Tool 9 - The Accommodation Process: Questions about Accommodation at Work

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The Communication Tools to Support Disability Inclusion Toolkit includes 11 templates to help managers with disability inclusion:

What’s Tool 9 About?

This tool’s messages are meant to assist managers and supervisors as they support employees who need an accommodation in order to do their jobs well.

Tips for using the Tool 9 template:

  • The content of this message will vary depending on the role managers and supervisors play in the accommodation process in your workplace: In some workplaces, managers and supervisors play little or no role in determining an accommodation. In these cases, a special office within HR or Diversity and Inclusion implements the accommodation process. In other workplaces, the manager or supervisor is heavily involved in determining whether an employee gets an accommodation and what type of accommodation will be used. Still other workplaces have the manager or supervisor involved only in some aspects of the accommodation process with support from HR.
  • Whatever accommodation process you use, it is vital that it is clear and simple so managers will have a solid understanding of their role in the process.
  • If possible, describe how accommodations will be paid for. Will the cost come out of the manager or supervisor's operating budget (not a practice we recommend) or will it come out of a centralized accommodation funding source?

You can copy and paste the template text below into a word processor and customize it for your organization. 

The Accommodation Process: Questions about Accommodation at Work

What managers need to know about accommodations

At (COMPANY NAME), we want to support employees so they can give us their best. Sometimes this support comes in the form of accommodations for employees with disabilities. According to the ADA, accommodations are “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.” We accommodate employees when we know they have a disability. Each employee's accommodation need is unique and will be determined based on the employee's disability, job, and situation. 

Examples of accommodations can include changes in work schedule, equipment (such as screen readers or magnifiers), marginal (minor) job tasks, work furniture, or location (e.g., work from home).

Our accommodation process

Any (COMPANY NAME) employee who tells you that they have to do something different at work because of a medical condition or disability has triggered the accommodation process. This is an interactive process to find an accommodation which will enable the person to continue doing their job well.

As a manager or supervisor, you have a role in this process:

    1. Most important, first contact (COMPANY CONTACT FOR ACCOMMODATIONS).
    2. Second, periodically check in with the employee to make sure the interactive accommodation process is moving forward.
    3. Third, when the accommodation is put into place, check in to make sure it is effective. Be aware that the employee might need some time to get used to the accommodation.

At (COMPANY NAME), our process includes:

(Insert a brief step-by-step description of the accommodation process in your company, including contact information and timeline expectations).

Want to learn more?

For more about this topic, visit northeastada.org or call the Northeast ADA Center at 800-949-4232.

If the above text pastes into Microsoft Word with uwnanted gray shading, select the text and use the Paint Bucket tool to choose No Color for the fill. Or, when pasting, try choosing Edit > Paste Special > Formatted Text (RTF).


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