REASONABLE ACCOMMODATION PROCEDURES
||Employee - Any employee who wishes to be considered for an accommodation under these procedures may bring to the attention of his/her first line supervisor, division head or Disability Employment Program Manager (DEPM), a need for reasonable accommodation. The accommodation would modify or adjust the work environment, the manner or circumstances under which the position held or desired is customarily performed, or that enable the employee to perform the essential functions of the position, or allow the employee to enjoy equal
benefits and privileges of employment. The employee must participate in the interactive process or designate someone to do so, and shall provide reasonable documentation in accordance with these procedures, when necessary. Requests for reasonable accommodation may also be made to any agency official proposing to take a performance or conduct action. This request may be oral or in writing.
||First Line Supervisor - Receives, processes and documents the reasonable accommodation request and is authorized to approve and provide the accommodation or forward the request to the appropriate official for consideration; participates in the interactive process; responds expeditiously; maintains confidentiality, and; consults with the Employee
Relations staff when accommodation is requested in conjunction with an
anticipated or pending performance and/or conduct based action.
||Mission Area and Agency Disability Employment Program Managers - May receive the accommodation request shall advise managers and staff regarding their rights and responsibilities under this regulation; maintain records for tracking and reporting reasonable accommodation requests and decisions as outlined in Section 12 of these procedures; maintain confidentiality, and; confer with Employee Relations staff in situations where performance and/or conduct issues are involved. They shall be required to successfully complete training provided by the Department.
||Departmental Disability Employment Program Manager - Has overall responsibility for reasonable accommodation policy and procedures. Provides guidance, assistance and oversight of the disability employment program and serves as a consultant, when appropriate, regarding any aspect of these procedures.
||USDA Medical Officer - Serves as consultant, reviews and interprets medical
documentation, when necessary, for the purpose of assisting the Mission Area
when determining if the individual requesting accommodation is an individual
with a disability as defined in these procedures.
||Mission Area Designee - Has overall responsibility to ensure Mission Area compliance with its obligations to provide reasonable accommodation to qualified employees. The Mission Area shall designate an official who will make a determination, when necessary, if the individual requesting accommodation is an individual with a disability as defined in these procedures. They shall maintain, review and interpret all documentation, medical and non-medical, to make this determination and report their decision to appropriate officials. They shall consult with the USDA Medical Officer when making this determination based on medical documentation, if necessary. They shall be required to successfully complete training provided by the Department.
||Decision Makers - Those individuals or offices charged with the responsibility of making decisions regarding various aspects of the reasonable accommodation
process. There are four possible decision makers: a Personnel Office, an interviewing official, an employee’s first line supervisor, and the Mission Area Designee.
||Requests for accommodation from applicants with disabilities will be
handled by the Personnel Office responsible for the recruitment process for a
particular announcement of a vacant position (excluding the interview).
||Requests for accommodation from applicants with disabilities for the
interview process will be handled by the interviewing official.
||Requests for accommodation from employees with disabilities will be
handled by the employee’s first line supervisor.
||Requests for determination as to whether or not an applicant or employee
requesting an accommodation has a covered disability will be handled by the
Mission Area Designee.
|For whatever reason, in the event these offices or individuals designated
as "decision makers" are unable to fulfill this responsibility, the request for
accommodation shall be forwarded to an appropriate office or individual. In these instances, the time frames outlined in Section 9 are applicable.
||USDA TARGET Center - Provides on-site workplace assessments and demonstrations of
assistive technology and ergonomic solutions and makes specific recommendations
regarding reasonable accommodations. Responsible for collecting data, maintaining records and reporting results as required. The USDA TARGET Center can be reached at (202) 720-2600 (v/tty), or through their web page at www.usda.gov/oo/target.htm.
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