Perhaps you are about to start a new job, or your supervisor is recommending you for a promotion, which means moving to a different department.
The possibilities are exciting, but you have a disability, and you wonder how your employer will address your needs in the new position.
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), which became effective in 1990, protects people with disabilities. Those who qualify either have a physical or mental impairment that limits “major life activities” currently or have a record of impairment. Major life activities include performing basic tasks such as walking, speaking, breathing, hearing, seeing and caring for oneself.
Request for accommodation
If you have a disability, the law requires your employer to provide “reasonable accommodation,” which often means taking measures to make the workplace more accessible for you. Sometimes it means changing company policy in some way to assist you and anyone else with a disability. Your employer should be willing to talk with you about your needs; a request you make does not have to be in writing. Unless the accommodation you need could result in expense for the company or a reduction in performance standards or production, your employer should work out a plan to meet your needs.
The law protects you even if your disability does not affect you full time. For example, you might have multiple sclerosis, bipolar disorder or epilepsy. Your disability may have hindered your daily activities in the past, but you are still entitled to a work environment in which you are comfortable and productive. However, if your employer is not receptive to or totally ignores your request for reasonable accommodation, legal guidance can help you resolve the issue.