Continuing with our reasonable accommodation series, today we detail the process of how an individual should go about receiving the reasonable accommodations they need.

To be successful in getting the accommodations you need, it pays to be prepared. Think through what the employer needs to know to make a decision and put that information into a written proposal.  Your proposal should include:

Disability (medical terms but most importantly how it impacts you on the job)

For example, a person who is hard of hearing and in order to use the phone successfully they need to have an amplified handset.

Solution

  1. Locate the individual’s desk in a quiet corner of the office if possible
  2. Purchase specific equipment that can boost the sound and clarity of the phone call

Equipment (Do your homework and be reasonable about the equipment you ask for; as for the most expensive request may lead to an automatic “No!”)

  1. Detail the exact equipment if you know it; otherwise the generic title will do.  Example: The company phone system has a separate amplified handset that is compatible.
  2. The cost and where to purchase or who to contact.

Justification (What will happen as a result of this accommodation)

If the individual is given an amplified handset to use on calls, they will be able to hear people and get their information correctly the first time. They will be more comfortable on the phone and better able to concentrate on communicating.  Additionally, they will be much less fatigued during and after work if I am not straining to hear.

Do your research first.  Anticipate your employer’s questions and objections and write a solid proposal with as much detail as needed.  Show the benefit to the employer in your improved and more efficient work output and you will have a better chance of getting that reasonable accommodation.