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Employees or applicants with disabilities who need reasonable accommodation are responsible for making their needs known to the appropriate official. Supervisors are responsible for properly responding to requests for accommodation from their employees. When an individual decides to request accommodation, the individual or his/her representative must let the employer know that s/he needs an adjustment or change at work for a reason related to a medical condition.
The employer and the individual with a disability should engage in an informal process to clarify what the individual needs and identify the appropriate reasonable accommodation.
An individual who is granted a reasonable accommodation might not receive the exact form of accommodation requested. The deciding official has the discretion to identify reasonable and appropriate alternatives.
Generally the agency (employer) must bear the costs of providing reasonable accommodation. For more information see the amended Rehabilitation Act of 1973.
In addition, Federal agencies may have several resources to draw upon when seeking support for reasonable accommodation. Sometimes other agencies have a role in funding the cost of an accommodation. For example, the Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment Service of the Department of Veterans Affairs may have funds to assist employers in providing reasonable accommodations for veterans with disabilities. The Computer/Electronic Accommodations Program (CAP) in the Department of Defense provides reasonable accommodations such as assistive technology, devices and support services for free to Federal agencies who have a partnership agreement with CAP.
Applicants and employees are not expected or required to bear the costs of reasonable accommodations. Check with the agency personnel office, disability coordinator, or EEO office to see how requests for accommodation are handled at a particular agency.
An individual with a disability:
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