To:      Vice Presidents, Deans, Chairs, Directors, and Managers

From:   Lisa C. Freeman
           Executive Vice President and Provost 

Date:   July 24, 2015

Re:      Centralized Disability Accommodations Fund

The Office of the Executive Vice President and Provost, including the Division of Academic Affairs, together with the Division of Student Affairs & Enrollment Management and Administration and Finance, are pleased to announce the establishment of the Centralized Disability Accommodations (CDA) Fund for faculty, staff, and students.  Effective July 1, 2015, departments may request financial assistance from the CDA fund to assist with the cost of providing reasonable workplace and academic accommodations for employees and/or students with disabilities, as required under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990, as amended, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, 29 U.S.C. § 701 et seq., state laws and University Policy.

In accordance with our University mission, NIU is dedicated to promoting excellence in teaching and learning, research and scholarship, creativity and artistry, and outreach and service.  Diversity is a dimension of excellence.  Accordingly, NIU is committed to creating and sustaining an accessible and inclusive learning environment, where disability is recognized as an aspect of diversity that is integral to the campus community and to society.  This vision, along with compliance mandates, must be maintained despite difficult budgetary and fiscal climates.  To that end, approved costs of more than $1,000.00 for employees and $500.00 for students can be requested from the CDA fund,  in the event the department and/or college is in need of financial assistance, in order to implement the requested accommodation.  Please note that nothing in the establishment of this fund waives any requirement to provide a reasonable accommodation as required by state and federal law and/or University policy and/or procedures. Additionally, all departments will be required to request financial assistance from this fund prior to any request for additional funds from other University resources. 
Please click on the following hyperlink for more information about the application process.  Also, all supervisors, directors, and managers, are encouraged to attend one of the open forums that will be scheduled in August 2015 to learn more about the ADA and required provisions.

Thank you in advance for your cooperation and assistance with this matter, as well as your continued commitment to the creation of an inclusive and respectful environment for those individuals on our campus who have disabilities.