Celebrating National Disability Employment Awareness Month: How to Request a Reasonable Accommodation from an Employer

Disability Employment Awareness Month is an annual awareness campaign to educate about disability employment issues and celebrate the many contributions of America’s workers with disabilities during the month of October.

Celebrating National Disability
Employment Awareness Month
How to Request a Reasonable Accommodation from an Employer

Disability Employment Awareness Month is an annual awareness campaign to educate about disability employment issues and celebrate the many contributions of America’s workers with disabilities during the month of October.

Everyone uses different techniques and support to be successful in the workplace. For people with disabilities, using reasonable accommodations is necessary to do just that. Today, we launch “How to Request a Reasonable Accommodation from an Employer.”

What is a reasonable accommodation?

A reasonable accommodation is any change to the application or hiring process, the job, the way the job is done, or workspace that makes it possible for an employee to successfully perform basic duties of their job. 

Required by the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Rehabilitation Act, reasonable work accommodations are devised to make the work environment as accessible as possible. Under the ADA, employers are required to provide reasonable accommodations to qualified employees with disabilities, unless doing so would pose an undue hardship.

Reasonable accommodations might include:

Making your workspace wheelchair accessible, providing a screen-reader, interpreters, etc.

Need ideas for reasonable accommodations for your specific disability?

The Job Accommodation Network displays a list of possible accommodations for a range of disabilities. Visit Job Accommodation Network https://askjan.org/a-to-z.cfm

What types of employers are required to provide reasonable accommodations?

Under the Americans with Disabilities Act, employers who have 15 or more employees are usually required to provide reasonable accommodations. Some state and local laws may require that employers with fewer employees provide reasonable accommodations.

How do I request a reasonable accommodation?

Start with telling your supervisor or Human Resources you have a disability and what accommodations you need.  Come up with solutions with your employer to create an inclusive and accessible workspace that will make you excel. 

Think through the specific difficulties you are having.  Does it involve the physical environment, the equipment you are using, and what is the easiest way to address the barriers you are facing? 

Do I have to provide additional information?

You may be required to provide medical documentation about your disability and how it relates to your request. 

To learn more read our self- advocacy publications:

A worker with a disability at a business meeting. He is sitting in a wheelchair