A plan for providing accommodations

What are accommodations?

  • Changes in the work environment or structure that allow people with certain challenges to do their job and be successful.

  • These are often small changes that can make a job placement work.

  • Not just for new hires! Some of your existing employees may be more productive if they have some accommodations.

Your responsibility: The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) requires employers to provide "reasonable" accommodations for their employees who need them. ("Reasonable" means it will not be an "undue hardship" for your company.)

Image with the heading 'Examples of accommodations:' Image of a clock beside the text 'Modified or flexible work schedule.', Image of a desk beside the text 'Placement of workspace to reduce distractions.', Image of hands typing on a laptop beside the text 'Special equipment or features on phone or computer.', Image of two people standing together beside the text, 'Extra help when learning job responsibilities (for example, a job coach or someone to demonstrate the required tasks)'

Here's what you can do:

  • Learn more about accommodations. Click the buttons below to learn more.

  • Set up a clear process. Employees should know how to ask for accommodations, and managers should know how to provide them. Make sure that key people in management understand the company's responsibilities, and options for providing accommodations.

  • Set up an accommodations fund.

  • Get expert advice. If you're working with a vocational agency, they can help. Or contact JAN: The Job Accommodation Network. They consult to help companies of all sizes sort out their accommodation offerings.

Image with the heading 'Best practice'. The accompanying text states 'Create a dedicated accommodations fund. Companies who have this in place find that it helps them to provide accommodations when requested by employees.' There is a white checkmark in a green circle to the left of the text and a piggy bank to the right of the text.

There are many excellent resources to learn more about your responsibilities and options for accommodations.

Click on the underlined links to open the web pages in a new tab.

JAN: The Job Accommodation Network is a good place to start.

More about "Reasonable Accommodations":


Sources: JAN,U.S. Office of Personnel Management, Equal Opportunity Commission

Please note: ID stands for Intellectual Disability

Adjustment in interview process: A person with an ID applies for a position as a baker and is scheduled for an interview with the employer. The applicant also has a speech and hearing impairment. The employer can accommodate the applicant by conducting an expanded interview to allow the applicant to demonstrate his ability to do the job.

Re-allocation of required job tasks: A man with an ID is hired as part of a crew of three employees that works at the concession stand at a baseball stadium. He helps stock the counter with candy and snacks, cleans the counters and equipment and restocks the supplies. His job description also includes counting money at closing time, which he cannot do accurately. Another concession stand employee, who is able to count money, is also responsible for placing empty boxes and trash in designated bins at closing time. These are functions that the employee with an ID can perform. Allowing the employee with an ID to perform these functions instead of counting money, is a reasonable accommodation.

Addition of visual cues: As part of his job, a restaurant worker with an ID refills condiment containers. The manager uses color-coding so the employee can identify the specific condiment that goes in each container.

Extra training: A hotel cleaning crew worker with an ID and autism has not performed his cleaning duties to company quality standards. His supervisor offers him additional training and allows him to bring a third party to the training sessions to assist him in learning proper cleaning techniques.

Modified work schedule: A grocery stock worker with an intellectual disability is scheduled to attend group counseling sessions on Tuesdays during working hours. Her employer has granted her request for a modified work schedule, allowing her to leave two hours early each Tuesday to attend the counseling sessions and to make up for the time by beginning work two hours early on Tuesdays.

Special equipment: A receptionist with an intellectual disability and fetal alcohol syndrome has difficulty remembering the telephone numbers of office workers when transferring calls. As a reasonable accommodation, the employer purchased a large-button telephone with a speed dial and clearly labeled buttons with the names of office staff.

Work station placement: An employer relocates a data entry employee with an intellectual disability and attention deficit disorder from a large open area where employees work side-by-side to a quieter part of the office to accommodate limitations on the employee's ability to concentrate.