Western Michigan University’s Affirmative Action Policy for individuals having handicaps is designed to provide equal opportunity for such persons as an integral part of the University’s academic and non-academic personnel activities.
Further, the University shall ensure, to the extent that mental and physical job qualifications tend to screen out persons with a handicapping condition, that such qualifications are job related and/or consistent with business necessity and/or the safe performance of the job. Except as noted, the University shall make reasonable accommodations for the mental and physical limitations of qualified applicants and employees with a handicapping condition.
The University recognizes that employment of the handicapped is in the University’s best interests by utilizing the employment skills possessed by such individuals as well as by meeting an important social responsibility. The University will take affirmative action to employ, advance in employment, and otherwise treat qualified handicapped individuals without discrimination. The University will make reasonable accommodations to physical and mental limitations of employees and applicants, consistent with the qualifications required for the work to be performed and with the effective operations of the University, as is done for all employees.
The policy serves two major functions:
- it enlightens present University employees to the fact that unique barriers exist for the handicapped at Western Michigan University;
- it facilitates breaking any barriers that may now exist at the University for employment of these individuals.
Bringing about appropriate awareness and sensitivity of any problem is a difficult task. Likewise, creating a University environment attitudinally and physically conducive to equal employment opportunities for the handicapped should be regarded as a positive challenge rather than a burdensome problem.
As a public university, Western Michigan University has social responsibilities, no less to its own students and employees than to the public. By eliminating barriers and creating awareness, it is inevitable that the University will meet the challenge by increasing the representation of the handicapped individuals in all employment categories, as well as to make the university more attractive and accessible to students with handicaps. The University’s overall sensitivity is reflected in its continual commitment to affirmative action.
It shall be the responsibility of the Associate Vice President for Institutional Equity and the Department of Human Resources to coordinate and implement this policy with respect to academic and nonacademic employment.