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Interactive Process / Reasonable Accommodation

The Office of Equal Opportunity and Accessibility (EOA) serves in a coordinating role for Knoxville-area faculty and staff with documented disabilities who seek reasonable accommodations in order to perform the essential functions of their jobs.

The ADA at The University of Tennessee, Knoxville

At the University of Tennessee, the ADA means that no qualified individual with a disability shall, on the basis of disability, be excluded from participation in or be denied the benefits of the services, programs, or activities of the university. A qualified individual with a disability is defined as a person who satisfies the required skill, experience, education, and otherjob-related requirements of a position and who, with or without reasonable accommodations, can perform the essential functions of the position.

What is a reasonable accommodation?

A reasonable accommodation is a modification or adjustment to a job, employment practice, or work environment that is intended to allow an employee with a known disability (or applicant for employment) to conduct the essential functions of his or her job. Accommodations are not required where they would impose an undue hardship, and any accommodation must be reasonable given the requirements of the job and the workplace.

The Interactive Process

Requests for accommodation are reviewed on an individual basis through an interactive process involving EOA, the employee, and the employee’s supervisor. The goal of the interactive process is to work toward reasonable accommodations that will allow the employee to fulfill their job responsibilities while meeting the needs of the department. EOA will work with the employee and their department to consider:

  • The nature of the request
  • Supporting medical documentation
  • Essential functions of the position and the needs of the department.

Any changes in the employee’s medical condition or job functions may require additional review and updated medical documentation.

To initiate the process of requesting a workplace accommodation, contact the coordinator for equal access and opportunity at 865-974-2498 or Employees can complete the university’s Reasonable Workplace Accommodation Request Form and have their healthcare provider complete the medical information request form before meeting with the ADA coordinator. Incomplete medical information will cause a delay in assessing the request.