Carnegie Mellon University

Accommodations for Faculty and Staff Members

Carnegie Mellon University provides reasonable accommodations to staff and faculty members with disabilities to enable them to perform the essential functions or duties of their positions.

We also provide reasonable accommodations to applicants in order to foster an equitable, accessible and inclusive hiring process ensuring that all individuals experience equal opportunity free from discrimination prohibited by law, including discrimination on the basis of a disability. Candidates with disabilities have the right to receive reasonable accommodations throughout the hiring process, including during the interview.

An accommodation is deemed “reasonable” by the standards of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) unless the accommodation would fundamentally alter the nature of the goods, services, facilities, privileges, or advantages offered or would result in an undue burden, i.e., significant difficulty or expense. The final determination for providing appropriate and reasonable accommodations rests with the institution.

  1. Submit the Request for Accommodations Form.
  2. The Office of Disability Services will acknowledge receipt of the form and initiate an interactive process through which a university representative will work with you to address your accommodation needs.
  3. You will be asked to submit appropriate documentation of the disability.
  4. You will make an appointment with a representative from the Office of Disability Services to discuss your accommodations and review a draft Employee Individual Accommodation Plan.
    • Before drafting an Employee Individual Accommodation Plan, Disability Services may require additional information from a medical professional to ensure accurate accommodations are provided. Please submit medical documentation to the Office of Disability Services.
  5. The Office of Disability Services will provide you with a Summary of Accommodations Memorandum and a finalized Employee Individual Accommodation Plan.

    The information gathered in this process is used by Disability Services solely to develop an Accommodation Plan, which is an agreement between the employee and CMU regarding reasonable accommodations and services. This confidential information is only shared with appropriate personnel on a business need-to-know basis.
  6. Next, you will be asked if you would need assistance during a campus emergency. If you identify that you would need assistance, you will be added to the University Emergency Evacuation List. The list is strictly voluntary and allows University Police and other first responders to develop a plan for your evacuation needs. To be included on the University Evacuation Waiting List for a short- or long-term condition, please contact University Police.

Under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, individuals with disabilities are assured services and protected from discrimination. To establish that an individual is covered under the ADA, the documentation must indicate that the disability substantially limits some major life activity, including learning and working. The following documentation requirements are provided to assure that documentation demonstrates an impact on a major life activity, is appropriate to verify eligibility and supports the request for accommodations:

  • Documentation must be obtained from a licensed treating healthcare provider.
  • Documentation must be current and up to date (typically five years old or less, depending on the nature of the nature of the disability). Please note that Disability Services may request more recent documentation if the disability symptomology tends to vary over time.
  • Documentation must list the diagnosis or diagnoses.
  • Documentation must describe in detail the functional impact of the disability on ability to perform the job or in work environment.
  • Documentation should list the recommended disability accommodations (when appropriate).

If the initial documentation is incomplete or inadequate to fully evaluate a request for reasonable accommodations, Disability Services has the discretion to require additional documentation. Any cost of obtaining additional documentation is borne by the individual. Please contact Disability Services / 412-268-5072 with questions about documentation.

You may request to update an existing Employee Individual Accommodation Plan by contacting the Office of Disability Services. A team member will initiate an interactive dialogue within five business days.

The university allocates spaces in Carnegie Mellon University parking areas in accessible locations for faculty and staff members with disabilities. Requests for short- or long-term accommodations must be sent to Disability Services, and appropriate documentation (including but not limited to a physician's certified note) must be presented.

Accommodations for disabilities lasting less than four weeks will not be charged a permit rate change if a lot change is necessary. Otherwise, the university will charge the permit fee appropriate for the location of the space provided as an accommodation.

Please submit to the Office of Disability Services any requests for sign language interpreters or real-time captioning at least two weeks in advance using the Interpreter or Captioning Request Form [pdf].

For information and resources related to emergency procedures and building evacuation, please visit CMU’s Emergency Preparedness and Response website or contact

In the event of an emergency requiring evacuation of a facility:

  • Shelter in place until you can be rescued by an emergency responder.
    • Most of the stairwells on campus are constructed of fire-resistant materials and can be used as an area of refuge.
  • Call University Police at 412-268-2323 or through the Rave Guardian app to report your location and request assistance.
  • If available, use an emergency communication device such as an emergency phone or emergency help station “blue light” beacon to contact University Police.
  • Tell others evacuating the facility to inform emergency responders of your location and that you need assistance.