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Frequently Asked Questions Assessment Policy

Are we required to provide the assessment accommodation specifically requested by the applicant?

No, the agency does not have to provide the accommodation specifically requested by the applicant.  The only requirement is that the accommodation be effective.  It does not have to be the best accommodation, or even the one specifically requested by the applicant.  Please see the following excerpts:

 

Technical Assistance Manual:  Title I of the ADA

(http://askjan.org/links/ADAtam1.html)

III.THE REASONABLE ACCOMMODATION OBLIGATION

 

3.4 Some Basic Principles of Reasonable Accommodation

"A reasonable accommodation must be an effective accommodation. It must provide an opportunity for a person with a disability to achieve the same level of performance or to enjoy benefits or privileges equal to those of an average similarly-situated non-disabled person.  However, the accommodation does not have to ensure equal results or provide exactly the same benefits or privileges.

 

A reasonable accommodation need not be the best accommodation available, as long as it is effective for the purpose; that is, it gives the person with a disability an equal opportunity to be considered for a job, to perform the essential functions of the job, or to enjoy equal benefits and privileges of the job."

 

Enforcement Guidance:  Reasonable Accommodation and Undue Hardship Under the Americans with Disabilities Act
(http://www.eeoc.gov/policy/docs/accommodation.html)

 

9.  Is an employer required to provide the reasonable accommodation that the individual wants?

 

"The employer may choose among reasonable accommodations as long as the chosen accommodation is effective.  Thus, as part of the interactive process, the employer may offer alternative suggestions for reasonable accommodations and discuss their effectiveness in removing the workplace barrier that is impeding the individual with a disability.

 

If there are two possible reasonable accommodations, and one costs more or is more burdensome than the other, the employer may choose the less expensive or burdensome accommodation as long as it is effective (i.e., it would remove a workplace barrier, thereby providing the individual with an equal opportunity to apply for a position, to perform the essential functions of a position, or to gain equal access to a benefit or privilege of employment).  Similarly, when there are two or more effective accommodations, the employer may choose the one that is easier to provide.  In either situation, the employer does not have to show that it is an undue hardship to provide the more expensive or more difficult accommodation.  If more than one accommodation is effective, 'the preference of the individual with a disability should be given primary consideration.  However, the employer providing the accommodation has the ultimate discretion to choose between effective accommodations.' (29 C.F.R. pt. 1630 app. §1630.9 (1997)."

 

For more information regarding assessment accommodations, please contact Assessment_Information@opm.gov.

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