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Accommodating people with disabilities in the workplace

Government offices are not required to make all of their facilities accessible, but are required to make all of their programs accessible.They can do this by removing barriers at an existing facility, by relocating the program to an accessible facility, or by providing the program in a different manner.

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Typical examples of reasonable accommodations are: For more information about these provisions or how to file a complaint, see Contact Information for the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.Employment Obtaining Employment: What to Expect The ADA prohibits discrimination against qualified employees or job applicants on the basis of their disability.It covers all employment practices, including the job application process, hiring, advancement, compensation, training, firing, and all other conditions of employment.For practical advice on workplace accommodations, see Contact Information for the Job Accommodation Network.Customer Access Purchasing Goods and Services: What to Expect There are over seven million businesses in the United States that provide goods or services to the public, including grocery stores, retail stores, restaurants and bars, hotels and motels, gas stations, dry cleaners, laundromats, banks, law offices, medical offices, insurance agencies, movie theaters, art museums, gyms, amusement parks, and other businesses.All businesses that provide goods or services to the public, even small ones with only one or two employees, must comply with the ADA, including the following requirements: Reasonable Modifications Businesses must make "reasonable modifications" in their policies, practices, or procedures when necessary so that people with disabilities can be their customers.

Businesses are not, however, required to make any changes that would fundamentally alter or change the nature of the business or its services.

Government offices are not, however, required to undertake steps that would result in an "undue burden" or that would fundamentally change the nature of their programs. Other Federal Disability Rights Laws As noted earlier, the ADA covers employment, access to goods and services, and State and local government programs, activities, and services.

Examples of making a program accessible are: If a city or county employs 50 or more people, it is required to have an ADA coordinator. There are other Federal disability rights laws that cover housing, air travel, telecommunications, Federal programs and services, and other topics.

Additional information about the rules for "reasonable modifications" can be found at gov/reachingout/lesson11or by calling the ADA Information Line. Typical examples of reasonable modifications are: Effective Communication Businesses must communicate effectively with customers who have vision, hearing, or speech disabilities.

The businesses, not the customers, are responsible for providing the tools or services that are needed for "effective communication." Businesses are not, however, required to provide any tools or services that would be an "undue burden," which means significant difficulty or expense.

Barrier Removal In addition, businesses have a continuing obligation to remove architectural barriers when it is "readily achievable" to do so.