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Accommodations

Employees requesting exemptions from the vaccination registration and/or accommodations for testing requirement due to a medical condition may make their request by following the steps below, under "COVID-19 and the ADA".

ADA and Accessibility Services responds to requests for ADA workplace accommodations at Virginia Tech.  University Policy 4075 is in place to assist individuals requesting accommodations and requires that each employee submit the appropriate forms provided by our office.

Disability-related information is protected health information. Disability-related information must be filed with the appropriate offices, including ADA and Accessibility Services (for employees) and Services for Students with Disabilities (for students).

A reasonable accommodation is any modification or adjustment to a job or the work environment that will enable a qualified applicant or employee with a disability to participate in the application process or to perform essential job functions.

Reasonable accommodations also include adjustments to assure that a qualified individual with a disability has rights and privileges in employment equal to those of employees without disabilities.  Reasonable accommodations do not change the fundamental elements of a program or eliminate the essential functions of a job.

A reasonable accommodation is any change to the application or hiring process, to the job, to the way the job is done, or the work environment that allows a person with a disability who is qualified for the job to perform the essential functions of that job and enjoy equal employment opportunities.  Accommodations may generally be considered “reasonable” if they do not create an undue hardship or a direct threat.

Employees with a variety of impairments may have difficulty traveling on the job. In some jobs, traveling is an essential part of the job; therefore, the employee needs to be able to travel to be qualified for his/her position. In other jobs, employees may travel, but there are other ways to perform the job without traveling.

When an employer requires on-the-job travel, accommodations, such as alternative methods of transportation, may be requested. Accommodations may generally be considered “reasonable” if they do not create an undue hardship or direct threat.

If an employee's medical provider indicates the employee may return to work with any medical restrictions, light duty or modified duty, the employee must request an ADA accommodation request in order to return to work with the recommended restrictions.  This includes employees on Family Medical Leave Act, Workers Compensation, Short Term Disability, and/or Long Term Disability Working.  For more information regarding benefits or leave, please contact hrleave@vt.edu.

Please keep in mind the interactive process generally requires 15 business days to complete. In order to effectively assist the employee, the employee should generally contact our office immediately once notified they will have medical restrictions upon return to work or to address any questions or concerns.

Employees with medical restrictions and working with Human Resources to apply for Long Term Disability Working must request an ADA accommodation request.  Required ADA forms can be found on this website.

ADA Reasonable Accommodations authorized for Long Term Disability Working must be reviewed every 30 days.

For more information regarding Long Term Disability Working, please contact hrleave@vt.edu.

Employees (including students in the workplace) can request an ADA accommodation by following these steps:

1)    Employee fills out medical release authorizing ADA and Accessibility Services to receive documents from medical provider.

2)    Employee provides cover letter and medical information request form to medical provider.

3)    Medical provider returns completed medical information request form to ADA and Accessibility Services by fax to 540-231-2990.

When all required forms have been fully completed and returned, someone in ADA and Accessibility Services will contact you.  If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact the ADA office at adaaccess@vt.edu.

Required forms for Workplace or Travel accommodation requests can be found online.

Required forms for Return to Work or Long Term Disability Working accommodaiton requests can be found online. 

COVID-19 and the ADA

The goal is to provide employees with information as Virginia Tech continues to make decisions about the operational status of the university.  Employees should remember that guidance from federal and state public health authorities is likely to change as the COVID-19 pandemic evolves.  Therefore, employees should continue to follow the most current information on maintaining workplace safety.  There are some helpful links below.

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) provides protection from discrimination for individuals on the basis of disability. During the COVID-19 pandemic individuals with disabilities have the same civil rights protection to access employment in the public and private sectors, transportation, public accommodations, services provided by state and local government, and telecommunications services.

ADA and Accessibility Services responds to requests for ADA workplace accommodations at Virginia Tech.  University Policy 4075 is in place to assist individuals requesting accommodations and requires that each employee submit adequate medical documentation to our office. 

As per University Policy 4075, where there are requests for accommodations or flexibility based on medical circumstances, we will ask that employees follow the outlined procedures below to make a request for reasonable accommodations.  This process will allow employees to seek accommodations without having to share confidential medical information with a supervisor.  Accommodations could include options such as an altered work schedule, telework, modification to office environment, PPE, additional cleaning supplies, exemption from vaccination requirements, and/or alternative forms of COVID-19 testing. 

Our office has streamlined processes for individuals requesting modifications to their workplace based on a disability during the COVID-19 pandemic.  Currently, an abbreviated request process is implement. Details are outlined below.

The Center for Disease Control (CDC) has identified increased risk conditions.  It is important to note that only individuals with the conditions identified as possible or at increased risk can utilize protections under ADA to obtain a workplace accommodation.  Such health conditions may include, but are not limited to:

  • Chronic kidney disease
  • COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease)
  • Immunocompromised state due to:
    • Solid organ transplant
    • Blood or bone marrow transplant
    • Immune deficiencies
    • HIV
    • Use of corticosteroids or other immune weakening medicines
  • Serious heart conditions, such as:
    • Heart failure
    • Coronary artery disease
    • Cardiomyopathies
  • Sickle cell disease
  • Diabetes
  • Moderate to severe asthma
  • Cerebrovascular disease
  • Cystic fibrosis
  • Hypertension or high blood pressure
  • Neurological conditions, such as: 
    • Dementia
  • Liver disease
  • Pulmonary fibrosis
  • Thalassemia
  • Pre-existing mental health conditions that are exacerberated by disruptions due to COVID-19, including: 
    • Anxiety disorder
    • Obsessive-Compulsive disorder, 
    • Post-traumatic stress disorder
  • Other conditions identified by the Centers for Disease Control

If you have a medical condition that causes the following concerns, you may request an accommodation by completing the following steps and email completed forms to adaaccess@vt.edu.  

  1. Puts you at high risk of contracting COVID-19 
  2. Creates a high risk of developing more severe complications from COVID-19
  3. Requires modifications to your workplace due to COVID-19
  4. You are unable to receive the COVID-19 vaccine due to a medical condition
  5. You require accommodations for COVID-19 testing.

Steps to Making an Accommodation Request

  1. Employee fills out medical release form authorizing ADA and Accessibility Services to receive documents from medical provider.
  2. Employee contacts medical provider to obtain a letter that states:
    • a. Employee’s pre-existing medical condition 
    • b. If employee is at high risk for COVID-19
    • c. Recommended workplace accommodation
  3. Employee provides the ADA office with both the medical release form and the letter from medical provider.
  4. When all required forms have been fully completed and returned, ADA and Accessibility Services will contact you.  If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact the ADA office at adaaccess@vt.edu.

Please note, if you are returning to work, or need an accommodation for any other reason related to a disability please contact our office at adaccess@vt.edu.

Once ADAAS receives your request, our office will contact you and your supervisor to make them aware of your request and discuss whether your requested accommodation is feasible. Supervisors will not be provided any health information, will be reminded to keep your request confidential, and that retaliation is prohibited.

ADAAS will notify you and your supervisor, in writing, of any reasonable accommodation(s) our office can authorize. ADAAS will strive to provide this notice prior to the date you are expected to return to work on-campus, provided your request was submitted in advance of that date. However, if ADAAS will be unable to meet that goal, you will be notified and temporary accommodations will be discussed.

All requests will be evaluated in accordance with the University Policy 4075 on University Accommodations of Persons with Disabilities.

Virtual Open Office Hours:

Schedule an appointment to discuss any questions or concerns regarding a reasonable accommodation request.

Required Documentation:

Contact Information:

Address
North End Center, Suite 2300 (0150)
300 Turner Street NW
Blacksburg, VA 24061

Phone | 540-231-2010

Fax | 540-231-2990

Email adaaccess@vt.edu