Workplace Accommodations: Part 2

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Since October is National Disability Employment Awareness Month, I am continuing my employment theme. Last calendar year, I wrote an article entitled

“Workplace Accommodation Examples and Resources”.

I decided to do a follow-up article, this time focusing on individuals. In this blog post, I will spotlight the stories of other people with disabilities and the accommodations which worked for them, then share my own accommodations story.

All of the stories I found online for this blog post are from the

Job Accommodation Network (JAN).

JAN has an

stories index.

In my profile summaries below, I use the past tense because I do not know if these individuals are still employed by the employers they had at time the JAN profiles were published. I will start with

David.

He worked as a Distribution Clerk at Booz Allen Hamilton, a technology consulting and global strategy company. David’s Down Syndrome was accommodated by working with a mentor in his early days. The profile also points out that his supervisor knew both what was necessary for David to succeed and knowledge of essential job functions. Positive support can be an accommodation itself because employee success is encouraged. A positive company culture can also be beneficial when communicating with customers. An example of this is

Angel.

He managed Mr. Wash Car Wash, located in Alexandria, Virginia. To accommodate his hearing disability, Angel instructed staff to directly face him or come closer for lip-reading. His desire was to ensure that first-time customers were satisfied with service and return for future car washes. There are other stories which are worth sharing.

Another person with a desire to help others through employment is

Zoila.

Through her work as a pre-school teacher, Her primary focus was helping 2 and 3 year old children acquire friendships and independence. rheumatoid arthritis presented challenges which were overcome through workplace accommodations. They included time-off every few months for doctor appointments, splitting duties with a co-worker and being allowed to sit down when necessary. The final person who’s JAN profile I shall discuss here is

Kathy.

She accepted a job with the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Congressional and Intergovernmental Affairs. . Her role was Legislative Affairs Specialist, meaning she served as a contact person for various Congressional committees and offices. As an employee who is blind, she was accommodated by her employer allowing her to used a braille note-taking device and computer screen reader. Her employer also provided human assistants who served as material readers. I will now share my own workplace accommodation story.

In my earlier article on this subject referenced above, I provided some accommodation examples from my own workplace experience as an employee who is blind. After that article was published, I remembered two additional accommodation examples. When I have needed help signing physical print forms, I have been accommodated by asking for help. That was also the case when I needed assistance setting up the printer which I had in my office. I needed help with the task because it had a touch-screen. While it is true that a coworker might not always have time to help immediately, it can be beneficial to ask.

Question for readers: If you are or have been employed, what workplace accommodations have been helpful for you? I will return next week with another article.

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