Under Title I of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), a reasonable accommodation is a modification or adjustment to a job, the work environment, or the way things are usually done during the hiring process. These modifications enable an individual with a disability to have an equal opportunity not only to get a job, but successfully perform their job tasks to the same extent as people without disabilities. The ADA requires reasonable accommodations as they relate to three aspects of employment: 1) ensuring equal opportunity in the application process; 2) enabling a qualified individual with a disability to perform the essential functions of a job; and 3) making it possible for an employee with a disability to enjoy equal benefits and privileges of employment.
Accommodations are sometimes referred to as “productivity enhancers”. Reasonable accommodations should not be viewed as “special treatment” and they often benefit all employees. For example, facility enhancements such as ramps, accessible restrooms, and ergonomic workstations benefit more than just employees with disabilities. Examples of reasonable accommodations include making existing facilities accessible; job restructuring; part-time or modified work schedules; acquiring or modifying equipment; changing tests, training materials, or policies; and providing qualified readers or interpreters. Here are some more examples. Many job accommodations cost very little and often involve minor changes to a work environment, schedule or work-related technologies:
- Physical changes
- Accessible and assistive technologies
- Accessible communications
- Policy enhancements
What is a reasonable accommodation?
The ADA mandates that effective reasonable accommodations, absent undue hardship, be provided to qualified persons with disabilities, as defined by law, to ensure individuals are provided equal access to any programs, services, or activities of the District, and any benefits and privileges of employment are applied to everyone. A “reasonable accommodation” is any appropriate measure that would enable a qualified individual with a disability to:
- enjoy equal access to the programs, services, or activities of the District;
- access equal employment opportunities, including benefits and privileges; and/or
- perform the essential functions of their job safely and fully, with or without modificationsto allow them to do so.
How can I request an accommodation?
In accordance with School Board Policy, an individual shall contact the District’s ADA Compliance Officer to begin the Interactive Process of requesting and exploring reasonable workplace accommodations. The following guidelines shall apply:
- The individual shall contact the ADA Compliance Officer via e-mail or phone, or complete the appropriate Request Form detailing the specific challenges, barriers, or accommodations needed.
- The individual may be asked to provide information from their healthcare provider detailing specific restrictions, limitations, triggers, or other challenges that need to be considered when exploring accommodations.
- The individual shall participate in discussions about possible accommodation solutions with the District’s ADA Compliance Officer and be willing to try different forms ofaccommodation even if it is not the specific accommodation requested.