Virginia Tech® home

OEA Glossary

Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and Accessibility


Disability: A physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities or a record of a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities

Individual with disability: Per the ADA, any individual who has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities, has a record of such an impairment, or is regarded as having such an impairment.

Accommodation Types

Return-to-work with restrictions: The resumption of employment duties, with temporary or permanent limitations, following leave due to an injury or disability. Restrictions may include light duty assignments, fewer hours, and prevention of physically demanding activities. 

Workplace: A modification to the hiring process or work environment that enables an individual with a disability to perform their duties. Adjusted schedules, specialized equipment, sign language interpreters, and speech dictation software are examples of accommodations. 

Compliance and Title IX

Complainant: A person alleged to have been directly impacted by reported prohibited conduct, even if that person chooses not to formally file a complaint.

Complaint: Formal documentation of alleged prohibited conduct filed by a complainant and signed by the Title IX coordinator.

Consultation: The compliance team hosts discussion with reporting and impacted parties, as appropriate. These exploratory meetings focus on sharing resources, rights and responsibilities, possible supportive measures to assist impacted parties, and ways a particular concern might be appropriately resolved. A consultation may or may not itself be the ultimate resolution to a concern.

Facilitated or Informal Resolution: The compliance team, at the request of any and all impacted parties, assists in resolving the report through any of a number of approaches that do not include an investigation and formal resolution. Facilitated or informal resolution typically includes consultations with impacted parties, respondents, and/or supervisors, managers, or administrators.

Formal Complaint and Resolution: The compliance team conducts a preliminary assessment to confirm that the issue(s) fall under Compliance’s jurisdiction and authority, then conducts an inquiry to determine if the complaint warrants investigation. If so, Compliance gathers the facts necessary to make a formal determination regarding whether an employee or program violated the university’s anti- discrimination and -harassment policies.

Outreach: Compliance is unable to reach any impacted parties and does not have sufficient information to move forward without their participation