Building a Life

A transition guide for Kansans

Things to Consider

  • Does the workplace have a respectful and supportive culture?
  • Make sure the job match is a good one, for that is an important part of success on the job

Employee Rights & ADA

The Americans with Disabilities Act as amended makes it unlawful to discriminate in employment against a qualified individual with a disability. The ADA also prohibits discrimination against individuals with disabilities in state and local government services, public accommodations, transportation and telecommunications. The law's employment provision is enforced by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and state and local civil rights enforcement that work with EEOC.

All employees need the right tools and work environment to effectively perform their jobs. Similarly, individuals with disabilities may need workplace adjustments—or accommodations—to maximize the value they can add to their employer. Accommodations make an employee as independent as possible.

A reasonable accommodation is any change in the work environment or in the way things are usually done that enables an individual with a disability to participate in the application process, to perform the essential functions (or fundamental duties) of a job, or to enjoy equal benefits and privileges of employment that are available to individuals without disabilities. Accommodations help employers not only hire new workers with disabilities, but also keep workers who may become disabled.

An accommodation can be simple, such as putting blocks under a table’s legs so that a person who uses a wheelchair can roll up to it. It might involve advanced technology, such as installing a screen reader on a computer so that a person who is blind can manage documents. It may be procedural, such as altering a work schedule or job assignments.

When thinking about accommodations, the focus should not be on the person’s disability but rather on essential job tasks and the physical functions necessary to complete them.

Tools and Resources

Job Accommodation Network

Natural Supports

Some employees with disabilities and special health care needs may need a lot of support on the job and others need very little. Whatever the situation for your youth/young adult, there are accommodations and supports to help them be successful on the job. As they begin to work, the employment specialist will be looking for ways that they can fit into the workplace as seamlessly as possible. Sometimes that simply means wearing a watch with an alarm to keep track of time. Or it could mean job duties are listed in words or pictures on a chart. Having employees learn their new tasks where they will be performing them can also help them get used to the work they’ll be doing. Whatever the supports, they should be as unobtrusive as possible, so they don’t distract others in the workplace.