Reasonable Employment Accommodations for People with Learning Disabilities: Resources & Examples
A reasonable accommodation is a change in the workplace or the way things are typically done that provides an equal employment opportunity to an individual with a disability. While there are some things that are not considered reasonable accommodations (e.g., removal of an essential job function or personal use items such as a hearing aid that is needed on and off the job), reasonable accommodations can cover most things that enable an individual to apply for a job, perform a job, or have equal access to the workplace and employee benefits.
Learning disabilities refer to a number of disorders that may affect the acquisition, organization, retention, understanding or use of verbal or nonverbal information. These disorders affect learning in individuals who otherwise demonstrate at least average abilities essential for thinking and/or reasoning. Learning disabilities result from impairments in one or more processes related to perceiving, thinking, remembering or learning. Learning disabilities range in severity and may interfere with the acquisition and use of oral language, reading, written language, and mathematics. Learning disabilities may also involve difficulties with organizational skills and social interaction. (JAN, 2018) Because Learning Disabilities can affect people very differently, it’s important to understand how you learn differently, and what accommodations you may need in order to be successful at work. Also, disability disclosure in order to receive accommodations can be uncomfortable. A great resource for professionals and families is The 411 on Disability Disclosure: A Workbook for Families, Educators, Youth Services Professionals, and Adult Allies Who care About Youth with Disabilities. A similar resource for youth in learning how to disclose their disability is The 411 on Disability Disclosure: A Workbook for Youth with Disabilities. These resources could also be helpful for adults, however there are many resources to help individuals with disabilities disclose their disability at work, at any age.
The Job Accommodation Network (JAN) is a great resource for people with any disability who may need an accommodation while apply for or performing a job. Examples of common reasonable accommodations for people with Learning Disabilities (JAN) include, but are not limited to:
Executive Functioning Deficits – checklists, color coded systems, job coaches, written instructions, job restructuring, wall calendars and planners, etc.