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200 - Personnel-General

Section: 200-9
Effective: 05/08/1995
Supersedes: 03/15/1978
Next Review Date: TBD
Issuance Date: 05/08/1995
Issuing Office: Chancellors Office

PPM 200-9 Policy [pdf format]
PPM 200-9 Supplement I [pdf format]




The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), which took effect in January, 1992, prohibits discrimination against individuals with physical or psychological disabilities. As a public institution, UCSD must make each of its programs, services, and activities accessible to and usable by qualified persons with disabilities. These campus guidelines, intended to enable compliance with the federal ADA mandates, contain information about different types of disabilities, typical access problems, how to accommodate persons who have disabilities, and how to make campus programs and public areas of UCSD accessible.


It is imperative that all UCSD managers and administrators carefully review these guidelines and act vigorously to inform faculty and staff colleagues of their responsibilities. All members of the UCSD community share the responsibility for helping people with disabilities to secure the benefits of campus programs, services, and activities. These guidelines apply to all UCSD faculty and staff including those at the UCSD Medical Center, leased offices, and remote facilities (e.g., the Early Academic Outreach Office in Imperial Valley, etc).


Many persons with disabilities find it difficult to participate in activities (work, recreational, social/cultural, etc.) because of programmatic or physical barriers, and many are reluctant to "ask for help." Consequently, most people in the general community are unaware that individuals with disabilities exist in large numbers. According to the Disability Rights Education and Defense Fund (DREDF), 17% of the United States population (approximately 43 million people) have permanent disabilities. As UCSD becomes more accessible (both programmatically and physically), the campus will see an increasing number of people with disabilities seeking access to and participating in University programs, services, and activities.




A.         Disability


Disability is a broad term encompassing motor and sensory limitations (e.g., mobility, vision, or hearing impairments), as well as disabilities resulting from chronic illnesses and syndromes. The last category encompasses, but is not limited to, invisible disabilities, such as psychological and emotional disorders, learning disabilities, heart disease, diabetes, asthma, arthritis, epilepsy, Acquired Brain Injuries (ABI), and Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS). Many disabilities vary in degree and type of limitation and occasionally result from the use of certain medications. As disability manifestations vary and are often not predictable, accommodations must also vary and should be tailored to the needs of the individual.


B.         Qualified Person With A Disability


At UCSD, the term "qualified person with a disability" refers to an individual with a disability who is qualified to participate in any given UCSD program or activity.


1.     With respect to enrollment, a qualified person with a disability must satisfy the academic standards required for admission and meet the academic requirements established for any given course, degree, or certificate program.


2.   With respect to employment, training, work assignments, and promotion, a qualified individual with a disability must be able to perform the essential functions of the job.


3.   Visitors with disabilities must be accommodated when they come to the campus to interview for a job or to participate in campus sponsored activities and programs including Extension University, sports, recreation, and cultural events.


III.        POLICY


All UCSD programs and activities must be accessible, although accessibility is not required for every element of a program (for example, if there are three sections of a particular course, at least one section should be held in an accessible location). Program accessibility encompasses library services, computing services, student health services, career planning services, counseling and psychological services, campus stores, dining rooms, language laboratories, science laboratories, field trips, design studios, athletic programs, student housing, admissions and examinations, graduation ceremonies, social clubs and co-curricular activities, off-campus programs and events, etc.


Areas where a major activity takes place may include reception areas, classrooms and other teaching facilities, conference rooms, faculty and teaching assistant offices, research labs, cafeterias, cinemas, galleries, museums, counseling centers, gymnasiums and other recreational facilities, and libraries. All public areas in which program activities occur should be accessible. Persons with disabilities should also have access to drinking water, restrooms, telephones, and reasonably convenient parking.


The following principles have been established by the UCSD ADA Advisory Committee to guide consideration of access issues and to further the human potential of all UCSD students, faculty, staff, and visitors to the campus:


A.         UCSD is committed to eliminating the consequences of discrimination against people with disabilities so they may fully and independently participate in the comprehensive scope of campus programs, services, and activities;


B.         Programs, policies, and procedures intended to enhance or protect access by people with disabilities shall be consistent with and, whenever possible, advance the University's threefold mission of research, instruction and public service;

C.         All UCSD faculty and staff share the responsibility for being sensitive to and providing reasonable accommodations to people with disabilities; and


D.         UCSD shall maintain effective procedures to resolve access dilemmas on campus, including the assignment of campus staff to resolve access problems.




Providing access means making all of the University's services and activities, and the benefits thereof, fully available to qualified people with disabilities. To resolve accessibility problems, consultation with campus resource people is recommended. See Supplement I for a list of available resources. Ideas and procedures for providing reasonable accommodations to qualified individuals with disabilities follow:


A.         Reasonable Accommodations


1.   Most accommodations simply require common sense. For example, enlarging a handout, or moving a low-hanging plant from a hallway may be helpful to people with visual impairments; providing written directions or arranging for a sign language interpreter (for classes, employment interviews, orientations, or special programs) may help persons with hearing impairments. Although it is impossible to anticipate every way to accommodate all students, faculty, staff, or visitors, it is necessary to remain receptive to appropriate/reasonable accommodations for each person with a disability, and be willing to resolve access problems.


2.   Persons with similar disabilities may require different accommodations. Assume that the person with the disability knows what help he or she needs. (One notable exception may be a newly disabled/diagnosed person who may just be discovering what is helpful and what is not.) The manner of accommodation may be as important as the accommodation itself. The appropriate response to a request for accommodation or to a person who has identified himself or herself as disabled, is empathy, patience, resourcefulness, and openness. Ask if an accommodation is appropriate or desired, but do not assume an accommodation is required when none has been requested. Examples of common accommodations follow:


a.   When long lines form at your office, label and reserve lightweight chairs for people with mobility or stamina problems, or provide service at an alternative location, by appointment, or by telephone.


b.   When printing documents and materials for public distribution, routinely prepare a small number of enlarged copies.


c.   Schedule public events in wheelchair accessible rooms. When this is not possible, prepare publicity which states that the room is not wheelchair accessible, but that the event will be moved to an accessible room if a request is received by a certain date. Honor all such requests.


d.   When publicizing public events, acknowledge your willingness to accommodate a person with a disability, for example: "Anyone needing special arrangements to accommodate a disability is encouraged to call X  by [date]." Set the date at least two weeks before the event, in case the required accommodation is complex (such as hiring a sign language interpreter).


3.   Confirm that your unit's disaster/evacuation plans include safe egress for persons with disabilities. Make sure that all members of your staff are familiar with the plan. Keep in mind that fire doors are too heavy for many individuals with disabilities to open and people with impaired hearing cannot respond to sound alarms. Environmental Health and Safety (534-3660) can assist you in assessing emergency evacuation problems and procedures.


4.   Some people with disabilities benefit from adaptive computer software and hardware, items which are becoming increasingly less expensive as technology advances. In any given case, if upon conferring with an individual with a disability you learn that some computer adaptation would be ameliorating, endeavor to obtain the item unless such acquisition imposes an undue financial or operational burden.


5.   As an employer, the University must make reasonable accommodations or adjustments to enable qualified employees with disabilities (including student employees) and job applicants to perform the essential functions of a job. In any given case, UCSD must provide a reasonable accommodation unless that accommodation would create dangerous conditions or impose an undue hardship on the operation of a program. Reasonable accommodation must be considered on a case by case basis, usually in consultation with the individual with a disability. Accommodation may include making the employee's work area accessible, job restructuring, modified work schedules, acquisition of adaptive equipment, or the provision of readers or interpreters (for further information regarding employment issues, consult the Guidelines for Implementing Employment Provisions of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, April 1992, available in the Office of the Assistant Vice Chancellor - Human Resources, mail code 0922).


B.         Program Accessibility Through Nonstructural Changes


Program accessibility may be achieved in ways that do not involve costly structural changes. The key to a successful solution is to evaluate each situation and to determine how you can best accommodate the individual person with a disability. The following list describes information which faculty and staff should review periodically.


1.     Passageways: Walk through office and classroom areas to ensure safe and adequate passageways for mobility and visually impaired persons. Relocate boxes, trash cans, copy machines, furniture, and other obstructions such as protruding shelves that may not be detected by the sweep of a cane.


2.     Usable furniture: Usable desks, computer equipment, work tables, counters, laboratory equipment, and supplies made available to people without disabilities must also be made available to people with disabilities. In meeting rooms and class rooms that have chairs with armrests instead of desks, provide at least one usable desk/table in each room.


3.   Alternative meeting locations: If an office is not accessible to persons in wheelchairs, identify a larger alternate space for meetings.


4.   Information dissemination areas: Make certain that bulletin boards, mailboxes, newsstands, and reception areas are free from obstruction.


5.   Adaptive equipment: In general, people with disabilities should be permitted to use calculators, computers, tape recorders, interpreters, and notetakers (including the use of such aids in classrooms). Also, if your department purchases films and videotapes, inquire about the availability of captioned material for the hearing impaired.


6.   Written materials: People with visual impairments often require reading materials in enlarged print format and benefit from the availability of taped recordings of reading materials. To assist eligible students, coordinate with the Office for Students With Disabilities (OSD) when necessary, well in advance of classes, to enable the provision of syllabi, books, and other materials in enlarged print format. OSD may also be contacted to obtain advice regarding the provision of such materials to people with visual impairments who are not matriculated students.


7.   Assistance related to instruction:


The following guidelines are from the Policy on Students with Disabilities and Steps for Academic Accommodation, approved by the Representative Assembly, 4/26/94:


"Faculty have a legal responsibility to provide reasonable accommodation for students who have a specific disability but are otherwise qualified for the course or degree program. Any modifications in the manner in which a course is conducted are restricted to changes in the format of instruction or evaluation. Such modifications must not change the academic standards or basic content of the course. Substitutions of specific courses in a degree program must not change the standards or basic educational goals of the degree.

Responsibilities of Students


1.    A student who has been diagnosed as having a disability, or who believes that he or she may have a disability, should consult promptly with a qualified specialist at the Office for Students with Disabilities (OSD). Only students certified as disabled by OSD are entitled to accommodation in classes.


2.              a.   In order to implement an OSD-approved accommodation in examinations or assignments, students must meet with the course instructor within the first two weeks of instruction (or upon late registration) and present a certificate from OSD recommending accommodation in testing, note taking and the like.


b.   In the rare case that a documented disability prevents a student who is otherwise qualified for the requirements of a degree program from completing a specific course or requirement in the program, the student should consult with a faculty advisor to discuss possible substitutions.


Responsibilities of Faculty


1.     When presented with a claim of a disability by a student who has not been certified by a qualified specialist at OSD, the course instructor should immediately refer the student to the OSD. The instructor should not become personally involved in diagnosing or evaluating the seriousness of the disability.


2.              a.   When presented with a request for accommodation by a student which is accompanied by OSD certification, the course instructor should accommodate the student’s needs. OSD is available to assist instructors in providing accommodation. An instructor who cannot for any reason meet the request should try to resolve the matter promptly in consultation with the department chair and the OSD.


b.     A faculty advisor, when presented with a request as described under 2.b. in Responsibilities of Students, should try to find a suitable substitute course consistent with the educational goals of the degree. In reaching a decision on whether there is a suitable substitute course he or she should consult with the department chair.




Any unresolved disagreement over proposed accommodation should be referred to the CEP Subcommittee on Appeals for Accommodation of Students with Disabilities. This subcommittee shall be a standing committee of the Academic Senate. The subcommittee shall obtain any necessary expert testimony relevant to each case, including testimony on the specific disability, specific academic discipline, and relevant legal advice. The subcommittee shall rule on whether the proposed accommodation shall be provided. The ruling of the subcommittee may be appealed to the Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs, whose decision shall be final."


8.   Minor physical modifications: Regarding minor modifications needed to accommodate people with disabilities (e.g., adding a rounded edge to a sharply beveled threshold, changing door latches, adjusting a door closer, moving planters or bicycle racks, filling holes, trimming tree branches, and hazardous conditions affecting doors, walkways, etc. which should be reported immediately) contact:


a.     Physical Plant Services (534-6551) with respect to most main campus and SIO facilities,


b.     Housing & Dining Services (534-7157) with respect to housing and college dining facilities, and


c.     UCSDMC Facilities Planning & Management (534-5567) with respect to UCSD Medical Center facilities.


C.         Structural Modifications


There may be instances when the most feasible and reasonable method of achieving program accessibility will require structural modifications such as the installation of ramps and elevators, the renovation of restrooms, etc. Forward requests for minor modifications to:


1.   Facilities Design & Construction (534-0970, mail code 0916) or Physical Plant Services (534-6551, mail code 0908) for main campus and SIO facilities (excluding University Center facilities, sports facilities, and housing and college related dining facilities).


2.   Facilities Planning and Management (543-5567, mail code 8985) for UCSDMC facilities.


3.   University Center Management (534-1956, mail code 0076) for Price Center and Student Center facilities.


4.   Sports Facilities Management (534-2190, mail code 0074) for UCSD Sports facilities.


5.   Housing & Dining Services (534-7157, mail code 0091) for housing and college related dining facilities.


The University also maintains and implements access improvement plans. Notify Capital Planning & Budgeting (534-0503, mail code 0915) of all facility problems which impair access and require further attention.


V.         Accommodating People With Specific Disabilities


1.   People with hearing impairments need to see the speaker's face. (In group discussions, other speakers’ faces must also be visible.) A person with a hearing impairment uses visual cues (e.g., other people's heads turning) to locate the person speaking, and must see the speaker's face in order to use lip-reading techniques. Lighting which obscures a speaker's or interpreter's face/body will prevent people with hearing impairments from catching important visual cues. Voice amplification systems are appropriate in cases where there is a single lecturer, and when a hearing deficit can be ameliorated with amplification. Accommodations must be made for people who are deaf or hard of hearing:


a.   An office that has considerable public contact by phone should acquire a Telecommunications Device for the Deaf (TDD) and train staff in its use.


b.   Where extensive recorded information is provided to callers, a different phone number (which reaches a staff person directly) should be available to people with hearing impairments who can then call through the California Relay Service so a staff person can provide information to the caller through the relay service technician.


c.   People with visual impairments may need a wide variety of accommodations depending upon the severity of impairment.


d.   Buildings can be made more accessible to people who are blind or vision- impaired by ensuring that:


1.   In general, a 60" x 60" clear zone near every entrance to a public space should be maintained at all times.


2.   Hanging objects (signs, plants, etc.) in pathways are at least 80" from the floor.


3.   No objects protrude from the walls more than 4", if the bottom edge of the protruding object is higher than 27" from the floor.


4.   Objects are not placed in "unexpected" places (e.g., flower pots placed away from walls, or placed where someone using a handrail might bump into them, etc.).


e.   Posted materials (such as class or section lists) should appear in large type (at least 14 pt.) and high contrast (no 3rd or 4th generation copies).


f.    Forms are either available in large print, or staff are available to assist people with vision-impairments in completing forms.


g.   People with visual impairments typically see chalkboards better if yellow chalk is used.


h.   Enlarged handouts (including those used in overhead projections) are made available upon request.


i.    Seating people with visual impairments close to the instructor may be helpful.


j.    Inoperable or flickering lights should be reported and fixed promptly.


2.   People with mobility impairments sometimes find it difficult to attend meetings in some locations. If an office is not large enough or sufficiently accessible to accommodate people in wheelchairs, meet in an alternate site that will accommodate them.


3.   People experiencing pain and stamina problems related to their disability may need flexibility in sitting, standing, and movement during an event or class. (When symptoms are severe enough to preclude a student from attending class, allow the student to make-up work missed.)


4.   People with psychological impairments (such as depression, schizophrenia, post- traumatic stress disorder) may require special note taking, tutoring, and more time and special provisions to complete assignments and examinations.


5.   People with learning disabilities (such as dyslexia) also may require special note taking, tutoring, and more time and special provisions to complete assignments and examinations.


VI.        Communications


"Communications" encompasses tools for transmitting information including telephones, announcements, signage, computer mail systems, alarm systems, printed literature, and films and videotapes. Adaptive or alternative means of communication are required by ADA which also mandates that telecommunications or relay services accommodate people with hearing impairments and speech impairments.


Determine which types of communications devices or services will enable your department to communicate effectively with students, faculty, staff, and campus visitors with disabilities. Devices may include Telecommunication Devices for the Deaf, Computer Bulletin Boards, Computer Modems, and Braille and Raised Letter Signage.


Services may include Readers, Interpreters for the Deaf, and Notetakers. Disabled Student Services offers an equipment loan service, as well as academic support coordination and services, only to students with disabilities.


VII.       Grievances


If efforts to provide reasonable accommodations are not successful, then individuals should be informed of their right to file a grievance under applicable UCSD policies and procedures or to file discrimination complaints with the cognizant state or federal agencies, including the United States Department of Education Office for Civil Rights. See Supplement I for a list of the offices responsible for providing information regarding grievance options.




                                                        UC SAN DIEGO CONTACTS FOR                                                                

                                                     AMERICANS WITH DISABILITIES ACT                                                                 






Facilities Problems: The following offices have been identified as contacts to address facility access problems:


•      Main Campus and SIO Facilities: Resource Management and Planning (any legal code related issues)

Walter Kanzler (858) 401-3285 Mail Code 0916


•      Facilities Management (excluding University Centers facilities, sports facilities, and housing and college related dining facilities)

Wendy Schiefer (858) 822-7800 Mail Code 0908-S


•      Price Center and Student Center Facilities: University Centers Management

John Payne (858) 534-8986 Mail Code 0076


•      UC San Diego Sports Facilities: Sports Facilities Management

Rich Mylin (858) 534-2190 Mail Code 0530


•      Housing and College Dining Facilities: Housing & Dining Services

Lynn Anderson (858) 822-0132 Mail Code 0560


•      UC San Diego Healthcare Facilities: Engineering

Mike Dayton (858) 657-2274 Mail Code 7852


Program Problems: The following offices have been identified as contacts to provide advice and assistance to resolve program accessibility problems:


•      Students contact for academic accommodation services: Office for Students with


Joanna Boval (858) 534-4382 Mail Code 0019


•      Staff and visitors contact: Disability Counseling and Consulting

Melissa Williams (858) 534-6744 Mail Code 0944


•      Faculty contact: Office of Academic Employee Relations

Kelly Lindlar (858) 822-4564  Mail Code 0065


•      UC San Diego Health Sciences facility, faculty, staff, students, patients, and visitors contact: Human Resources – Workers Compensation and Disability Accommodation

Kimberlee Eskierka 619-543-61473 Mail Code 8912


•      Extended Studies students and visitors contact: Student Affairs Manager, Student Services, University Extension

Chrissy Schmid (858) 822-1366 Mail Code 0176-H (Extension Extended Studies)




The following offices have been identified as contacts to provide information regarding procedures:


•      Undergraduate students (including Extension and Summer Session) contact: Director of Student Affairs Policy, Standards & Conduct

Benjamin White (858) 534-6225 TDD: (858) 534-4934 Mail Code 0067


•      Graduate students contact:

Assistant Dean for Graduate Student Affairs, Graduate Division

April Bjornsen (858) 534-3550 Mail Code 0003


•      Faculty (including Extension and Summer Session) contact: Director, Academic Employee & Labor Relations

Kelly Lindlar (858) 822-4564 Mail Code 0065


•      Staff and visitors contact: Director, Disability Counseling and Consulting

Melissa Williams (858) 534-6744 Mail Code 0944


•      General grievance information contact: Associate Chancellor/Chief of Staff

Jeff Gattas (858) 534-6861 Mail Code 0005


NOTE: Elizabeth Simmons Executive Vice Chancellor - Academic Affairs; Pierre Ouillet, Vice Chancellor – Chief Financial Officer and Alysson Satterlund, Vice Chancellor - Student Affairs, are the UC San Diego Section 504 Officers (with non-discrimination responsibilities applicable to people with disabilities); and Melissa Williams, Disability Counseling and Consulting Director is the UC San Diego ADA Title II Coordinator (with job accommodation assistance for faculty, staff, and student employees).




A.    Faculty Grievance Policies:


•      Bylaws of the San Diego Division of the Academic Senate (Section 230, Privilege and Tenure)


•      PPM Section 230-5, Personnel – Academic, “Non Senate Academic Appointees/ Grievances”


•      APM Section 015, General University Policy Regarding Academic Appointees, “Faculty Conduct and the Administration of Discipline, including the Faculty Code of Conduct”


•      APM Section 016, General University Policy on “Faculty Conduct and Administration of Disciplin


•      APM Section 140, General University Policy Regarding Academic Appointees, “Non- Senate Academic Appointees/Grievances”


•      Memorandum of Understanding, University of California and University Council – American Federation of Teachers, Professional Librarian Unit, Article 24, Grievance Procedure


•      Memorandum of Understanding, University of California and University Council – American Federation of Teachers, Non-Senate Instructional Unit, Article 32 Grievance Procedure


B.    Staff Grievance Policies:


•      Personnel Policies for Staff Members (PPSM) - 70, Complaint Resolution


•      State Employees’ Trades Council SETC-UNITED, Article 20, Grievance Procedure


•      California Nurses Association (CNA) Contract, Article 27, Grievance Procedure


•      CUE Teamsters Local 2010


•      Service Unit, Article 10, Grievance Procedure


•      Clerical and Allied Services Unit, Article 7, Grievance Procedure


•      Patient Care Technical Unit, Article 9, Grievance Procedure


C.    Student Grievance Policies:


•      PPM Section 160-11 Student Grievances




03/22/2022 Technical updates to contact names and references.

11/09/2016 Technical updates, removal of rescinded policy. 

07/22/2012 Technical Update name and telephone change.