Reasonably accommodating disabilities

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Employers and educators are required to provide reasonable accommodations under 2 separate laws: The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the Rehabilitation Act of 1973.Recently, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) issued Enforcement Guidance on the ADA and Psychiatric Disability.In fact, the Job Accommodation Network says that companies report an average return of .69 in benefits for every dollar invested in making an accommodation.Often, these adjustments — flexible schedules, time off for medical appointments, or changes in communication, feedback and/or supervision — are not much different from the changes available to any employee or student.

For employers, the costs for providing accommodations are fairly inexpensive – most cost less than 0, and for people with psychiatric disabilities, the cost is usually less than 0.A “reasonable accommodation” is any modification or adjustment in a job, an employment practice or the work environment that allows an individual with a disability to enjoy an equal employment opportunity.1 It is also any modification or adjustment that is effective in enabling an employee to perform the essential functions of the job the employee holds or desires or to enjoy equivalent benefits and privileges of employment that similarly situated employees without disabilities enjoy.The reasonable accommodation obligation is an ongoing duty and may arise anytime a person’s disability or job changes.In What laws protect someone with a psychiatric disability?You can find out more about these laws and definitions of the technical terms.

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