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Diversity and Inclusion

Reasonable Accommodation (RA)

Definition of Reasonable Accommodation

A reasonable accommodation (RA) is any change in the work environment (or in the way things are usually done) to help a person with a disability:

  • Apply for a job;
  • Perform the duties of a job; or
  • Enjoy the benefits and privileges of employment.

Definition of Personal Assistance

Personal Assistance Services (PAS) are non-medical services that help individuals with targeted disability:

  • On January 3, 2017, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) issued a Final Rule [PDF] amending the regulations implementing Section 501 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. (29 C.F.R. ยงยง 1614.203, 601(f))
  • PAS allow employees to participate in the workplace.
  • PAS means assistance with performing activities of daily living that an individual would typically perform if he or she did not have a disability, and that is not otherwise required as a reasonable accommodation.
  • Agencies are required to provide PAS as a form of affirmative action that goes beyond nondiscrimination obligations.
  • Agencies are required to provide PAS to current employees and future employees.
  • Agencies are required to provide PAS during telework.
  • Agencies are required to provide PAS during employer-sponsored events such as a holiday party.

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Regulation Description
VA Handbook 5975.1, Processing Requests for Reasonable Accommodation [PDF] U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Reasonable Accommodation Handbook
U.S. Department of Defense's Computer Accommodation Program (CAP) Provide assistive technology and accommodation to support individuals with disability throughout the federal government
The Rehabilitation Act of 1973 Prohibits discrimination based on disability and encourages employment within the federal sector
The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 Prohibits discrimination and encourages employment for individuals who have disabilities within both the private and public sector
American with Disabilities Amendments Act of 2008 Expanded the definition of what was covered as a disability to allow more people to be covered under the law

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Lists: Reasonable Accommodation Coordinators

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Library: Reasonable Accommodation

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