The Cornell Just-in-Time Toolkit for Managers

Tips, checklists, and resources to help managers lead a disability inclusive workforce.

Topic #5
An Employee Just Told Me About a Disability:
What Do I Do Now?


Cornell University Resources

Human Resources Leadership

The Division of Human Resources and Safety Services fosters a safe, secure environment where the students, staff and faculty of Cornell can learn, work and live as a community to advance the university’s mission and purpose.  If you need support to address disability related issues for the staff you supervise, contact your HR representative:

Questions about working with people with disabilities?

Your local HR Manager at Cornell can support managers and employees with any questions they have regarding working with people with disabilities.

Medical Leaves Administration

Medical Leaves Administration in the Division of Human Resources at Cornell University helps coordinate many resources that can enhance the health and well-being of all faculty and staff and maximize the quality of working life while minimizing the impact of illness and disability.  At Cornell University, Medical Leaves Administration is responsible for providing disability accommodations and securing medical documentation of disability.  To initiate a disability accommodation at Cornell University contact Medical Leaves Administration:

Phone: (607) 255-1177

TTY:  (607) 255-7066


Disability Policy

Staff from Medical Leaves Administration are always willing to meet with faculty and staff regarding any medical leave or disability accommodation issues. In order to initiate a request for disability accommodation, you may fill out the Cover Page and Medical Verification Form and return those to Medical Leaves. However, if you would rather speak with someone from Medical Leaves before submitting a request, please contact us and we will be happy to further discuss your situation.

Frequently Asked Questions on the Disability Accommodation Process

This site provides answers to common questions about the disability accommodation process at Cornell University.

Faculty Staff Assistance Program

FSAP's professional staff offers free and confidential guidance and support to benefits-eligible employees and their partners to address issues that may be affecting their personal lives and/or job satisfaction or performance. The FSAP is part of Cornell's broad commitment to foster and support the mental health and well-being of the campus community.

Flexible Workplace Policy

Cornell University provides flexible work arrangements, at the discretion of department heads or their designees, to enable staff and management to serve customers well, meet university goals, and balance personal and professional responsibilities.

Diverse Communities

Cornell strives to create an environment that supports all aspects of diversity. The following programs and resources are available to support the specific needs of Cornell's diverse communities.

Disability Information

Cornell University is committed to diversity and inclusiveness with the goal of providing an accessible, usable and welcoming environment for faculty, staff, students and visitors with disabilities. This website serves as a resource and central clearinghouse on disability-related information for the Cornell community.

Commuter and Parking Services for Faculty and Staff with Disabilities

Cornell is continually working to improve accessibility on campus for all individuals.

Technical Assistance

The ADA Center National Network

The ADA Center National Network consists of ten regional centers that provide the most complete up-to-date information, referrals, resources and training on the Americans with Disabilities Act.  This Network serves a variety of users:  businesses, employers, government entities, individuals and the media. 

U.S. Business Leadership Network

This is the site of the national Business Leadership Network (USBLN). Utilizing a business-to-business strategy, the USBLN provides employers with a wealth of ideas and resources to explore disability inclusiveness in a no pressure environment. 

Facts About the Americans with Disabilities Act

This federal document provides an overview of the ADA responsibilities of employers.

FAQ for The Rehabilitation Act Section 503

The Rehabilitation Act (RA) Section 503 applies to disability inclusive practices for employers who are federal contractors or subcontractors.  New rules for RA Section 503 make these employers new accountabilities for disability inclusiveness in the workplace.  This document gives an overview of the new rules for employers.

Enforcement Guidance: Reasonable Accommodation and Undue Hardship Under the Americans with Disabilities Act

This federal document outlines the responsibilities of employers in providing reasonable accommodations in the workplace.

Enforcement Guidance: Disability-Related Inquiries and Medical Examinations of Employees under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)

This federal document provides an overview of the ADA’s requirements around when and how employers can ask employees about possible disabilities

Pre-Employment Inquiries and Disability

This Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) gives an in-depth look at employers’ ADA rights and responsibilities around disability inquiry, recruiting and hiring. 

Disability Etiquette in the Workplace

A comprehensive guide to effective and respectful workplace interactions.

Disability Etiquette

The AskEarn resource page for disability etiquette in the workplace.  Provides links to related resources and a disability-specific guide for workplace interactions.

Building an Inclusive Workforce: A Four-Step Reference Guide to Recruiting, Hiring, and Retaining Employees with Disabilities

An easy-to-use guide for disability inclusive workplace practices.

Disability Awareness: Increasing Employers Understanding of the ADA, Accommodations & Other Supports in the Workplace

A guide and self-assessment on interacting with people with disabilities at work.

The Business Cases for Hiring People with Disabilities

The national “Think Beyond the Label Campaign” offers this look at the business case for hiring people with disabilities. 

Job Accommodation Network

The Job Accommodation Network (JAN) is the leading source of free, expert, and confidential guidance on workplace accommodations and disability employment issues. Working toward practical solutions that benefit both employer and employee, JAN helps people with disabilities enhance their employability, and shows employers how to capitalize on the value and talent that people with disabilities add to the workplace.

Work-Leave, the ADA, and the FMLA

Work leave is a type of accommodation that can be required under both the ADA and the Family & Medical Leave Act.  This brief fact sheet provides an overview on this issue—an issue that can be confusing to both employers and employees alike.

Veterans for Employers Toolkit

This free online tutorial offers tips and resources on employing veterans with disabilities.

Effective Interaction: Communicating With and About People with Disabilities in the Workplace

A short guide to interacting effectively with people with disabilities in the workplace.

A Guide to Disability Etiquette and Using Respectful Language in the Workplace

A brief on workplace interactions with people with disabilities.