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On-the-Job Accommodations

Job Accomodation - Workplace RightsAs a person with learning disabilities, you are entitled to reasonable accommodations at work. A reasonable accommodation is any change or adjustment to a job, your work environment, or the way things are usually done that allows you to perform job functions. In other words, an accommodation can remove or lessen the barriers to your job performance that are caused by your disability. There are three things you must do to get accommodations on the job:
  1. Disclose your disability to your employer.
  2. Provide documentation of your disability.
  3. Request specific accommodations on the job.



  • Job restructuring. This means that some tasks that are difficult for you to perform may be given to co-workers to handle. In this case, it's advisable that you take on some of the co-workers' tasks that you can handle comfortably. Co-workers will feel better about a fair exchange than they will about taking on extra work.
  • Modified work schedules. If being on time or working a full 8-hour day is a problem for you, a modified work schedule will allow you to come to work later in the day. Or you may be able to work shorter periods by working part-time or by job-sharing with someone else who wants to work part-time.
  • Adjustments or modifications of training materials and examinations. You may need training materials put on audio tape or you may want training sessions videotaped. You may need to take examinations orally or with extended time.
  • It is also possible to request and make use of technology that can help you perform your job better. These are known as assistive technologies. There are many different technologies that can help you work around, or compensate for, your disability.


Assistive Technologies for Reading Deficiencies

  • Audio tapes
  • Tape-recorded messages and instructions
  • Reading machines
  • Screen-reading computer software
  • Color-coded materials, files, maps, etc.
  • Scanners for entering printed material into the computer

Assistive Technologies for Writing Deficiencies:

  • Personal computers and laptops
  • Word processing software
  • Voice output software that highlights and reads (using a speech synthesizer) what has been keyed into a computer
  • Voice input software that recognizes the user's voice and changes it to text on the computer screen
  • Software with highlighting capabilities
  • Grammar checking software
  • Word prediction software
  • Carbonless note-taking paper

Assistive Technologies for Math Deficiencies

  • Fractional, decimal and statistical calculators
  • Talking calculators
  • Computer-assisted instruction software for arithmetic/mathematics
  • Large display screens for calculators and adding machines
  • Color coding for maintaining ledger columns


Assistive Technologies for Organizational Deficiencies

  • Day planners
  • Electronic organizers/schedulers
  • LCD watches, data bank watches, timers, counters, alarms
  • Personal Data Assistants managers (PDAs)
  • Color coding for maintaining ledger columns


Adapted from The Job Accommodation Network, Work-site Accommodations to Consider for People with Learning Disabilities and/or Attention Deficit Disorder.

Tags: college-adult