What are Reasonable Accommodations in the Workplace for Individuals with Disabilities?

A hand writes the words Americans with Disabilities Act on the foreground of the picture.One-size-fits-all is more of a fantasy than a reality.

This sizing on just about anything is misleading. People are unique and their unique situation demands for differences, sometimes different sizes and sometimes different approaches. People with disabilities in the U.S. have protected worker’s rights under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Some of the protections and rights they have defined a need for reasonable accommodations to be made so they can do their jobs.

In this article, we will go over reasonable accommodations means as well as some types and examples of reasonable accommodations in the workplace.

What is a Reasonable Accommodation?

Let’s start with what a reasonable accommodation is. Some people with disabilities require extra help or changes to their role or their work environment so they can complete their job. These changes are known as reasonable accommodations. An employer must make these accommodations under the ADA’s guidelines unless the changes would impose an “undue hardship.” Basically, if slight changes would allow a person with a disability to do the job, then it is required. An employee would need to be a qualified employee, or one who has the experience, skill, and certifications or degrees necessary to do all the necessary functions of the job.

Types of Reasonable Accommodations and Examples

In this section, we’ll provide some types of reasonable accommodations and then give you an example of what that type of accommodation might look like.

Modification of facilities or furniture

  • A ramp so an employee in a wheelchair can  get into the building
  • Dividers or a private workspace for an employee with PTSD, ADHD, or other neurodivergent condition

Equipment or Devices

  • Voice recognition software for an employee with vision impairments

Modified Work Schedule

  • Breaking up a shift for an employee who cannot stand for long periods of time
  • Gaps in a day to accommodate side effects from prescription medicine
  • Time allowed for daily testing such as blood sugar testing for employees with Diabetes

Additional Training or Education

  • Employees with learning disabilities may need additional training to concentrate effectively or perform needed job skills
  • Department or company-wide training may help employees with HIV or many other conditions live and work without discrimination

Seeking Help When Your Working Rights have been Violated

Reasonable Accommodations are an important part of making your workplace a welcoming and rewarding place for you, your colleagues, and your employer. Accommodations are not ways to avoid work, but instead are ways to make work possible for you. If your employer has not allowed you to work with reasonable accommodations, your rights may have been violated. Give the experienced and caring attorneys at Pitt, McGehee, Palmer, Bonanni, & Rivers a call today to discuss your situation. 

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