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Learning Center

Reasonable Accommodation-How to Make a Request

A request for reasonable accommodation is the first step in an informal, interactive process between the individual and the employer.

The initial request doesn't have to be in writing or follow a formal procedure.  Simply letting the employer know that an adjustment or change at work is needed for a reason related to the individual's disability is sufficient.  

Example A: An employee tells her supervisor, "I'm having trouble getting to work at my scheduled starting time because of medical treatments I'm undergoing." This is a request for a reasonable accommodation.

Example B: An employee tells his supervisor, "I need six weeks off to get treatment for a back problem." This is a request for a reasonable accommodation.

Example C: A new employee, who uses a wheelchair, informs the employer that her wheelchair cannot fit under the desk in her office. This is a request for reasonable accommodation.

Example D: An employee tells his supervisor that he would like a new chair because his present one is uncomfortable. Although this is a request for a change at work, his statement is insufficient to put the employer on notice that he is requesting reasonable accommodation. He does not link his need for the new chair with a medical condition.