Workplace Accommodations - Human Resources at Ohio State
Integrated Absence Management and Vocational Services
(Disability Benefits and Leave Services)
In accordance with federal law, the Ohio State University is committed to providing reasonable accommodations to ensure employees with qualifying disabilities enjoy seamless access to employment opportunities. The Office of Human Resources, Integrated Absence Management and Vocational Services (IAMVS) department, in consultation with the ADA Coordinator’s Office, partners with employees and departments throughout the interactive process.
If you are an employee in need of an adjustment or change to your job for a reason related to a disability:
- Inform an IAMVS Disability Program Manager (DPM).
Phone: (614) 292-3439
Fax: (614) 292-0271
- Complete the Employee Accommodation Request Form.
- Have your health care provider complete the Accommodation Request Medical Certification.
Employing Unit: If an employee makes a reasonable accommodation request to a supervisor, manager, and/or HRP, the request should be forwarded to your unit’s assigned DPM immediately.
A reasonable accommodation is a modification or adjustment to a position, an employment practice, or the work environment that makes it possible for a qualified individual with a disability to perform the essential functions of the position.
A disability is defined as a mental or physical condition that substantially limits a major life activity as compared to most people.
If you requested FMLA protected leave, and it was denied or you were ineligible, your request will be forwarded to a DPM for review of medical leave as an accommodation. If you have not already submitted medical documentation supporting your request, you must have your health care provider complete the Leave as an Accommodation Medical Certification (or similar supporting documentation) and fax it to IAMVS at (614) 292-0271.
Employees with documented temporary work restrictions (generally less than 12 weeks), may be eligible for transitional work. In accordance with the Transitional Work Policy, IAMVS staff may coordinate with your physician and department to develop return-to-work and remain-at-work goals and expectations.
IAMVS supports employees who have requests for workstation evaluations and/or modifications as a result of a medical condition.
Workstation adjustments related to a medical condition
In cases where the request for a workstation adjustment is due to a specific medical reason, it should be reviewed by IAMVS. Not all medical conditions are qualifying disabilities. Requests are handled on a case-by-case basis. Employees should complete the Employee Accommodation Request Form, and return it to IAMVS via fax to (614) 292-0271 or email to firstname.lastname@example.org. The information provided will be assessed by IAMVS, and a workplace visit will be scheduled as appropriate. All information is kept confidential and is separate from the employee’s personnel file.
If after review by IAMVS it is determined that the request for workstation adjustment is not related to a qualifying disability, the employee should review their request with their supervisor and/or HR representative. In these instances, the decision to purchase equipment is at the discretion of the employee’s department.
Workstation adjustments for non-medical issues
For Ohio State employees who use computers, an online tutorial on office ergonomics is available through BuckeyeLearn. If you need additional help after completing the tutorial, Environmental Health and Safety has implemented an office ergonomics program. Complete the Ergonomic Assessment Request form to request a workstation ergonomic training or for more information go to Occupational Health and Safety Programs and Services or call (614) 292-1284 for further assistance.
Sit/stand desks for preventative/general health reasons
When an adjustable height desk is for preventative/general health benefits, a workplace assessment is NOT required. The decision to purchase the equipment is at the discretion of the employee’s department.
Some points to consider when evaluating a request include:
- Does the employee perform 4 hours or more of computer work throughout the day?
- Is the employee required to continuously remain at the workstation for greater than 2 hours, and is the employee’s ability to move around limited?
- Has the employee tried taking regular breaks from sitting every 20-30 minutes, and has this adversely affected productivity or been unsuccessful
There are two main types of adjustable height desks:
- Desktop conversions, where a device rests on or is clamped to the desk. The computer components are then placed appropriately on the unit. These units are typically easier to install, easier to move (if necessary), and less expensive.
- A full desk replacement, where the standard desk is replaced with one that is height adjustable. Electric or tension driven adjustment methods are recommended. Crank handle or pin height adjustment methods are discouraged. This option provides the user with more workspace, but are typically more expensive.
If you need help in determining the right type of adjustable height desk, visit Ergotron Workfit Finder. (This link is for example purposes only, and does not constitute specific product endorsement).
There are several university and community parking and transportation resources for individuals with temporary or long-term limitations, including (but are not limited to):
- Individuals with reduced mobility may be eligible to purchase an ADA Accessible campus parking permit. For additional information visit the CampusParc website.
- The university’s paratransit service provides door-to-door transportation, both on and off campus for faculty, staff and students with a permanent or temporary disability. For information on adapted transportation, please visit the Transportation and Traffic Management website.
- If you have driving restrictions (e.g. following a seizure) and live within the Central Ohio Transit Authority’s (COTA) service area, you can utilize the regional public transit system. For route and fare information, visit the COTA website.
- COTA Mainstream is a shared-ride public transportation service providing origin-to-destination transportation for people whose functional limitations prevent them from riding COTA’s fixed-route buses for some or all of their trips. For information on the application process, service area, hours of operation and fares, visit the COTA Mainstream website.
It is important for you to be familiar with Ohio State’s leave policies. If you are unable to return to work, please review these policies, including the Family and Medical Leave Policy and Unpaid Leave Policy. Classified Civil Service (CCS) employees should also review Rules for CCS Chapter 73: Leave Policies related to unpaid leaves and disability separation. Additional information is also available at CCS Disability Separation.
Integrated Absence Management and Vocational Services staff in the Office of Human Resources can assist you with referrals to other benefits and resources that you may be eligible to receive, including, but not limited to, OPERS disability retirement, STRS disability retirement and Social Security benefits.