Employees with Disabilities Accommodation Policy

Individuals covered

Faculty and exempt and nonexempt staff.


Pursuant to the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and state law, Northwestern University will reasonably accommodate all employees with disabilities as defined by the statutes. Failure to reasonably accommodate employees with disabilities is a violation of federal/state law and University policy.


To ensure that an employee can perform or continue to perform (if the disability occurs after employment) his/her job responsibilities, a reasonable accommodation by Northwestern University may include the purchase of special equipment, changing the physical layout of the workplace, restructuring job responsibilities and duties, modifying the work schedule, etc.

Even though the employee provides input concerning the accommodation process, Northwestern University will determine what constitutes a reasonable accommodation on a case-by-case basis and reserves the right to request additional independent medical examinations, evaluations, or other appropriate information at the University's expense.

Disability information is treated as confidential and will be shared with University administrators only on a need to know basis. Northwestern University will not provide accommodations without appropriate documentation.

Any accommodation that creates an "undue hardship" is contingent upon a number of variables. Supervisors must contact the Office of Equal Opportunity and Access before disciplining, transferring, terminating, or relieving an employee of job responsibilities due to disability.

Request an Employee Accommodation

Policy oversight

The Office of Equal Opportunity and Access, Office of Human Resources, is the administrative office responsible for the management, implementation and coordination of the Northwestern University Employees with Disabilities Accommodation Policy. The Director of Equal Opportunity and Access must approve all employment accommodations and/or employment decisions made due to disability. Concerns with respect to architectural barriers and building/program disability-related modifications should also be directed to the Director of Equal Opportunity and Access.