Individuals with a variety of impairments may experience mental confusion due to symptoms of a condition and/or side effects of medication. In such cases, individuals may have difficulty thinking in a clear and orderly way.
Electronic organizers are electronic devices, such as PDA's, that allow an individual to download important information such as names, phone numbers, email address and dates. They might have alarms/cues that will remind the individual of datelines, meetings, and so on.
Job coaches are individuals who specialize in assisting individuals with disabilities to learn and accurately carry out job duties. Job coaches provide one-on-one training tailored to the needs of the employee. They may first do a job analysis to identify the job duties, followed by developing a specific plan as to how they can best train the employee to work more and more on his/her own until completely self-sufficient and able to perform job duties accurately and effectively without assistance.
The modification and/or removal of marginal functions from a position is an example of a reasonable accommodation. Essential functions are those job duties that an employee must be able to perform, with or without reasonable accommodation.
From The ADA: Your Responsibilities as an Employer by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission -
Factors to consider in determining if a function is essential include:
whether the reason the position exists is to perform that function,
the number of other employees available to perform the function or among whom the performance of the function can be distributed, and
the degree of expertise or skill required to perform the function.
Your judgment as to which functions are essential, and a written job description prepared before advertising or interviewing for a job will be considered by EEOC as evidence of essential functions. Other kinds of evidence that EEOC will consider include:
the actual work experience of present or past employees in the job,
the time spent performing a function,
the consequences of not requiring that an employee perform a function, and
the terms of a collective bargaining agreement.
A mentor is a person who not only helps an employee with a disability learn a job, but also helps the employee adjust to workplace culture. For example, a mentor might help an employee develop appropriate social skills, learn workplace rules, and improve problem-solving skills. Often times a mentor is an experienced coworker who has knowledge of the workplace and the job rather than an outside service.
PDAs, Notetakers, and Laptops
Personal Data Assistants or PDAs are widely used as portable organizational devices. PDAs for individuals with vision impairments may include features such as voice output, Braille display, planner, calculator, address book, word processor and computer connectivity for e-mail and sharing files. Some even feature a Global Positioning System (GPS) add-on device. In addition, talking or Braille notetakers and laptop computers with voice output and Braille display are portable products with similar features.
The modification of supervisory methods can be a reasonable accommodation. Examples include meeting with employees more or less frequently to discuss daily/weekly job tasks, encouraging employee to let supervisor know when something is unclear, providing instructions auditory or in writing, using remote communication options when appropriate, and using a goal-oriented management method.
Training modifications can include:
receiving materials in alternate formats, such as Braille, large print, audio, and text;
receiving materials in advance of training
using assistive technologies, such as CART, interpreter, and recording devices;
having trainings broken into smaller increments;
allowing additional time for training;
receiving one-on-one tutoring;
seating away from distractions; and
logging in remotely.
Some individuals benefit from having directions and other instructions provided in writing. Example of this would include communicating through email when possible, providing transcripts of meetings, using agendas for trainings, and having checklists for tasks that need completed.