Accommodations at Work

The Americans with Disabilities Act is a federal law that prevents businesses from discriminating against people with disabilities. This law applies to companies with 15 or more employees. To qualify for ADA protections, the law states that you must be able to show that you have a disability that substantially impairs one or more major life activities (such as walking, seeing, or hearing). There are many different types of protected disabilities. Consult the ADA for more information on the types of covered disabilities and to learn more about its protections.

Living with a disability can be difficult. More pressure financially and socially, and opportunity has led many people living with disabilities into the workforce. While you should be able to fulfill the minimum requirements for the position, it is possible for you to receive accommodations from your employer. This ensures that people with disabilities are given the best opportunity to be successful.

It is important to understand that mental health conditions are covered under the ADA, not just physical disabilities. By covering mental health conditions, like Autism, ADHD, OCD, and anxiety among others, this gives employees many reasons why workplace accommodations may be a fitting choice and necessary to give them the ability to be successful.

What Can You Do

If you are having a difficult time due to a disability, your employer must provide accommodations. These accommodations can be anything that will help you perform your job better within reason. Some examples of accommodations include flexible work schedules, reduced distractions, working from home, receiving written directions and/or task lists, verbal or written communication and feedback, flexible break schedules, a private and/or quiet space to rest during breaks, and utilizing a job coach. These are just some of the accommodations that you may be able to receive from your employer. Accommodations can be negotiated with your employer and these are just some of the accommodations available.

Request an accommodation

When you need an accommodation, the first step is to tell your employer. Now that you know about the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), you can ask for an accommodation. To get started we recommend that you ask your employer’s human resources department how to request an accommodation. They may already have an accommodation request process in place. If not, they’ll be able to help you start the process.

When you request an accommodation, you are making your employer aware of your disability. The first thing you should do is figure out what type of accommodation you need. Once you have that done, put your request in writing. What does it mean for you to be successful at work? Try to be as detailed and clear as possible. It’s understood that this is not a concrete request. If this accommodation isn’t the right fit for you, it can be tweaked over time. You may not know what accommodations would be most helpful. That’s ok! Discussing your needs with your employer can lead to a collaborative approach to help give you every chance to be successful.

Next, get a note from your health care professional, including a therapist, stating that you have a mental illness and need accommodations. Working with your health care professional can be helpful when crafting the letter. You may want to share a bit about your work, your ideas on what accommodations you think that you’d need to be successful, and ask for their recommendation. This is commonplace for many healthcare providers and you should be able to receive the letter without a hassle. The therapists at Silver Lake Psychology are very experienced in helping people with disabilities to get workplace accommodations. If you need help, reach out to our Matching Experts to help us find your ideal therapist! Your therapist may also have additional ideas about workplace accommodations and a different perspective that could prove helpful.

Once that is complete. The next step is that you and your employer must have a conversation about possible accommodations. It is recommended that you take detailed notes and keep written records of all conversations that you may have with your employer. Keep any copies of emails and/or forms that you complete. This is a great habit to get into and can help with any questions or concerns that may arise.

Providing accommodations

A job can be a lifeline for someone with mental health issues or other disabilities. If a person has a mental illness, they sometimes need accommodations at work in order to be successful. Although employers may worry that accommodations will be costly or time-consuming, that is not usually the case. There are two situations where an employer may not accommodate someone with a mental illness or disability, when there is a genuine concern about their safety or that of their coworkers and when they are so sporadically present that they can’t be counted on due to attendance.

Accommodations can allow those with disabilities to be able to be successful employees and be able to earn money for themselves and their families. This can help them to be more self confident, live better lives, and contribute financially to their situation.

Finding the right therapist

When you have a disability it can be hard to find support and the help you need. The therapists at Silver Lake Psychology focus on helping people with disabilities in all facets of their lives. Prioritizing your mental health can be incredibly important and impactful. Silver Lake Psychology has therapists that specialize in aiding individuals with disabilities. This ensures that you can receive tailored assistance to help you live your best life!

Silver Lake Psychology therapists specialize in helping individuals request accommodations at work and can help you with creating letters or suggesting workplace accommodations that will help to set you up for success! To learn more, contact us to match with your ideal therapist. We help you to find the best therapist that meets your needs that specialize in helping those with disabilities. We use our Mindful Matching process and will find a therapist that specializes in the topics that are most important to you!

woman at work - accommodations
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