Tip #1 – Don’t Get Hung Up On Disability Definition Following the 2008 enactment of the Americans With Disabilities Amendments Act (ADAAA), it is easier for an individual seeking protection under the ADA to establish that he or she has a disability within the meaning of the statute.
In fact, the ADAAA states that the definition of disability should be interpreted in favor of broad coverage of individuals.
The most widely mentioned indirect benefits employers received were: (1) the accommodation ultimately improved interactions with co-workers, (2) the accommodation increased overall company morale, and (3) the accommodation increased overall company productivity.
The following table gives the percentage of employers who reported experiencing direct and indirect benefits as a result of having made an accommodation.
These benefits were obtained with little investment.
The employers in the study reported that a high percentage (59%) of accommodations cost absolutely nothing to make, while the rest typically cost only 0.
In addition, JAN, in partnership with the West Virginia University School of Social Work (formerly School of Applied Social Sciences), interviewed 1,188 employers between June 28, 2008, and July 31, 2017.In addition, the individuals tended to be fairly well-educated, with 55% having a college degree or higher.Of the employers who gave cost information related to accommodations they had provided, 420 out of 712 (59%) said the accommodations needed by employees cost absolutely nothing. Only 25 (4%) said the accommodation resulted in an ongoing, annual cost to the company and 9 (1%) said the accommodation required a combination of one-time and annual costs; however, too few of these employers provided cost data to report with accuracy.Mental conditions, such as depression, PTSD, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, and obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), need not be permanent or severe to be deemed a disability.Instead, as long as the condition substantially limits a major limit activity, such as the individual’s ability to concentrate, interact with others, communicate, sleep, eat, learn, think, or regulate emotions, it will be considered a disability.
Employers who had implemented accommodations by the time they were interviewed were asked to rank the effectiveness of the accommodations on a scale of 1 to 5, with 5 being extremely effective.