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What are accommodations?

An accommodation is a modification to the work environment or the way an essential job function is performed. Learn about requesting a reasonable accommodation, how to determine effective accommodations, and what types of accommodations might be reasonable below.

One of the key non-discrimination requirements of Title I of the ADA is the obligation to provide reasonable accommodation for employees with disabilities. There are no specific policies or procedures that employers must follow when trying to accommodate an employee with a disability.

An employer does not need to provide an accommodation that would cause an undue hardship. For example a reasonable accommodation does not include removing essential job functions, creating new jobs, and providing personal need items such as eye glasses and mobility aids. Nothing in the ADA prohibits employers from providing these types of accommodations; they simply are not required accommodations.  The accommodation process is supposed to be an interactive process between the employee and employer. The employee is responsible for requesting the accommodation and seeing the process through.

Not all accommodations are effective for everyone.  It is important to assess your symptoms, but also your specific job, responsibilities, and work setting.

Examples of accommodations

There are specific accommodation ideas that may prove effective in managing specific MS-related symptoms. The following accommodation examples are more general in nature. 

  • Restrooms- installing grab bars, lower the height of soap or paper towel dispensers
  • Entrances- ramps or mechanized door openers
  • Location of work space- moving your office closer to the rest room
  • Parking- parking spot closer to the door
Job restructuring
  • Changing the type of work you do
  • Job Sharing
  • Modifying roles/responsibilities
Modified work schedules and leave
  • Going part-time from full-time work
  • Shortened work week
  • Flexible scheduling
  • Telecommuting
  • Time off for medical appointments or sick leave
Equipment and Services
  • Assistive technology including voice recognition software, trackball instead of mouse, glare screen for visual impairment etc.

Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA)

When you or a loved one experiences a serious health condition that requires you to take time off from work the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) may be able to help. Whether you are unable to work because of your own serious health condition, or because you need to care for your parent, spouse, or child with a serious health condition, the FMLA provides unpaid, job-protected leave. Leave may be taken all at once, or may be taken intermittently as the medical condition requires.

Learn more about the FMLA and whether your leave qualifies as an accommodation.



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