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Your Right to a Reasonable Accommodation for Your Disability In the Workplace

Did you know that if you have a disability, it’s your right for your employer to provide accommodations so you can do your job? Yes, as long as it’s deemed reasonable for your employer, meaning it won’t require significant costs or other hardships, they will have to accommodate your disability, according to the American Disabilities Act (ADA).

But what other rights does someone with a disability have? This blog post will go over a person’s accommodation rights, what your employer might be obligated to provide to you, and how you should go about seeking an accommodation if you need one.


The Rights of People in the Workplace with Disabilities

In 1990, the American Disabilities Act (ADA) was signed into law to protect people with disabilities and part of this protection includes the workplace. 

First things first: When it comes to meeting requirements for an accommodation as someone with a disability, you only meet this requirement if you are qualified for the job you are supposed to be performing. So basically you have to be qualified to do the job in order to receive the accommodations. 

How Do You ‘Qualify’ for a Job as a Person with a Disability?

What does it mean to qualify, when there are accommodations needed in order for you to do the job? Here’s what qualifying for a job means:

  • You have the skills and education to do the job. For example, if the job you’re doing requires an MBA, you must have an MBA in order to qualify for the disability accommodations. 
  • You have to be able to do the job’s basic functions. In most jobs, there are tasks that are a must for employees, like perhaps answering phones, writing memos, etc. If the job description says “heavy lifting” and your disability prevents you from performing this job, you might have an issue receiving accommodations. 


What are Most Accommodations Like?

Accommodations involve changing the physical structure of an office in order to help an employee do their job to the best of their ability. Examples might include:

  • Desks being lowered (for employees in a wheelchair)
  • Restrooms wide enough to accommodate wheelchairs
  • Voice-activated software for those suffering with carpal tunnel syndrome or limited use of their arms/hands
  • Noise-canceling headphones for those with attention-deficit disorder
  • Requesting directions being given in a specific way (i.e., written) in order to accommodate attention deficit disorder

The accommodation depends on the person and disability. 

ADA Americans with Disabillities Act paper copy


What’s the Best Way to Get an Accommodation?

This one’s easy: Just ask for one, because it’s your right. Make sure you draft something in writing with details including the nature of your disability, what you’re having an issue with when it comes to doing your job, what you need to accommodate it, and how the accommodation will help you do your job properly. You’ll also want to have something drafted from your doctor, too, to back up your claim. 

After this, then the employer must work with you to provide an accommodation. It might not be exactly what you asked for, but they must find something that can help you do your job. If what you’re asking for would require significant expenses, then you might not be able to get that request, since it will be seen as an undue hardship by the law. On the other hand, sometimes issues that might not require a hefty expense could also come up that might prevent you from receiving the accommodation. 


Getting an Accommodation from an Unwilling Employer

If your employer is not willing to work with you on your request and maybe even goes so far to deny it, then that’s when you should immediately consult a disability attorney. A disability lawyer will know exactly what to do and what your rights are; they will also be able to strategize how to seek your accommodation or take legal action. People with disabilities should not be forced out of a job because of something that their employer should be able to provide or work with an employee on. It’s important to make sure you’re seeking all of the right options instead of looking for another job. 


More Information

Are you in need of a disability lawyer? Are you seeking Social Security Disability Insurance benefits or are experiencing an injury or illness? Contact Lowery Law Group at info@lowerylegal.com or call (843) 991-0733. There is no fee for a free consultation regarding your claim. Lowery Law Group is experienced in handling ssdi cases in South Carolina as well as in Georgia.