Take 5 Reasonable Accommodations under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) (CC)

Uploaded by PersonnelKY on 08.12.2010

Welcome to Take 5 – a fact-filled segment of personnel-related information you need
to know -- presented in five minutes or less, the Personnel Cabinet has produced Take 5
to further its vision of being a trusted and valuable resource for you for innovative,
accessible and responsive human resource services.
Hi. Welcome to Take 5. I’m Pat Stipes. I’m here with Americans with Disabilities Act
Administrator Donna Shelton who’s going to help all Commonwealth employees understand
Reasonable Accommodations under the ADA. Donna, first tell us what is Reasonable Accommodations?
Actually, reasonable accommodation is really just a modification or an adjustment to a
job or work environment that will allow a qualified individual with a disability to
enjoy equal employment opportunities.
What are some examples of reasonable accommodations?
An example would be making an existing facility accessible; job restructuring; modifying a
work schedule; changing the training materials. Things like that.
When is an employer required to make reasonable accommodations?
An employer is required to make reasonable accommodations when there is a "known" disability.
So an employee needs to ask for an accommodation? Yes, if an accommodation is not obvious then
it really is up to the employee to request that accommodation. Now, it’s important
for supervisors to understand that a request for an accommodation does not have to be formal,
and it doesn’t have to be in writing. Comments like, “My doctor said I shouldn’t be doing
this job,” those kinds of comments or if an employee’s performance starts to decrease
and something that the supervisor is just not really sure what’s going on, those are
triggers for an employer and can begin an interactive process with that employee to
see is there anything that an employer can do to assist the employee to get back on track.
It’s also important to know that reasonable accommodation process is on a case-by-case
basis. Not all accommodations will fit every situation. So, it’s very important that
that employee and supervisor have an interactive process for the reasonable accommodation situation.
So, how does a supervisor know if an employee really does have a disability?
Well, a supervisor may need to ask for medical documentation in order to document that disability
and also to find out what type of accommodations may need to be appropriate for that employee.
Agencies usually have a process put in place for this so it’s extremely important that
supervisors get their ADA Coordinators within their agencies involved in this process at
the beginning. Where can employees and supervisors go for
more information about how to make reasonable accommodations?
Well, there is a website and it’s provided by the Job Accommodation Network and that
is an absolutely wonderful resource for employees and supervisors, not only to learn a little
more about a disability but also possible accommodations that can be made and a lot
of other information is on that website. So I always suggest that website for both employees
and supervisors. Now, the Commonwealth does have an ADA Coordinator. His name is Norb
Ryan and he can also assist employees and supervisors as well. His phone number is 502-564-2304,
or you can also visit his website at ada.ky.gov. Now, the Job Accommodation Network also has
a website address and that is www.askjan.org and again, they are a wonderful resource.
And then a supervisor can always touch base with their ADA Coordinator just to make sure
they are following the procedures and policies of their agency.
Thank you, Donna, for sharing this helpful information for employees. This is Pat Stipes for Take 5.