Accommodating Employees with Psychiatric Disabilities: What is Reasonable Accommodation?

A reasonable accommodation is any change in the workplace that enables a qualified individual with a disability to enjoy equal employment opportunities. What is reasonable will depend on the facts and circumstances of a particular situation. Reasonable accommodation may include modifying work schedules, making physical changes to the worksite or equipment, adjusting supervisory methods, modifying a workplace policy, restructuring a job, providing a job coach, and/or reassigning an employee to a vacant position for which (s)he is qualified. Reasonable accommodation does not require lowering performance standards or removing essential functions of the individual's job. Also, accommodations which would impose an undue hardship on the University do not have to be provided.

The keys to providing successful accommodations include having a clear definition of a particular job's essential functions, an understanding of how the person's disability may affect her/his performance of those essential functions, and on-going direct communication between the employee and the supervisor. It is critical to involve the person who has the disability in the process of identifying and assessing possible accommodations. While the preferences of the individual with a disability should be carefully considered, the primary criterion for determining if an accommodation is reasonable is whether or not it is effective in allowing the person to perform essential job duties. Since limitations caused by psychiatric disabilities vary widely among individuals, and since the functions of University jobs differ widely, effective accommodations must be determined on a case-by-case basis. Creativity and flexibility are also important tools in the process of meeting the needs of both the employee and the University.

Accommodating Employees with PSYCHIATRIC DISABILITIES Home

WHOM DOES THIS AFFECT?

MYTHS ABOUT PSYCHIATRIC DISABILITIES

EXAMPLES OF TYPICAL JOB ACCOMMODATIONS

HELPFUL HINTS TO CONSIDER DURING THE ACCOMMODATION PROCESS

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

RESOURCES