According to the ADAAA having a “physical or mental impairment that substantially limits a major life activity” could mean a person has a disability. People that are disabled in those aspect(s) are entitled to request reasonable accommodation in the workplace. If you have no idea how to go about doing that, you are not alone. That’s why we have put together an outline of the general process for requesting reasonable accommodation in the workplace. Please keep in mind, they are just tips. If you have a unique situation, please contact us so we can give you more personalized assistance.
The General Process of Requesting for Reasonable Accommodation
An individual must request accommodation in order for one to be given. And, not everything is automatically provided through the ADA. But, is there a specific procedure for requesting accommodation? Here are some thoughts that may help to demystify the idea and the process:
- The process is meant to be informal. Generally, employers will engage in an interactive process with the individual requesting an accommodation. A request can be made verbally to the person in charge. As long as the request includes explicit mention of the disability/medical condition that needs to be accommodated, the request is properly formulated.
- Sometimes, the request needs to be put into writing. This starts a paper trail which can benefit both parties. If there is ever a disagreement later on, the entire process/transaction has been documented for everyone’s safety. The ADA website (https://adata.org/learn-about-ada) provides examples of correct and incorrect requests for accommodation. There is even a form available online if the organization needs the request in writing.
It is very important to keep in mind that an employer doesn’t HAVE to honor a request for reasonable accommodation. An example would be if the requestor is moving to another area, or is changing job duties and doesn’t really need the accommodation. Chances are, if it truly is reasonable, and makes it easier for the individual to perform their job functions more effectively, there won’t be any issues with honoring the request.
Creative Solutions are a Encouraged
On the other hand, even if the request is reasonable, if fulfilling it would cause the organization undue hardship, the organization is not obligated to honor the request. This is where resourcefulness and creativity become stars. A little thought and adjusting just might resolve the issue. And, if the creative solution doesn’t cost the company any additional money, the person in charge will probably agree to it.
A request for reasonable accommodation is just that – a request. If, however, it is made in the appropriate venue in an appropriate way, the probability of the request being granted is high.
If you would like some help with obtaining employment or would like to learn more about requests for reasonable accommodation, contact RISE.
RISE is an innovative human services network that has grown to support children, adults, and families with a variety of needs across multiple states. RISE provides services for people with disabilities including residential settings, day programs, employment assistance, managed care, and home and community-based services. RISE also provides services for children and families through foster care and professional parenting, adoption, kinship care, after school and summer programs, behavior supports, and mental health services. In addition, RISE provides Early Intervention services which includes Occupational Therapy, Speech Therapy, Physical Therapy and Developmental Specialists.