Disability-Related 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 Sara Rotunno, Colorado College's ADA/504 Coordinator: 719-227-8294, srotunno@coloradocollege.edu 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. Contact The Hartford to request a disability accommodation at:
  1. Tel: 888-301-5615 (6AM-6PM Mountain Mon-Fri) or by visiting The Hartford website.

    The Hartford will review the documentation needed to move your request forward.

  2. Once you have submitted your request and the required paperwork to The Hartford the Hartford will let CC know and a Human Resources representative will contact you to begin the interactive process. This is essentially a conversation to review the specific limitations caused by the disability and identify reasonable accommodations to respond to your request.

  3. Human Resources will discuss your request with your supervisor to determine if the accommodation requested allows you to complete the essential duties of your position and is possible without causing undue hardship to the department/college. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. If an accommodation is denied; you may file an appeal of the accommodation decision with Sara Rotunno, Colorado College's ADA/504 Coordinator: 719-227-8294, srotunno@coloradocollege.eduThe appeal should be sent in writing within 10 days of the denial, absent any legitimate extenuating circumstances.

Employee Disability Appeal Policy and Procedures

Colorado College is committed to providing an environment free from discrimination and harassment based on race, creed, color, religion, national or ethnic origin, disability, veteran status, age, marital status, genetic information, sex, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity or expression or perceived gender, pregnancy, or any other status protected under local, state or federal law. For more information on the College's prohibition of discrimination, please see the College's Nondiscrimination and Anti-Harassment Policy and Procedures

Accordingly, it is Colorado College policy to ensure that no qualified employee with a disability is denied the benefits of, excluded from participation in, or otherwise subjected to discrimination in any condition of employment, in accordance with Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (Section 504), Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), and other pertinent disability-related laws. 

In response to a request made by a qualified employee with an appropriately documented disability, the college will arrange for accommodations to allow the employee to perform the essential functions of their job unless it creates an undue hardship. It is the responsibility of the Associate Vice President of People Operations, to uphold the rights of an employee or prospective employee to secure access and accommodations in accordance with Section 504, the ADA, and other pertinent disability-related laws. 

Employees may appeal decisions regarding the determination or provision of reasonable accommodations. This policy and the following procedures address judgments of disability status and/or provision of accommodations. Any Colorado College employee or candidate for employment may use these procedures. Employees and/or prospective employees should initiate the appeal process within 10 calendar days of the judgment they wish to appeal. These procedures are not intended to replace or duplicate existing grievance procedures under the college's Nondiscrimination and Anti-Harassment Policy and Procedures. 

Employees who feel they have not been treated in a fair or professional manner with regard to access and accommodation are encouraged to follow the procedures below. The college maintains the right to pursue an appeal through the formal appeal process. However, prior to initiating the formal appeal procedures set down below, it is recommended that the employee make every attempt to resolve the matter in an informal manner. 

Retaliation against persons who file an appeal under this policy, bring complaints of discrimination in good faith, or assist in a related investigation is prohibited. 

Informal Resolution 

Employee Responsibilities: 

  1. The employee should discuss the concern(s) regarding the determination of disability status or provision of accommodations with their supervisor and/or HR. 
  2. If a conversation with the supervisor does not lead to a resolution, the employee should then discuss the problem with HR. 
  3. If a conversation with the supervisor and/or HR does not lead to a resolution, the employee should then discuss with the 504 Coordinator. 

Formal Appeal Procedures 

  1. Appeals of decisions regarding the determination or provision of accommodations must be in writing. Employees should initiate the appeal process within 30 calendar days of the judgment they wish to appeal. 
  2. The employee's written statement must include: a) a clear statement of the request or concern; b) the grounds on which the appeal is based; c) the date of any action that the employee is appealing; d) the names of all Colorado College employees involved; e) a summary of the action(s) the employee has taken to resolve the matter informally, if any; and f) a statement of the employee's expectation of specific outcome. 
  3. The written appeal must be submitted to the ADA 504 Coordinator. 

ADA/504 Coordinator: 
Sara Rotunno 
Director of Accessibility Resources 
ADA/504 Coordinator 

Accessibility Resources 
Colorado College 
14 E. Cache La Poudre Street 
Colorado Springs, CO 80903-3294 

Upon receipt of the appeal, the 504 Coordinator or designee will review the appeal for timeliness and appropriateness for these appeal procedures and will provide the employee with written notice acknowledging its receipt. 

  1. The ADA 504 Coordinator (or designee) will promptly initiate a campus investigation and may consult with the Associate Vice President – People Operations or the Vice President of Operations and Workplace Culture or seek other expertise in making a final decision. 
  2. The ADA 504 Coordinator or designee, as appropriate, will meet with both the complainant and respondent to provide opportunity for oral testimony and evidence. 
  3. Upon completion of the investigation, ADA 504 Coordinator or designee, as appropriate, will submit to the employee, the party against whom the appeal is directed, and the Director of Accessibility Resources, a final report containing a summary of the investigation and the outcome of resolution within 45 calendar days of the initial filing or sooner if time is of the essence to the matter. 
  4. The formal appeal file and the final decision shall be confidential, but the final decision shall be provided to the complainant, the respondent, and the Director of Accessibility Resources. 
  5. The formal appeal file and all investigation materials shall be maintained in the office of the ADA 504 Coordinator or designee, as appropriate, until ten years after the file was created. 
  6. If the employee is dissatisfied with the appeal decision, the employee may file a complaint according to Colorado College's nondiscrimination policy. 

Additional Information 

For additional information on appeal and grievance procedures, contact the Director of Accessibility Resources & ADA/504 Coordinator (Office of Accessibility Resources, Armstrong 219, 719-227-8294). In all appeal and grievance cases, the Director of Accessibility Resources can advise employees of the various internal and external options available to them. It is the responsibility of the employee to meet all conditions for filing an appeal or grievance. 

Rights and Responsibilities 

Colorado College is committed to ensuring equal opportunity and access for employees with disabilities. This requires that Supervisors, HR, and Accessibility Resources collaborate to ensure that employment opportunities are accessible and inclusive. Understanding your rights and responsibilities are essential in creating equitable experiences for employees with disabilities. 

Employees with disabilities have the right to: 

  • Equal access to employment and the conditions of employment at Colorado College. 
  • Information that is reasonably available in accessible formats. 
  • Reasonable accommodations, as long as they do not create an undue hardship, that are determined on an individual basis. 
  • Appropriate confidentiality of information relating to disability issues. 
  • Appeal decisions regarding the determination or provision of accommodations,  

Employees with disabilities have the responsibility to: 

  • Self-identify to HR when accommodations are needed and to seek information, counsel, and assistance as necessary. 
  • Provide documentation that meets eligibility guidelines, if the employee is requesting disability support services. 
  • Request necessary accommodations in a timely manner. 
  • Follow guidelines established for obtaining reasonable and appropriate accommodations. 

Human Resources has the right to: 

  • Request documentation to verify the need for reasonable accommodations. 
  • Determine effective accommodations, in consultation with the employee, with appropriate documentation of disability, and on a case-by-case basis. 
  • Refuse to provide an accommodation that is inappropriate or unreasonable in such a manner as to 1) pose a direct threat to the health and safety of others, 2) constitute an alteration to an essential function of a job, or 3) pose an undue financial or administrative burden on the College. 

504 Coordinator has the responsibility to: 

  • Receive an appeal of any denial of employee accommodation. 
  • Determine if the college made a good faith effort to accommodate the employee (or job candidate’s) request for accommodation. 
Report an issue - Last updated: 03/25/2024