What is a Reasonable Accommodation in the Workplace?

Written by Dr. Betty Patten

A reasonable accommodation is a modification or adjustment to a job, workplace, or program that enables an individual with a disability to have an equal opportunity to participate in the workplace or program. Some examples of reasonable accommodations include:

  1. Modifying work schedules or job duties

  2. Providing equipment or assistive technology

  3. Making the workplace accessible, such as installing ramps or elevators

  4. Providing sign language interpreters or other auxiliary aids

  5. Allowing an employee to work from home

  6. Allowing an employee to take leave for treatment or recovery

The determination of what is a reasonable accommodation is made on a case-by-case basis and depends on the specific situation of the individual with the disability and the specific requirements of the job or program. The goal is to provide an accommodation that is effective in enabling the individual with a disability to perform the essential functions of the job or participate in the program, without imposing an undue hardship on the employer or program.

It's also important to note that employers and program providers are not required to make accommodations that would result in an undue burden, which means that accommodations that would be excessively costly, extensive, or disruptive, or that would fundamentally alter the nature or operation of the business or program are not required.

In addition, the person with a disability has the responsibility to request a reasonable accommodation and to cooperate with the employer or program provider in identifying appropriate accommodations.

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