We're Celebrating 10 Days of SHRM! Today's Gift: $15 to Starbucks w/ a SHRM professional membership. Promo code 10DAYSBUCKS.
Training, policies and tools to help HR prevent and respond to harassment claims.
Is your employee handbook keeping up with the changing world of work? With SHRM's Employee Handbook Builder get peace of mind that your handbook is up-to-date.
Develop your HR competencies and knowledge in-person in 12 U.S. cities or virtually.
#SHRM18 will expand your perspective – on your organization, on your career, and on the way you approach HR. Join us in Chicago June 17-20, 2018
If your workplace doesn't have a process to manage requests for reasonable accommodation, it's time to put one in place. The fact that 1 in 5 adults in the U.S. has a disability and 50 percent of the population is dealing with a disability either directly or indirectly makes it urgent for businesses to treat accommodation as a high priority, presenters Lou Orslene and Deborah Dagit told attendees at the SHRM 2017 Annual Conference & Exposition.
During their concurrent session, "Unpacking the Reasonable Accommodation Conversation: Achieving Win/Win Outcomes," both speakers called on HR professionals to view a robust reasonable accommodation process as the key to inclusion, adding that doing so requires developing effective communications, actionable policies and consistent practices within their organizations.
Orslene, co-director of the Job Accommodation Network (JAN), a free service that provides employers with accommodation options for individuals with disabilities, and Dagit, head of consultancy Deb Dagit Diversity and former vice president and global chief diversity officer at Merck, said there are a variety of disabilities that prompt workers to seek accommodation, including physical conditions, mental health issues and learning differences. They also noted that most disabilities—75 percent—are not easily noticeable.
Most managers and supervisors want to support people with disabilities in the workplace, "but they don't know why they should do it, and they don't know how," Orslene said.
An inclusive culture is conveyed by these five signs:
One of the cornerstones of an inclusive workplace is a clearly communicated reasonable accommodation process with delineated roles for individuals involved; predetermined timelines and lines of accountability for reviewing and creating accommodations; and a method for resolving disputes, including an appeals process.
The accommodation process can be triggered by a request from an applicant or employee or by the recognition that someone with a known disability is facing a barrier that affects job performance. Orslene pointed out that, many times, individuals seeking accommodation don't use the phrase "reasonable accommodation" or mention the Americans with Disabilities Act when making their request.
Dagit said accommodations can take many forms and should be determined in consultation with the person making the request. The most common types are:
"The worst thing you can do is treat someone with a disability as if they were invisible," Dagit said. "Whether it's something as simple as going out to lunch or participating in career development opportunities, everyone wants to feel included. Educating your workforce and finding ways to support employees with disabilities is good for everyone."
Was this article useful? SHRM offers thousands of tools, templates and other exclusive member benefits, including compliance updates, sample policies, HR expert advice, education discounts, a growing online member community and much more. Join/Renew Now and let SHRM help you work smarter.
You have successfully saved this page as a bookmark.
Please confirm that you want to proceed with deleting bookmark.
You have successfully removed bookmark.
Please log in as a SHRM member before saving bookmarks.
Your session has expired. Please log in again before saving bookmarks.
Please purchase a SHRM membership before saving bookmarks.
An error has occurred
Recommended for you
Choose from dozens of free webcasts on the most timely HR topics.
SHRM’s HR Vendor Directory contains over 3,200 companies