JAN Workplace Accommodation ToolkitJob Accommodation Network

Building Your Inclusive Workplace

Tools for Recruiters, Hiring Managers, and Supervisors

The Basics

Understanding Accommodation and Inclusion

Workplace Accommodation Process

The Interactive Process

Just-in-Time Training Videos

Types of Workplace Accommodations

Successful Workplace Accommodations Examples

Resource Articles

Important to Note: Confidentiality


Tools for Reasonable Accommodation (RA) Subject Matter Expert (SME)/Consultant

The Basics

What To Do First

Workplace Accommodation Process

The Interactive Process

Just-in-Time Training Videos

Types of Workplace Accommodations

Successful Workplace Accommodation Examples

Sample Accommodation Program Metrics

Building on a Strong Foundation, Best and Emerging Practices

Resource Articles

Equal Employment Opportunity Commission Guidance Documents

Suggested Conferences and Training

Important to Note: Confidentiality

Developing an Employee Resource Group


Tools for Employees and Co-workers

The Basics

Disclosure and Requesting an Accommodation

Types of Workplace Accommodations

Successful Workplace Accommodations Examples

Sample Accommodation Request Form

Other Things to Know


About the Job Accommodation Network (JAN)?

The Job Accommodation Network (JAN) is the leading source of free, expert, and confidential one-on-one guidance on reasonable accommodation (RA) in the workplace, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and related legislation, and disability employment issues. Working toward practical solutions that benefit both employer and employee, JAN helps people with disabilities enhance their employability and shows employers how to capitalize on the value and talent that people with disabilities add to the workplace. This is important, as disability impacts us all.


One in five American adults has a disability. (US Census Bureau)


JAN is one of several technical assistance services provided by the U.S. Department of Labor's Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP). Its development has been achieved through the collaborative efforts of ODEP, West Virginia University, and private industry throughout North America


About the JAN Workplace Accommodation Toolkit

JAN’s free online workplace accommodation toolkit provides employers with the tools needed to create a more disability-inclusive and compliant workplace.

As more and more of us are affected by disability, workplaces are impacted.

Disability Impacts all of us.

  • Communities
  • Livelihood
  • Health

A snapshot of disability in the United States.

  • 22 percent of adults in the United States have some type of disability.
  • The percentage of people living with select disabilities in each state is highest in the Southeast.

Percentage of adults with select functional disability types*:

  • 13 percent of people with a disability have a mobility disability with serious difficulty walking or climbing stairs.
  • 10.6 percent of people with a disability have a cognition disability with serious difficulty concentrating, remembering or making decisions.
  • 6.5 percent of people with a disability have an independent living disability with difficulty doing errands alone such as visiting a doctor’s office or shopping.
  • 4.6 percent of people with a disability have a vision disability with blindness or serious difficulty seeing even when wearing glasses.
  • 3.6 percent of people with a disability have a self-care disability with difficulty dressing or bathing.

* This data source does not assess deafness or serious difficulty hearing. Therefore state-level data on the number of people who have hearing difficulties was not collected and results in a likely underestimate in total number of people with disabilities in the U.S.

Brought to you by the National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities. The Division of Human Development and Disability.




Some people are in denial about disability.

Americans Are In Denial About Disability

Workers believe their chance of becoming disabled is "2% or less." In reality:

  • 25% of American workers will become disabled for 3 or more months before they retire.
  • 1 in 8 workers will be disabled for 5 years or more during their working career.
  • Approximately 90% of disabilities are caused by illness rather than accident. 10% are caused by accidents. Fewer than 5% of disabling accidents are work-related.
  • 65% of working Americans say they could not cover living expenses for one year without income. 38% could not pay their bills for more than 3 months.

Source: Council for Disability Awareness.


The JAN Workplace Accommodation Toolkit was developed in light of these trends. The Toolkit enables employers to educate their applicants and employees about accommodations. It is our belief ACCOMMODATIONS = EQUAL OPPORTUNITY = INCLUSION.




How can the toolkit help?

At JAN, we hear from many organizations who are seeking to develop a comprehensive accommodation process that Human Resources professionals, hiring managers, supervisors, and others can consistently apply. This suite of tools contains policies and forms for accommodating people with disabilities throughout their employment lifecycle — from application to return-to-work and phased retirement.

Recruitment, Selection, Performance, Succession, Development, Transition

Graphic credited to yhrct.com

JAN’s workplace accommodation toolkit contains sample policies and practices, templates, and checklists, as well as emerging approaches that companies can try out and customize for their workplace needs. The toolkit is a free and comprehensive resource for organizations that are seeking to refresh or develop their accommodation policies and processes, leveraging the best proven resources and practices available to date that have been utilized in effectively managing disability-related questions.



Absence Management - A program that attempts to control company absences due to illness or injury with an emphasis on controlling unexplained and excessive absenteeism. Broader programs may be known as “total absence management.”

Accessibility - Refers to the design of products, devices, services, or environments for people with disabilities. The concept of accessible design ensures both "direct access" (i.e. unassisted) and "indirect access" meaning compatibility with a person's assistive technology (for example, computer screen readers).

ADA/ADAAA – A Federal civil rights law that prohibits discrimination against individuals with disabilities in all areas of public life, including jobs, schools, transportation, and all public and private places that are open to the general public. The purpose of the law is to make sure that people with disabilities have the same rights and opportunities as everyone else. Amendments to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) signed into law on September 25, 2008, clarify and reiterate who is covered by the law’s civil rights protections. The “ADA Amendments Act of 2008” revises the definition of “disability” to more broadly encompass impairments that substantially limit a major life activity. For more information, see JAN's ADA Library

Centralized Accommodation Fund - Company-wide general fund that would help to pay for employee accommodations. This helps to reduce the strain on hiring managers and supervisors about the needed budget for hiring people with disabilities. For more information, see JAN's ENews article on centralized accommodation funds

Disability - For purposes of the ADA/ADAAA the term 'disability' means, with respect to an individual--a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities of such individual; a record of such an impairment; or being regarded as having such an impairment. For more information, see JAN's information on the definition of disability

Essential Functions – Duties that are fundamental to a position that the individual holds or desires that he/she cannot do the job without performing them. A function can be “essential” if, among other things:

  • The position exists specifically to perform that function
  • Only a limited number of employees are available to perform the function
  • The function is so specialized and the individual is hired based on their ability to perform the function
  • The function cannot be delegated.

Evidence of what constitutes an essential function may include, but is not limited to: reasonable accommodation specialists judgment; written job descriptions; the amount and/or proportion of time spent performing the function; the consequences of not requiring a function; and the work experience of incumbents.

Expedited Accommodation Procurement - The process of speeding up the procurement and implementation of necessary job related accommodations. For example, some companies have I-buy systems that eliminate the need for invoicing. For more information, see JAN's ENews article on centralized accommodation funds

FMLA – A Federal law that entitles eligible employees of covered employers to take unpaid, job-protected leave for specified family and medical reasons with continuation of group health insurance coverage under the same terms and conditions as if the employee had not taken leave. For more information, see JAN's FMLA information page

Harmonizing Accommodation Process - The process of bringing consistency to the accommodation process so that it is better understood by the employer and the employee. There has been a need to streamline processes that help to identify personnel roles and responsibilities. For more information, see JAN's ENews article on centralized accommodation funds

Interactive Process - A process where employers and applicants/employees with disabilities who request accommodations work together to identify and implement effective reasonable accommodation. For more information, see JAN's Interactive Process Guide

Job Analysis - Method of identification of the essential functions of an occupation to determine necessary skills for successful job performance. This includes: physical and mental requirements, stress, work environment, and physical hazards

Job Description - A document developed by the employer that provides an understanding the duties and responsibilities related to a job. A job description typically consists of six major components: 1) essential job functions; 2) knowledge and critical skills; 3) physical demands; 4) environmental factors; 5) the roles of the ADA and other federal laws such as the Occupational Safety Health Act (OSH Act); and 6) any explanatory information that may be necessary to clarify job duties or responsibilities. For more information, see JAN's Job Description resources

Reasonable Accommodation – A change or adjustment that enables a person with a disability to apply for a job, perform job duties, or enjoy the benefits and privileges of employment that are equal to those enjoyed by similarly situated employees without disabilities. The change/adjustment promotes equal employment opportunity for an individual with a disability. For more information, see EEOC's Enforcement Guidance: Reasonable Accommodation and Undue Hardship Under the Americans with Disabilities Act

Stay at Work (SAW)/Return to Work (RTW) - An organized effort on the part of the employer to help recovering employees return to or stay at work. This can include but is not limited to: temporarily limited hours, modified duties, or transitional jobs as well as permanent accommodations including modified or alternate jobs. For more information, see the US Department of Labor's resource page on Stay at Work/Return to Work. Information specific to Return-to-Work can be found on JAN's Return-to-Work topic page.

Task Bank - A list of previously identified jobs in various departments within a company. A task bank can be a productive method to match employees with injuries, chronic health conditions, or disabilities with specific job tasks. This job match can facilitate an employees return-to-work or in some circumstances assist with retaining an employee (e.g. an employee with cancer undergoing chemotherapy). This type of tool is highly important for someone who is managing RTW/SAW programs. For more information, see this whitepaper on The Task Bank

Third Party Administrator (TPA) - A Third Party Administrator (TPA) is an organization that processes claims and performs other administrative services in accordance with a service contract, usually in the field of employee benefits like Short Term/Long Term Disability(STD/LTD), Workers’ Compensation, FMLA, and the ADA reasonable accommodation process.

Transitional Work - This is temporary work that helps to bridge the gap to a full recovery for an injured (occupational or non-occupational) employee. This type of work tends to be less physically and mentally demanding.


Thank you to the following companies who made the time to share their reasonable accommodation insights, best practices, and unmet needs.  We could not have produced this toolkit without your generous and thoughtful collaboration.

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