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Disability Disclosure and Reasonable Accommodation

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Meadowbrook Inn

711 Main Street

Blowing Rock, NC 28605

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Disability Disclosure and Reasonable Accommodation

A guarantee of the Americans with Disabilities Act Title I, is the provision of reasonable accommodation to ensure equality in the workplace. Often, employees, employers, and/or professionals are unsure of our respective roles related to disability disclosure and reasonable accommodation.

Often, when employers hear the word “disability” they immediately become concerned with cost and legal liability. Frequently, employers do not understand that they too have rights under ADA. Employees, often do not know that they have responsibilities in disclosing disability and the need for accommodation. A clearer understanding will ensure that job seekers and employees are treated in an ethical, valued, and courteous way when disclosing disability and the need for accommodation.

This presentation will discuss what reasonable accommodation is and what it is not, how to request accommodation, and most importantly, how to do so in a way that is respectful of the employee. The following issues and problems will be addressed: What is disclosure? What is a “Reasonable Accommodation?” When is an accommodation unreasonable?” When can someone get an accommodation? How do I ask for accommodation? What rights and responsibilities do employees have? What rights do employers have? Are people obligated to disclose a disability? When is the “right time” to disclose a need for accommodation to an employer? What are the concerns people have when they disclose a disability and how are they protected?

*This presentation fulfills requirements for Code of Professional Ethics for Rehabilitation Counselors, Section C: Advocacy and Accessibility, C.1.Advocacy, section e and f.

*When engaging in advocacy on behalf of clients, should circumstances require the disclosure of confidential information, rehabilitation counselors obtain and document consent from the client and disclose only minimal information.

Areas of Knowledge and Competency. Rehabilitation counselors are knowledgeable about systems and laws, as well as organizational policies, and how they affect access to employment, education, transportation, housing, civil rights, financial benefits, medical services, and mental health services for individuals with disabilities. They keep current with changes in these areas in order to advocate effectively for clients and/or to facilitate self-advocacy of clients in these areas.

Barry Whaley:

Barry is the Director of the Southeast ADA Center, a project of the Burton Blatt Institute, Syracuse University College of Law where he provides technical assistance and training on the Americans with Disabilities Act. He is currently engaged in research on the inclusive practices of banks and credit unions in the Southeast. Previously, he was project director at the University of Kentucky Human Development Institute working with the Supported Higher Education Project, For many years, he was the Executive Director of Community Employment, Inc. a supported employment provider. Barry has also worked for the Kentucky Office of Vocational Rehabilitation. He is a founding board member and past president of Kentucky APSE.

Barry is an alumna of Indiana University and holds a Master of Science in Mediation, Arbitration, and Conflict Management from Sullivan University.

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Meadowbrook Inn

711 Main Street

Blowing Rock, NC 28605

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