The university-wide Divisional Disability Representatives handle employee and job applicant requests for reasonable accommodations. Further information about the accommodation request and appeal process, along with applicable university policies are provided below. Questions may be directed to the Employee Disability Resources Office or the ADA Coordinator in the Office of Compliance.
Applicants for Employment
Employee Reasonable Accommodation Requests
All employee requests for an accommodation are made under the appropriate employee disability accommodation policy or to the Employee Disability Resources Office when there is not an applicable policy.
The current university employee accommodation policies are:
Employee Appeals Information
Current employees may formally appeal an accommodation denial or modification. Individuals no longer employed at the university should note that their appeal may be referred to the Office of Compliance Civil Rights Investigation grievance process.
Current employees (“appellant”) must address in writing one or more of the following bases for their appeal to the ADA Coordinator:
- Identify the facts in the record that do not support the accommodation denial or modification and explain why those facts warrant a different outcome.
- Identify new facts that were not known and could not have been discovered during the interactive process and state how these new facts would change the analysis and decision.
- Identify how the denial or modification was based on factors proscribed by state or federal law.
The appellant must also identify any other internal university appeals, grievances or complaints that have been filed related to the same facts.
It is within the ADA Coordinator’s discretion to decline an appeal review when the appellant does not provide sufficient information to detail any basis for the appeal.
Further information is noted below by employment category:
- If a faculty member disagrees with a reasonable accommodation request decision, they may grieve the decision by filing an appeal with the ADA Coordinator as noted in the Faculty Reasonable Accommodation Policy and Procedures at Section IV.
- A faculty member who has a complaint of disability discrimination, unrelated to a request for an accommodation, may, as appropriate, (1) pursue a grievance under FPP 8.15, or (2) pursue a discrimination complaint through an Office of Compliance Civil Rights Investigation.
- If an academic staff member disagrees with a reasonable accommodation request decision, the academic staff member may file an appeal with the ADA Coordinator as provided for in the UW-Madison Academic Staff Disability Accommodation Policy at Section VII.
- An academic staff member who has a complaint of disability discrimination, unrelated to a request for an accommodation, may, as appropriate, (1) pursue a grievance under Academic Staff Policies and Procedures Chapter 7, or (2) pursue a discrimination complaint through an Office of Compliance Civil Rights Investigation.
- If a university staff member disagrees with a reasonable accommodation decision, the university staff member may file an appeal with the ADA Coordinator as provided for in the UW-Madison University/Classified Staff Disability Accommodation Policy at Section VII.
- A University staff employee who has a complaint of disability discrimination, unrelated to a request for an accommodation, may, as appropriate, (1) pursue a grievance under the university staff grievance procedure or (2) pursue a discrimination complaint through an Office of Compliance Civil Rights Investigation.
Other Current Employees (e.g., Limited Appointees, Temporary Employees)
Individuals not included in any of the above classifications should contact the ADA Coordinator. The ADA Coordinator will determine whether to refer an individual to one of the existing processes for handling appeals regarding an individual’s request for an accommodation, or refer the individual to the Office of Compliance Civil Rights Investigation grievance process.
Individuals No Longer Employed
Individuals no longer employed at the university who wish to appeal the university’s reasonable accommodation decision should note that their appeal may be referred to the Office of Compliance Civil Rights Investigation grievance process.
ADA Coordinator Review Process for Employee Appeals
The ADA Coordinator’s review will determine whether:
- proper procedures were followed and all relevant information was gathered and fairly considered,
- the requested accommodation fundamentally alters the nature of the program or an essential program standard,
- the requested accommodation presents an undue hardship, financial or administrative burden to the institution,
- the denial is supported by the record and was not arbitrary or capricious,
- the denial is in compliance with the law,
- any other factors the ADA Coordinator deems relevant to the matter.
The ADA Coordinator may request detailed information from the appellant and the unit denying the request, and may solicit additional information from or consult with those previously involved in the accommodation decision, the overall unit head (dean, director, vice chancellor), the McBurney Disability Resource Center, Employee Disability Resources Office, Office of Human Resources—Workforce Relations, Office of Legal Affairs, and others as appropriate.
Maximum possible confidentiality will be maintained and information will only be shared on a “need to know” basis, if it appears necessary in order to decide the appeal.
The potential outcomes of an ADA appeal may include:
- The decision to deny the accommodation is upheld.
- The decision to deny the accommodation is overturned and the appealing party and the relevant unit return to the interactive process to determine implementation of the accommodation.
- The ADA Coordinator returns the issue to the interactive process with instruction to reevaluate reasonable accommodations.
- The appeal is dismissed for untimeliness or because insufficient information was provided by the appealing party initially or during the course of the review.
The ADA Coordinator shall provide written notification of the appeal decision within 30 calendar days to the Appealing Party, the unit that originally denied the accommodation, and other relevant parties (e.g., McBurney Disability Resource Center, Disability Divisional Representative, Employee Disability Resources Office, Dean/Director, department chair, etc.). If the 30 calendar day time limit cannot be met, the ADA Coordinator will inform the Appealing Party, the unit, and relevant other parties of an alternative time limit, not to exceed an additional 60 calendar days.
Applicants for Employment
Reasonable Accommodation Requests
Applicants for faculty positions may make requests for individual disability accommodations under the UW-Madison Faculty Reasonable Accommodation Policies and Procedures (Section II).
Academic Staff or University Staff Applicants
Applicants for academic staff or university staff positions may make requests for individual disability accommodations under the UW-Madison Academic Staff Disability Accommodation Policy (Section III.A.), or the UW-Madison University/Classified Staff Disability Accommodation Policy (Section III.A.) as applicable.
Appeal Information for Job Applicants
Faculty, Academic, and University Staff Applicants
If an applicant for a faculty, academic staff, or university staff position has been denied a reasonable accommodation request in the application process, the applicant must follow external complaint procedures to file an appeal. No internal appeals process for job applicants is available through the university.
The following links are provided as resources: