What is a "reasonable accommodation"?

Under the ADA, an employer is also obligated to provide reasonable accommodations to employees and job applicants for their known physical or mental limitations.  A reasonable accommodation is essentially a job modification that enables a qualified individual with a disability to perform his or her job. 

Examples of reasonable accommodation under the ADA include building and facility accessibility, job restructuring, modified work schedules, reassignment to vacant positions, equipment modification, new equipment, and a host of other options. 

However, an employer is not obligated to change the essential functions of a job as a reasonable accommodation, or to provide a reasonable accommodation to an employee who is not a qualified individual. 

Every accommodation situation is unique and must be evaluated based upon its own specific circumstances.  When an employee requests a workplace accommodation from an employer, the employer is required to engage in an interactive process with the employee, in order to explore reasonable accommodation options.  Communication is the key for both the employee and the employer when it comes to reasonable accommodation.