Employers are required to provide “reasonable accommodations” – appropriate changes and adjustments – to enable applicants and employees to either be considered for a job opening or to perform the essential functions of a position. All applicants and employees have the right to a fair and confidential accommodation process under the law. Whenever an applicant or employee makes a request for an accommodation, please refer him or her to IDEAA. IDEAA will work directly with the employee or applicant, and consult with the department as necessary, to determine an appropriate accommodation.
Departments are expected to fund equipment and expenses normally related to all employees, independent of medical or disability status (such as phones, computers, technology upgrades, professional development opportunities and other tools of the position). Therefore, to the extent that a department routinely purchases equipment, chairs, software, etc. for all of its employees, it should also do so when a request for such accommodation is made related to medical need or disability. To the extent that a requested accommodation is beyond what a department normally extends to all employees, departments are also expected to fund accommodation expenses and are expected to initiate the purchase of needed equipment or services once they are identified as reasonable accommodations by IDEAA. In the interactive accommodation process, if the department feels that the accommodation would be an undue hardship, the department must work with IDEAA to provide a suggestion for an alternative accommodation.
See our FAQ section for a series of questions and answers that managers may find useful in the course of considering an applicant or working with an employee.