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Requesting a Reasonable Accommodation

Contact Info for Disability Program Coordinators (DLA Employees Only)
If you are a new employee who needs an accommodation, call the main number of your servicing EEO office and ask to speak to the DPC.

Forms

Confirmation of Request for Reasonable Accommodation DLA-1887
Denial of Reasonable Accommodation Request DLA-1887-1
Reasonable Accommodation Information Reporting DLA-1887-2


Frequently Asked Questions

When can an employee request a Reasonable Accommodation?
Who is a qualified person with a disability?
What is a Reasonable Accommodation?
How does the process begin?
Should the request be verbal or in writing?
When is medical documentation necessary?
Who gets to see my medical documentation?
What type of medical documentation is required under the ADA?
How can I make sure that my medical professional understands the process and what type of medical documentation is needed?
What happens once the medical documentation is received?
What if the decision-maker denies my request for Reasonable Accommodation?
Are there modifications or adjustments that are not considered to be forms of reasonable accommodation?
Do I have appeal rights if my Reasonable Accommodation Request is denied?
What happens once my request is approved?


When can an employee request a Reasonable Accommodation?

An employee can request the agency to provide them with a reasonable accommodation when they have a long-term or permanent disability that substantially limits them in performing the essential functions of their position, or enjoying equal benefits or privileges. Reasonable accommodations are not meant for temporary conditions.

Who is a qualified person with a disability?

A qualified employee or applicant with a disability is an individual who, with or without reasonable accommodation, can perform the essential functions of the job.

What is a Reasonable Accommodation?

A Reasonable Accommodation is any change in the work environment or in the way activities are customarily done that would enable a qualified individual with a disability to enjoy equal employment opportunities and to be able to perform the essential functions of their positions.

How does the process begin?

The process begins with the employee having a conversation with the decision-maker.

  • If the request involves special (ergonomic) furniture or computer software/equipment, the decision-maker is the relevant Disability Program Manager (DPM).
  • If the request involves any other accommodation, usually the 1st line supervisor would be the decision-maker.
The discussion between the employee and the decision-maker should involve the employee explaining (specifically) how their disability limits them in performing their job functions, and it should also involve a discussion of possible solutions. It is also the responsibility of the decision-maker:
  • To explain that they will be making the decision;
  • To describe what will happen during the processing of the request;
  • To ensure that communication is on-going and clear.

Should the request be verbal or in writing?

The request can be verbal, but should be followed up by a written request. The DLA Form 1887, Confirmation of Request for Reasonable Accommodation, can be used for the written request. The DLA Form 1887 should be provided to the decision-maker and the relevant DPM (if the DPM is not the decision-maker).

When is medical documentation necessary?

DLA is entitled to know that an employee or applicant has a disability that requires a Reasonable Accommodation. In some cases the disability and the need for the accommodation will be obvious or otherwise known to the decision-maker. In these cases, DLA will not seek any further medical information. However, when a disability and/or need for the Reasonable Accommodation is not obvious or otherwise already known to the decision-maker, DLA may require that the individual provide reasonable documentation about the disability and his/her functional limitations. If a decision-maker believes medical information is necessary in order to evaluate a request for an Reasonable Accommodation, s/he will make a request to the DPM to obtain such information.

Who gets to see my medical documentation?

The DPM is responsible for requesting, receiving, evaluating, and storing medical documentation in accordance with PII/Privacy Act policies and guidance. The DPM will only provide medical information that is necessary for the decision-maker to process the request. Medical information will only be provided on a need-to-know basis.

What type of medical documentation is required under the ADA?

Documentation is sufficient if:

  1. It describes the nature, severity, and duration of the employee's impairment, the activity or activities that the impairment limits, and the extent to which the impairment limits the employee's ability to perform the activity or activities; and
  2. It substantiates why the Reasonable Accommodation is needed.
Documentation is insufficient if it does not specify the existence of a disability covered under the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended, and the ADA Amendments Act of 2008 and explain the need for the reasonable accommodation. PRESCRIPTION PAD NOTES ARE USUALLY NOT SUFFICIENT. MEDICAL DOCUMENTATION MUST MEET CRITERIA ABOVE. The DPM is the final authority on the need for medical documentation. Medical documentation is not to be provided to the supervisor. This protects the employee and the supervisor.

How can I make sure that my medical professional understands the process and what type of medical documentation is needed?

To make sure that the proper medical documentation is received, the employee can provide the DPM with the name, address, telephone and fax numbers of their doctor. The DPM will provide the employee with a Medical Release Form. The DPM can then prepare a letter requesting the medical documentation. The letter will explain that the employee is requesting a Reasonable Accommodation, how the process works, and what type of medical documentation is needed, and why.

What happens once the medical documentation is received?

The DPM will evaluate the medical documentation to ensure that it meets the criteria of the DLA Reasonable Accommodation Procedures and the ADA guidance. If the medical information does not meet the criteria, the DPM will let the employee know how the medical documentation is not sufficient. The employee can then return to their medical professional to obtain the appropriate medical information. IT IS THE RESPONSIBILITY OF THE EMPLOYEE TO PROVIDE THE APPROPRIATE MEDICAL DOCUMENTATION. IT IS THE RESPONSIBILITY IF THE EMPLOYEE TO STAY IN CONTACT WITH THEIR MEDICAL PROFESSIONAL CONCERNING THE STATUS OF THE MEDICAL INFORMATION. If the medical documentation meets the criteria, then the DPM will provide the decision-maker with only the information needed to make a decision.

What if the decision-maker denies my request for Reasonable Accommodation?

If the decision-maker denies your request for a Reasonable Accommodation:

  • S/he should provide the denial in writing in specific terms - this will be documented on DLA Form 1887-1, Denial of Reasonable Accommodation;
  • The denial should provide the employee's rights of redress;
  • The denial will be provided to the employee after it is reviewed by the DPM and the Office of Counsel.

Are there modifications or adjustments that are not considered to be forms of reasonable accommodation?

Yes. An employer does not have to eliminate an essential function, i.e., a fundamental duty of the position. This is because a person with a disability who is unable to perform the essential functions, with or without reasonable accommodation, is not a "qualified" individual with a disability within the meaning of the ADA. Also, an employer is not required to lower production standards - whether qualitative or quantitative - that are applied uniformly to employees with and without disabilities.

Do I have appeal rights if my Reasonable Accommodation Request is denied?

Yes. You have the right to reconsideration. You may ask the decision-maker to review your reconsideration request and make a decision. If you are not satisfied with the outcome of the reconsideration review with the decision-maker, you have the right to have your request for reconsideration reviewed at a higher management level.

What happens once my request is approved?

The decision-maker will provide you the approval in writing, and see that the terms of the approval are coordinated. The decision-maker will fill out DLA Form 1887-2, Reasonable Accommodation Information Reporting Form.