Guidelines for Requesting Accommodations for COVID-19 Related Medical Reasons
With AUC’s return to full face-to-face instruction and increased on-campus activities, the University continues to take precautions to protect the health and well-being of all members of the community. The University developed guidelines for returning to campus that contain details about the University’s health and safety requirements, guidance for adhering to social distancing requirements while on campus, testing and monitoring steps and other wellness resources. Even with these precautions, we cannot keep every person safe and disease-free. As such, the University proposes an efficient process for students, faculty and staff who have medical concerns and wish to request reasonable accommodations. All such requests will be reviewed by the University’s medical clinic. These guidelines explain the medical basis for such accommodation requests, the medical documentation needed for a timely review, and the process of review.
1. Who may request an accommodation?
Any student, faculty, or staff may request an accommodation based on medical concerns due to COVID-19. The University will work to honor requests for reasonable accommodations from individuals identified as high risk according to the Egypt Ministry of Health and Population (MoHP) and the US Center for Disease Control (CDC). Based on these guidelines, individuals who are 65+ and have one or more of the following underlying medical conditions: (a) uncontrolled diabetes; (b) severely obese individuals (BMI >40); (c) active cancer patients; (d) individuals receiving immunosuppressive medications; (e) individuals receiving corticosteroids > 10mg/day; or (f) individuals with chronic renal and/or liver failures, may have an increased risk for severe illness from COVID-19. The University will also consider other requests for reasonable accommodations on a case-by-case basis consistent with its policies and needs.
It should be noted that vaccinated individuals are less prone to serious outcomes of the infection. The scientific committee recommends that older individuals receive a booster dose of the vaccine when it becomes available or allowed by the MoHP. Additionally, members of the community are encouraged to follow a healthy lifestyle (stop smoking, exercise, maintain a healthy diet, etc.) to help reduce their overall risk during this pandemic.
2. What types of accommodations may be reasonable?
Each accommodation request will be evaluated and determined on a case-by-case basis. For student accommodations, the Dean of Students will consider academic adjustments, auxiliary aids and services needed to enable full participation in University programs and services.
For faculty and staff accommodations, the University will consider accommodations that may be reasonable and effective considering the individual’s essential job responsibilities and without imposing undue disruption of the University's educational mission and quality. Accommodations may include, but are not limited to, a special configuration of classrooms or workspaces beyond those already planned; open-air classrooms where available; change in the location or timing of work; remote work; temporary assignment; or a leave of absence.
3. What is required to request an accommodation?
For Students: Students in need of assistance or reasonable accommodation who have underlying chronic health conditions and are at higher risk for contracting COVID-19 or who are experiencing ongoing symptoms (beyond three weeks of infection) and secondary medical issues because of contracting COVID-19 must be submitted to the Student Disability Services (SDS) unit in the Center for Student Well-Being. Students must submit the Academic Accommodation Form as well as evidence of her/his COVID-19 related disability to the SDS along with current medical documentation of the chronic or temporary health condition from a qualified medical provider. SDS will send the medical documentation to the University’s medical clinic, which will review the medical documents and contact the student to continue the interactive process, which may include an interview. The University's medical clinic then will forward all documentation to the SDS for review and decision of the reasonable academic accommodation to be provided to the student, if any. All academic accommodations approved for temporary health-related conditions will be reviewed each semester.
For Faculty: Complete and submit the Covid-19 Reasonable Accommodation Request Form and the Medical Information Form (word document format) completed by your health care provider to the University's medical clinic at firstname.lastname@example.org, which will review the request and contact the faculty member to continue the interactive process, which may also include an interview. The University's medical clinic then will forward their recommendation and documentation to the Provost, for review and decision of the reasonable accommodation to be provided to the faculty, if any. The Provost will consult with the dean and the chair prior to deciding on accommodation requests of a faculty member.
For Staff: Complete and submit the Covid-19 Reasonable Accommodation Request Form and the Medical Information Form (word document format) completed by your health care provider to the University´s medical clinic at email@example.com, which will review the request and contact the staff member to continue the interactive process, which may also include an interview. The University's medical clinic then will forward their recommendation and documentation to the SAVP for Human Resources, for review and decision of the reasonable accommodation to be provided to the staff, if any. SAVP for Human Resources will consult with the direct supervisor and the unit head prior to deciding on the accommodation request of a staff member.
We value an interactive and responsive learning community for students and recognize that in-person interaction of faculty and staff across campus is necessary to support high-quality instruction and a quality learning environment for our students. We equally value keeping people as safe as reasonably possible. We will endeavor to provide reasonable accommodations for individuals as much as possible while continuing to ensure a safe and effective in-person experience for our entire community.