You may suffer from depression or anxiety. You may have autism or Asperger syndrome. Or you have a more visible disability. You are paralyzed from the waist down and use a wheelchair. You have a prosthetic arm. You are blind. All of these conditions can impact your ability to work.
However, through the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), an employer must provide those with disabilities reasonable accommodations to complete their jobs. Plus, an employer can’t avoid hiring or interviewing someone with a disability who requires reasonable accommodations. But what exactly are reasonable accommodations?
Understanding reasonable accommodations
A reasonable accommodation is any change in how a job is done or in the interviewing and hiring process for a job that allows someone with a disability to have equal opportunity for the position. Under the Americans with Disabilities Act, all employers with at least 15 employees must provide reasonable accommodations.
What exactly qualifies as reasonable accommodation depends on different factors:
- What job the employee with a disability holds
- How the employee’s disability impacts their ability to do their job
- What environment they work in
Some examples of reasonable accommodations include:
- Providing accessible, reserved parking
- Providing different equipment, software and work area accessibility to accommodate a disability
- Providing training or tests in a different format
- Allowing an employee with a disability to bring a service animal with them to work
- Reorganizing someone’s job tasks or giving them a checklist to ensure they can track the duties they’ve completed
- Allowing an employee to work a more flexible work schedule or to work from home more
- Allowing an employee to take longer breaks if needed
- Giving an employee written feedback on their work, instead of verbally
Receiving reasonable accommodations
If you have a disability, including a mental health condition, you can ask a human resources employee or your manager for a reasonable accommodation. If your employer rejects giving you the accommodation you asked for, you should consult an employment law attorney. An attorney can determine if you are facing unlawful disability discrimination and help advocate for your employer to provide you the reasonable accommodation.
People with disabilities should have a fair chance to work. By pushing for a reasonable accommodation, you can be successful in a job and show your employer that others with disabilities can be successful too.