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What are reasonable accommodations for disabled workers?

Even though you suffer from a disability, you know that you still have the qualifications to work and earn a living. Unfortunately, some employers do not want to make any effort to change their workplaces to accommodate disabled workers. Thanks to the Americans with Disabilities Act, you as a disabled worker have protection from discriminatory behavior.

According to the ADA, a workplace should provide reasonable accommodations for disabled applicants and workers. These accommodations should ensure that disabled workers have a fair chance to apply for work, do the work if hired, and enjoy equal benefits and privileges of employment. Reasonable accommodations can take many forms.

Modifying a workplace for disabled workers

Reasonable accommodation does not require your workplace to make large scale changes to accommodate disabled employees, but the law does require certain modifications that should come at a low cost. If you use a wheelchair, your workplace should have a ramp to allow you access. Your workplace bathroom should have grab bars. Your employer should also allow for rearrangements of your work station that permit you to work there without letting your disability interfere.

Other forms of reasonable accommodation

Sometimes reasonable accommodation is simply a matter of using the right materials or devices to help someone with a disability. Workplaces may provide Braille materials or large print literature to people with sight problems. Deaf workers may benefit from closed captions on video screens. Employers may also help out deaf workers by hiring people to perform sign language during meetings.

You might not need more than a few changes in policy to accommodate your disability. If your workplace does not allow animals, it may make an exception if you use a service animal. If you just need time off to attend a medical appointment, your workplace could accommodate you by letting you complete your work at a time different from the normal work schedule. These common sense changes show that workplaces can do a lot to help their disabled workers without incurring significant costs or burdens.