Watch this video of Stevie Wonder at the Grammy’s. Ignore the tragic wardrobe selection. Instead, listen to the message about increasing accessibility to people with disabilities, and make sure that it carries over into your workplace. Remember it before…
- Your company insists that a job candidate with renal disease must be tested for drugs with a urine test — rather than a blood test.
- You ignore an employee’s repeated requests for a sign language interpreter.
- You fail to accommodate a greeter with a cognitive disability.
- You refuse to provide training materials in braille to a blind employee.
While the Americans with Disabilities Act doesn’t go quite as far Stevie’s message, it does require your business to provide reasonable accommodations for qualified individuals with a disability, if doing so will enable them to perform the essential functions of the job. With disability discrimination claims spiking in 2015, not knowing the basics could make you a statistic this year.
So, if an employee or applicant communicates to you that he/she has a disability and requires an accommodation, communicate with that individual — it can be very informal — find out what the individual needs, and identify the appropriate reasonable accommodation. Then provide that reasonable accommodation — maybe even the one that the individual requests — if one exists.
Image Credit: By File:Stevie Wonder at East End, Washington DC.jpg: John Athayde (boboroshi)
derivative work: Mathonius – http://www.flickr.com/photos/boboroshi/187575712/in/photostream/ or File:Stevie Wonder at East End, Washington DC.jpg, CC BY 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=16669630