The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) issued an article titled “Providing an Accessible Workplace.” The article provides an overview of the laws that federal agencies must comply with to provide individuals with disabilities access to accommodations to ensure they are able to participate fully in the workplace. It focuses on accommodations that improve access to job facilities, physical spaces, and information technology. Also, it provides information about where agencies can find additional resources to help them comply with anti-discrimination and accessibility laws.
Federal agencies have a legal obligation under Section 501 of the Rehabilitation Act to provide reasonable accommodations, if requested, for their qualified employees and job applicants with disabilities (unless the agency can show that reasonable accommodation would cause an undue hardship). A reasonable accommodation, such as a change in the work environment or the way in which the work is performed, helps ensure that such federal employees will be able to perform the essential functions of their positions and enjoy all the benefits and privileges of employment enjoyed by non-disabled employees.
Additionally, on June 25, 2021, President Biden signed Executive Order 14035, which commenced a coordinated, governmentwide effort to ensure that the federal workforce—as the nation’s largest employer—serves as a model for diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility.
Federal agencies are prohibited from discriminating on the basis of disability in regard to the hiring, compensation, training, advancement, or discharge of employees. The standards used to determine whether a federal agency discriminated against an individual with a disability are the same standards applied under the American with Disabilities Act.
The EEOC advances opportunity in the workplace by enforcing federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination.
More information is available at www.eeoc.gov.