The next step is determining whether or not the employee meets the definition of a qualified employee with a disability. In order to meet this standard, the employee must be able to perform the essential functions of the job with or without accommodation. The ADA does not require hiring, promotion or accommodation of any individual who is not qualified to perform the essential functions of the job.
The ADA requires the removal of physical and other barriers that prevent successful employment for qualified people with disabilities. For instance, a job coach might be provided for an individual with a cognitive disability to teach the employee necessary strategies that will enable him/her to perform the essential functions of the job. Sometimes that means providing a curb cut, sometimes it means providing a computer that reads out loud and sometimes it simply means providing an additional file cabinet so that drawers can be pulled and files inserted with ease. Other accommodations include flexible work schedules, part-time positions and modifications of responsibilities.
What is a Reasonable Accommodation?
An accommodation can be considered reasonable if it does not cause an undue hardship to the employer. Additionally, an accommodation for an employee is not considered reasonable if it unduly impacts another employee. In determining what is "reasonable" we talk with the manager, direct supervisor, the employee and frequently consult with outside sources. Once the research is completed the accommodation is then either made or denied. The response is provided in writing to the employee and if the request is denied the employee can appeal the decision.