Asking for Job Adjustments

What is a Job Adjustment

First of all, a job adjustment may also be referred to as a reasonable accommodation (the technical term as defined under the A.D.A). Generally speaking, it’s a type of adjustment or modification to your job — or perhaps even a piece of equipment — that you need because of your disability and that will help your performance.

What do I need to know and find out?

Know that your employer is obligated, by law, to provide you with a job adjustment or accommodation -with two small exceptions-.  You might think, “But how do I go about asking for one?” or “Will this require me to disclose my disability?” or “How do I even know what I need?”

Here’s a chart to help you start thinking about possible accommodations you can request. (This chart was produced by the US department of Labor’s Office of Disability Employment Policy):



Possible Accommodations

Maintaining consistent attendance

  • Flexible leave to attend counseling
  • Making up time missed
  • Schedule a later start time

Dealing with change

  • Maintaining open lines of communication with supervisor
  • Scheduling regular meetings with supervisor to discuss work-related issues

Interacting with others

  • Providing a mentor, a team leader or a buddy to facilitate social and work-related interactions
  • Participating in team activities

Managing time

  • An electronic calendar marked with meetings and deadlines
  • Use E-mail as a time management tool
  • Daily or weekly performance goals
  • A partner or a mentor to help with time management

Organizing information

  • Assistance in prioritizing tasks
  • A written to-do list, which can be reviewed on a regular basis
  • Dividing large assignments into smaller tasks
  • A personal data assistant or other electronic organizer

Handling stress and difficult emotions

  • Short breaks to walk around the block
  • Praise and positive reinforcement
  • Permission to call or instant message a support person

Maintaining concentration

  • A quiet location
  • Space enclosures
  • Wearing a headset or ear sets and listening to music or “white noise”

If you feel you may have been discriminated against at your job because of your disability or the accommodations you requested, there are legal resources available.

The topic of disclosure and accommodation can be pretty complicated, but there are plenty of resources that can teach you how to get what you need to be successful on the job!

More tips sheets from Transitions RTC?