Sometimes a person with a disability may require an adaptation, support, or tool to be able carry out a job effectively, or take part in education or training.This adaptation or support when provided by an employer or a training institution is referred to as reasonable accommodation. This might include physical adaptations, changes to a job application process, modification of work schedules, or providing or modifying equipment.
Most people with disabilities do not require any accommodations and for those who do it is minimal or much simpler than employers believe. The need for reasonable accommodation always depends on the individual, the nature of their impairment, and the requirements of the training, job or other activity. Therefore, it is important to ask the person about their particular accommodation requirements and not make assumptions about what they need or do not need.
Examples of reasonable accommodation
- Providing a sign language interpreter for a Deaf person
- Purchasing equipment or software, such as a speech synthesis software for a visually impaired person
- Adjusting and modifying equipment, such as raise or lower a chair for a person with a mobility or back impairment
- Adapting working hours, for example, for a person with a medical condition requiring frequent rest-breaks
- Assigning a job coach, for example for a person with an intellectual or psychosocial disability
- Adapting tools or equipment
The Job Accommodation Network (JAN) is a service by the US Department of Labor’s Office of Disability Employment Policy. It provides guidance on workplace accommodations and disability employment issues. It is highly recommended for accommodation issues.