and should also substantiate why the requested reasonable accommodation is needed. If additional documentation is necessary to establish the need for accommodation, Middlebury may refer an employee to a medical provider paid for by Middlebury to verify the existence or nature of a disability and to provide a basis upon which a reasonable accommodation can be assessed. All information obtained about the medical condition or history of the employee will be treated as confidential.
Human Resources, in consultation with medical or other authorized personnel, will determine if the documentation provided warrants the provision of a reasonable accommodation(s). If Middlebury determines that the documentation provided does not warrant an accommodation, they will be notified.
Assessment of Accommodation
When an individual is determined to be disabled, an assessment of the availability of reasonable accommodation will be made by Human Resources, individually, or in consultation with the appropriate supervisor or medical or other authorized personnel retained by Middlebury. Each situation will be assessed on its own unique facts. Factors to be examined include: the purpose and essential functions of the job; the precise job-related abilities and functional limitations of the individual and how those limitations could be overcome with reasonable accommodation(s) the extent to which reasonable accommodation(s) would address any barriers that would otherwise prevent the individual from completing the essential functions of the job; the nature and cost of the accommodation needed in relation to Middlebury’s financial resources; and other federal and state regulatory requirements. In deciding what, if any, accommodations will be offered, Middlebury will consider the input and preference of the individual involved with the goal of providing an employee’s preferred accommodations where possible. In all cases Middlebury will review and determine the reasonableness of those preferred accommodations before suggesting alternatives. Where two or more accommodations would meet the need Middlebury reserves the right to choose the one that is less costly or easier to implement.
The individual will be notified of Middlebury’s decision regarding providing reasonable accommodation. Reasonable accommodation is meant to allow for the successful completion of job duties. Accommodation will not fundamentally alter the job or performance standards.