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Reasonable Accommodations

A reasonable accommodation is any change in the work environment, or the way things are customarily done that would enable a qualified individual with a disability to enjoy equal employment opportunities.

Reasonable accommodations cover the entire employment spectrum, from the application process through hiring, training, and other benefits and privileges of employment. Reasonable accommodations vary and include, but are not limited to, assistive technology such as computer hardware and software, telecommunications devices for the deaf (TDD), sign language interpreters and personal assistants, job restructuring, leave, modified and part time schedules, modified workplace policies, and reassignments.

The determination of what type of reasonable accommodation is needed must be the result of an interactive dialogue between the person with a disability and the supervisor. Employees with disabilities must inform management either orally or in writing of their need for accommodation. The employee with a disability describes the problem, and can, but does not have to, specify the accommodation needed.

A manager should initiate the reasonable accommodation interactive process without being asked if s/he knows that the employee has a disability, knows or has reason to know that the employee is experiencing workplace problems because of the disability, and knows, or has reason to know the disability prevents the employee from requesting a reasonable accommodation. If the individual states s/he does not need reasonable accommodation, USGS will have fulfilled its obligation. The DEO aids in determining the type of accommodation needed and, in most cases, can also provide financial assistance in obtaining the accommodation.

For more information on the DOI Reasonable Accommodations Programs please visit