School Board of the City of Virginia Beach
Americans with Disabilities Act: Reasonable Accommodation Requests
The School Board is committed to assuring equal employment opportunity and equal access to services, programs and activities for persons with disabilities. It is the policy of the School Board to provide reasonable accommodation(s) to a qualified person with a disability to enable such person to perform the essential functions of the position for which he/she is employed or is applying for employment.
This Regulation applies to all employment practices and actions. It includes, but is not limited to, recruitment, the job application process, hiring, training, disciplinary actions, rates of pay or other compensation, advancement, classification, transfer and reassignment, and promotions. Employees or applicants with disabilities may request reasonable accommodations. This Regulation applies to both temporary and permanent disabilities.
The purpose of this Regulation is to assist the School Board to:
Below listed is a summary of certain key terms to assist employees and applicants in understanding this Regulation. However, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) sets forth specific statutory definitions of a number of key terms for determining whether an employee has a qualified disability for which a reasonable accommodation must be made under the ADA. The School Board is bound to abide by all laws and regulations that are applicable at the time of the request for a reasonable accommodation under this Regulation.
The ameliorative effects of the mitigating measures of ordinary eyeglasses or contact lenses shall be considered in determining whether an impairment substantially limits a major life activity. As used in this paragraph, the term "ordinary eyeglasses or contact lenses" means lenses that are intended to fully correct visual acuity or eliminate refractive error; and the term "low-vision devices" means devices that magnify, enhance, or otherwise augment a visual image.
An employee or applicant, who because of a disability, could with assistance perform the essential functions of the position, may submit a request for reasonable accommodation using ADA Form 1 to the Department of Human Resources. Upon receipt of ADA Form 1, that Department will verify the information provided by the employee or applicant by forwarding an ADA Form 2 to the health care provider(s) identified on ADA Form 1.
The School Division may seek technical assistance from a medical professional, rehabilitation agencies or disability constituent organizations in determining how best to address an individual's specific request. In addition, the School Division may determine that the evaluation provided by the employee or the applicant is inadequate to make a determination and, at its own cost, may require that the employee or the applicant be evaluated by a health care provider.
Within fifteen (15) business days of the receipt of all ADA Form 2s and based on the information received on those forms, the Chief Human Resources Officer and other appropriate School Division personnel will consult with the employee or the applicant regarding the request for accommodation. A written response will be provided to the employee or the applicant regarding whether the requested reasonable accommodation can be provided, whether another reasonable accommodation can be provided, or whether providing the requested reasonable accommodation would constitute an undue hardship for the School Division and therefore cannot be provided.
Should an employee find the response unsatisfactory, the grievance procedure in School Board Regulation 4-4.1 may be used to seek redress. Should an applicant find the response unsatisfactory, the applicant may file an appeal within fifteen (15) business days of receipt of the response. The appeal should be filed with the Superintendent. The Superintendent or designee (other than the Chief Human Resources Officer) will review the appeal and may undertake further investigation before rendering a decision regarding the applicant’s appeal. The Superintendent or designee will provide a written decision regarding the appeal to the applicant within thirty (30) business days of receipt of the appeal. This Regulation shall be construed to protect the substantive rights of interested persons to meet appropriate due process standards and to ensure that the School Board complies with the ADA and its implementing regulations.
Nothing in this Regulation precludes the complainant from seeking other legal remedies including filing complaints with other agencies or pursuing civil or criminal remedies. The right of a person to a prompt and equitable resolution of the complaint filed herein shall not be impaired by the person's pursuit of other remedies such as the filing of the ADA complaint other appropriate federal, state, or local agencies or the filing of a lawsuit in state or federal court. Use of this procedure is not a prerequisite to the pursuit of other remedies.
Persons who use this procedure for good faith complaints will not be retaliated against by the School Board or School Division staff. The School Board directs that appropriate action be taken against any person who retaliates against another person for reporting alleged discrimination or participating in related proceedings. Persons who knowingly file false discrimination complaints and any person who gives false statements or evidence in a related proceeding shall be subject to discipline or other appropriate action. Students may be subject to discipline up to and including suspension or expulsion. School Board employees may be subject to discipline up to and including dismissal. Volunteers, nonemployee agents of the School Board or visitors/invitees may be subject to measures up to and including exclusion from School Board property, buses, communication systems and school sponsored events.
The ADA Coordinator shall maintain the files and records of the School Board relating to the complaints filed pursuant to this Regulation for a period of three years after the resolution or as otherwise required by applicable law or regulation. All documentation submitted or collected pursuant to this Regulation will be held in the strictest of confidence and kept separate from personnel records. Documentation and reports from medical exams will be used solely to assist the School Division in making an informed decision about the employee's request for an accommodation.
The American with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA), 42 U.S.C. § 12101, et seq., as amended.
Approved by Superintendent: October 8, 1998
Revised by Superintendent: August 30, 2005
Scrivener’s Amendments: January 31, 2014
Revised by Superintendent: July 24, 2015