Complying with ADA in the Workplace
Did you know that 26% of adults in the United States live with some type of disability? That is about one in every four people you meet.
Of course, it is only fair to treat individuals with disabilities as equals. Still, not all employers realize the importance of recognizing disabilities among their employees.
Thanks to the Americans with Disabilities Act, failing to properly accommodate for disabilities can actually be illegal. So, how can your workplace follow the law and do the right thing?
Read on to learn tips from our ADA Experts on complying with ADA in the workplace.
Don’t Use a One-Size-Fits-All Approach
You should remove bias about disabled employees through all vocational processes, including hiring, promoting, and firing. Even so, employees with disabilities often require special accommodations.
Part of understanding ADA accommodations is understanding that everyone is different. Treating everyone the same isn’t always the same as providing equal access and opportunity.
It’s also important to note that you shouldn’t treat individuals the same because they have the same disability. Not only are individual differences still present, but many disabilities exist along a spectrum.
Don’t Make Assumptions
When it comes to ADA accommodations and compliance, your workplace should also be careful about making assumptions about anyone’s disability. You should never assume that someone does or doesn’t have a disability until you are told.
You mustn’t disregard an employee’s disability as less impactful than they say it is unless you obtain legal proof.
Many employee disabilities can’t be seen with the naked eye, including mental disabilities. These are also covered under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
Make Your Workplace Accessible for Employees with Disabilities
Making reasonable accommodations is also required under the ADA.
According to the EEOC, a reasonable ADA accommodation is:
“Any change or adjustment to a job or work environment that permits a qualified applicant or employee with a disability to participate in the job application process, to perform the essential functions of a job, or to enjoy benefits and privileges of employment equal to those enjoyed by employees without disabilities.”
ADA accommodations may include physical and digital adjustments.
Well-known physical changes include adding ramps and widening restroom entrances. This makes your building wheelchair accessible.
Doing your part also includes adapting the digital systems your workers use. This might include:
- Using screen readers or screen magnification for the visually impaired
- Including subtitles for the deaf
- Supplying a special mouse for tremors
Create a Process for ADA Accommodations and Document Everything
The best way to be ADA compliant is to create a process for hearing, acting on, and documenting all disability accommodation requests. This is often done through the Human Resources department of a business.
Documentation is critical should an employee claim that your company failed to meet ADA guidelines.
Ensure Your Workplace is ADA Compliant with an ADA Accommodations Consultant
Becoming ADA compliant isn’t just the law; it’s the right thing to do.
Make sure your workplace is ADA compliant by making accommodations and reading up on government guidelines. Remember never to make assumptions or assume a solution works best for everyone.
To ensure you’re ADA compliant, consider consulting with an ADA accommodations specialist. An ADA accommodations specialist will help you through difficult situations with employees and it is the best way to make sure everyone stays happy and safe and that all employees with disabilities are accommodated.
Contact us at Solutions Northwest Inc. andwe can help you find an ADA accommodations specialist or give you general consulting
Contact us today to make an appointment.
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Contact the Vocational Consultants at Solutions Northwest Inc. Below:
Corporate Office: 120 State Ave. NE #397
Olympia, WA 98501
Business Hours: 8am-5pm M-F
Corporate FAX: 360-866-4773
San Diego, CA
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