Basics about your child’s rights

Are Employers Required to Provide Accommodations?

By Jim Rein

Is there a law that guarantees accommodations in the workplace?

Jim Rein

Former Dean, Vocational Independence Program, New York Institute of Technology

Yes. In fact, there’s more than one law that guarantee workplace accommodations for people with disabilities. But each of these laws comes with three important requirements:

  • The applicant or employee’s disability is verified.
  • The applicant or employee meets all the requirements of the position, such as education level, experience and skills.
  • The accommodations are reasonable and do not create a significant financial hardship for the employer.

Laws to look at are Title I, II Subtitle A and Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Sections 503 and 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, and Section 188 of the Workforce Investment Act of 1998.

Good resources to look at are the Job Accommodations Network (JAN). Try its Searchable Online Accommodation Resource (SOAR). JAN is a federal service that provides free one-on-one consultations to people with disabilities. Its consultants can suggest job accommodation ideas. They can also help you request and negotiate those accommodations.

SOAR includes accommodation suggestions for a variety of learning disabilities. You can find specific examples of workplace accommodations. This could include a supervisor providing written instructions for an employee who has difficulty remembering what tasks to do and in which order.

JAN also has a list of federal, state and local resources that may be helpful. The list includes state vocational rehabilitation agencies that help people with disabilities pursue meaningful careers.

These agencies may be able to connect you with a free job coach who can provide on-site support and other resources that can help your child succeed in the workplace.

About the Author

Jim Rein

Jim Rein

Jim Rein, M.A., has lectured around the country on postsecondary options and summer programs for children and young adults with learning and attention issues.

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