University Policies
Policy Contact
University Human Resources, Assistant Director, Leave and Accommodation Services Email 401-863-5589
Office of Equity Compliance and Reporting in the Division of Campus Life, ADA/504 Coordinator Email 401-863-2386

Employment Accommodations for Persons with Disabilities Policy

Policy No. Issue Date Effective Date

1.0 Policy Purpose

Brown University provides equitable treatment and access in all aspects of employment, including the application process. Brown is an equal opportunity and affirmative action employer that supports employment of Persons with Disabilities. 

2.0 To Whom the Policy Applies

This policy applies to all University job applicants, faculty and staff.

3.0 Policy Statement

Employment decisions for a job applicant or employee are determined by qualifications, merit and performance that meet Essential Job Functions for each position. 

3.1 Requests for Accommodations  

Workplace accommodations are approved following an interactive process with an employee, University Human Resources, an employee’s supervisor, and Brown’s third-party accommodation administrator. 

Qualified applicants or employees can request an accommodation when they apply to a position, request to demonstrate their qualifications for a job, or take a job-related test, or at any time during their employment.

An applicant who requires Reasonable Accommodation in the hiring process should submit a request to University Human Resources by contacting Employees seeking an accommodation must first contact Brown’s accommodation administrator at 888-599-8576. 

Medical information provided in the Reasonable Accommodation process is kept confidential to those on a need-to-know basis within UHR staff and Brown's third-party Accommodation Administrator. In the event an appeal is submitted following the determination of an accommodation request, medical information will also be shared with the University’s ADA/Section 504 Coordinator. A hiring manager or an employee's supervisor will only be informed of any functional job limits for purposes of determining or implementing an accommodation.  

The request for or the actual type of Reasonable Accommodation that is approved will not be used as criteria to make an employment decision. Requests for service animals will go through the established accommodation review process.

3.2 Requests for Appeals

For Reasonable Accommodation requests that are not approved, an employee or applicant may file an appeal with the Office of Equity Compliance and Reporting in the Division of Campus Life if the person believes that a determination regarding eligibility for a Reasonable Accommodation or the provision of a Reasonable Accommodation has been reached that is in violation of this policy.

To request an appeal, an employee or applicant may contact the ADA/Section 504 Coordinator at or 401-863-5599.

4.0 Definitions

For the purpose of this policy, the terms below have the following definitions

ADA/504 Coordinator

University’s representative who is responsible for reviewing appeals for the denial of all or part of a Reasonable Accommodation request.


A physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities of an individual. A Disability may also include an individual having a record of such an impairment or being regarded as having such an impairment. 

Essential Job Functions

Essential Job Functions are the primary duties that an employee must perform with or without a Reasonable Accommodation. A position’s Essential Job Functions are determined through a review of several factors including, but not limited to, the job description, the amount of time spent performing the function(s), and the supervisor’s determination of what duties are essential. 

Persons with Disabilities

Individuals with a Disability who satisfy the prerequisites of a position and can perform the job’s Essential Functions with or without a Reasonable Accommodation.

Reasonable Accommodation

A Reasonable Accommodation is any change or modification in the work environment that enables Persons with Disabilities to receive equal opportunities. A Reasonable Accommodation may be provided when doing so does not pose an Undue Hardship to the University or reduce work quality or standards.

Undue Hardship

Actions deemed unduly extensive, substantial, or disruptive, or will fundamentally alter a business’ nature or operations. In determining whether a requested accommodation creates an Undue Hardship, the appropriate University administrator will consider each request on a case-by-case basis.

5.0 Responsibilities

All individuals to whom this policy applies are responsible for becoming familiar with and following this policy. University supervisors are responsible for promoting the understanding of this policy and for taking appropriate steps to help ensure compliance with it.


Applicants seeking a Reasonable Accommodation must email University Human Resources will contact Brown’s third-party Accommodation Administrator on the applicant’s behalf to initiate the accommodation request.


Employees seeking an accommodation must first contact Brown’s third-party Accommodation Administrator at 888-599-8576. The employee must submit documentation directly to Brown’s third-party Accommodation Administrator. Additional documentation may be required from a health care provider to determine eligibility. An employee may be asked to state how their Disability limits their ability to perform a job’s essential function(s).

Brown’s Third-Party Accommodation Administrator

The vendor that provides eligibility determinations and a necessary Reasonable Accommodation under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

6.0 Consequences for Violating this Policy

Submitting a false request for an accommodation or otherwise failure to comply with this and related policies is subject to disciplinary action, up to and including suspension without pay, or termination of employment or association with the University, in accordance with applicable (e.g., staff, faculty, student) disciplinary procedures. Failure to participate in the interactive process may result in a delay or denial to receive a Reasonable Accommodation.

7.0 Related Information

This policy is not a legal document. This policy does not confer a term of employment, nor is the language intended to establish a contract of employment, express or implied, between any employee and Brown University. The University reserves the right to change, amend or terminate any of its human resources policies at any time for any reason.

Brown University is a community in which employees are encouraged to share workplace concerns with University leadership. Additionally, Brown’s Anonymous Reporting Hotline allows anonymous and confidential reporting on matters of concern online or by phone (877-318-9184).

The following information complements and supplements this document. The information is intended to help explain this policy and is not an all-inclusive list of policies, procedures, laws and requirements.

7.4 Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)


Policy Owner and Contact(s)

Policy Owner: Vice President for Human Resources

Policy Approved by: Executive Vice President for Finance and Administration

Contact Information:

University Human Resources, Assistant Director, Leave and Accommodation Services Email 401-863-5589
Office of Equity Compliance and Reporting in the Division of Campus Life, ADA/504 Coordinator Email 401-863-2386

Policy History

Policy Issue Date:

Policy Effective Date:

Policy Update/Review Summary:

Previous policy version(s) superseded by this policy: 

  • Employment Accommodations for Persons with Disabilities Policy, Effective Date: January 9, 2021
  • Americans with Disabilities Act (20.041), Revision Date: March 12, 2019