Disability and Workplace Accommodation Policy

Section I Overview

SUNY Downstate Health Sciences University, in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act Amendments Acts (ADAAA) of 2008, the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 ("ADA"), Sections 504 of the Federal Rehabilitation Act of 1973 ("Rehabilitation Act"), Pregnancy Discrimination Act, and New York State Executive Law §296 provides qualified individuals with disabilities the opportunity to participate in programs, activities, or employment.

SUNY Downstate Health Sciences University (Downstate) will not discriminate against any employee or applicant for employment because of physical or mental disability, or pregnancy. Downstate agrees to take affirmative action to employ, advance in employment and otherwise treat qualified individuals with disabilities and pregnant employees without discrimination based upon their physical or mental disability in all employment practices including but not limited to: Advertising, recruitment, employment, upgrading, demotion, transfer, layoff or termination, rates of pay or other forms of compensation, and profession development.

Section II Employees and Applicants

Employees and applicants are protected from coercion, intimidation, retaliation, interference or discrimination for filing a complaint or assisting in an investigation under appropriate federal and state law.

Downstate's Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Coordinator is responsible for ensuring compliance with this policy and data collecting and for record keeping of all employee requests for accommodations.

Section III Students

Students with disabilities, or students who become pregnant, and wish to request accommodations for their academic program should contact the Office of Student Affairs at 718-270-2187. The Office of Student Affairs is responsible for data collecting and record keeping of all student requests for accommodations.

Section IV Procedures for Requesting Reasonable Accommodations

Employees or prospective employees/applicants with disabilities (as defined in the ADAAA 2008) and employees or prospective employees/applicants who are pregnant may request reasonable accommodation in the workplace, if necessary, to enable them to have access to employment opportunity or to perform duties essential to their job. Such requests may be made regardless of title, salary, salary grade, bargaining unit, or employment status (permanent, temporary, provisional).

  • Employees in need of an accommodation (as defined under ADAAA of 2008), and those who are pregnant, shall make such a request in writing to the ADA Coordinator in the Department of Human Resources at Box 53.
  • The employee, the employee's supervisor and the ADA Coordinator should engage in an interactive process to determine whether and what type of accommodation would be effective.
  • As part of this interactive process, it is important that an employee in confidence, advise the supervisor and the ADA Coordinator precisely how limitations from a disability affect the ability to perform the duties of the position. If the employee knows what type of reasonable accommodation would be helpful, s/he should advise the supervisor and ADA Coordinator.
  • The ADA Coordinator can suggest alternative accommodations and the individual should consider whether they would be effective. The ADA Coordinator does not have to provide the specific accommodation requested, but rather must offer an effective reasonable alternative, unless to do so would create an undue hardship for the institution.
  • The ADA Coordinator will conduct a comprehensive review of the request for accommodation, which may include:
    • Requesting and assessing of medical documentation
    • Meeting with the employee
    • Arranging for a job analysis

Review of Accommodation Decision

Should an employee/student or prospective employees/applicants/students whom are pregnant or with disabilities, or student not agree with the accommodation being provided or if the request for accommodation is denied, and the employee believes the basis of the denial is due, in part, to discrimination the employee may contact the Office for Institutional Equity in accordance with Downstate's discrimination complaint procedures.


The ADA Coordinator is responsible for collecting the information on all accommodation requests including the number made and type of accommodation provided to employees. The Office of Student Affairs is responsible for collecting the information on all accommodation requests including the number made and type of accommodation provided to students.

Medical records are confidential. Medical documentation submitted or obtained may only be used to evaluate the request for accommodation. Employee medical records shall be secured in a separate and confidential file in the Department of Human Resources. Student medical records shall be secured in a separate and confidential file and maintained in the Office of Student Affairs.