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Work How To Request And Negotiate An Accommodation At Work

Step 1. Think About What Accommodations Are Reasonable And What To Ask For

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A reasonable accommodation is any modification or adjustment to a job or in the work enviornment that will enable a qualified applicant for a job or an employee with a disability to participate to perform the essential functions of a job. 

When thinking about the accommodation you need, keep in mind:

  • That the goal is to permit you to do your the essential functions of your job at the same level of performance as the average, similarly situated person without a disability.
  • The accommodation has to be "reasonable".  What is reasonable depends on the particular situation. Reasonable could turn on cost or other factors.  For instance:
    • With respect to cost,  it may be reasonable to ask a huge, multinational corporation to put in an elevator. This would be unreasonable for a small company. 
    • With respect to other factors, it would not be reasonable to ask to have your work area moved into your boss's office because her office is closer to the bathroom.

For help determining a reasonable accommodation for your job, click here.

NOTE: It would be helpful to settle on at least two alternatives. Since requesting an accommodation can result in a negotiation, it is always helpful to have a fall back position.

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