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Disability

Employees and applicants with a disability (as defined under the Americans with Disabilities Act, as amended) may be eligible for reasonable accommodations that will allow them to perform the essential functions of their position or participate in the hiring process for an open position. A reasonable accommodation is a modification or adjustment to a job, employment practice or the work environment that makes it possible for a qualified individual with a disability to enjoy an equal employment opportunity. The University will provide a reasonable accommodation for the known disability of a qualified employee or applicant unless the accommodation would impose an undue hardship on the school or unit.

A reasonable accommodation for an employee may include such things as changing the physical layout of the workplace, restructuring job duties, providing assistive technology or modifying the employee’s work schedule. A reasonable accommodation for an applicant may include making reasonable modifications to the application, screening, or interview process to ensure the process is accessible. Read our Reasonable Accommodation Policy. 

Request a reasonable accommodation

Staff or faculty members who wish to request a reasonable accommodation should complete the Reasonable Accommodation Request Form and provide it to the Office of Equity. Staff or faculty members are welcome to contact the Office of Equity to discuss the reasonable accommodation process before providing the form or at any time during the process. To speak with an specialist please call 847-461-7458.

Applicants who wish to request an accommodation should email laura.conway@northwestern.edu.

Students who wish to request an accommodation should contact AccessibleNU at accessiblenu@northwestern.edu or 847-467-5530.

Reasonable accommodation process 

Faculty and staff members are responsible for requesting accommodations for their disability(s). When an individual requests a reasonable accommodation, a specialist from Office of Equity will assess the reasonableness and effectiveness of the potential accommodation. As part of this analysis, the specialist will meet with the individual requesting the accommodation, analyze the essential or core functions of the individual’s position, and will often require documentation from the individual’s medical provider. The specialist will also meet with the individual’s manager/department chair and other relevant personnel to determine whether the accommodation can be granted without creating an undue hardship for the school or unit.

If the accommodation is granted, the faculty or staff member and the individual’s manager/department chair will receive a written accommodation agreement that outlines the accommodation.

Disability-related information, including medical documentation, is treated as confidential and access is limited to protect the requesting party’s privacy. Requests for workplace accommodations and accompanying documentation are kept separate from an individual’s personnel file.

Service animals and the ADA

Northwestern has adopted the Service, Assistance, and Other Animals at Northwestern Policy, which provides guidance on the appropriate use of and protocols associated with service, assistance and other animals on campus.