The tremendous gap that exists is in the training of human resource professionals around the recruitment and selection of persons with disabilities was highlighted during a recent meeting with a company in the manufacturing sector who wishes to proactively employ persons with disabilities.
There is a tendency for such companies to approach us with the request to identify positions which will suit persons with disabilities. Well… how long is a piece of string? The fact is that any job could suit someone with a disability, depending on the job and its essential functions, the work environment and the person’s specific impairment.
Reasonable accommodation refers to “necessary and appropriate modification and adjustments, as well as assistive devices and technology, not imposing a situation, where needed in a particular case, to ensure persons with disabilities the enjoyment or exercise on an equal basis with others of all human rights and fundamental freedoms”.
The purpose of reasonable accommodation is to reduce the impact of the impairment on the person’s capacity to fill the essential functions of the job. Accommodations, which are modifications or alterations to the way a job is usually performed, should make it possible for a suitably qualified person with a disability to perform as everyone else.
Reasonable accommodation may include –
Accommodations should always be made according to the particular needs of the individual concerned and the nature of the essential requirements of the job. Some examples of reasonable accommodations are –
Solution : At minimal cost to the employer, the consultant is allowed to type with a mouth stick or use voice input/output, both which allow the consultant to fall within the acceptable typing speed range.
Solution : The bookkeeper’s colleagues were sensitised to the disability. The bookkeeper communicates via email, faxes or written messages with colleagues. Some colleagues have opted to learn basic Sign Language. On rare occasions, when required for client or staff meetings, an interpreter is retained on a consultant basis by the firm.
Solution : The individual benefits from sound amplification technology. The phone systems at the work environment, along with portable earphones for the computer technician’s cellphone, were furnished with appropriate devices to amplify the sound.
Solution : The supervisors are sensitised on how to more appropriately interact with the consultant and how to space the workload.
There are, of course, situations where even reasonable accommodations cannot afford the worker the opportunity to meet the basic requirements of the job or where such accommodations cause undue hardship to the employer.
Persons with disabilities are an asset to any company, not a liability. It really comes down to truly equal treatment in the workplace.
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I’m a lady living with disability sustained after car accident .Was previously a qualified Nursing sister,unfortunately department of health hasn’t been able to place me in a suitable job that accommodate my disability as their busary holder.