Tufts University is committed to providing reasonable accommodations to qualified individuals with disabilities in a fair and equitable manner and in accordance with applicable federal and state law, including the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). We seek to promote a diverse and inclusive university community. The Tufts Office of Equal Opportunity (OEO) urges everyone in the Tufts community to join us in this commitment.
There are a number of terms specific to the disability accommodations process. Use the information below to better understand these terms.
The Accommodations Team is responsible for the interactive process (as defined below) for university staff, faculty, patients, visitors, third parties and community members. The Accommodations Team is a designee for student issues involving accessibility and other ADA process issues for the university. The Accommodations Team at Tufts also works closely with managers, supervisors, the faculty offices and Human Resource personnel to arrive at reasonable accommodations for qualified people with disabilities in our community. The Accommodations Team: The Accommodations Manager, Katherine Vosker at email@example.com (617) 627-0657 and the Accommodations Specialist, Amin Fahimi Moghadam at Amin.Fahimi_Moghadam@tufts.edu 617-627-6363. The 504 Officer for Tufts University is Jill Zellmer at OEO at 617-627-3298. At the Office for Equal Opportunity, the 504 Officer is the appellate body for Accommodations denials.
According to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), a disability is defined as a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more of a person's major life activities (not exhaustive but such as walking, standing, seeing, hearing or breathing).
An employee, patient, visitor, applicant, third party or community member with a disability who satisfies the skill, experience, education and other job-related requirements for the position and who can perform the essential functions of the job in question with or without reasonable accommodations. This includes part-time, full-time, probationary, non-career status and temporary employees. Similarly for students, a qualified person with a disability is a student who satisfies all the skill, experience, technical and educational requirements for their chosen educational program with or without reasonable accommodations.
Job duties typically, but not exclusively, found on a job description, considered so fundamental that the individual cannot do the job without performing them. Similarly, for students, essential functions are defined as basic activities or technical standards and responsibilities that a student must be able to perform to complete their academic program and/or be considered for program admission, retention and graduation. Essential functions for both students and staff must be met either without an accommodation or with appropriate accommodation(s) after meeting the qualifications for a disability.
The interactive process is the procedure through which an employer and an individual with a documented disability work together to identify what barriers exist to the individual’s performance and/or essential functions of a particular job with the intention of finding a reasonable accommodation. The interactive process often includes a review of the individual’s abilities and limitations and an analysis of which factors or job tasks may pose a difficulty and how the person may be accommodated.
Similarly with students, the interactive process is when OEO or a school administrator (usually the school dean, but it may also be staff of the Student Accessibility Services) works with the student to identify existing barriers to the equal access of a student’s basic activities, technical standards and/or responsibilities in his/her/their academic program with the intention of finding an accommodation that is reasonable.
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, legally require Tufts University to provide appropriate and reasonable academic and employment accommodations to employees and students with disabilities unless doing so would create an undue hardship, compromise the health and safety of members of the university community, or fundamentally alter the nature of the university’s employment or academic mission. As described more fully herein, the university engages in an interactive process with the student, employee, applicant, patient, visitors, third party or community member to determine disability status and accommodation needs.
An action requiring significant difficulty, expense, and disruption (financial and administrative burden) or an action that would fundamentally alter policy and procedures, the nature of the job function, and/or the fundamental nature or technical standards of the academic program at Tufts University.