24 May 2011
Reasonable Accommodation FAQs from your local EEO Office
What is it?
 
In general, an accommodation is any change in the work environment or in the way things are customarily done that enables an individual with a disability to enjoy equal employment opportunities.
 
There are 3 categories:
1. modifications or adjustments to a job application process that enable a qualified applicant with a disability to be considered for the position such qualified applicant desires; or
2. modifications or adjustments to the work environment, or to the manner or circumstances under which the position held or desired is customarily performed, that enable a qualified individual with a disability to perform the essential functions of that position; or
3. modifications or adjustments that enable a covered entity's employee with a disability to enjoy equal benefits and privileges of employment as are enjoyed by its other similarly situated employees without disabilities
 
Who is entitled to receive an accommodation?
 
Qualified employees or applicants for employment may be provided a RA. Generally, the individual with a disability must inform the employer that an accommodation is needed
 
What is an undue hardship?
 
There are a number of possible reasonable accommodations that an employer may have to provide in connection with modifications to the work environment or adjustments in how and when a job is performed. These include:
  • making existing facilities accessible;
  • job restructuring;
  • part-time or modified work schedules;
  • acquiring or modifying equipment;
  • changing tests, training materials, or policies;
  • providing qualified readers or interpreters; and
  • reassignment to a vacant position
Undue hardship" means significant difficulty or expense and focuses on the resources and circumstances of the particular employer in relationship to the cost or difficulty of providing a specific accommodation. Undue hardship refers not only to financial difficulty, but to reasonable accommodations that are unduly extensive, substantial, or disruptive, or those that would fundamentally alter the nature or operation of the business. An employer must assess on a case-by-case basis whether a particular reasonable accommodation would cause undue hardship.
 
For more guidance and answers to other RA questions, or on the process of RA, contact your EEO Office at either of the Fort Detrick/Forest Glen locations, 301-619-2224 or 301-295-7551.
Posted by PAO

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