A. The purpose of this Fundamental Alteration Review Procedure (“Procedure”) is to implement the College’s Disability and Religious Accommodation Policies (collectively, the “Policies”).
B. This Procedure establishes the Fundamental Alterations Review Committee as the decision-making body regarding whether a request for accommodation results in a Fundamental Alteration of an Activity, such that an Accommodation Request may be denied.
II. Scope and Applicability. This Procedure applies to Students, Employees, Applicants, and Visitors seeking accommodations for disability or religious reasons in the College’s Activities, as defined in the Policies.
A. All capitalized terms in this Procedure have the meanings provided in the Policies and accompanying Procedures.
B. All other capitalized terms in this Procedure have the following meanings:
1. Fundamental Alterations Review Committee or “Committee” is an ad hoc committee that will be established if an Accommodation Request submitted by an Employee, Applicant, Student, or Visitor presents the issue of whether the Accommodation would result in a Fundamental Alteration of an Activity.
2. Fundamental Alteration Review means an evaluation conducted by the Committee to determine whether an Accommodation Request by an Employee, Applicant, Student, or Visitor would result in a Fundamental Alteration of an Activity.
IV. Fundamental Alteration Review
A. In situations where DSS or the Faculty Member or Authorized Employee makes a determination that an Accommodation requested by an Employee, Applicant, Student, or Visitor may result in the Fundamental Alteration of an Activity, the Committee will be convened to consider such a request.
B. The Committee will use the following process to conduct a Fundamental Alteration Review:
1. Within three (3) Business Days of determining that an Accommodation Request necessitates a Fundamental Alteration Review, DSS or the Faculty Member or Authorized Employee will forward a copy of the Accommodation Request and a Fundamental Alteration Form to the Vice President who oversees the Activity and request that a Committee be appointed to conduct a Fundamental Alteration Review. If the Accommodation Request relates to an Academic Activity, the Faculty Member(s) must attach a copy of the course syllabus.
2. The Committee shall be comprised of three (3) Employees at the College appointed by the Vice President who oversees the Activity that is the subject of an Accommodation Request.
a. The Vice President will select members of the Committee who have knowledge or experience in the Activity and have received training on this Procedure and send the Fundamental Alteration Form to the Committee.
b. The Vice President may not select the Authorized Employee, Faculty Member, DSS Employee, or HR Employee who was involved in responding to the Accommodation Request to serve on the Committee.
c. Members of General Counsel’s Office and the Chief Compliance and Fair Practices Officer may not serve on the Committee.
C. The Committee will consider the Faculty Member’s and/or Authorized Employee’s responses on the Fundamental Alteration Form; however, the Committee will also use its expertise in determining whether a Fundamental Alteration would be caused by the Accommodation Request.
D. The Committee may submit additional questions to the Faculty Member(s) and/or Authorized Employee(s), as needed.
E. The Committee may, if necessary, consult with other knowledgeable and trained faculty and administrators deemed appropriate in determining the reasonableness of the Accommodation Request, Essential Functions of the Activity, the possible alternatives to accommodate the individual requesting the Accommodation, or any other information the Committee deems relevant to the determination.
F. If the Accommodation Request relates to a course substitution or waiver, the Committee must consult with the Academic Standards Committee of Academic Forum.
G. The Committee may consult with the Office of General Counsel as it deems necessary to make a determination.
H. The Committee’s final written determination must state whether the Accommodation Request would alter an Essential Function of an Activity at issue, and, if so, whether alternate Accommodations may be available that would not alter an Essential Function of the Activity.
1. The Committee will send the written determination to DSS, HR, the Faculty Member, or Authorized Employee and is binding.
2. The Committee will send a copy of the written determination to the Vice President who appointed the Committee, who will maintain the determination.
3. The Committee’s determination may only be appealed pursuant to the applicable Disability and Religious Accommodation Procedures.
I. The Fundamental Alteration Review process will be documented and maintained by the Vice President who appointed the Committee for future reference. However, it is important to note that a determination made in one instance does not constitute a policy or universal decision for future accommodation requests.
Policy Title: Interim Fundamental Alterations Review Procedure
Policy Category: General
Policy Owner: President
Policy Administrators: Executive Director of Human Resources (for Employees and Applicants) and Dean of Student Development (for Students and Visitors)
Approval Date: June 28, 2023
Effective Date: July 1, 2023
Applies to: Employees, including applicants for employment, Students of the College, and Visitors
Related Policies: Interim Religious Accommodations Policy
Forms/Guidelines: Fundamental Alteration Form