ADA and Accessibility FAQ
Here are answers to frequently asked questions about ADA and Accessibility at VCU.
No. You do not have to disclose your disability to your supervisor or the university. You only need to disclose if you need an accommodation to perform your job responsibilities. In that case, you would disclose your disability to ADA Services only. If you choose not to disclose your condition, the university may not be aware of any possible accommodations that might be needed.
If you need additional or different accommodations, contact ADA Services for a re-evaluation of your needs. You may be asked to provide further documentation to support the need for different or additional accommodations.
Explain to the employee that they can discuss their disability and reasonable accommodation with ADA Services. You must notify ADA Services of the disclosure AND of your referral of the employee via email. You must consider a request for accommodation as soon as it is made, whether that request is made orally, in writing, or through a sign language interpreter. You must not accept any medical information from the employee. You must not approve or deny a request for accommodation. ADA Services will respond to the employee.
Some employees who previously did not need ADA accommodations, may need support or assistance during an emergency in order to perform work-related duties. Explain to the employee that they can contact ADA Services to explore reasonable accommodation for a disability. You must notify ADA Services of the disclosure AND of your referral of the employee via email. You must consider a request for accommodation as soon as it is made.
Yes. A request may be made by someone other than the employee with the employee’s authorization (for example, a spouse for an employee who has had a stroke and relies on the spouse to act as their communicator). A representative of an employee with a disability should make the request directly to ADA Services.
Maybe. The ADA does not require an individual with a disability or a representative to use the words “reasonable accommodation.” The employee should be referred to ADA Services. NOTE: Documentation alone is not a request for accommodation, but it does require follow up. Supervisors must consult ADA Services.
Documentation is sufficient if it confirms 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 support why the requested reasonable accommodation is needed.
No. The university has a reasonable expectation that an identified service animal meets the criteria as defined in the Animals on University Property Policy. An employee who wishes to bring a service animal to their workplace must follow the process for requesting accommodation described in this policy.
Yes. You may bring your emotional support animal with you to campus only after your request for accommodation has been approved. See the Animals on University Property Policy for more information. ESAs are generally limited in where they may be on campus, for example, in a residence hall but not in a classroom or dining hall. In some cases, an ESA may be an accommodation for an employee and may be with the employee in their office, but no other areas of campus such as the classroom (for faculty) or in other types of events or meetings.