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Requesting a Reasonable Accommodation

An accommodation is a change involving the workplace that enables a person with a disability to enjoy equal employment opportunities. Reasonable accommodations remove barriers that prevent people with disabilities from applying for, or performing jobs for which they are qualified. It enables agencies to expand the pool of qualified workers thus allowing the agencies to benefit from the talents of people who might otherwise be arbitrarily barred from employment.

There are Three Categories of Reasonable Accommodation:

  1. Modification or adjustments to a job application process to permit an individual with a disability to be considered for a job (such as providing application forms in alternative formats like large print or Braille).
  2. Modification or adjustments necessary to enable a qualified individual with a disability to perform the essential functions of the job (such as providing sign language interpreters).
  3. Modifications or adjustments that enable employees with disabilities to enjoy equal benefits and privileges of employment (such as removing physical barriers in an office cafeteria).

Procedures for Requesting Reasonable Accommodation

Procedures for requesting reasonable accommodation are being revised by EEOC and will soon be available to all NIH Institutes and Centers. Each IC may be able to adopt its own procedures. However, all procedures must comply with the requirements set forth in EEOC's Policy Guidance No. 915.002, Establishing Procedures to Facilitate the Provisions of Reasonable Accommodation and Executive Order 13164. Until they are available, employees are encouraged to utilize EEOC Policy Guidance No. 915.002. Requests for accommodation can be made to the requester's immediate supervisor either verbally or in writing.

However, it is strongly advised that the requester and supervisor maintain a written copy of each request.

EEOC Policy Guidance No. 915.003 can be found at:

NIH Policy Manual 2204 Reasonable Accommodations can be found at: