AskEARN | Accommodations and Advancement Skip to main content

Welcome to AskEARN’s new website. As we transition to our new site, you can still visit EARN’s previous site.

About EARN

The Employer Assistance and Resource Network on Disability Inclusion (EARN) offers information and resources to help employers recruit, hire, retain and advance people with disabilities; build inclusive workplace cultures; and meet diversity, equity, inclusion and accessibility (DEIA) goals. 

Getting Started

Start here to learn how to recruit, hire, retain and advance people with disabilities; why workplace inclusion of people with disabilities matters; and how EARN’s resources can help.

A woman in a wheelchair addresses three colleagues around a small table

    Phases of Employment

  • A woman in a wheelchair shakes hands with a colleague

    Recruit

    Build a pipeline of talent that includes people with disabilities.

  • Two men work at repairing an engine.

    Hire

    Identify people who have the skills and attributes for the job.

  • A woman with a disability wearing a helmet works in a factory

    Retain

    Keep talented employees with disabilities, including those who acquire them on the job.

  • A man uses sign language to communicate.

    Advance

    Ensure that employees with disabilities have equal opportunities for advancement.

News & Events

EARN makes it easy to stay up-to-date on disability employment news and information. Start by subscribing to our monthly newsletter and eblasts, which will connect you to upcoming events, developing news and promising practices in the world of disability diversity and inclusion. And don’t forget to follow EARN on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn

A smiling man with an earpiece sits in a wheelchair

Accommodations and Advancement

Learn about reasonable accommodations and how they can help employees advance in their careers.

Under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), employers are required to provide reasonable accommodations to employees with disabilities who request them, unless doing so would cause undue hardship. This requirement pertains to all phases of employment, including opportunities for advancement.

An employee’s accommodation needs may change as they age or their disability evolves over time, or as their job responsibilities grow as they advance in their career. In the context of advancement opportunities, accommodations can include ensuring that training opportunities are accessible to all employees, providing assistive technology to allow for learning or applying new skills, and periodically assessing the efficacy of current accommodations. 

The ADA requires that employers provide reasonable accommodation for applicants and employees with disabilities, unless doing so would cause “undue hardship.” Visit EARN’s Reasonable Accommodations webpage to learn more about these requirements. 

Ensuring Productivity

One of the benefits of accommodations is increased employee productivity. The effectiveness of accommodations is tied not only to the person and their disability, but also to their job responsibilities and the environment in which they work. Too often, employers assume that the reasonable accommodation process only needs to happen one time, typically when the employee first discloses a disability. However, this “one-and-done” approach does not allow the employee to adapt to changes in their disability, their work environment or the responsibilities of their job. Make it a point to check in on the effectiveness of accommodations on a regular basis. If anything changes, invite the employee to consider additional accommodations that may increase their effectiveness at work. As productivity tools, accommodations help your organization as much as they help the employee.

Ensuring Accessibility 

Technology is increasingly used to facilitate work. To ensure access for employees with disabilities, make sure your technology is accessible; otherwise, employees with disabilities may be denied opportunities to advance in their careers. Ensure that all professional development opportunities offered by your organization, including virtual or in-person trainings (PDF) and meetings and events (PDF), are fully accessible for employees with disabilities, too. To learn more about planning accessible virtual meetings and presentations, read the Partnership on Employment & Accessible Technology's (PEAT) Checklist for an Accessible Virtual Meeting & Presentation.

To learn more about how to ensure workplace technology is accessible for everyone, explore the Be Tech Savvy: Accessible Information and Communication Technology segment of the Inclusion@Work Framework. Your website is an important part of the accessibility picture. For more information, read the fact sheet, 10 Tips for an Accessible Website, developed by EARN and PEAT.