NASA logo NASA Headquarters' Directives
HQPR 3713.1
Effective Date: May 25, 2016
Expiration Date: May 25, 2021
Responsible Office: LM
Reasonable Accommodation Procedures for Individuals with Disabilities
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Table of Contents | Preface | Chapter1 | Chapter2 | Chapter3 | Chapter4 | AppendixA | AppendixB | AppendixC

Chapter 1. Roles and Responsibilities

1.1 Employees are responsible for:

a. Requesting a reasonable accommodation by notifying their supervisor or Disability Program Manager (DPM) orally and/or in writing (i.e., NASA Form 1699) of any disability or medical condition that may interfere with the performance of the essential functions of their job.

b. Reviewing, verifying, and signing NF 1699.

c. Participating in an interactive discussion with their supervisor regarding functional limitations and suggesting reasonable accommodation possibilities that can be explored.

d. Cooperating with management efforts to identify effective accommodations and/or alternate placements, if necessary.

e. Promptly providing supporting medical documentation (if needed), on the physical and/or mental impairment to be accommodated and how it relates to the essential functions of the position.

f. Recognizing that, if the Agency asks for medical documentation, their requests for reasonable accommodation will not be processed until they provide the supporting medical documentation.

g. Understanding that under Federal law they are entitled to an effective accommodation that does not impose an undue hardship to the agency, which may or may not be the accommodation of their choice.

h. Understanding that they have the right to contact an EEO counselor at any time to be advised of their rights, but no longer than 45 days after the alleged act of discrimination.

1.2 Supervisors are responsible for:

a. Deciding whether to grant or deny employee requests for reasonable accommodation.

b. Acknowledging an employee's reasonable accommodation request in writing within two calendar days, and explaining to the employee that he or she will be the deciding official on the request.

c. Documenting when employees make a reasonable accommodation request orally, by transferring the details to NF 1699 as soon as possible, but no later than five calendar days from the date the request was received.

d. Promptly providing copies of the NF 1699 to the DPM and the employee requesting accommodation if request made orally.

e. Consulting with the DPM and Reasonable Accommodation (RA) Team throughout this process.

f. Engaging in the interactive process with employees to discuss the employee's limitations and the need for accommodation. This discussion is designed to allow the supervisor to determine whether or not an accommodation is reasonable and, if so, what would be the most effective accommodation for the employee that does not impose an undue hardship on the Agency.

g. Notifying the employee in writing of their final decision whether to grant or deny the accommodation within prescribed timeframes.

(1) Where an accommodation is granted, the supervisor shall notify the employee in writing using NF 1699A of when and how the accommodation will be provided.

(2) Where an accommodation is denied in part or a different accommodation has been provided than that requested by the employeee, the supervisor shall notify the employee in writing using NF 1699A and provide the employee with reconsideration and appeal rights and/or the right to seek Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) counseling.

h. Considering requests for reconsideration and/or appeals, and issuing decisions on such requests within 10 calendar days.

(1) Non-Responsiveness

a. To the extent that the supervisor fails to respond at all to a request for reasonable accommodation within the prescribed timeframes, this may constitute a "denial" of reasonable accommodation. In such cases, employees may appeal this "denial" to their second-level supervisor (see section 2.9).

b. In cases where an employee who has requested a reasonable accommodation becomes non-responsive during the process (e.g., does not respond to requests after repeated attempts), the supervisor and/or DPM should make reasonable efforts to contact the employee and determine the reasons for the employee's non-responsiveness.

1.3 The Disability Program Manager (DPM) resides within the NASA HQ Equal Opportunity and Diversity Management Division (EODM), and is responsible for:

a. Coordinating, tracking, and providing advice on the reasonable accommodation process at NASA HQ.

b. Notifying supervisors immediately when employees request reasonable accommodation directly to the DPM.

c. Counseling supervisors throughout the reasonable accommodation process, including helping the employee and supervisor in filling out the 1699 and 1699A forms (if necessary).

d. Receiving, maintaining, and securing requests for reasonable accommodation, reconsiderations, and appeals; coordinating reconsideration and appeal requests with applicable first or second level supervisors; serving as the custodian of the official record of the reasonable accommodation process.

e. Requesting, receiving, and safeguarding medical documentation (if necessary) in support of the reasonable accommodation request, and forwarding it to the NASA designated physician for medical evaluation.

f. Consulting with the "Reasonable Accommodation Team" - comprised of subject matter experts (SMEs).

g. Entering information related to all requests for reasonable accommodation and case disposition into the NASA electronic tracking system.

h. Safeguarding the privacy of reasonable accommodation records at all times.

(1) Non-Responsiveness:

a. In cases where an employee who has requested a reasonable accommodation becomes non-responsive during the process (e.g., does not respond to requests after repeated attempts), the supervisor and/or DPM should make reasonable efforts to contact the employee and determine the reasons for the employee's non-responsiveness.

b. If the employee remains non-responsive 60 calendar days after the original request, the DPM shall administratively close the case by completing the NF 1699A, filling in the item pertaining to the reasons for the closure, and providing a copy of the NF 1699A to the employee.

1.4 The Reasonable Accommodation Team (REACT) is a group of Subject Matter Expert (SMEs), which may include but are not limited to: NASA designated physicians, HR Specialists, Office of the General Counsel, IT, and Facilities. REACT is responsible for:

a. Conferring with the DPM regarding the need to obtain medical documentation for reasonable accommodation requests, as discussed in 2.3.

b. Providing detailed information on the employee's functional limitations to assist the supervisor in identifying what types of accommodation(s) would be reasonable and effective.

c. Advising the supervisor in making a decision on granting or denying the request (including requests for reconsideration and appeals).


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