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Recruitment Intervention Strategies

Reasonable Accommodations [2.2.2.c.1b2]

Reasonable accommodations are modifications or adjustments to the job, work environment, or the way things are usually done that enable qualified people with disabilities to enjoy an equal employment opportunity. Broad categories of accommodations include changes to the job application process, changes that enable an employee with a disability to perform the essential functions of a job, and changes that enable an employee with a disability to enjoy equal benefits and privileges of employment (e.g., access to training). Reasonable accommodation may include:
  • Making existing facilities used by employees readily accessible to and usable by persons with disabilities.
  • Job restructuring or modifying work schedules (e.g., flextime).
  • Acquiring or modifying equipment or devices.
  • Adjusting or modifying examinations, training materials, or policies.
  • Providing qualified readers or interpreters.
Reasonable accommodations do not include:
  • Eliminating a primary job responsibility.
  • Lowering production standards that apply to all employees.
  • Providing personal items, such as wheelchairs, eyeglasses, or hearing aids.
  • Excusing violations of a uniformly applied conduct rule (e.g., an employer never has to tolerate or excuse violence, threats of violence, or stealing or destruction of property).
An employer is required to make a reasonable accommodation to the known disability of a qualified applicant or employee if it would not impose an "undue hardship" on the operation of the employer's business. Undue hardship is defined as an action requiring significant difficulty or expense when considered in light of factors such as an employer's size, financial resources, and the nature and structure of its operation. The average job accommodation costs less than $500, and most employers report benefits in excess of $5000[1]. The full text of the ADA legislation is available.
A checklist on best practices in recruitment, pre-employment screening, testing, and orientation related to hiring people with disabilities was developed by the Cornell University School of Industrial and Labor Relations, Employment and Disability Institute (funded by the Department of Education).

[1] Reference: Interview with Bill Kiernan. WorkTech Solutions News, Fall 2001; Special Edition of the New England Council Network Newsletter, Boston: Institute for Community Inclusion. Pp 3-5.

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