The use of basic learning techniques, such as conditioning, biofeedback, reinforcement, or aversion therapy, to alter human behavior. A form of psychotherapy that uses basic learning techniques to modify maladaptive behavior patterns by substituting new responses to given stimuli for undesirable ones. Also called behavioral therapy and/or behavior modification.
An employer may need to consider flexibility in work hours so that an individual can attend counseling. Examples include blocks of leave time, flexing a schedule, combining break times, or rescheduling a lunch.
Environmental Sound Machines / Tinnitus Maskers / White Noise Machines
Environmental sound machines, also known as sound conditioners, help block out extraneous noises that are often found to be distracting. They can also be used to reduce stress in the work environment. Devices can include those that create persistent masking sound to relieve stress from tinnitus and otherwise drown out unwanted sounds.
Employees who experience limitations in concentration may need a flexible schedule in order to work optimally during hours of increased attentiveness. Flexible schedules can also be used to have a period of mental rest in order to refocus and reorient into his/her work. Examples of a flexible schedule would be adjusting starting and ending times of the workday, combining regularly scheduled breaks to create one extended break or dividing large breaks into smaller segments, and allowing work to be completed during hours when the employee is most mentally alert.
Job restructuring is a form of reasonable accommodation which enables many qualified individuals with disabilities to perform jobs effectively. Job restructuring as a reasonable accommodation may involve reallocating or redistributing the marginal functions of a job. However, an employer is not required to reallocate essential functions of a job as a reasonable accommodation. Essential functions, by definition, are those that a qualified individual must perform, with or without an accommodation.
An employer may exchange marginal functions of a job that cannot be performed by a person with a disability for marginal job functions performed by one or more other employees.
Although an employer is not required to reallocate essential job functions, it may be a reasonable accommodation to modify the essential functions of a job by changing when or how they are done.
The modification and/or removal of marginal functions from a position is an example of a reasonable accommodation. Essential functions are those job duties that an employee must be able to perform, with or without reasonable accommodation.
From The ADA: Your Responsibilities as an Employer by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission -
Factors to consider in determining if a function is essential include:
whether the reason the position exists is to perform that function,
the number of other employees available to perform the function or among whom the performance of the function can be distributed, and
the degree of expertise or skill required to perform the function.
Your judgment as to which functions are essential, and a written job description prepared before advertising or interviewing for a job will be considered by EEOC as evidence of essential functions. Other kinds of evidence that EEOC will consider include:
the actual work experience of present or past employees in the job,
the time spent performing a function,
the consequences of not requiring that an employee perform a function, and
the terms of a collective bargaining agreement.
Modified Break Schedule
Some employees can benefit from taking their breaks at a different rate than what may be considered standard by their employer to accomodate certain conditions, symptoms and habits they have in order to perform their job at their optimal level.
The modification of supervisory methods can be a reasonable accommodation. Examples include meeting with employees more or less frequently to discuss daily/weekly job tasks, encouraging employee to let supervisor know when something is unclear, providing instructions auditory or in writing, using remote communication options when appropriate, and using a goal-oriented management method.
An emotional support animal (ESA) is a companion animal that provides therapeutic benefit, such as alleviating or mitigating some symptoms of the disability, to an individual with a mental or psychiatric disability. Emotional support animals are typically dogs and cats, but may include other animals. In order to be prescribed an emotional support animal by a physician or other medical professional, the person seeking such an animal must have a verifiable disability. To be afforded protection under United States federal law, a person must meet the federal definition of disability and must have a note from a physician or other medical professional stating that the person has that disability and that the emotional support animal provides a benefit for the individual with the disability. An animal does not need specific training to become an emotional support animal.
Some individuals can benefit from having a dedicated person with them to help keep them focused, assist with minor day to day tasks and help them operate in social environments that they may not feel comfortable in alone. Allowing an employee to bring a support person to important meetings such as job evaluation or disciplinary meeting to help him ask questions, remember discussion points, and explain results or the purpose of the meeting can be helpful. Support persons can be co-workers, job coaches, or close contacts outside of the place of employment. For more information on support persons as reasonable accommodations, see: "A Support Person as an Accommodation."