How to Request & Receive Reasonable Accommodations for Developmental Disabilities

A man in a wheelchair sits with two women working at a desk.

You may be familiar with the process of requesting an accommodation for disabilities, but putting it into action can be tricky. If you’re starting a new job, applying for one, or are in the interview process, getting the support you deserve is likely on your mind. Let’s take a look at how reasonable accommodations work and how you can request those that you need.

What is a “Reasonable Accommodation?”

As defined by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), a reasonable accommodation is a modification to a job, work environment, or how things are done during the hiring process. The modification is meant to help persons with disabilities have the same opportunities as those without them.

Reasonable Accommodation Examples

A reasonable accommodation can look like just about anything that helps you perform a job as needed. Some common disability accommodation examples include:

  • Installing ramps or automatic doors
  • Modifying a workspace’s layout to be more accessible
  • Granting access to computer tools that enable effective work (such as screen reader software)
  • Using video tools to communicate with colleagues who are deaf or hard of hearing
  • Providing sign language interpretation at meetings and events
  • Modifying policies to allow for things like service animals, increased break times, medical accommodations, etc.

Your Rights Regarding Reasonable Accommodations

The ADA outlines some expectations for reasonable accommodations for persons with disabilities as they relate to:

  1. Ensuring equal opportunity during the job application process
  2. Enabling qualified persons with disabilities to perform essential job functions
  3. Making it possible for employees with disabilities to enjoy the same benefits and privileges as others

It also protects you from discrimination when you request a reasonable accommodation, meaning you can’t be treated differently, fired, or not hired because of your needs. You also can’t be denied an accommodation; employers who reject attempts to make changes as needed may face legal repercussions. 

How to Request a Reasonable Accommodation

Requesting a reasonable accommodation can be intimidating, but you can start the process confidently once you understand your rights. Resources like NeuroNav are also here to help you figure out how to request and receive accommodations that help you thrive.

Find Out Who to Talk To

Depending on your circumstances, you may need to reach out to a member of the Human Resources department at your job, or you might need to contact someone else. Find out who you need to speak to at your place of work so you can ask about the specifics that apply to you.

Create a Reasonable Accommodation Request

Most places of work have some sort of official request system in place. You may need to fill out a reasonable accommodation form, or you may need to write a statement explaining your accommodation.

Follow Up & Make Adjustments

Once you’ve submitted a request, make sure you follow up. Ensure that everything is approved and that steps are taken to bring your accommodation to fruition. Figure out who you can contact if you need to make adjustments to your accommodation now or in the future.

Final Thoughts

Accommodations serve to help individuals with disabilities access the same professional opportunities and achievements as others. Requesting and receiving them can help you navigate the workplace with confidence.

If you have questions or need more information, contact NeuroNav today. Our job is to help arm you with knowledge and tools for success.

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