Requesting Workplace Accommodations for Disability
How to request workplace accommodations under the Disability Discrimination Act 2004 (UK).
Employer Assistance When You Have A Disability
The Disability Discrimination Act (DDA) 1995 revised 2004 requires employers to provide reasonable accommodation in the workplace to qualified employees and applicants with disabilities, unless such accommodations would pose an undue hardship (e.g. too costly, too extensive, too substantial, too disruptive). Generally, the applicant or employee with a disability is responsible for letting the employer know that an accommodation is needed to participate in the application process, to perform essential job functions, or to receive equal benefits and privileges of employment. Employers are not required to provide accommodations if they are not aware of the need.
Although an accommodation request does not have to be in writing, if you are an individual with a disability you might find it useful to document accommodation requests just in case there is a dispute about whether or when the requested accommodation was made. A request in writing is a good way to document this.
There are not specific guidelines or forms to be completed when requesting accommodations. Some employers have developed forms of their own. If so, you should use the employer's forms when available. Otherwise, you may use any method that is effective to request an accommodation.
If you plan to write a letter to request accommodations from your employer, please be sure to include the following information:
- identify yourself as a person with a disability
- state that you are requesting accommodations under The Disability Discrimination Act (DDA) 1995 revised 2004
- identify your specific problematic job tasks
- write your accommodation ideas
- request accommodation ideas from your employer
- refer to attached medical documentation to establish you are a person with a disability
- request that your employer respond to you in a reasonable amount of time
For a sample accommodation request letter go to http://www.jan.wvu.edu/media/accommrequestltr.html.
Workplace Accommodation Ideas for People with ADHD
Before deciding on specific accommodations for people with ADHD, it is important for both employer and employee to have a clear understanding as to what the individual's job duties are, which ones are problematic, and exactly what the person has trouble doing to fulfill his/her duties. This is called pinpointing the problem areas.
Some examples may be:
- spelling problems
- reading problems
- short-term memory deficits (are they due to lack of attention, difficulty with focus, distractibility, confusion, etc.)
- organizational difficulties
- distractions in the environment
Once the problem has been pinpointed then specific accommodations can be considered.
Deficits in Reading:
- recording for the Blind-books on tape
- tape recorded directives, messages, materials
- reading machines
- screen reading software for computer use
- color-coded manuals, outlines, maps
Deficits in Writing:
- personal computers/laptops
- voice recognition software
- spell checking software
- grammar checking software
- carbonless notetaking systems
Deficits in Mathematics:
- appropriate calculators
- large display screens for calculators, adding machines, etc
There are various other accommodations which can be agreed between an employer and employee for many other things below are a few that have been agreed by some folk in the past to give an idea of how some things can be worked out:
- If focus is a problem it can be agreed to have the person get up from a desk every half hour or so without any fuss and walk round the office or outside for 5 minutes - thing is when you come back you do twice as much work and therefore the employer is normally getting a good deal there!
- Getting phone calls done can also be something that gets put of by those who procrastinate so sometimes a closed office room with do not disturb on the door for a half an hour in the morning and same in the afternoon to go to with a list of calls to make and then in peace and quiet with no distractions these will all get done - if focus stops this then maybe someone popping a head into the room after quarter of an hour to see how it is going can be discussed
- Same with specific paper work as above a quiet office for a certain time in the day to do this
- Lists written up and taped somewhere visable
- An alarm or organiser or even a watch with alarm on to schedule things into - maybe an employer will agree to purchase one of these such as Motivaider or Watchminder from our Books and Resources Section!
- A good secretary or a good mentor is also a very good idea
Any other ideas which people have tried we are always keen to hear about.
Sample Accommodation Request Letter
The following is an example of what can be included in an accommodation request letter and is not intended to be legal advice.
Date of Letter
Dear (e.g. Supervisor, Manager, Human Resources, Personnel):
Content to consider in body of letter:
a. Identify yourself as a person with a disability
b. State that you are requesting accommodations under The Disability Discrimination Act (DDA)
c. Identify your specific problematic job tasks
d. Identify your accommodation ideas
e. Request your employer's accommodation ideas
f. Refer to attached medical documentation if appropriate*
g. Ask that your employer respond to your request in a reasonable amount of time
Your printed name
Cc: to appropriate individuals
* You may want to attach medical information to your letter to help establish that you are a person with a disability and to document the need for accommodation.
Staff, H. (2008, December 24). Requesting Workplace Accommodations for Disability, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2020, July 12 from https://www.healthyplace.com/adhd/articles/requesting-workplace-accommodations-for-disability