Job Accommodation Examples
Accommodations are determined on a case-by-case basis. They are made as a cooperative effort among the employee with a disability and the employer. Depending on the nature of the services being provides and the preferences of the individual with a disability, One-Stop Center employment counselors may be involved in this process. Other individuals may also be involved such as union representatives, etc.
The main issues to be considered are:
Accommodations may include specialized equipment, facility modifications, adjustments to work schedules or job duties, as well as a whole range of other creative solutions.
Offered below are examples of accommodations that have been made for qualified workers with disabilities. These are strictly a sampling of accommodations that have been made, and this list is by no means all encompassing concerning possible solutions to accommodation issues.
To receive guidance on specific problems and possible solutions, call the USDOL Office of Disability and Employment Policys Job Accommodation Network at 800-526-7234, or 800-ADA-WORK (800-232-9675); e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; web site: http://janweb.icdi.wvu.edu JAN is a free service.
PROBLEM: A cashier with mild mental retardation has difficulty
PROBLEM: A greenhouse worker with mental retardation has
difficulty correctly mixing various chemicals.
PROBLEM: A new restaurant employee who is legally blind uses a
service dog to travel to and from work. The employee does not need the
dog to perform her job duties.
PROBLEM: A receptionist who is blind works at a law firm. She cannot
see the lights on the phone console which indicate which telephone
lines are ringing, on hold, or in use by staff.
PROBLEM: An assembler/operator with a severe vision limitation has
the job of wrapping hose-pipe fittings with special tape. This requires
close examination of the work materials. Quality of work is very
PROBLEM: A legal department secretary in the cable television
industry who is legally blind has to perform such duties as typing,
answering telephones, filing and photo-copying.
PROBLEM: A college professor with AIDS is having vision problems
associated with the disability. His greatest difficulty is in grading
PROBLEM: Because of low reading skills a child care assistant with a
learning disability has difficulty preparing lessons based on
PROBLEM: A quick service restaurant grill operator has a severe
learning disability. He can not read, and can recognize only specific
single letters on orders for hamburgers.
PROBLEM: A person with an attention deficit disorder works in a
packaging facility and is having problems staying on the task.
PROBLEM: A worker who is deaf is responsible for inspecting
underground water utilities. When the employee is underground alone,
co-workers above ground need to communicate with him.
PROBLEM: A teacher with a hearing impairment has difficulties
hearing the students voices over the squeaks of chairs and desks
moving over the linoleum floor. Also, the teacher can not see some of
the students faces and therefore cannot effectively lip read.
PROBLEM: A technician in the telephone service industry uses a
hearing aid. The job duties include installing and repairing telephone
lines, which includes using a butt-in portable test phone that is
attached to telephone lines being repaired. The test set interfered
with the technicians hearing aid.
PROBLEM: A large grocery store wants to hire an individual with
Down Syndrome and a mild hearing loss as a bagger/stock person. The
concern is that he will not be able to hear the paging loudspeaker
system that is used to call employees to different parts of the store
for work assignments.
PROBLEM: A technical editor in the publishing industry has a
spinal cord injury and needs to work lying on his back.
PROBLEM: A department store retail clerk with multiple sclerosis
uses a scooter and has problems with stamina.
PROBLEM: An individual who has a congenital heart defect which
limits strenuous activity, and mobility limitations due to childhood
polio works as a receiving clerk, which requires unpacking merchandise,
checking it in, assigning numbers, and making price checks.
PROBLEM: A company vice president with arthritis has difficulty
maintaining stamina during the workday.
PROBLEM: A clerk with low back strain/sprain has limitations in
lifting, bending, and squatting, all results of lower back injury. The
job requires mail sorting and filing incoming documents in a large
numerical filing system.
PROBLEM: A computer service technician with cerebral palsy
loses function of the lower extremities. The job related problems
include bending, stooping, balancing, and getting underneath the
mainframe equipment to perform need repairs.
PROBLEM: A clerks hand has two large fingers instead of four
fingers and a thumb, and her arms are unusually short. This makes it
difficult for her to perform some of her job duties, including
answering incoming phone calls and accessing a computer to check
information for customer service representatives.
PROBLEM: An electro-mechanical assembly crew member acquires a
cumulative wrist/hand trauma disorder which affects handling and
fingering functions. This decreases his ability to use hand tools for
the assembly of electro-mechanical devices.
PROBLEM: A clerk whose job duties include delivering files and
paperwork to various areas in a multistory building has multiple
sclerosis which gradually makes it very difficult to move quickly and
to carry heavy packages.
PROBLEM: An airline programmer/analyst with post-polio fatigue
brought on by stress cannot be on call 24 hours a day and work overtime
PROBLEM: An assembler for a furniture manufacturer has spinal
degeneration, uncoordinated gait and balance difficulties. The
limitations involve walking, carrying materials and balancing.
PROBLEM: An experienced electronics equipment inspector paralyzed
from the waist down needs to perform tasks related to using precision
equipment and assembly inspection; he needs rapid mobility around the
PROBLEM: The back problem of a well-drilling rig operator is
aggravated by the constant vibration of the standard seat in the rig.
PROBLEM: A sales manager in a computer supply company is diagnosed
with severe chronic depression. Although treatment is initiated, she
continues to experience bouts of crying during times of stress.
PROBLEM: A productive worker with schizophrenia that was diagnosed
and treated successfully years earlier has begun to show radical
PROBLEM: A data entry clerk has agoraphobia and has difficulty
traveling during peak hours of traffic.
PROBLEM: A clerk-typist with severe depression and problems with
alcoholism experiences problems with the quality and quantity of her
PROBLEM: A human resources manager has seasonal affective
disorder, a condition requiring adequate light during a sufficient
number of daytime hours to ward off depression.
PROBLEM: As the result of diabetes, a productive employee in a
retail business is experiencing fatigue, and needs time during the day
to administer medication. She is having difficulty performing her sales
duties for a sustained period of time.
PROBLEM: An insurance claims adjuster becomes ill when exposed to
certain chemicals in the air (chemical sensitivity).
PROBLEM: A worker with a polycystic renal (kidney) disease is a
senior technician in the coal industry who is responsible for the
preparation of samples for testing. This employee requires Continuous
Ambulatory Peritoneal Dialysis (CAPD) four times daily, with one
exchange occurring during working hours.
PROBLEM: A personnel manager with AIDS experiences a serious drop
in energy levels during the mid-afternoon hours.
PROBLEM: An administrative assistant with amyotrophic lateral
sclerosis (ALS) has difficulty with using the phone, typing, computer
input, completing forms and reports, and doing some filing.
PROBLEM: A worker with traumatic brain injury (TBI) is employed at
a bank, processing checks and other transactions. Items must be
numbered and placed into a sorting machine tray in a special manner.
The problem lays in periodic confusion due to memory loss and weakness
in one side of his body.
These examples are excerpted from materials developed by the Presidents Committee on Employment of People with Disabilities. Used with permission.