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An agency is not required to make an accommodation if it can demonstrate that providing the accommodation would impose an undue hardship on its everyday operations. An undue hardship is an action that requires "significant difficulty or expense" in relation to:
As the regulation is implemented and used by agencies, this list may grow to include other types of certification. OPM will issue additional guidance to agencies on what constitutes "appropriate documentation" on an "as needed" basis.
The interview must focus on abilities and how the applicant will accomplish tasks and meet the goals and objectives of the position. Ask all applicants the same questions including whether or not they have any needs that will require reasonable accommodation.
Do not ask specific questions about an applicant's disability even if the disability is obvious. Some applicants will voluntarily explain how their disability relates to their ability to do the job, but others will not. Even if the applicant does discuss a disability, do not ask any questions about the disability that are not relevant to the actual position. It is important not to speculate about how you would perform a specific job if you had the applicant’s disability.
For more tips on interviewing people with disabilities, visit the Mainstream website and the Job Accommodation Network (JAN) website.
As with all reasonable accommodations, start with the employee. The accommodation needed for traveling will vary according to a person's disability and the mode, frequency and duration of travel. Constant travel is far different from an occasional trip. Local travel needs are far different from international air travel needs.
For an employee who uses the services of an interpreter, reader, or personal assistant, it may be a matter of ensuring that the personal assistant, reader, or interpreter accompany the individual on a trip or be available once the individual reaches the destination. The General Services Administration travel regulations also provide authority to allow airline travel by first-class accommodation when a person with a disability is unable to travel standard coach because of space requirements or mobility limitations.
In some cases, travel may not be involved in a critical job function, and it may be possible to redistribute duties in a work center, giving travel duties to some employees and other duties to those employees who have limitations with regard to travel. Sometimes, after looking at the job requirements and consulting with the individual and professional resources on job accommodations, you may find that the particular job requirements and the particular needs/limitations of a person with a disability are simply not compatible.The important point is not to assume that travel is impossible for a disabled person. In many situations, with a little thought and advance planning, a person with a disability can perform required travel and effectively accomplish the requirements of his/her job.
For helpful information for travelers with disabilities, see the Disability.gov website.
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