Reasonable accommodations are any changes that allow a person with a disability to apply for and perform the essential functions of a job. Accommodations are a challenging subject for all involved but are necessary for regulatory compliance. The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) became law in 1990 and is a signature accomplishment of the disability rights movement. ADA prohibits discrimination against employees (and job applicants) who have physical or mental impairments that substantially limit “major life activities.” Major life activities include walking, sitting, reading, seeing, and communicating.
While the U.S. Department of Labor’s (DOL) Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP) does not enforce the ADA, it does offer publications and other technical assistance on the basic requirements of the law. The DOL also enforces the covered employers’ obligation to provide reasonable accommodations to qualified job applicants and employees with disabilities. The goal of the ADA is for every person to have the right to participate in all aspects of society, including employment. Continue reading “What Are Reasonable Accommodations, and Why Do They Matter?”