Accommodations Policy


University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Policy on Accommodations 



The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill ("University") is committed to providing a welcoming and inclusive environment for all members of our community. As part of this commitment, the University provides reasonable accommodations for Disability, Pregnancy and Related Medical Conditions, and sincerely-held Religious Beliefs and Practices consistent with federal and state law. 

This Policy is grounded in the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, the Americans with Disabilities Amendments Act of 2008, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, the PUMP for Nursing Mothers Act, the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act, and related state laws. Definitions in this Policy will be applied and interpreted consistently with those statutes.  If there is a conflict between this Policy and the associated Procedures and requirements in applicable law, the University will follow applicable law. 


This Policy and associated Procedures address the provision of:  

  • Disability accommodations to Employees, Applicants for employment, and visitors to campus;   
  • Religious accommodations to Employees, Students, and Applicants; and
  • Pregnancy and Related Medical Condition accommodations to Employees, Students, and Applicants.   

With respect to the obligation to implement approved accommodations, this Policy and associated Procedures apply to all Employees. 

Disability accommodations unrelated to pregnancy for Students are provided by Accessibility Resources & Service and are addressed in that office’s policies and procedures.  


Policy Statement

The University will provide Reasonable Accommodations to qualified Students, Employees, and Applicants based on Disability, Pregnancy and Related Medical Conditions, and Religious Beliefs and Practices, as required by state and federal law. The University will not provide accommodations that eliminate an Employee’s Essential Job Function(s); Fundamentally Alter academic or admissions standards or requirements essential to an academic program, activity, technical standard, or professional or licensing requirement; constitute an Undue Hardship; or create a Direct Threat. 

Failure to implement an approved Reasonable Accommodation may constitute discrimination under the University’s Policy on Prohibited Discrimination, Harassment, and Related Misconduct. Retaliation for requesting or using Reasonable Accommodations is also prohibited under the Policy on Prohibited Discrimination, Harassment, and Related Misconduct


Applicant: An individual who has submitted an application to be admitted to a full- or part-time course for academic credit at the University or to be employed by the University. 

Direct Threat: A significant risk of substantial harm that cannot be eliminated or reduced by Reasonable Accommodations. 

Disability: A physical or mental impairment that substantially limits a major life activity, a record of such impairment, or being regarded as having such an impairment. 

Employee: Any faculty or staff member, whether part-time or full-time, permanent or temporary, including post-doctoral scholars and student employees, such as teaching or graduate assistants. 

Essential Job Function: The fundamental job duties of the employment position.  The University will determine whether a job function is essential by considering whether the position exists to perform the function, the number of employees available who can perform the function, whether the function is highly specialized such that the incumbent was hired for their expertise in performing the function, the employer’s judgment as to whether the function is essential, written job descriptions, the amount of time spent performing the function, the consequences of not performing the function, the work experience of past or current employees in the same or similar jobs, and other appropriate factor.   

Fundamental Alteration: A change that is so significant that it alters the essential nature of the goods, services, facilities, privileges, advantages or accommodations offered.   The University will determine whether an accommodation would constitute a fundamental alteration by considering the essential academic or technical standards of the course/program, the unique qualities of the course/program in relation to its overall objective, whether the standard approach is the only way to achieve the essential objective, whether the requested accommodation lower the academic standards of the class/program, and other relevant factors. 

Interactive Process: The process through which the University and an individual seeking Reasonable Accommodations work together to discuss options, limitations, and opportunities during the period of time when one or more accommodations have been requested and are under consideration.      

Pregnancy and Related Medical Conditions: Pregnancy, birth, false pregnancy, termination of pregnancy, pregnancy or infant loss, breastfeeding and expelling breastmilk, conditions arising in connection with any of these conditions, and recovery from any of these conditions. 

Qualified Employee: An employee or applicant for employment who, with or without Reasonable Accommodations can perform the Essential Functions of the position. 

Reasonable Accommodation: A reasonable change to the work or academic environment, to an academic requirement, or to a University policy, procedure, or other requirement that allows a Qualified Employee to perform the Essential Functions of their position or allows a Student to participate in their academic or extracurricular program. An accommodation that constitutes an Undue Hardship, or Fundamental Alteration or that eliminates an Essential Job Function is not a Reasonable Accommodation. 

Religious Belief or Practice: Moral or ethical beliefs as to what is right and wrong which are sincerely held with the strength of traditional religious views, whether theistic or non-theistic, and practices motivated by those sincerely-held beliefs.  Personal or secular preferences or beliefs; social, political, or economic philosophies; and practices motivated by the same do not qualify as Religious Beliefs or Practices. 

Student: A person who has gained admission to a full or part-time course of study for academic credit at the University. 

Undue Hardship: Significant difficulty or expense when considered in light of the nature and net cost of the accommodation; the University’s overall financial resources, size, and operations; and the impact of the accommodation on the University’s operations, including the impact on the ability of other employees to perform their duties in conducting the University's business and the impact on the University’s ability to conduct business. 

Related Requirements

External Regulations

University Policies, Standards, and Procedures

Contact Information

Policy Contact

Tiffany Bailey 
Title: Director of Equal Opportunity/Americans with Disabilities Act Coordinator 
Unit: Equal Opportunity and Compliance 
Phone: 919-966-7545
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Article ID: 131715
Thu 4/8/21 9:15 PM
Tue 7/9/24 3:25 PM
Responsible Unit
School, Department, or other organizational unit issuing this document.
Equal Opportunity and Compliance
Issuing Officer
Name of the document Issuing Officer. This is the individual whose organizational authority covers the policy scope and who is primarily responsible for the policy.
Issuing Officer Title
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Associate Vice Chancellor for Equal Opportunity and Compliance
Policy Contact
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Next Review
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06/24/2024 12:00 AM
Last Review
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06/15/2023 12:00 AM
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06/15/2023 12:00 AM
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06/15/2023 12:00 AM
Date on which the original version of this document was first made official.
11/03/2009 11:00 PM