DEFINITIONS DISABILITY A disability is defined by most state and federal fair housing laws as a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities. However, the California definition of a “disability” a mental or physical impairment that only “limits” one or more major life activities. The forms with the word “substantially” in the definition of disability should not be used at any community in California. REASONABLE ACCOMMODATION A reasonable accommodation can be requested by a person with disabilities. The accommodation allows the person with a disability to use and enjoy your community in the same manner as a person without disabilities.
HOW DOES AN INDIVIDUAL REQUEST A REASONABLE ACCOMMODATION?
A property can’t require a request for reasonable accommodation to be made in writing, but it’s acceptable to ask the individual to do so. Pinnacle strongly recommends encouraging written requests to ensure all details are noted correctly. Consult with your supervisor if an individual refuses to put their request in writing. Some written record of the request must be made and noted in the resident or applicant file, even if it is simply on site staff documenting the request. WHERE CAN I FIND DOCUMENTS RELATED TO REASONABLE ACCOMMODATION REQUESTS? Pinnacle provides policies and forms on the Pinnacle Intranet. The Request for a Reasonable Accommodation asks the individual for: • A yes or no answer that the individual meets the definition of having a “disability”; • Details of the request being made; • A yes or no answer that the request will allow the individual to use and enjoy the community in the same manner as a non-disabled individual; and • For animals, a description of the specific animal(s) involved in the request. CAN I ASK SOMEONE WHY THEY NEED A REASONABLE ACCOMMODATION? No. You may not ask the individual any questions about the identity, nature, or severity of the disability itself. The law only allows you to ask that the person requesting an accommodation have a condition that meets the applicable definition of “disability,” and to confirm that there is a direct link (or connection)between the disability and the need for the requested accommodation. For additional information, refer to the Reasonable Accommodations Policy on the Pinnacle Intranet. If a resident requests a reasonable accommodation for a disability, inform the resident that we would be happy to review the need for accommodation and provide the Resident Request for Reasonable Accommodation form. As a resource for this course, you will find a downloadable version of Pinnacle’s Reasonable Accommodation policy and related request and verification forms.
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