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If you're an employee with a disability, workplace accommodations can help you perform at your peak and make your work environment more comfortable and safe. Galt Foundation has compiled a comprehensive resource on workplace accommodations, including tips on how to ask for them.
If you're a person with a disability who's looking to enter or re-enter the workforce, it's important to know what you need to be successful in your desired job. Reasonable workplace accommodations can help you perform at your peak and make your work environment more comfortable and safe.
Workplace accommodations can be requested for a wide range of different employee requirements. For example, if your role requires you to be on a computer for much of the day, such as an Administrative Technician, Office Specialist, or Data Entry Clerk, you may need screen reader software. As well, accommodations could be adjustments like a modified work schedule to allow for appointments, and much more.
Though many workplaces have defined workplace accommodation policies and processes in place, it's still crucial for employees to have access to external resources and information. This will enable you to effectively ask for accommodations, know what to do if your needs change, and take the next steps if an accommodation is denied.
Here's Galt Foundation's compilation of workplace accommodation resources for employees with disabilities.
What to Know About Accommodations Before Employment
Before you start a new job, or even begin your job search, it’s a good idea to be well-versed in what exactly a job accommodation means if you require them. The Office of Disability Employment Policy has a page defining reasonable accommodation, including examples.
Whether you’re an employer wanting to make your organization more accessible or you’re an employee with a disability who would like to know how various disabilities could potentially be accommodated in the workplace, Job Accommodation Network (JAN) offers an extensive resource, the A to Z of Disabilities and Accommodations. You can also find out what accommodation you may need for your disability with JAN’s Searchable Online Accommodation Resource (SOAR) system.
When applying for jobs, it's also important to have a general understanding of the law with regards to reasonable accommodation, so you're aware of your rights. The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) outlines the law in the Reasonable Accommodation and Job Applicants section of their comprehensive guidance document.
What to Know Before Asking for a Workplace Accommodation
If you need to ask your employer for a workplace accommodation, it can be challenging to know exactly where to start. For basic tips on how to ask for a reasonable accommodation, check out ADA National Network's helpful guide. For more information on requesting and negotiating an accommodation, check out JAN’s resource.
You may also want to consider the work environment itself when choosing a new job. Remote work (also known as telework) is desirable for many employees with disabilities, as it offers the ability to work at home where many accessibility measures have already been taken. Even if your employer isn't fully remote, they may still be able to provide this option if requested as an accommodation and the nature of the job allows it. Learn more about telework as a reasonable accommodation.
The law under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) states that employers with 15 people or more must provide reasonable accommodations. So, how do you navigate the accommodation process if you work for a small company? The EEOC provides insight with their resource, Small Employers and Reasonable Accommodation.
What to Know if You’ve Been Refused an Accommodation
If you’re refused a workplace accommodation, it's important to find out the reasons why. It could be due to something as simple as a lack of information or proper documentation, or as a result of a miscommunication.
If you feel your employer did not have a valid reason to deny the accommodation, or if they will not provide a reason for the refusal, you can appeal the decision internally, or by filing a complaint with the EEOC or other state enforcement agency.
Although this is less common, a workplace accommodation refusal could be part of a wider issue of discrimination at that particular place of employment.
As an employee with a disability, it’s a good idea to know what to do if you’re being discriminated against at work – and what constitutes discrimination. Read the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s Disability Discrimination page for more information.
Let Galt Foundation Help
Want help navigating all aspects of employment? We’re here to help. Galt Foundation is one of the world’s largest temporary staffing organizations for individuals with disabilities. With over 20 years of experience, we’ll support you through the employment process and match you with the right job opportunity.
If you're currently searching for a new job, check out our latest employment opportunities here.
Feel free to get in touch with our expert team. You can reach us here or call us at 1-877-361-1277.