The primary goal of the SCV Mayor’s Committee for Employment of Individuals with Disabilities is to increase the number of people with disabilities in the local workforce. Education is one of the ways in which we approach that goal.
Employers who are considering hiring individuals with disabilities, may have questions about what types of accommodation would be required, and what would be a reasonable accommodation. The Office of Disability Rights offers comprehensive guidelines on accommodations, most of which are simple and common sense responses to issues that could arise.
According to the website, the following types of accommodations are defined as reasonable:
1) No-tech: An accommodation costs little or no money…just time, support and creativity (e.g., additional preparation time for an individual, or a color-coded filing system).
2) Low-tech: Any accommodation that is technologically simple or unsophisticated, and readily available in most offices (e.g., replacing a door knob with an accessible door handle, providing a magnifier).
3) High-tech: Any accommodation that uses advanced or sophisticated devices (e.g., screen reading software with synthesized speech).
Examples are also helpful when it comes to understanding accommodations. An example of job restructuring would be as follows: An employer has two data processing clerks. Typing on the computer is an essential function, using the phone is a marginal one. If a qualified data processing clerk had a speech impairment, it would be reasonable to assign the function of using the phone to the employee without a speech impairment in exchange for doing that employee’s filing.
Another example of an accommodation would be to allow work in other than the traditional office setting. For example, a surveyor can make calls on a designated line from home instead of having to come regularly to an inaccessible office to make those calls.
An employee with a disability may need a modified schedule or more flexible leave for medical treatment, repair of equipment and so on. An example would be an employee who needs kidney dialysis treatment and is unable to work on two days because treatment is only available during work hours on weekdays.
With regard to job training, reasonable accommodation could include accessible training sites, training materials in alternate formats (e.g., large print, Braille, audiotape, or electronic format) to accommodate a disability, sign language interpreters or captioning and so on.
The Mayor’s Committee welcomes inquiries. We are here to help employers and employees in successful, long-term job placement, so please feel free to contact us at (661) 705-7595.