Disability Disclosure & Reasonable Accommodation

For ALL Employment Providers

May 25, 2021 9:00 AM to 12:00 PM


Barry Whaley
Project Director
Southeast ADA Center-Burton Blatt Institute

A guarantee of the Americans with Disabilities Act Title I is the provision of reasonable accommodation to ensure equality in the workplace. Often, employees, employers, and professionals are unsure of their respective roles in disability disclosure and reasonable accommodation.

Often, when employers hear the word “disability” they become concerned with cost and legal liability. Frequently, employers do not understand that they too have rights under ADA. Employees often do not know that they have responsibilities in disclosing disability and the need for accommodation. A clearer understanding will ensure that job seekers and employees are treated in an ethical, valued, and courteous way when disclosing disability and the need for accommodation.

What is a “Reasonable Accommodation?” When is an accommodation unreasonable?” When can someone get an accommodation? How do I ask for accommodation? What rights and responsibilities do employees have? What rights do employers have? Are people obligated to disclose a disability? When is the “right time” to disclose a need for accommodation to an employer? What are the concerns people have when they disclose a disability? This presentation will discuss what reasonable accommodation is and what it is not, how to request accommodation, and most importantly, how to do so in a way that is respectful of the employee.

This presentation fulfills requirements for Code of Professional Ethics for Rehabilitation Counselors, Section C: Advocacy and Accessibility, C.1.Advocacy, section e and f.

When engaging in advocacy on behalf of clients, should circumstances require the disclosure of confidential information, rehabilitation counselors obtain and document consent from the client and disclose only minimal information.

Areas of Knowledge and Competency. Rehabilitation counselors are knowledgeable about systems and laws, as well as organizational policies, and how they affect access to employment, education, transportation, housing, civil rights, financial benefits, medical services, and mental health services for individuals with disabilities. They keep current with changes in these areas in order to advocate effectively for clients and/or to facilitate self-advocacy of clients in these areas.