Examples of Reasonable Accommodations in the Workplace in 2019

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Examples of Reasonable Accommodations in the Workplace in 2019

It may seem difficult for a person with a disability to work. That doesn't mean it has to be impossible.

If a person that has a disability wants to get a job, the workplace is likely going to be required to offer reasonable accommodations. 

What exactly is a reasonable accommodation and how could it help you perform well in the workplace?

To learn more, keep reading and see what you need to know in order to find the job you want.

Reasonable Accommodations in the Workplace

If you have a disability and want to work, you need to know your rights.

Learn about reasonable accommodations below and see if you may be able to get some extra accommodations in your workplace. 

What is a Reasonable Accommodation?

A reasonable accommodation is when changes to a position or workplace help an employee do their job regardless of having a disability.

Under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), an employer has to provide reasonable accommodations to employees that are qualified and have disabilities.

A qualified employee is someone that has all of the degrees, skills, and/or experience that the job requires of them. This employee also can do all of the tasks that are necessary for the position, with or without the help of accommodations. 

The only reason an employer would not be required to do so is if it would pose an unnecessary threat or hardship.

What is Considered a Threat or Hardship?

The ADA does not ask employers to make accommodations that may be particularly difficult or expensive for them to do. Employers are allowed to make these accommodations, but they are not required by law. 

In order for an employer to show that an accommodation would present a hardship or threat, they would have to show that it is too high-priced, extensive, or distracting to the workplace. 

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) is the federal agency that enforces ADA. It has set out factors that can help you determine if a specific accommodation may present a hardship for an employer.

These factors include:

  • The type and cost of the accommodation
  • The resources asked of the employer, including financial or spacial 
  • The type of business that is conducted
  • The nature of the business, such as size, structure, or makeup
  • Other accommodations already in place

Some good news for those of you with disabilities is that it can be difficult for an employer to prove that an accommodation would be a hardship or threat to them.

Employers will generally be required to have more reason than just financial difficulty to deny accommodations to disabled employees.

A court would also look at other sources of the business's money, such as tax credits, or even the disabled employee's willingness to pay for the accommodation themselves.

What Do Reasonable Accommodations Look Like?

There are many things that may qualify as a reasonable accommodation, but it depends on the specific situation you are in.

Some examples of accommodations you may find are:

  • Hiring a reader or interpreter to assist a qualified employee
  • Restructuring the workweek or amount of hours worked in order for employee to get regular medical treatments
  • Making an existing building or location usable by people with disabilities, such as adding a ramp, installing magnifiers in the computer screen, or changing the desk heights
  • Installing a telecommunication system for deaf employees
  • Allowing modifications for exams or certain trainings, such as extra time

In addition to those listed here, there are many more accommodations that can be made by the workplace.

It is important to remember that for some workplaces, certain accommodations may be financially not possible or the needed space may be unavailable. 

How to Get a Reasonable Accommodation at Work

The ADA has offered a lot of information about what employers need to do in order to be compliant with the law.

For instance, some workplace experts specifically work on behalf of disabled working individuals and provide checklists for employers to meet all requirements. 

The checklists are also great for people that have disabilities and want to get a job. You can use the checklist as a way to ask questions and find out about a potential employer's willingness or ability to accommodate you.

Before applying for positions, you may want to consider:

  • The type of job you want and what it would require of you
  • The limitations your condition may pose in a job and how accommodations could help you
  • Specific accommodations that you may want and how effective they would be in actually assisting you at work
  • How long the accommodation would be possible and if changes would need to be made
  • All aspects of the accommodation you're imagining, including cost, time, availability, and your willingness to try it out

Ready to Start Applying for Jobs?

Now that you're aware of what reasonable accommodations are, what they look like, and why employers are almost always required to help, you may be ready to start looking for work.

Remember to consider some of the factors stated above when thinking about the type of job you want or where you want to work.

With reasonable accommodations and the ADA on your side, you should think outside the box! 

If you feel ready to start your search, look no further. We have some excellent postings right here that you can check out, so take a look and see what may be a good fit for you.