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Accommodations: What’s Reasonable

Are your company #recruiters looking for candidates who are college graduates? If so, are they considering #students-with- #disabilities? According to the most recent U.S. government figures, approximately 11 percent of #undergraduates, or over two million #students, have a #disability. According to the self-reported information, many have #learningdisabilities or #ADD, but 15 percent have an #orthopedic or #mobility #impairment; 6 percent have a #hearing #impairment; and 3 percent are #blind or #visuallyimpaired.

Although elementary and secondary schools are required by law to attempt to identify students with a disability and document their needs, in college, as in the workplace, it is the responsibility of the individual to identify themselves (#disclose) and request services (#accommodations).

Colleges that accept a student who has a physical disability must at least make essential spaces such as the library, residence hall, lab and classroom, #accessible. For instance, if a student who uses a #wheelchair wants to take a course that is scheduled to be held on the second floor of a building that doesn’t have an elevator, the #reasonableaccommodation would be to reschedule the entire class to be held on the first floor.

But what is #unreasonable? This is a question often asked by businesses and #colleges alike. According to the #ADA definition, an #accommodation that would be considered #unreasonable for a #college would “fundamentally alter the nature of a program, lower or waive essential academic requirements, or result in undue financial or administrative burdens,” for example, installing elevators or new door openers in all buildings. Other accommodations considered unreasonable for a college may include providing #Braille readers or the salary for a personal assistant.

Once the college has determined appropriate accommodation arrangements, professors cannot refuse to comply with them. This is the same for a business; in that, once a company has determined appropriate accommodation arrangements, #managers cannot refuse to #comply. The bottom line is that, an accommodation aims to level the playing field for both students and employees with disabilities.


This information should not be construed as “legal advice” for a particular set of facts or circumstances. It is intended only to be a practical guide for participants familiar with this subject. Users should seek appropriate legal advice tailored to address their specific situation.