The Connecticut Commission on Community Service (CCCS) encourages individuals of all abilities and backgrounds to participate in Connecticut’s National Service programs. Some funding is provided to programs by the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) to ensure people with disabilities have the opportunity to become participants in service and are provided reasonable accommodations when necessary.
Any program receiving federal funds is required to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act. To be in compliance with federal law, all AmeriCorps programs must prohibit any form of discrimination against persons with disabilities in recruitment and service. A qualified individual with a disability must not, solely due to his/her disability, be excluded from, denied benefits of, or subjected to discrimination by the services, programming, or activities of a CNCS program.
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, defines a person with a disability as an individual who has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one of more major life activities. Major life activities; refer to anything an average person can do with little or no difficulty. Major life activities include, but are not limited to: caring for oneself, performing manual tasks, walking, seeing, hearing, speaking, breathing, learning, working, sitting, standing, lifting, reaching, sleeping and mental/emotional processes such as thinking, concentrating and interacting with others. The Americans with Disabilities Act Amendments Act (ADAAA) has added the operation of major bodily functions such as the immune system, normal cell growth and the endocrine system as major life activities that are subject to impairment and legally covered under the definition of disability.
A reasonable accommodation is any adjustment or modification in a service position that enables a qualified person with a disability to receive an equitable service opportunity and/or experience. Any program receiving federal funding has a legal obligation to provide reasonable accommodations.
Reasonable Accommodations include, but are not limited to:
- Modifying an application process, an interview, or a test.
- Modifying a service site to making existing facilities accessible to and usable by an individual with a disability (e.g. distraction reduction or clutter removal).
- Modifying a policy or procedure.
- Modifying training materials or supervisory methods.
- Restructuring a position, including:
- Adjusting how or when an essential function is completed.
- Dividing, exchanging, reassigning, or eliminating marginal functions.
- Allowing a fellow member or volunteer to assist an individual.
- Reassigning an individual to a vacant service position.
- Providing flexible work schedules or leave policies.
- Providing or modifying equipment, assistive technology, or auxiliary aids and services.
- Ensuring all program activities are held in accessible locations.
TIP: Be sure to check out the links to excellent disability inclusion support sites provided in the Resources section of this Manual.