06-21.00 – Policy for Providing Reasonable Accommodations to Individuals with Disabilities

  1. Policy Statement:

    Towson University (“Towson” or “University”) is committed to the principle that no qualified individual with a Disability shall, on the basis of Disability, be excluded from participation in or be denied the benefits of all the services, programs or activities of the University, or be subjected to discrimination. This is part of the University’s working, and living environment for people of all abilities. The purpose of this policy is to assist students, faculty, staff, employees, job applicants, and others by maximizing ability and opportunity for full participation at Towson. Reasonable accommodations shall be made to qualified individuals in a timely manner and on an individualized and flexible basis.

    The University prohibits discrimination on the basis of physical or mental Disability status, race, color, national origin, age, gender, gender identity, gender expression, sexual orientation, national origin, or political affiliation in accordance with University policy, University System of Maryland policy, and State and Federal law. See TU Policy 06-01.00, Policy Prohibiting Discrimination (“Policy 06-01.00”). Towson also prohibits any retaliation arising in connection with the assertion of rights under this policy or Policy 06-01.00.

  2. Applicability

    This Policy applies to all members of the University Community. It is the responsibility of the individual to identify as a person with a Disability to Accessibility and Disability Services (“ADS”), the Office of Human Resources (“OHR”), or the Office of Inclusion and Institutional Equity (“OIIE”), as applicable, when requesting an Accommodation. It is also the responsibility of the individual with the Disability to provide current supporting documentation of their Disability. Such documentation should come from a relevant and credentialed professional that demonstrates how the Disability affects their ability to perform the essential functions of their job or to participate in and benefit from educational programs, services, and/or activities of the University. All supporting Disability Supporting Documentation will be kept confidential and separate from student and/or personnel records.

    The University’s ADA Coordinator in the Office of Inclusion and Institutional Equity (OIIE) is responsible for campus-wide compliance with Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 as well as University policies.

  3. Definitions:

    1. “Accommodation” is an adjustment to the educational experience, work environment, or provision of a service that allows a qualified individual with a Disability to enjoy equal opportunity to perform the job, participate in the educational experience, or receive the service.

    2. “Accommodation Memo” is a University-issued communication (i.e., from ADS, OHR, or OIIE) which identifies a Reasonable Accommodation and may provide information about how to implement it.

    3. “Disability” (with respect to an individual) is a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities, a record of such impairment, or being regarded as having such an impairment.

    4. “Disability Supporting Documentation” is current medical, psychological, educational, or other relevant documentation provided by a credentialed third party that establishes a person has a Disability. It describes how the Disability affects the person’s ability to participate in educational programs, services, or activities of the University or perform their Essential Job Functions. Disability Supporting Documentation may also identify suggested Accommodation(s) which may allow the person to participate in programs, services, or activities offered by the University or perform their job. Consistent with Section III, below, Towson encourages individuals to check with the appropriate office before requesting documentation from a provider. Determinations regarding the sufficiency of Disability Supporting Documentation shall be made by the appropriate office.

    5. “Documented Disability” is a verified Disability supported by Disability Supporting Documentation provided to the University.

    6. “Essential Job Functions” are the fundamental, basic job duties performed in a position. A function may be essential because the position exists to perform that function; there are a limited number of employees available who could perform that function; and/or the function is highly specialized, and the incumbent is hired for special expertise or ability to perform it.

    7. “Interactive Process” is ongoing communication between (i) the student and the University (typically through ADS), (ii) the employee and the University (typically through OHR), or (iii) third parties (typically through OIIE) for the purpose of identifying, implementing, or adjusting a Reasonable Accommodation.

    8. “Qualified Employee” is an employee (or job applicant) with a Disability who meets the legitimate skills, experience, education, or other requirements of a job and who can perform the Essential Job Functions of the position with or without reasonable accommodation.

    9. “Qualified Student” is a student with a Documented Disability who meets the academic and technical standards required for admission to Towson or participation in the programs, services, or activities offered by the University with or without Reasonable Accommodation.

    10. “Reasonable Accommodations” means an adjustment made by Towson to accommodate a person with a Disability. Examples include:

      1. For students – extended time or reduced distraction environments for exams, sign language interpreters, classroom note-takers, transcribers, alternate text and reading materials, recorded lectures, and other assistive technologies. Adjustments must address the particular Disability and shall not fundamentally alter the academic objectives of an individual course, curriculum, program, or degree.

      2. For faculty and staff – changes to a job, work environment, or customary practice that allows an individual with a Disability to apply for a job, perform job functions, or enjoy equal access to benefits available to other individuals in the workplace. Modifications must address the particular Disability and should not fundamentally alter the employee’s Essential Job Functions.

    11. “Retaliation” is action taken against an individual for seeking an Accommodation related to Disability, filing a complaint of discrimination based on Disability, or participating in an investigation or proceeding concerning allegations of discrimination based on a Disability.

    12. “University Community” is defined to mean University students, faculty, staff, and third parties (including visitors, volunteers, applicants for admissions or employment, vendors, and contractors).

  4. Responsible Executive and Office:

    Responsible Executive:
    Vice President of Administration and Finance (OHR)
    Vice President of Inclusion and Institutional Equity (ADS, OIIE)

    Responsible Offices:
    Accessibility and Disability Services (students)
    Office of Human Resources (faculty & staff)
    Office of Inclusion and Institutional Equity (third parties)

  5. Individuals Affected by this Policy:

    This Policy applies to all members of the University Community. Students and employees who have a Disability have the same obligation as all members of the University Community to meet and abide by the University’s academic requirements, job performance obligations, and policies and procedures.

  6. Procedures:

    Procedures for seeking an Accommodation are available at:

    1. Student Accommodation Procedures;

    2. Employee Accommodation Procedures; and

    3. Third-Party Accommodation Requests can be made by completing a Visitor Disability Accommodation Request Form.

      These procedural statements, as well as more information about Disability-related topics, such as filing a complaint of Disability discrimination, are also available online at the TU Accessibility webpage.

      These procedures may be amended from time to time without the need to amend this Policy.

  7. Outside Reporting Agencies

    Individuals may contact the following outside offices to file complaints about Towson’s compliance with this policy or ask questions (such as those related to Disability discrimination or accommodations):

Office for Civil Rights (OCR)
Lyndon Baines Johnson Department of Education Bldg.
400 Maryland Avenue, SW
Washington, DC 20202-1100
Phone: (800) 421-3481
Fax: (202) 453-6012; TDD: (800) 877-8339
Email: OCR@ed.gov

U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ)
950 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Civil Rights Division
Disability Rights Section 1425 NYAV
Washington, D.C. 20530
Fax: (202) 307-1197

Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC)
Baltimore Field Office
GH Fallon Federal Building
31 Hopkins Plaza, Suite 1432
Baltimore, MD 21201
Phone: (800) 669-4000
TTY: (800) 669-6820; ASL video phone: (844) 234-5122
Fax: (410) 962-4270

Maryland Commission on Civil Rights
William Donald Schaefer Tower
6 Saint Paul Street, Suite 900
Baltimore, MD 21202-1631
Phone: (410) 767-8600
Phone (toll free): (800) 637-6247
Maryland Relay 7-1-1
Fax: (410) 333-1841
Email: mccr@maryland.gov


Related Policies:

TU Policy 06-01.00, Policy Prohibiting Discrimination

TU Policy 06-18.00, Animals on Campus Policy

Approval Date: 11/5/2018

Effective Date: 11/5/2018

Revised Date: 6/3/2020

Reviewed By: President’s Council

Signed By: President’s Council

How to Request the Policy PDF

This online version of the policy may include updated links and names of departments. To request a PDF of the original, signed version of this policy, email the Office of the General Counsel, .