Any individual who meets the Americans with Disabilities Act’s definition of having a disability (a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities) is entitled to ask for reasonable accommodations in the workplace.
Requesting accommodations can seem daunting, but you deserve the support you need to do your job well.
Most employers want to promote productivity and positive work culture and will honor your request.
You might feel like you are asking for a favor, but that is far from the truth.
You are invoking your right as an employee and giving your employer valuable information to help you succeed.
What Are Reasonable Accommodations?
Depending on the disability, reasonable accommodations vary. Some typical accommodations include:
- Improved accessibility in a work area
- Reserved parking
- Use of service animals
- Providing aides, readers, or interpreters
- A more flexible work schedule
- Changing a job task or restructuring work
- Changing the presentation of tests or training materials
- Acquiring or modifying equipment
|Did you know? Accommodations aren’t as expensive as you might assume! According to a 2017 study, more than half of U.S. employers surveyed had zero accommodation costs. The rest incurred a one-time expense of approximately $500 to accommodate an employee with a disability.
How Do I Ask for Disability Accommodations At Work?
When approaching your request, consider these tips to create a positive and productive conversation with your employer:
Review the Americans with Disabilities Act
Familiarize yourself with your rights in case you need to alert your employer to their responsibility to you as an employee.
Put your request in writing
Accommodation requests do not need to be in writing, but it can be helpful to have a paper trail if there is any dispute about the timing of your request. You can submit your request to your supervisor or your company’s HR department.
Identify Your Needs
Decide how your employer can improve your work situation. You can begin planning a solution by identifying what accommodations can enhance your efficiency, comfort, and productivity.
You know your needs best and can make the most accurate suggestions for improving your work experience. Approach your employer with solutions to get the dialogue moving in the right direction.
Make further suggestions
If your well-meaning employer’s attempt to accommodate you misses the mark, be honest and patient as you communicate your feedback and continue to work toward a better solution.
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