Instructional Faculty Remote Work Accommodation Requests

Fall 2021 Accommodations for In-Person Instruction Due to Covid-19 related Medical Conditions*

*If you are requesting teaching modality accommodations that are not related to COVID, please follow the standard accommodation request process. For more information on this, please contact the ADA Coordinator at institutional.equity@umich.edu.

The 2021-22 academic year is a transition year during which we expect that the University will return to mostly in-person instruction.

If you have a COVID-related disability or personal medical condition (i.e., your own medical condition), you should contact Work Connections to manage the medical documentation, as is done with other medical conditions .

Graduate Student Instructors and Graduate Student Staff Assistants should continue to use the procedures outlined in Article 22 of the UM/GEO Collective Bargaining Agreement in case of medical conditions that might warrant accommodation under the ADA process.

What is Work Connections?

Work Connections is U-M’s disability management program that assists faculty, staff and supervisors when employees experience an injury or illness that prevents them from working. Case managers, nurses, and physician advisors work with other programs at the University to ensure that faculty, staff and supervisors have convenient and centralized access to a wide variety of resources and support.

What is Work Connections’ role in the process for reviewing requests for Fall 2021 in-person instructional accommodations?

Work Connections will assist all instructional faculty (including LEO Lecturers, tenure/tenure track faculty and GSIs) and the academic units with assessment of medical documentation that the faculty member provides to support their request to teach in remote or hybrid modality due to their own disability or health condition related to COVID-19.

How do I submit a request to Work Connections for an accommodation from in-person instruction?

Instructional faculty should submit a request to the academic unit in the manner set forth by the academic unit. Please contact your department or HR administrator for guidance.

The faculty member should then file a request for service online.

  • For the "Type of Incident" you are reporting: Enter: “Employee Injury or Illness
  • At the time you file a claim, along with the specific physical restrictions requested, medical documentation from your health care provider must be attached.
    • To facilitate the process for review and ensure that all necessary medical information is provided, we strongly encourage you to provide copies of your medical records for the past 6-12 months. In most cases, this information can be obtained quickly by accessing your provider’s healthcare portal.
    • Alternatively, you may provide a report from your physician that includes, at a minimum, the following information: diagnosis, treatment rendered, objective findings, ongoing treatment plan, the specific physical restrictions recommended and an explanation as to the medical necessity for restrictions.

If insufficient information is provided with your request, Work Connections will be unable to make a determination as to the medical necessity of restrictions requested.

  • For the "Description of Incident": Enter: “Instructional Accommodation
  • Optional: Download and print the Authorization to Release Medical Information. This will allow Work Connections to contact your physician to obtain clarification, if needed, and will expedite the review process.
  • Once you file a claim, you’ll receive an Event Number to help track your case.
  • Work Connections will contact you and your department/unit with restricted work recommendations.

What happens after Work Connections reviews the medical documentation to determine whether it supports the underlying condition (i.e., illness, injury)?

Work Connections will inform your department/unit as to the medical necessity of specific restrictions. Once Work Connections reviews and validates the medical documentation, your Academic Department or Unit will be in touch with you to discuss what type of appropriate accommodations or other measures should be considered. The department/unit will evaluate recommended restrictions and determine what, if any, accommodations may be made.

Please note that Work Connections does not make the determination or decision about appropriateness of accommodations or other measures. The respective Academic Department or Unit will make those determinations in collaboration with you.

How does Work Connections Protect Employees’ Confidentiality?

Your health information belongs to you and Work Connections guards it appropriately. This means that your medical information is kept secure, private, and out of public view. Medical information is never sent to your home department. Maintaining appropriate confidentiality is a fundamental principle of the program. Health information will be released only in the following circumstances:

  • With written authorization from you.
  • When a strict need to know is established (e.g., for health/safety reasons, or with Human Resources to make employment status decisions).
  • Private health information is never provided to your department/unit without your permission.
  • To comply with the requirements of the Workers' Disability Compensation Act.1

More information on the Work Connections process

Find more information about the process on the Work Connections website.