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Disability & HR: Tips for Human Resource Professionals

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Disability Nondiscrimination and Best Practices in:

Employer's Accommodation Process


Accommodation Process

  1. There is a designated office and responsible central person to address accommodation questions from applicants, employees, and supervisors who have received an accommodation request
  2. A decision-making process for the case-by-case provision of accommodations is in place and has been communicated throughout the organization, preferably as a written policy
  3. The reasonable accommodation organizational process is reviewed periodically to ensure that it continues to work well
  4. There is an established grievance procedure to address reasonable accommodation issues that incorporates due process standards

Accessible Facilities and Communication

  1. Existing facilities are accessible to applicants and employees with mobility and communication disabilities (e.g. ramps where appropriate, Brailled signage, etc.)
  2. Parking areas and transportation are accessible to applicants and employees with disabilities
  3. The organization selects and conducts employee social events in accessible facilities
  4. Any networked HR information is accessible and/or available in alternate formats (print, large print, Braille, computer disk, audiotape)

Human Resource Policies and Practices

  1. The organization has an articulated commitment from the top management to promote disability nondiscrimination
  2. The organization's HR department is flexible in its application of HR policies, when needed as an accommodation (e.g. flex in work hours, extension of disability leave, reassignment to a vacant position, etc.)
  3. The organization keeps data on accommodations to document the organization's accommodation efforts and to facilitate timely response to similar requests in the future
  4. The organization has written job descriptions identifying essential job functions
  5. Jobs and specific tasks are apportioned in a way so that employees with disabilities are not isolated from other employees
  6. When marginal tasks are reassigned to another employee as an accommodation to an employee with a disability, the other workers are involved in a manner that maintains perceptions of fairness and equity

Personnel Training and Information

  1. Diversity training and information reflect disability issues in their considerations
  2. Supervisors have been instructed in the ADA's requirements, the accommodation process, their role when an accommodation request is made, and possible changes in supervisory approaches when needed as an accommodation (e.g. the substitution of written job instructions for verbal, etc.)
  3. Health and safety personnel have been instructed in the ADA's requirements, the accommodation process, and their role when an accommodation request is made
  4. Disability management personnel have been instructed in the ADA's requirements, the accommodation process, and their role when an accommodation request is made
  5. Employee assistance personnel have been instructed in the ADA's requirements, the accommodation process, and their role when an accommodation request is made
  6. Communication/information technology personnel have been instructed in the ADA's requirements, the accommodation process, and their role when an accommodation request is made
  7. Occupational health personnel are informed of the organization's adherence to the ADA and its accommodation requirements
  8. Third party administrators of health, long-term disability, sick leave, and occupational injury/workers' compensation plans are informed of the organization's adherence to the ADA and its accommodation requirements
  9. Procurement personnel have been informed of the importance of selecting equipment with consideration for accessibility features for people with disabilities

Knowledge of Appropriate Resources

  1. The organization has identified resources to assist in acquiring or modifying equipment/devices used on the job or the work environment when needed as an accommodation
  2. The organization has identified resources to assist in providing qualified readers or interpreters for applicants and employees who request them
  3. The organization has identified resources to assist in addressing accessibility concerns for applicants and employees regarding web sites, computers, and information technology
  4. The organization has identified resources to assist with accommodating workers with mental health or psychiatric accommodation considerations
  5. The organization has identified community resources to assist with vocational rehabilitation, supported employment/job coaching, transportation, and housing considerations of people with disabilities, when needed

© 2002 S. Bruyère, Cornell University, Program on Employment and Disability, School of Industrial and Labor Relations - Extension Division, USDE-NIDRR Grant #H133A70005

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