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9.0 Relations and Responsibilities Within the MIT Community

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9.8 Access and Accommodations for Employees and Students with Disabilities

The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA) and the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 prohibit discrimination in employment against a qualified individual with a disability.

MIT is required to have policies and procedures that do not discriminate against qualified applicants or employees in such areas as recruitment, hiring, promotion, training, layoff, wages, termination, job assignments, leaves, benefits, and all other employment-related activities. The Institute must also provide effective reasonable accommodations to qualified individuals with disabilities when appropriate. A qualified individual is one who can perform the essential functions of a job with or without reasonable accommodations. All employees with disabilities may request reasonable accommodations through their immediate supervisor or human resources officer, or can contact the Disability Services Office (DSO) directly for assistance.

In accordance with the federal mandates of Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, approval of the MIT Faculty Policy Committee, and recent court rulings, faculty are responsible for working with the DSO to identify and provide reasonable accommodations to students for academic access and assessment. Accommodations developed by the DSO in consultation with faculty and staff, including Medical staff, shall apply to all applicable courses and activities at MIT.

The DSO is the administrative liaison for students with disabilities. Services include obtaining and reviewing disability-related documentation and determining the appropriate accommodations required, contacting faculty, and developing plans for provisions of accommodations. The DSO also provides or arranges a variety of auxiliary services to the Institute community, such as coordination for sign language interpretation, document translation, and academic accommodations.

Faculty and staff members who have questions or concerns regarding recommended accommodations must contact the DSO staff for clarification. Any modifications regarding the identified academic accommodations must be made in consultation with the DSO coordinator. Academic accommodations cannot be modified through discussions with students. Faculty members have a right to request that the DSO reconsider accommodations that they feel will have a negative impact on the academic integrity of the course or program. The final determination for providing appropriate and reasonable accommodations rests with the Vice President for Human Resources. As members of the Institute community, faculty must maintain confidentiality on a "need to know" basis regarding disclosure of information related to students with disabilities.

The name of the individual responsible for coordinating Institute efforts to comply with the ADA and the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 is available from the DSO. Employees and students are responsible for contacting the DSO if an issue of discrimination based on their disability evolves — for instance, if a predetermined reasonable accommodation is not effectively implemented or is denied to an employee, or if academic access is not provided or implemented in an effective manner for a student. The DSO will work with Institute personnel and the individual with the disability to resolve disagreements regarding recommended accommodations or discriminatory practices.

Also see Sections 7.1.1 Nondiscrimination Policy, 9.5 Policy on Harassment, and 9.6 Complaint and Grievance Procedures.



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