It is the policy of the University of Maine to provide reasonable accommodation for qualified individuals with disabilities. Federal law (the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the American with Disabilities Act of 1990) and the state law (the Maine Human Rights Act) establish the rights of individuals with disabilities. These laws provide that recipients of federal funds, employers, and places of public accommodation shall make reasonable accommodation to the known physical or mental limitations of an otherwise qualified person with a disability. Refusal to provide reasonable accommodation constitutes illegal disability discrimination and creates legal liability for the University. An accommodation is not reasonable, however, if it imposes an undue hardship.
Campuses shall comply with all applicable federal and state laws and regulations regarding reasonable accommodations needed to provide equal opportunity to qualified individuals with disabilities. A qualified individual with a disability is a person who, with or without reasonable accommodation, can perform the essential functions of a job or meet essential program or course requirements. The University is required to make courses, programs, activities and services that are offered at any on-campus or off-campus location accessible to qualified individuals with disabilities unless to do so would create an undue burden or cause a fundamental alteration of the program. The University is also required not to discriminate in employment on the basis of disability unless accommodation would impose an undue hardship on the University. Reasonable accommodation shall be provided in a timely, cost-effective manner. The essential functions of a job or essential requirements of an academic course or program need not be modified to accommodate an individual with a disability.
University faculty and staff bear a special responsibility for responding to the needs of individuals with disabilities. The attitude and responsiveness of faculty and staff with whom individuals with disabilities interact often determine, even more than physical barriers, the degree of access they feel they have to University programs, services, and employment. The actions of faculty, staff, and supervisors in responding to accommodation requests also raise legal implications for the University.
For specific accommodation procedures please contact Disability Support Services at 207-581-2319 or visit their website at http://www.umaine.edu/disability.