ADA Accommodation Requests

The Colorado College Office of Human Resources determines reasonable accommodations for employees with disabilities. Decisions are based on medical documentation of disability, functional limitations, the employee's input about specific needs and the supervisor’s input about ability to accommodate without causing an undue hardship to the department. Accommodations are intended to ensure an equitable work experience for employees with disabilities.

These are examples of some of the more common types of accommodations that may be available:

  • Modifying employee’s schedule or allowing leave time
  • Making a workplace or workstation more accessible
  • Modifying methods of assessment, communication or training
  • Purchasing or modifying equipment or tools
  • Purchasing a reasonably priced service such as a reader or interpreter
  • Job restructuring
  • Job reassignment

Americans with Disabilities Act

Colorado College complies with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the ADA Amendments Act (ADAAA).

The ADA is a civil rights law that prohibits discrimination against individuals with disabilities in all areas of public life, including jobs, schools, transportation, and all public and private places that are open to the general public. The purpose of the law is to make sure that people with disabilities have the same rights and opportunities as everyone else. The ADA gives civil rights protections to individuals with disabilities similar to those provided to individuals on the basis of race, color, sex, national origin, age, and religion. It guarantees equal opportunity for individuals with disabilities in public accommodations, employment, transportation, state and local government services, and telecommunications. 

The ADAAA made a number of significant changes to the definition of “disability.” The changes in the definition of disability in the ADAAA apply to all titles of the ADA, including Title I (employment practices of private employers with 15 or more employees, state and local governments, employment agencies, labor unions, agents of the employer and joint management labor committees); Title II (programs and activities of state and local government entities); and Title III (private entities that are considered places of public accommodation).

Definition of Disability

An individual with a disability as defined by the ADA and ADAAA is a person who:

  • has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities
  • has a record of such impairment
  • is regarded as having such an impairment

Three factors are considered to determine whether a person’s impairment substantially limits a major life activity:

  • The nature and the frequency of the impairment
  • The expected duration of the impairment
  • The permanency or long-term impact of the impairment

Temporary, non-chronic impairments of short duration, with little or no long-term or permanent impact, are usually not disabilities. Such impairments may include, but are not limited to, broken limbs, sprained joints, concussions, appendicitis, and influenza.

In determining if an accommodation is possible  Human Resources  will collaborate with the employee’s supervisor on any potential accommodation, considering factors such as what workplace barrier is impeding the employee’s ability to perform the essential functions of their position, how the requested accommodation will enable the employee to perform their essential functions, the nature and cost of the accommodation, the accommodation’s impact on the operation of the facility/department, and the accommodation’s impact on the ability of other employees to perform their duties in a safe and efficient manner. The college is not required to provide an accommodation that will eliminate an essential function of the position or lower production standards, nor must it provide personal use items or amenities (a personal use item is one that is needed in accomplishing daily activities both on and off the job – things like a wheelchair, eyeglasses, hearing aids, or similar devices if they are also needed away from the job).


Pregnancy is not a disability. However, a pregnant employee may have a pregnancy-related medical condition (including post-pregnancy) that meets the definition of disability under the ADA and ADAAA even for a temporary period of time and be entitled to reasonable accommodations. Further, Colorado House Bill 16-1438 provides that a pregnant employee who has a pregnancy-related medical condition and seeks accommodations for that condition is entitled to reasonable accommodations if that request is not an undue hardship on the employer. The Colorado House Bill does not require that pregnancy meet the definition of a disability.

Individuals requiring pregnancy-related accommodations may submit ADA documentation to Human Resources to engage in the interactive process to assess accommodations. Accommodation determinations are made on a case-by-case basis and will remain in effect through the length of the employee’s pregnancy. Individuals requiring Family and Medical Leave due to their pregnancy should contact the Office of Human Resources.

FMLA and the ADA

Individuals with personal serious medical conditions who qualify for unpaid leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) may also qualify as an individual with a disability as defined by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Under the ADA, a disability is defined as a physical or mental impairment which substantially limits one or more major life activities, such as caring for oneself, performing manual tasks, seeing, hearing, eating, sleeping, walking, standing, lifting, bending, speaking, breathing, learning, reading, concentrating, thinking, communicating, or working.

Employees with disabilities are eligible to receive reasonable accommodations that would enable them to perform the essential functions of their position.

While you are entitled to use your FML leave benefit, be aware that you may also be eligible for reasonable accommodations under the ADA. Assessments and determinations for accommodations are considered on a case by case basis and require the submission of documentation from your medical provider. Accommodations must be reasonable as they relate to your limitations and the essential functions of your position.

If you choose to discuss reasonable accommodations prior to, during, or upon your return from FML, below is information on the process that applies to request an accommodation whether or not it is post-FMLA.

Confidential Medical Information

All employee medical information is kept confidential. All employee medical information and documentation obtained by Human Resources is kept in separate medical files and not in an employee’s personnel file with the following exceptions:

  1. Supervisors may be informed of necessary restrictions on the work or duties of an employee and accommodations requested by the employee; approved for the employee.
  2. First aid and safety personnel may be informed, when appropriate, if the disability might require emergency treatment or if any specific procedures are needed in the case of fire or other evacuation.
  3. Government officials who are investigating compliance with the ADA and the ADAAA and other federal and state laws prohibiting discrimination on the basis of disability may be provided relevant information upon request.

When supervisors are informed of an employee’s limitations and accommodations, the ADA prohibits the disclosure of the employee’s medical information to other persons, including other employees.

An individual with a disability who believes their disability is not being accommodated or who has experienced discrimination or harassment on the basis of disability may file a complaint with the college’s Assistant Vice President of Institutional Equity & Title IX Coordinator and/or the Office of Equal Opportunity, the U.S. Department of Education, Office for Civil Rights, or the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

Process to request an accommodation

  1. Complete the Request for Accommodation form and submit it to the Office of Human Resources at This form may be submitted to us in the following ways:

    • Hitting the "Submit by Email" button at the bottom of the form

    • Manually filling, saving and emailing the form to

    • Print and send a hard copy via interoffice mail

    • Call us by phone (719) 389-6421 and someone can fill the form on your behalf

    • If you are submitting medical documentation or other sensitive information, your email needs to be sent securely. If you are using Microsoft Outlook, this is accomplished by typing "Secure:" in the subject line, followed by your subject heading. Instructions can be found here.

  2. After receiving your form, a Human Resources representative will contact you to begin the interactive process. This is essentially a conversation to determine the specific limitations caused by the disability and identify reasonable accommodations to respond to your request. Note that medical documentation may be required and if it is, that will be included in the initial conversation. If you believe that medical documentation will be required you may download that form and have your medical provider complete and return it to Human Resources prior to the initial conversation.

  3. If you learn at the initial meeting that medical documentation is required, download the Request for Accommodation form, have your medical provider complete the form and return the documentation to Human Resources at

  4. Human Resources will discuss your request with your supervisor to determine if the accommodation requested is possible without causing undue hardship to the department. If it is not possible, HR will discuss any other potential accommodations (if available) with your supervisor.  Note the discussion will be limited to the accommodation considerations and not about the disability itself.  The interactive process may continue with discussions between Human Resources, you, and/or your supervisor as needed for information and clarification.

  5. Human Resources will contact you again to discuss what accommodations are possible. Following that discussion you will receive a Request for Accommodation Response Form from Human Resources with information on whether or not an accommodation is being provided and if so, information on the accommodation.

  6. If an accommodation is denied; you may file an appeal of the accommodation decision with the Assistant Vice President for Civil Rights and Title IX Coordinator. The appeal should be sent in writing within 10 days of the denial, absent any legitimate extenuating circumstances.

Report an issue - Last updated: 06/21/2022