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Americans with Disabilities Act

The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA) prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability in employment, state and local government, public accommodations, commercial facilities, transportation, and telecommunications.

The University of Massachusetts Dartmouth provides equal employment opportunities to qualified individuals with a disability.  The term "qualified individual with a disability" refers to a person with a disability who can perform the essential functions of the job with or without a reasonable accommodation.  A "reasonable accommodation" is defined as an accommodation that does not pose an undue hardship on the University. An "undue hardship" is a practice, procedure, or financial cost which unreasonably interferes with the business operations at UMass Dartmouth.

  1. The definition of "disability" shall be constructed in favor of broad coverage of individuals to the maximum extent permitted by the terms of Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended ("Rehabilitation Act") and ADA and the ADA Amendments Act of 2008. In accordance with the Rehabilitation Act and the ADA, a person with a disability is:
    1. An individual who has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities;
    2. A record of such an impairment; or
    3. Regarded as having such impairment.
      1. "Substantially limits" one or more major life activities shall be construed in favor of broad coverage of individuals to the maximum extent permitted by the terms of the Rehabilitation Act, the ADA, and the ADA Amendments Act of 2008.
      2. "Major life activities" include, but are not limited to functions such as caring for oneself, performing manual tasks, seeing, hearing, eating, sleeping, walking, standing, lifting, bending, speaking, breathing, learning, reading, concentrating, thinking, communicating and working. Major life activities also include the operation of major bodily functions, including but not limited to, functions of the immune system, normal cell growth, digestive, bowel, bladder, neurological, brain, respiratory, circulatory, endocrine and reproductive functions.
      3. "Record of such impairment" refers to having a history of, or having been misclassified as having a physical or mental impairment. A record of such impairment includes records which predate the relevant aw and includes disabilities with which the individual is no longer afflicted.
      4. "Regarded as having such an impairment" refers to an individual having such an impairment who establishes that he or she has been subjected to action prohibited under the Rehabilitation Act or the ADA because of actual or perceived physical or mental impairment whether or not the impairment limits or is perceived to limit a major life activity. 

The definition of "disability" must be construed in accordance with all of the following:

  1. An impairment that substantially limits one major life activity need not limit other major life activities in order to be considered a disability;
  2. An impairment that is episodic or in remission is a disability if it would substantially limit a major life activity when active;
  3. The determination of whether an impairment substantially limits a major life activity shall be made without regard to the ameliorative effects of mitigating measures such as:
    • Medication, medical supplies, equipment, or appliances, low-vision devices (which no not include ordinary eyeglasses or contact lenses), prosthetics including limbs and devices, hearing aids and cochlear implants or other implantable hearing devices, mobility devices, or oxygen therapy equipment and supplies. "Ordinary eyeglasses or contact lenses" means devices that magnify, enhance, or otherwise augment a visual image.
    • Use of assistive technology;
    • Reasonable accommodations or auxiliary aids or services; or
    • Learned behavioral or adaptive neurological medication.

Faculty or staff members seeking a reasonable accommodation based on a disability should complete the ADA Accommodation Request Form and forward it to the Office of Human Resources.

Students seeking a reasonable accommodation based on disability should contact the Center for Access and Success.


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