Navigating UMBC’s Campus with a Disability
Campus Accessibility Maps are posted and updated on UMBC’s Campus Maps website and are available at visitor kiosks throughout campus.
All UMBC Transit vehicles are wheelchair accessible and are available to campus members with an active red card. Transit shuttles connects with the MARC train at the Halethorpe station, as well as BWI Airport/Amtrack stop on the outskirts of the airport grounds. UMBC Transit service varies with the rise and fall of campus demand, including closures, and can be affected by severe weather, check the Transit website, use their Transit Tracker, or call them directly 410-455-2454 for current information.
Maryland Mass Transit Administration provides public transportation for the region, and MTA Bus Routes #35, 77 and 99 have stops on campus, however check the MTA website for the most up-to-date information. Marylanders with disabilities who are unable to use regular MTA options may apply for MTA Mobility services. Ride-sharing is a viable option for some situations, as well as cabs and app-based options.
Accessible parking is located throughout campus, and many of our meters are accessible as well. Campus members who use accessible parking with a state-issued placard or license plates are encouraged to register with parking services or be subject to Pay and Display requirements when using those spaces. Parking Services’ Rules and Regulations provides more information on accessible (sometimes called handicapped) parking as well as medical permits. The MVA administers eligibility for disability placards and license plates. Campus visitors should follow parking instructions provided for the occasion of their visit and consult with campus accessibility maps to discern their best options.
If an accessible route feature is unavailable, cannot be overcome (e.g. using a secondary elevator, a companion provides assistance with a door), and especially if there is a personal safety issue -contact campus police via 410-455-5555 or from the outdoor blue-lighted safety phones for assistance. While we endeavor to keep our accessible features fully available, and well-maintained, malfunctions may occur. We encourage all campus members to report malfunctions promptly to work control 410-455-2550 and describe the accessible feature to assure prompt resolution within their busy workflow. We also encourage the submission of ideas for improvements as part of our ACCESS Maryland project solicitation process.
Disability and Employment
While the ADA Amendments Act expanded our understanding of disability to guide inclusion and accommodation, it’s important to discern that not everyone with a medical condition is protected by the law. In order to be protected, a person must be qualified for the job and have a disability as defined by the law. A person can show that they have a disability in one of three ways:
- A person may be disabled if he or she has a physical or mental condition that substantially limits a major life activity (such as walking, talking, seeing, hearing, or learning).
- A person may be disabled if he or she has a history of a disability (such as cancer that is in remission).
- A person may be disabled if he is believed to have a physical or mental impairment that is not transitory (lasting or expected to last six months or less) and minor.
Applicants for employment may request disability-based accommodation through their hiring contact, Human Resources, and they may also consult with the ADA Coordinator.
Employee requests for disability-based workplace accommodations are confidentially administered and/or reviewed by the ADA Coordinator. Employees requesting accommodation shall provide medical documentation in support of a disability determination directly to the Accessibility Manager. While a range of documentation can be provided, employees are encouraged to have their healthcare provider review, if not complete the Employee Healthcare Provider Inquiry Form to assure that only relevant information is provided. If an employee is uncertain about accommodation options, they may search the Job Accommodation Network website to explore further information in terms of their diagnosis and the limitations they are experiencing. If more information is needed regarding the work being performed, position descriptions are available from Human Resources, and additional performance criteria within the PMP (staff) or FAR (faculty) processes may inform the discussion with the medical provider. Once adequate documentation has been provided, the request for accommodation will be reviewed in terms of what is effective given essential job functions and operational necessities, while avoiding undue hardship situations. Substitutions may be provided in lieu of a specific request provided that the accommodation is effective. Formal accommodation determination results in a letter describing the accommodation that informs the employee and their supervisor of the accommodation, its anticipated duration, and the time period for revisiting the process.
Accommodation requests regarding leave should be reviewed after exploring available leave options, including FMLA leave, with Human Resources.
Inquiries concerning the application of the Americans with Disabilities Act, as amended, and/or Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 may be referred to:
Stephanie Lazarus, ADA Coordinator
UMBC Office of Accessibility Resources
1000 Hilltop Circle, Math/Psych Building, Room 218
Baltimore, MD 21250
Phone: (410) 455-5745