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Consultants' Corner
Volume 11 Issue 02

Making a Statement – About Reasonable Accommodation and Equal Opportunity

From the desk of Tracie DeFreitas, Lead Consultant, ADA Specialist.

JAN Consultants frequently receive requests from employers for sample language to aid in the development of a reasonable accommodation statement. A reasonable accommodation statement is often included in job postings, on-line applications, employee handbooks, reasonable accommodation policies, etc. There is no formal reasonable accommodation statement that employers are required to use under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Employers have the flexibility to draft their own statement to communicate their commitment to provide reasonable accommodations to qualified applicants and employees.

There are many ways to inform applicants and employees of the opportunity to request reasonable accommodation. One way is to include a reasonable accommodation statement as part of an equal opportunity (EO) statement. An EO statement makes it clear that a business has no intention to discriminate on the basis of disability or other legally prohibited bases. By including a reasonable accommodation statement within the EO statement, applicants and employees are immediately informed of their right to request reasonable accommodation when employment notices and policies are distributed. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) advises employers to consider including an EO statement in job postings, employee handbooks, and other sources of workplace policies distributed to applicants and employees.

Under the revised regulations of Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act, federal contractors and their sub-contractors are required to inform all applicants and employees of their EO rights and the contractors' obligations to engage in affirmative action to hire, employ, and advance qualified individuals with disabilities. For more information, see the equal opportunity clause in the Section 503 regulations (§60-741.5) or contact the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP). To locate an office near you, see the nationwide OFCCP office directory at http://www.dol.gov/ofccp/contacts/ofnation2.htm.

Section 503 also requires contractors to invite applicants and employees to voluntarily self-identify as having a disability. As part of this process, contractors are encouraged to provide additional information about reasonable accommodation. OFCCP's voluntary self-identification form (form CC-305) includes a reasonable accommodation notice. The content of the voluntary self-identification form may not be altered, but contractors are permitted to include additional reasonable accommodation information with the form, such as a contact person responsible for processing accommodation requests and information about the employer's reasonable accommodation policy.

JAN offers a variety of customizable sample reasonable accommodation and EO statements. This information is not intended to be legal advice. If legal advice is required in preparing a reasonable accommodation or EO statement, please contact an appropriate legal professional.

Sample Reasonable Accommodation and EO Statements:

Employers seeking reasonable accommodation and EO statement language may also be interested in sample accommodation-related forms and resources. For this type of information, see JAN's website at http://askjan.org/topics/forms.htm.


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