Americans with Disabilities Act

Colorado State University (CSU) complies with Sections 503 and 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the ADA Amendments Act (ADAAA). CSU does not discriminate on the basis of disability in the areas of education, employment, public accommodations and services.

The Rehabilitation Act, the ADA and the ADAAA were designed to provide a clear and comprehensive national mandate for the elimination of discrimination against persons with disabilities, to provide enforceable standards addressing discrimination, and to ensure that the federal government plays a central role in enforcing these standards. The Director of the Office of Equal Opportunity (OEO) is responsible for the coordination of University compliance with the ADA.

Accommodations for Employees with Disabilities

If you are an employee at Colorado State University and would like to request reasonable accommodation(s), please contact the OEO at (970) 491-5836 to arrange a meeting. During this meeting, the OEO will review what it means to meet the definition of disability under the ADA and the ADAAA, what documentation is needed by the OEO in order to make an individualized assessment of your situation, and possible accommodation ideas.

You may complete these forms prior to meeting or they can be provided to you when you come to the Office of Equal Opportunity:

Reasonable Accommodation Request Form (PDF) to be filled out by the employee

Health Care Provider Evaluation Form (PDF) to be filled out by the health care provider

In the event that OEO needs to speak directly with or obtain additional documentation, information or records from a health care provider, the employee may fill out the Authorization for Use, Disclosure or Release of Protected Health Information and Medical Records Form authorizing such correspondence.

Definition of Disability

An individual with a disability as defined by the ADA and ADAAA is a person who:

  1. has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities; or,
  2. has a record of such impairment; or,
  3. is regarded as having such an impairment.

Three factors are considered to determine whether a person’s impairment substantially limits a major life activity:

  1. The nature and the frequency of the impairment;
  2. The expected duration of the impairment; and,
  3. The permanency or long-term impact of the impairment.

Major Life Activities may include:

Lifting, sleeping, concentrating, breathing, working, eating, walking, standing, reaching, thinking, reading, bending, hearing, seeing, speaking, learning, sitting, caring for self, interacting with others, performing manual tasks, and communicating.

Major life activities may also include major bodily functions including immune, hemic, digestive, bowel, bladder, genitourinary, lymphatic, neurological, brain, respiratory, circulatory, endocrine, reproductive, musculoskeletal, cardiovascular, special sense organs/skin, and normal cell growth.

Temporary, non-chronic impairments of short duration, with little or no long-term or permanent impact, are usually not disabilities. Such impairments may include, but are not limited to, broken limbs, sprained joints, concussions, appendicitis, and influenza.

An individual with a disability who is qualified is:

An individual who has a substantial impairment and meets the skill, experience, and education requirement of the position held or desired and who can perform the essential functions of the position with or without reasonable accommodations.

What about Pregnancy?

Pregnancy is not a disability. However, a pregnant employee may have a pregnancy-related medical condition (including post-pregnancy) that meets the definition of disability under the ADA and ADAAA even for a temporary period of time and be entitled to reasonable accommodations. Further, Colorado House Bill 16-1438 provides that a pregnant employee who has a pregnancy-related medical condition and seeks accommodations for that condition is entitled to reasonable accommodations if that request is not an undue hardship on the University of the employee’s department. The Colorado House Bill does not require that the medical condition meet the definition of a disability.

Reasonable Accommodations

Reasonable accommodations are any modification or accommodation to a job, practice, policy, or the work environment that enables an employee to perform the essential functions of a position without creating undue hardship for the employer.

Functions are considered essential if:

  • the employees in the position are required to perform those functions;
  • they are functions that would fundamentally change the position if removed;
  • the position exists to perform those functions;
  • a limited number of other employees are available to perform those functions; and,
  • the functions are highly specialized, and the person in the position is hired for his or her special expertise or ability to perform the functions.

Reasonable accommodations may include, but are not limited to:

  • acquiring or modifying equipment or devices;
  • providing qualified readers or interpreters;
  • job restructuring, modifying work schedules, reassigning to a vacant position; and
  • making existing facilities readily accessible to and usable by persons with disabilities.

Interactive Process

The process for determining if an employee has a disability and whether there are reasonable accommodations that can be implemented is called the interactive process. It essentially is a conversation between an employee and their supervisor, often facilitated by the OEO.

Reasonable Accommodation Requests

Employees seeking a reasonable accommodation may either be referred to the OEO by their supervisor or contact the OEO directly. In either instance, employees should call (970) 491-5836 to set up a time to meet with the OEO. During this meeting, the OEO will further discuss the assessment and accommodation process and any required documentation needed from the employee.

Once all required documentation is received, the OEO will determine if the physical/mental impairment qualifies as a disability. If so, both the employee and supervisor will be notified in writing that they may begin the process to determine reasonable accommodations.  The OEO can assist with the determination of reasonable accommodations should either party wish.

The OEO shall be informed of the agreed-upon reasonable accommodations, and record of such accommodations will be kept on file with the OEO.


All employee medical information is kept confidential. Medical information is collected and kept in separate medical files with the following exceptions:

  1. supervisors may be informed of necessary restrictions on the work or duties of an employee and accommodations necessary for the employee; or,
  2. first aid and safety personnel may be informed, when appropriate, if the disability might require emergency treatment or if any specific procedures are needed in the case of fire or other evacuation; or,
  3. government officials who are investigating compliance with the ADA and the ADAAA and other federal and state laws prohibiting discrimination on the basis of disability may be provided relevant information upon request.

When supervisors are informed of an employee’s limitations and accommodations, the ADA prohibits the disclosure of the employee’s medical information to other persons, including employees.


Accessibility of Electronic Information and Technologies

Colorado State University has implemented an accessibility of electronic information and technologies (EIT) policy. For more information or guidance on how to make EIT accessible, please contact the Assistive Technology Resource Center at (970) 491-6258 or atrc@colostate.edu.


Student Accommodations

Students who need accommodation in academic programs should contact the Student Disability Center, (970) 491-6385, to initiate the process.

Complaint Procedures

An individual with a disability who believes their disability is not being accommodated or who has experienced discrimination or harassment on the basis of disability may file a complaint with the Office of Equal Opportunity, the U.S. Department of Education, Office for Civil Rights, or the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.