Workers with disabilities deserve the right to have equal opportunities in the workplace. There are laws in place that require employers and potential employers to make reasonable accommodations for those with disabilities.
There are numerous things an employer can do to allow an employee to return to work and enjoy equal benefits as their coworkers.
According to the Office of Disability Employment Policy, an employer must make accommodations for those applying for a job and those currently employed. Reasonable accommodations should enhance productivity and they often provide benefits for other employees as well. Reasonable accommodations refer to changes that will not pose an undue hardship in regard to expense or business operation.
Examples of workplace accommodation
Accommodation can take many forms, and it depends on the employee’s disability and needs. It may be a modification to the work environment, job tasks or hiring process. An accommodation may require a change in company policy. This includes allowing an employee to bring a service animal to work or adjusting work schedules to accommodate medical appointments or longer breaks. An employee may require accessible communication such as large print documents, braille or closed captioning.
According to the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing, companies must do what they can to provide reasonable accommodation if they have five or more employees. Changes may include physical ones, such as relocating the workspace, changing the desk to accommodate a wheelchair, modifying a restroom or building a ramp. An employee may require special aids such as screen reader software, accessible computer software or videophones.