Reasonable accommodations are adjustments or modifications that employers make to enable employees with disabilities to perform the essential functions of their job. They help reduce barriers and provide equality of access and opportunity for all through actions that help to alleviate a disadvantage due to an impairment or medical condition.
With reasonable accommodation, a qualified person with a disability can fully participate and handle tasks at work, without being potentially restricted.
Examples of reasonable accommodations may include:
- Physical modifications to the workplace, such as installing a wheelchair ramp or providing an accessible parking space.
- Flexible work arrangements, such as adjusting work schedules or allowing remote working.
- Assistive technology or specialised equipment, such as screen readers or voice recognition software.
- Providing additional training or support to employees with disabilities.
- Making changes to policies or procedures, such as allowing a service animal to accompany an employee to work.
It’s important to note that the type of accommodation that is reasonable may vary depending on the nature of the job and the specific needs of the employee.
As long as the accommodation does not pose an undue hardship to the employer, they are required (under the Employment Equality Acts 1998-2015) to take reasonable steps to accommodate the needs of current and prospective employees with disabilities. When assessing the cost of particular accommodation, employers should consider the available support provided by the Department of Employment Affairs & Social Protection.
If you would like to learn more, the Working With A Disability article on the Citizen Information website provides in-depth information on different supports to help you find and keep employment.