The ConnectCarolina HR team and the UNC Equal Opportunity and Compliance (EOC) Office are making it easier for employees with disabilities to request the accommodations they need to do their jobs. What used to require three paper forms for 1) self-identifying as a person with a disability, 2) requesting an accommodation and, 3) completing a HealthCare Provider Release form, all are now available online in ConnectCarolina.
It’s been a multi-phased process improvement effort that started in April 2017, when, for the first time, employees could voluntarily identify as a person with a disability in ConnectCarolina instead of downloading, printing and mailing a form to the EOC Office. Beginning March 1, ConnectCarolina will also become the place to request an accommodation for a disability and the Healthcare Provider Release is now part of the accommodation request.
Faster Turnaround for Accommodation Requests
If you’re someone who needs an accommodation to do your job, having easier and faster processes to obtain it can mean a lot. The following are a few examples of workplace accommodations that have assisted UNC employees: purchasing or modifying equipment or products, making a workstation accessible, modifying a schedule, allowing leave, modifying methods and providing a service. Moving from paper processes to ConnectCarolina will potentially take days off the submission and review process, so employees can be productive and perform their essential duties with as little discomfort as possible.
According to Rudy Jones, Associate Director/Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Coordinator, EOC Office, since kicking off the “Count Me In Campaign” in April 2019, his office saw a 36% increase in the number of employees who voluntarily identified as having a disability. Approximately 40% of the employees who self-identify also request an accommodation. He hopes that making it easier for employees with disabilities to request accommodations will encourage even more employees to self-identify and ask for the assistance they need.
“The University is committed to providing a welcoming environment that gives all employees, regardless of abilities, the same opportunities for advancement and the tools they need to be the best they can be at their job.”
Rudy Jones, Associate Director/ADA Coordinator, UNC Equal Opportunity and Compliance (EOC) Office