AccommodationsThere are times where an individual may need a modification or adjustment to a job because of their disability to allow them to work. This could include changes to the work environment, or the way things usually are done which enables them to effectively work. These are called accomodations.
Individuals can receive an accommodation when applying for a job, for the job interview, training, and in the actual employment. Accommodations must be related to a medical or disability limitation.
Types of AccommodationsBelow you'll find examples of broad types of accommodations made for individuals with disabilities. This is not an exhaustive list of accommodations as they are individualized for each person's needs. For amore precise list of possible accommodations based on disability type, visit the Job Accommodation Network's (JAN) Searchable Online Accommodation Resource (SOAR).
- Job restructuring is altering when and/or how a task is performed or giving others marginal tasks that you're unable to perform because of a disability.
- Allowing time off (paid or unpaid) if required because of your disability. An employer does not have to provide paid leave beyond which is given to other employees in your same job.
- Modified or part-time schedule can be a reasonable accommodation by allowing you to adjust starting or end times, providing breaks, altering when functions are performed.
Requesting an accommodationIf the applicant or employee needs an accommodation, the individual or representative must let an employer know that they need an adjustment or change at work for a reason related to a medical condition.
- Requests may be in plain language; requests do not need to mention the ADA or use the phrase "reasonable accommodation"
- Requests don't need to be made in writing
- Requests should be acted upon by the employer in a timely manner
- Disclosing Your Disability at Work
- Ideas for Writing an Accommodation Request Letter (JAN)
- Employees' Practical Guide to Requesting and Negotiating Reasonable Accommodations Under the ADA (JAN)
- Disability Disclosure and Interviewing Techniques for Persons with Disabilities (JAN)
- The employer may request reasonable documentation of an employee's disability, and the need for an accommodation.
- Documentation is limited to that needed to establish that the individual has a disability that requires a reasonable accommodation, not the individual's entire medical record.
- Documentation should come from an appropriate health care or rehabilitation professional.
Technical assistance is available to individuals and organizations to identify accommodations or technology appropriate to an individual’s needs.
The Job Accommodation Network (JAN)
The Job Accommodation Network provides a wealth of resources for employers and individuals via the JAN website. They also provide training and free consulting services for employers of any size.
- Searchable Accommodation Resource (SOAR)
- Employer's Practical Guide to Reasonable Accommodation under the ADA
Maine CITE Coordinating Center
The Maine CITE Coordinating Center helps Maine people obtain and use the assistive and universally designed technology they need. Assistive technology is equipment or devices that make it easier for people to live more independently, work at a job, study at school or play with friends. It provides services that help someone choose and learn to use the devices best for them.