Employees with disabilities are protected by laws against discrimination on the basis of disability.
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) has stipulated regulations that mandate employers to provide equal treatment and opportunity for employees with disabilities. ADA mandates employers to provide reasonable accommodation for approved types of disabilities. Similarly, it has delineated rights and responsibilities of employees and employers.
ADA defines disability as an impairment that limits one or more major function in life. It may be in seeing, hearing, walking, speaking, and moving. If the employee can overcome the disability using equipment or aids, and meet the job qualifications; the employer must provide equal employment opportunity.
The employer is prohibited from committing acts of:
1. Classifying employees with disabilities to prevent equal status or opportunity with regular employees.
2. Imposing standards that would make an employee with disability disqualified for the position.
3. Disclosing the rights of employees with disabilities in the workplace.
Employees with disabilities may use technological aids to overcome impairment and perform work responsibilities. The employee may negotiate for reasonable accommodation.
The employer must consider the request of the employee with regards to work station, equipment, or aids that will be needed for him or her to perform work duties. Accommodation may also include rescheduling, sick or medical leave, modifying work duties, and other tools.
ADA evaluates the employee on whether he or she has a qualified "disability" status. A simple nearsightedness or farsightedness does not qualify as a disability. Common approved disability involves the use of wheelchair, crane, or other walking and moving aids. Blindness and deafness may also qualify.
How to negotiate for reasonable accommodation:
1. If the human resource manager has finished asking fair questions assessing your qualification for the job, you may open a conversation about your disability.
2. Suggest how you can perform the work responsibilities with the help of some needed technological aids.
3. Inform the human resource manager on the possible ways to have the technological aid. It may be through a government sponsored agency, the employer's resources, or supplement your existing aid.
4. Discuss how the process of retrieving a technological aid will not strain the company's financial resources. Assert how you can be a valuable asset for the company.
5. Be sensitive and cautious of questions and responses. Assert your right, but at the same time look for ways to help the company provide your needed equipments.
If you have suffered discrimination on the basis of your disability, you may file a claim. Make sure you have enough evidence and documents to substantiate your case.