QUESTION: I’ve received requests to reduce the lighting in our office, but never get a response when I ask for specifics such as glare, brightness, or location. Also, our key-operated doors violate 2010 ADAAG operational guidelines. Is there a policy or questionnaire that defines appropriate accommodations for these two instances? Our office consists of large, open areas with cubicles. — Mike, Wisconsin
ANSWER: I refer you to two Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) websites:
- Procedures for Providing Reasonable Accommodation for Individuals with Disabilities
- Get the Facts Series: Small Business Information
They define “reasonable accommodation” as any change in the workplace environment or standard operating procedures that gives a disabled person an equal employment opportunity.
Potential and current employers aren’t expected to eliminate essential job functions or supply a device, such as a hearing aid, that someone relies on all the time. Reasonable accommodations fall into three groups: changes that enable someone to apply for a job; do the job; and access common locations and events such as the kitchen, parking lot, and annual holiday party.
Next page: Lighting: not the employer’s problem