Affirmative Action Plan for Handicapped Persons

Introduction

Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 provides that no otherwise qualified handicapped individual, as defined in Section 7(6) of that Act, shall, solely by reason of his/her handicap, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance.

The Research Foundation of State University of New York is a non-profit educational corporation whose purpose is to administer gifts, grants and contract funds which support research, training and other educational programs carried out by, or supervised by, faculty members at various State-operated campuses of the State University of New York. In this role, it is the recipient of significant Federal financial assistance and thus comes within the purview of the Act.

In accordance with such requirements and with the Research Foundation's own policies and programs of equal opportunity and non-discrimination, the Foundation has adopted this revised Affirmative Action Plan for Handicapped Persons. It supports the law, which provides that qualified handicapped persons should be given every opportunity for employment, training and promotion commensurate with their ability and qualifications to perform the specific jobs for which they may be considered. This program will be reviewed and updated annually and any significant changes in procedures or rights or benefits as a result of the annual updating will be communicated to employees and applicants for employment.

Definition

The term "Handicapped Individual" means any person who (1) has a physical or mental impairment, which substantially limits one or more of such person's major life activities, (2) has a record of such impairment, or (3) is regarded as having such an impairment. A handicapped individual is "substantially limited" if he or she is likely to experience difficulty in securing, retaining or advancing in employment because of a handicap.

The term "Qualified Handicapped Individual" means a handicapped individual as defined above who is capable of performing a particular job, with reasonable accommodation to his or her handicap.

Self-Identification

All applicants for employment and current employees who believe themselves to be covered by Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended, and who wish to benefit under the Affirmative Action Program, are invited to identify themselves on the employment form and/or through a periodic update of the individual's personnel file, based on the following categories under which they qualify:

  1. Blindness/visual impairment
  2. Deafness/hearing impairment
  3. Orthopedic impairment
  4. Physiological disorder
  5. Mental disorder
  6. Nervous system disorder
  7. Respiratory related impairment
  8. Loss of limbs
  9. Other (specify)

Policy and Intent

It is the policy and intent of The Research Foundation of State University of New York that no otherwise qualified handicapped individual shall, solely by reason of his or her handicap, be excluded form participation as a result of such employment.

The Research Foundation will not discriminate against any employee or applicant for employment because of physical or mental handicap in regard to any position for which the employee or applicant for employment is qualified. The Research foundation will employ, advance in employment and otherwise treat handicapped individuals without discrimination based upon their physical or mental handicap in all employment and to encourage such persons to take the necessary action to aid the Foundation in meeting this obligation.

  1. Develop reasonable internal procedures to insure that the Foundation's obligation to engage in Affirmative Action to employ and promote handicapped individuals is being fully implemented.
  2. Periodically inform all employees of the Foundation's commitment to engage in Affirmative Action to increase employment opportunities for handicapped individuals.
  3. Enlist the assistance and support of all recruitment sources (including the State employment services, State vocational rehabilitation agencies or facilities, sheltered workshops, college placement officers, state education agencies, labor organizations and social service organizations serving handicapped individuals.
  4. Engage in recruitment activities at educational institutions, which participate in training of the handicapped, such as schools for the blind, deaf or retarded.
  5. Establish meaningful contacts with appropriate social service organizations, vocational rehabilitation agencies or facilities for such purposes as advice, technical assistance and referral of potential employees.
  6. Review employment records to determine the availability of promotable and transferable handicapped individuals presently employed, and to determine whether their present and potential skills are being fully utilized or developed.
  7. Use appropriate media for institutional and employment advertising to indicate the Foundation's commitment to nondiscrimination and Affirmative Action in regard to the Affirmative Action Plan for Handicapped Persons.

Dissemination of Policy

Through Foundation policy and procedure manuals and other publications, this Institution's policy of and commitment to equal opportunity and Affirmative Action for qualified handicapped persons will be promulgated among Foundation central staff, Foundation employment offices on SUNY campuses, community members and agencies within the recruiting area.

Administrators with hiring responsibilities will be informed that Federal legislation and regulations require that they take Affirmative Action to employ qualified handicapped persons.

Agencies and organizations such as the New York State Department of Social Services, Office of Vocational Rehabilitation, the Northeastern Association of the Blind, as well as the service offices of other national organizations serving the handicapped, will be called upon as needed to rehabilitation agencies, sheltered workshops, state educational agencies, etc., which participate in training of the handicapped will be utilized where necessary to aid recruitment.

The Research Foundation will post in conspicuous places, available to employees and applicants for employment, notices of the Foundation's obligation and intent to take Affirmative Action to employ and advance in employment qualified handicapped persons. This posting will include a statement that employees and applicants are protected from coercion, intimidation, interference or discrimination for filing a complaint or assisting in an investigation under the Act.

Multi-Location Applicability

The Research Foundation is composed of a Central Office in Albany, New York, and an Office of Sponsored Funds or Research or a campus official administering sponsored funds at various campuses of State University of New York. Each campus location subject to the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 is responsible for formulating its own plan for Affirmative Action for the Handicapped using this Research Foundation Plan as a guide. Campus policy will dictate whether the plan is written and administered by the Office of Sponsored Funds, or some other campus official.

Responsibility and Authority

The Associate Director for Compliance Review has been designated as the Research Foundation's Affirmative Action Officer. Responsibilities of this office are set forth more fully on page 11 of the Foundation's Affirmative Action plan.

Each campus President, as chief executive officer of that campus, is practices including, but not limited to, employment, upgrading, demotion or transfer, recruitment or recruitment advertising, layoff or termination, rates of pay or other forms of compensation and selection for training.

Should a handicapped individual file a complaint with the Research Foundation that the Foundation is not complying with requirements of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, the Foundation will fully investigate the complaint and take appropriate action consistent with the requirements of 41 CFR 60-741 and maintain on file for three years the record regarding the complaint and the actions taken or decisions made.

Should a handicapped individual file a complaint with the Department of Labor that the Research Foundation has not compiled with requirements of the Act, the Foundation will 1) cooperate with the Department in its investigation of the complaint and will 2) provide all pertinent information regarding the Foundation's employment practices with respect to the handicapped.

Handicapped individuals filing administrative complaints under the Affirmative Action Plan for Handicapped Persons will be required to submit a signed statement of his or her disability.

Recruitment Concerns

Candidates identifying themselves as Qualified Handicapped Persons will be asked to describe any special methods, skills and procedures which qualify them for positions they might presumably be unable to fill because of their disability so that they will be considered for such positions and to alert the Foundation as to accommodations which might be made to enable them to perform their jobs properly and safely, such as changes in the physical layout of the workplace and modification of certain non-essential duties related to the job.

The Foundation reserves the right to request a pre-employment comprehensive medical examination at the Foundation's expense but the results will not be used to exclude or otherwise limit employment opportunities of qualified handicapped individuals.

The Foundation will make every effort to assist employees identified as handicapped to reach their full employment potential. Self-identification shall be voluntary, and refusal to provide it will not subject a person to discharge, disciplinary action or other adverse treatment. Information obtained concerning individuals shall be kept confidential except that (a) supervisors may be informed regarding restrictions on the work or duties of disabled or handicapped individuals, (b) first aid and safety personnel may be informed, when and to the extent appropriate, the condition might require emergency treatment and (c) government officials investigating compliance with the Act shall be informed.

Accommodation to Physical and Mental Limitations

The Foundation shall continually review all physical and mental job qualification requirements to ascertain whether they tend to screen out qualified handicapped individuals, of such a tendency is identified, these job qualifications will be further reviewed to determine their job-relatedness and their consistency with business necessity and the safe performance of jobs.

The Foundation will continually review its personnel practices and procedures to assure that they result in careful, thorough and systematic consideration of the job qualifications of those known to be handicapped persons.

Reasonable physical accommodation for handicapped persons will be determined through consultation with line management and advisory groups and will be made for considerations of business necessity, financial costs and expense.

Compensation

Compensation offered to handicapped persons shall not be reduced because of any disability income, pension or other benefit the applicant or employee receives from another source.

Outreach and Positive Recruitment Procedures

The Research Foundation of State University of New York will undertake outreach and positive recruitment activities such as those listed below. As appropriate, the Foundation will:

  1. Internally communicate its obligation to engage in Affirmative Action efforts to employ handicapped individuals in such a manner as to foster understanding, acceptance and support among the Foundation's executive management, supervisory and all other employees the locus of responsibility and authority for campus Affirmative Action efforts on behalf of the handicapped. The daily responsibility and authority for Research Foundation campus Affirmative Action efforts is delegated to the campus Affirmative Action Officer and/or Office of Sponsored Research, as determined by campus policy.

Grievance Procedures

Grievance Procedures for Albany Office staff, adopted by the Board of Directors of the Research Foundation on January 27, 1981, identified as Appendix 14, cover complaints by all employees alleging discrimination by the Foundation on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, age, sex, disability, or marital status and, by reference, status as a handicapped person.

For Foundation employees physically located on SUNY campuses, other grievance procedures apply. These are Grievance Procedures for Sponsored Funds Employees, adopted by the Board of Directors on September 23, 1980. (See Appendices 15 and 16.)

Copies can be obtained from the Personnel Office either at the Central Office or the campus.

Affirmative Action Clause

The Foundation and each contractor and subcontractor shall include (directly or by reference) and Affirmative Action clause in each of its covered government contracts or subcontracts (and modifications, renewals, or extensions thereof if not included in the original contract).

  1. The contractor will not discriminate against any employee or applicant for employment because of physical or mental handicap in regard to any position for which the employee or applicant is qualified. The contractor agrees to take Affirmative Action to employ, advance in employment and otherwise treat qualified handicapped individuals without discrimination based upon their physical or mental handicap in all employment practices such as the following: employment, upgrading, demotion or transfer, recruitment, advertising, layoff or termination, rates of pay or other forms of compensation and selection for training including apprenticeships.
  2. The contractor agrees to comply with the rules, regulations and relevant orders of the Secretary of Labor issued pursuant to the Act.
  3. In the event of the contractor's non-compliance may be taken in accordance with the rules, regulations and relevant orders of the Secretary of Labor issued pursuant to the Act.
  4. The contractor agrees to post in conspicuous places, available to employees and applicants for employment, notices in a form to be prescribed by the Director of the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs, provided by or through the contracting officer. Such notices shall state the contractor's obligation under the law to take Affirmative Action to employ and advance in employment qualified handicapped employees and applicants for employment and the rights of applicants and employees.
  5. The contractor will notify each labor union or representative of workers, with which it has a collective bargaining agreement or other contractual understanding, the the contractor is bound by the terms of Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and is committed to take Affirmative Action to employ and advance in employment physically and mentally handicapped individuals.
  6. The contractor will include the provisions of this clause in every subcontract or purchase order of $2,500 or more unless exempted by rules, regulations, or orders of the Secretary issued pursuant to Section 503 of the Act, so that such provisions will be binding upon each subcontractor or vendor. The contractor will take such action with respect to any subcontract or purchase order as the Director of the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs may direct to enforce such provisions, including action for noncompliance.

Contact Information

Office: Kehoe 815
Phone: (518) 564-2155
Fax: (518) 564-2157

Research Foundation at SUNY Plattsburgh
Kehoe 815
101 Broad Street
Plattsburgh, NY 12901