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    The Premier AT Conference

Onsite Work or Work at Home? Hybrid Workforce Accommodations

Description
As reopening continues, employers are seeking a balance between onsite and remote work. Changes in work location may complicate accommodation needs for workers with disabilities. Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, fluctuating policies, security issues, and equipment distribution challenges have confounded efforts to provide effective accommodations across industries. Even straightforward accommodations have posed unique challenges. When multifaceted disabilities intersect with these challenges, service providers, employees, and employers must work toward balancing competing needs. This effort includes negotiation and openness to flexible and practical solutions to formalize and stabilize improvised or temporary accommodations. This presentation will highlight scenarios where JAN experts were called upon to provide practical guidance and customized accommodation solutions to enable workers with disabilities to overcome workplace barriers involving equipment and teleworking policies, modifications to accommodations due to workplace reentry, and emerging requests arising from changing needs. Cost/benefit data will be provided when available. Hybrid workforce challenges aren’t unique to any one industry or job role. These types of issues can be seen in a variety of industries including administrative and business services, education, transportation, and healthcare. Industry standards and safety protocols often complicate the process of selecting equipment and modifying processes to meet individual accommodation needs. A reasonable accommodation is any change in the work environment or in the way things are usually done that results in an equal employment opportunity for an individual with a disability. Examples of reasonable accommodations include making existing facilities accessible, job restructuring, modifying work schedules, reassignment, acquiring or modifying equipment or devices, adjusting or modifying policies, and providing qualified readers or interpreters (EEOC, 1992). From screen magnification software to standing desks, AT is an essential part of accommodating common job tasks. For hybrid workers or those transitioning between onsite and remote work, differing equipment may necessitate alternative accommodation approaches. It will likely be necessary to use a combination of AT and nontechnical accommodations so that an effective solution can be found. Implementing accommodations across onsite and remote work settings is challenging. Understanding the limitations, work environment, and reasonableness of options simplifies the selection of reasonable accommodations and AT options leading to successful outcomes. Additional reported benefits may include increased productivity, attendance, job retention, and workplace safety. Using appropriate resources facilitates the process of choosing among effective accommodation solutions.  
Audience
  • Disability Specific
  • Healthcare & Rehabilitation
  • Employment & Human Resources
Audience Level
Intermediate  
Session Summary (Abstract)
This presentation will feature scenarios in which an interactive process was used to successfully identity and implement reasonable accommodations for employees and job seekers with disabilities in remote, onsite, and hybrid settings, as well as resources for identifying and providing effective accommodations.  
Session Type
General Track  
Topics
  • Blind/Low Vision
  • Cognitive & Learning Disabilities
  • Deaf and Hard of Hearing
  • Employment & Workplace
  • School-to-Work Transitioning

Presenter

  • Teresa Goddard
    Job Accommodation Network (JAN)

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