Disability Accommodations

If you have a qualified disability (examples include deafness, blindness, intellectual disability, partially or completely missing limbs, autism, cancer, cerebral palsy, diabetes, HIV/AIDS, major depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder), and need assistance to complete your work, consider applying for a disability accommodation. Accommodations can include such things as work site accessibility, flexible work arrangements, and/or equipment such as assistive listening devices,  a voice amplification system, or a “screen reader.” Other reasonable accommodations will be considered.

Employees with or without a qualified disability who still experience physical discomfort in the workplace and/or have physical difficulty meeting job demands may contact the Musculoskeletal Injury Prevention Program (MIPP) . Faculty and staff may request evaluation, training and design/planning consultation to prevent injury or disability and to enhance work comfort and productivity. MIPP services are available at no charge courtesy of HR Services & Transitions Center.

Applicants for employment requesting an accommodation for a disability so that they may participate in the selection process should contact the Office of Institutional Equity and Title IX (OIETX): equity@cornell.edu.

How to Apply

Faculty and staff may begin the process with their supervisor, local HR representative, or by contacting Medical Leaves Administration directly. Supervisors will notify the appropriate human resources representative of any requests brought to their attention. Students need to contact Student Disability Services.

To initiate a request for disability accommodation, employees must fill out the Cover Page and Medical Verification Form and return the forms to Medical Leaves. The contents of the form are confidential, and the form will not be placed in the employment record file. If you would rather speak with someone from Medical Leaves before submitting a request, please contact us.

Medical Leaves Administration will usually need medical documentation to support the request. Do not give medical records to your supervisor. Once all of the forms and documents are received, the following process takes place:

  • MLA will review these requests in accordance with the policy, make a determination and then begin exploring reasonable accommodations as appropriate.
  • The supervisor and the department are responsible for implementing the recommended accommodation, with assistance from MLA and other campus offices as needed.
  • The local HR representative is available to assist with the implementation of the recommended accommodation.


Faculty, staff and visitors may contact Transportation Services to request accessible transportation options to campus to accommodate temporary or long-term medical conditions. For many individuals, a perimeter area parking permit and bus pass are viable, accessible transportation options. Short-term accessible parking permits for up to two months can be issued at the direction of a medical professional. Transportation Services will issue these permits at no charge for general accessible parking spaces across campus.

Faculty and staff members needing longer term accessible parking must obtain a municipal placard from the town/municipal clerk of their places of residence, or accessibility license plates from the Department of Motor Vehicles (Department of Motor Vehicles Accessible Permit Application Form). With this identification, there are a variety of long-term accessible parking options. Note that the process does not automatically grant a permit that allows you to park next to your workplace, but works to determine the most reasonable transportation accommodation for you. For more information visit Transportation Services.

Inclement Weather: Cornell has a voluntary program for faculty and staff with short or long-term mobility impairments who have difficulty getting to or around their worksite during inclement weather. To see if the program meets your needs, please take this survey (pdf), or obtain a printed copy from the Office of Workforce Policy and Labor Relations at 607-254-7232 or equalopportunity@cornell.edu.


The Cornell Disability Colleague Network Group  is a university-sponsored employee resource group. Our mission is to raise awareness, serve as an educational resource, provide support, and offer peer mentorship for those working with short term or long term disabilities, their supervisors, colleagues, allies, and other supporters.