As a disabled Michigan resident, you likely already know that per the Americans with Disabilities Act, neither your employer nor any potential employer can discriminate against you based on your disability. And if the employer employs 15 or more employees, (s)he must provide reasonable accommodation(s) for your disability.

The problem comes with what constitutes reasonable accommodation. The ADA National Network defines the term broadly as an accommodation that allows you to perform your essential job function even though you suffer from a disability.

Reasonable accommodation examples

Examples of reasonable accommodations include the following:

  • A workplace that you can access
  • A work area that you can access
  • A reserved accessible parking space for you in the employee parking lot
  • Whatever special equipment, software, etc. you need to perform your job
  • Whatever special training materials and/or tests you need to perform your job
  • A flexible work schedule if you require one

In addition to the above, your employer must allow you to bring your service dog to work even if able-bodied employees must abide by the company’s “no dogs allowed” policy.

ADA eligibility

Even though the ADA grants many benefits and protections to disabled workers, including those of reasonable accommodation, you must qualify in order to receive them. To qualify, you need to have “a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities (sometimes referred to in the regulations as an “actual disability”).”

Another eligibility requirement mandates that you must be able to perform your job’s essential functions even though you are disabled. Some criteria involved in this requirement include satisfactory answers to the following questions:

  • Is performing these duties specifically called for in this job?
  • How much skill, training and/or expertise do you need in order to perform these duties?
  • Does the employer have other employees who perform these duties as well?

This is general educational information and not intended to provide legal advice.