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How do I make an accommodation request?

There are a couple of things you will need to do if you need an accommodation on the job.

  1. Disclose your disability.   In order to request an accommodation, you will need to tell your employer about your disability.  This is called “disclosure” of the disability, and involves telling the employer about the condition that gets in the way of your work, and about how the disability gets in your way, or the limitations it causes (functional limitations).  If you don’t tell your employer that you have a disability, your request may not make sense to the employer, and you won’t have rights under the law.

Youth, Disclosure, & the Workplace: Why, When, What, & How
This article from United States Office of Disability Employment Policy discusses the important questions that come with the disclosure decision.

Disclosing Your Disability to an Employer
A step-by-step guide to telling your employer about a disability that gets in the way of work.

2. Make your request.  The next step is to make your request for the accommodation itself.  You can use “plain English” when requesting the accommodation, which means that you do not need to use clinical or medical jargon when talking to your employer.  According to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), you can make a simple request such as: “I’m having trouble getting to work on time because of medical treatments I’m undergoing.”

PDF: A Practical Guide for People With Mental Health Conditions Who Want to Work
This guide, written for people with lived experience, explains how vocational recovery is possible. Additionally, it covers important topics such as disclosure.

Rocky Mountain ADA Center
The Rocky Mountain ADA Center, a member of the National Network of ADA Centers, aims to provide information on the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) to individuals & organizations in Colorado, Utah, Montana, Wyoming, North Dakota, & South Dakota. It is staffed by people with disabilities, spouses and parents of people with disabilities, as well as people with professional experience in the disability field.

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