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Reasonable Accommodations

Requesting a Reasonable Accommodation

If you are an employee

Tell your supervisor or your Disability Program Coordinator (DPC) what you need and that it’s because you have a disability, you can do this in person, on the phone, by email, in writing, or on DLA Form 1887. If you don’t use DLA Form 1887, the DPC will ask you to fill it out later.
Contact Info for Disability Program Coordinators (DLA Employees Only)

If you are an applicant who needs an accommodation for your interview

Tell the HR Specialist in charge of the job that you applied for that you have a disability and what accommodation you need. The HR specialist’s phone number and email address is listed in the Job Announcement.

What is a Reasonable Accommodation

A Reasonable Accommodation (RA) is anything that DLA can do to allow you to do your job when you have a long-term disability. Your disability would have to limit you when:

  • Doing the essential functions of your job, OR
  • Enjoying the benefits or privileges of your job.

You have to be a qualified person, which means that:

  1. You can do the essential functions of your job, with an accommodation, if you need one.
  2. You have all needed skills, experience, education, certifications, etc.

Some examples of Reasonable Accommodations:

  • Make existing facilities readily accessible
  • Buy or change equipment
  • Get a qualified reader or interpreter
  • Modify your work schedule or make your job part-time
  • Adjust examinations, training materials, or policies
  • Restructure your job
  • Reassign you to a vacant position. (This is used as a last resort.)

Essential Functions

A part of your job may be essential if:

  • Your job exists to do that role.
  • You were hired for your expertise or ability to do that particular task.

DLA will decide which parts of your job are essential, mainly with your position description.

Medical Documents

After you make your request, your DPC may request medical documents to confirm that you have a disability, and to determine your functional limitations – the ways that your disability limit you, such as if you can’t reach above or below a certain height.

Interactive Process

The interactive process starts as soon as you request accommodation. You, your supervisor, and the DPC will work together to find the best accommodation. It’s supposed to be interactive and ongoing.
You should first explain how your disability limits you in performing your job. Next, the three of you will review your functional limitations and find all possible accommodations. Your supervisor will then consult with the DPC and decide which accommodation to approve.

Undue Hardship

Your request for accommodation will be denied if providing the accommodation would cause DLA significant difficulty or expense, based on DLA’s resources and the operation of your specific department.

Interim accommodations

When you request an accommodation, your supervisor will try to give you an interim accommodation as soon as possible. This is a temporary accommodation until your supervisor makes a decision. It may be terminated or modified at any time. If the DPC doesn’t get your medical documents in time, the interim accommodation will be stopped.

Re-evaluation of an accommodation

DLA may elect to re-evaluate whether your accommodation is still:

  • Effective
  • Appropriate
  • Not causing DLA undue hardship.

This is supposed to happen after a change in:

  • Your work environment
  • Business systems, operations, and mission
  • The essential functions of your position
  • Your medical condition
  • Technology or devices that can meet your needs.

The DPC will facilitate the re-evaluation.
You can request a re-evaluation, the DPC can request it, or a management official can request it. If you didn’t request the re-evaluation, the DPC will tell you about it in writing.


Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Do all requests go through the full Reasonable Accommodation process?
  2. When can I request a Reasonable Accommodation?
  3. How long will it take to receive my Reasonable Accommodation?
  4. I am a supervisor. What do I have to do when my employee requests an accommodation?
  5. When does DLA need medical documents?
  6. What if my disability or limitations are obvious?
  7. Who is allowed to see my medical information?
  8. What details do my medical documents need to include?
  9. What if my supervisor requests medical documents?
  10. How can I help my doctor understand what medical documents are needed?
  11. What will the DPC do with my medical documents?
  12. What is an example of an interim accommodation?
  13. I am a supervisor. How should I document interim accommodations?
  14. What happens after my request is approved?
  15. What happens before my request is denied?
  16. What will happen if my request is denied?
  17. What modifications or adjustments aren’t considered reasonable accommodations?
  18. If my request is denied, can I request that my supervisor reconsider their decision?
  19. If my supervisor approves a different accommodation, is that a denial?
  20. If my supervisor approves an accommodation that I don’t think is effective, what can I do?
  21. What if I don’t know what accommodations I need?

Do all requests go through the full Reasonable Accommodation process?

No. If your request is not based on a disability or is temporary in nature, such as for a broken bone, it will just be approved by your supervisor.

When can I request a Reasonable Accommodation?

You can request that DLA accommodate your disability at any time.

How long will it take to receive my Reasonable Accommodation?

Your supervisor is supposed to make a decision within 45 days, but may take longer if the DPC had to wait for your medical documents. If you take too long to give the medical documents, they may close your case and reopen it when they get your documents.

I am a supervisor. What do I have to do when my employee requests an accommodation?

  1. Explain that you will decide whether to approve their request.
  2. Explain that you will decide which accommodation DLA will provide.
  3. Describe what will happen to process their request.
  4. Ensure that communication is clear and ongoing.

When does DLA need medical documents?

When your disability isn’t obvious or known to your supervisor, DLA needs medical documents. If your supervisor believes medical information is necessary, the DPC will ask you to provide reasonable documents about your disability and your functional limitations.

What if my disability or limitations are obvious?

  1. If your disability and limitations are obvious, the DPC won’t request medical documents.
  2. If your disability is obvious but not your limitations, the DPC will request medical documents about your limitations, so they can find options to accommodate you.

Who is allowed to see my medical information?

The DPC will request, evaluate, and store your medical documents. The DPC will only provide medical information that your supervisor needs to process your request, and will only give that information to people who have a need to know.

What details do my medical documents need to include?

Your medical documents need to describe:

  1. The nature of your impairment.
  2. The severity of your impairment.
  3. The duration of your impairment.
  4. The activities that the impairment limits.
  5. The extent to which the impairment limits your ability to perform any activities.
  6. Why the Reasonable Accommodation is needed.

In order be approved, your medical documents must show that you have a disability according to the Americans with Disabilities Act, as amended and explain how you need to be accommodated. If your medical documents do not include all of these elements, the DPC will tell you. You can always submit more medical documents.

What if my supervisor requests medical documents?

Give your medical documents to the DPC.

How can I help my doctor understand what medical documents are needed?

If you have problems getting the right documents from your doctor, you can give your doctor’s contact info to your DPC and fill out a medical release form. The DPC will then send a letter to your doctor asking for the correct medical documents.

What will the DPC do with my medical documents?

The DPC will check that you have a disability, and will tell your supervisor about your functional limitations. The DPC will store your documents in an RA file, which is always separate from your personnel file.

What is an example of an interim accommodation?

Your supervisor may give a temporary adjustment that is not considered a reasonable accommodation.

I am a supervisor. How should I document interim accommodations?

You must clearly document the terms of interim accommodations on a Memorandum for Record. Forward a copy of the memorandum to the DPC, so they can add it to the RA file.

What happens after my request is approved?

Your supervisor will give you DLA Form 1887-2. They will also make sure that you are accommodated.

What happens before my request is denied?

Before your supervisor denies your request, they will have the DPC and the Office of General Counsel review their decision.

What will happen if my request is denied?

If your request for an accommodation is denied, your supervisor will:

  • Explain the reason for the denial on DLA Form 1887-1.
  • Explain your rights.

What modifications or adjustments aren’t considered reasonable accommodations?

  • Eliminating an essential function of your job would not be reasonable.
  • Lowering production standards that are applied uniformly to all employees would not be reasonable. This is true whether the standards are qualitative or quantitative.

If my request is denied, can I request that my supervisor reconsider their decision?

Yes. You can ask the DPC to arrange mediation.
You can also decide to use the EEO Complaint Process, but you must contact an EEO Counselor within 45 days of the denial.

If my supervisor approves a different accommodation, is that a denial?

No. DLA is allowed to give any accommodation that is effective.

If my supervisor approves an accommodation that I don’t think is effective, what can I do?

Try the approved accommodation for 30 days and if you still think it’s not working, talk to your supervisor and the DPC.

What if I don’t know what accommodations I need?

Call your DPC and tell them about any work-related problems that your disability is causing.


Definitions

Essential function

A part of your job that must be done because:

  • Your job exists to do that role.
  • The task can’t be split among enough other employees.
  • You were hired for your expertise or ability to do that particular task.

Functional limitations

The ways that your disability limit you.

Interactive process

The part of the Reasonable Accommodation process when you, your supervisor, and the DPC work together to find the best accommodation possible.

Medical documents

Any information from your doctor. DLA needs your doctor to confirm you have a disability, and to determine your functional limitations.

Person with a Disability

A person who has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities.

Qualified person

A person who can perform the essential functions of the job, with an accommodation, if you need one.

Reasonable Accommodation

Anything that DLA can do to allow you to do your job when you have a long-term disability.

Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990

Listed in Title 42 of the United States Code, from section 12101 to section 12213. The act defines disability and explains when employers must accommodate a person who has a disability. Details of these sections of Title 42 were updated after congress passed the Americans with Disabilities Act Amendments Act of 2008.


Forms

DLA Form 1887 - Confirmation of Request for Reasonable Accommodation

DLA Form 1887-1 - Denial of Reasonable Accommodation Request

DLA Form 1887-2 - Reasonable Accommodation Information Reporting