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Bladder Impairment

Accommodation and Compliance: Bladder Impairment

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About Bladder Impairment

Bladder impairments tend to be caused by neurologic conditions, including spinal cord injuries, disease, cerebrovascular accidents, brain injuries, multiple sclerosis, and dementia. However, other conditions can also trigger bladder impairments, such as pregnancy, childbirth, weight, and medications. Some of the most common symptoms of a bladder impairment can be an inability to hold urine (functional incontinence), a strong need to urinate (urge incontinence), and leakage due to activity (stress incontinence). These can also lead to infections, stones, or renal damage. Interstitial cystitis is a specific bladder condition that can cause pressure and pain in the bladder. It also has symptoms similar to other bladder disorders, such as frequent urination, pain during sex, and waking at night to urinate.

Bladder Impairment and the Americans with Disabilities Act

The ADA does not contain a definitive list of medical conditions that constitute disabilities. Instead, the ADA defines a person with a disability as someone who (1) has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more "major life activities," (2) has a record of such an impairment, or (3) is regarded as having such an impairment. For more information about how to determine whether a person has a disability under the ADA, see How to Determine Whether a Person Has a Disability under the Americans with Disabilities Act Amendments Act (ADAAA).

Accommodating Employees with Bladder Impairment

People with bladder impairments may develop some of the limitations discussed below, but seldom develop all of them. Also, the degree of limitation will vary among individuals. Be aware that not all people with bladder impairments will need accommodations to perform their jobs and many others may only need a few accommodations. The following is only a sample of the possibilities available. Numerous other accommodation solutions may exist.

Questions to Consider:

  1. What limitations is the employee experiencing?
  2. How do these limitations affect the employee and the employee’s job performance?
  3. What specific job tasks are problematic as a result of these limitations?
  4. What accommodations are available to reduce or eliminate these problems? Are all possible resources being used to determine possible accommodations?
  5. Once accommodations are in place, would it be useful to meet with the employee to evaluate the effectiveness of the accommodations and to determine whether additional accommodations are needed?
  6. Do supervisory personnel and employees need training?

Accommodation Ideas:

Situations and Solutions:

The following situations and solutions are real-life examples of accommodations that were made by JAN customers. Because accommodations are made on a case-by-case basis, these examples may not be effective for every workplace but give you an idea about the types of accommodations that are possible.

Events Regarding Bladder Impairment

Other Information Regarding Bladder Impairment


Bladder and Bowel Foundation
Bladder Cancer Advocacy Network
International Paruresis Association
Interstitial Cystitis Association
Interstitial Cystitis Network
Job Accommodation Network
Kidney & Urology Foundation of America
Mayo Clinic
National Association for Continence
National Center for Biotechnology Information
National Institute on Aging
National Organization for Rare Disorders
Office of Disability Employment Policy
Office on Women's Health
Remedy's Health Communites
Urology Care Foundation