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Phone Calls to ODEP - Kennesaw State University

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There are 58 million people
with disabilities in the U.S.,
making them the nation’s
largest minority.
Only 1/4 of working age
people with disabilities say
they need special
accommodations to do their
jobs.
Workplace Etiquette
• Remember that a person with a
disability is a person like anyone
else. Make the effort to discover the
person’s abilities and
accomplishments.
• Relax. If you don’t know what to do
or say, allow the person who has a
disability to guide you.
Workplace Etiquette
• Offer assistance if asked or if the
need seems obvious, but don’t
overdo it or insist on it. Respect the
person’s independence.
• Don’t assume the disabled person
can’t perform a certain task. Ask the
person how it can be accomplished.
Workplace Etiquette
• Be considerate of the extra time it might
take for a person with a disability to get
things said or done. Let the person set
the pace in walking or talking. Don’t finish
the sentence for a person with speech
problem.
Workplace Etiquette
• Speak directly to a person who has a
disability. Don’t consider a
companion or assistant to be a
conversation go-between.
• Don’t move a wheelchair or crutches
without asking first.
• Don’t lean on a person’s wheelchair
when talking.
Workplace Etiquette
• When pushing a wheelchair around
obstructions, ask the person how
he/she wants you to proceed.
• When guiding a blind person,
describe the path and possible
obstructions.
Workplace Etiquette
• Speak slowly and distinctly to a
person who has a hearing problem or
other difficulty understanding.
Speaking louder generally does not
help.
Workplace Etiquette
• Don’t refer to the disability directly
unless it comes up naturally in the
conversation. On the other hand, it
is not necessary to avoid common
expressions because the person has
a disability. It’s okay to say “Have
you heard….” to a deaf person., or
“You can see that…” to a blind
person.
Language Guide
• The accepted term for a person with a
disability is “disabled.” The term
“handicap” should only be used in
reference to legally defined
accommodations such as parking
spaces or ramps.
Language Guide
• “Able bodied” is the preferred term for
describing persons without
disabilities. The word “normal” should
only be used to refer to statistical
norms and averages.
Language Guide
• “Visually impaired” is the preferred
general term for a person with vision
loss. “Blind” is only used in
describing a specific condition.
• “Deaf” or “hard of hearing” are the
preferred terms for individuals with
hearing loss. “Hearing impaired” is
not appropriate.
Language Guide
• “Mobility impaired” is the correct term
for a person with loss of use of the
lower limbs. “Paraplegia” and
“quadriplegia” are specific conditions.
Language Guide
• “Mental disorder” is the preferred
term for describing a wide variety of
psychological/psychiatric disorders.
Terms such as “neurotic,”
“psychopathic,” and “schizophrenic”
refer to conditions, not people.
Language Guide
• “Seizure” is correctly used to
describe an involuntary muscular
contraction symptomatic of the brain
disorder epilepsy.
• “Spastic” describes a muscle with
abnormal involuntary spasms. It is
not appropriate for describing a
person with cerebral palsy.
Language Guide
• The term “special” is generally
considered condescending to use in
referring to a person with a disability.
• An individual who has a mobility
impairment “uses” a wheelchair.
Language Guide
• A person with a disability should not
be describes as “afflicted with,”
“suffering from,” or “a victim of” the
disability.
• Avoid implying sickness when
discussing disabling conditions. A
disability itself is not a disease nor is
the person necessarily chronically ill.
Job Placement
• Focus on ability;
• Use an applicant-directed process
for career choice;
• Use multiple assessment techniques;
• Break down jobs into required tasks
and essential skills;
• Analyze the work environment, tasks
and culture;
Job Placement
• Concentrate on the job-match
process;
• Provide training for new career
opportunities and advancement;
• Treat employees and host
company as customers.
Phone Calls to ODEP
Understanding the ADA
34%
• Impact of Accommodation
13%
• Conflict between Employer/
Employee
13%
• Cost of Accommodation
3%
• Concerns related to Federal and State
Agencies
6%
• Other
31%
Accommodation Costs
No cost
Between $1 and $500
Between $501 and $1,000
Between $1,001 and $2,000
Between $2,001 and $5,000
Greater than $5,000
Inquiries handled by ODEP
19%
50%
12%
7%
9%
3%
Company Savings
Value unknown
Between $1 and $5,000
Between $5,001 and $10,000
Between $10,001 and $20,000
Between $20,001 and $100,000
Greater than $100,000
4%
34%
16%
19%
25%
2%
General Tips
Don't assume a person cannot
perform a certain task. With the
right accommodations and support,
anyone can be productive. In terms
of accommodation, the person with
the disability knows best what he or
she needs.
General Tips
• Keep hallways and office spaces
clear from excess clutter that may
make it difficult for people to
maneuver around or reach
equipment such as fax machines,
copiers, printers, etc.
General Tips
• Disseminate company
information, announcements or
events through various methods
of communication such as email,
voicemail, flyers, brochure, etc.
General Tips
• Provide accessible restrooms,
drinking fountains and
telephones. If such facilities are
not available, be ready to offer
alternatives, such as a private or
employee restroom, a glass of
water, or a desk phone.
General Tips
• When planning a meeting or other
event, try to anticipate specific
accommodations that a person
with a disability might need. If a
barrier cannot be avoided let the
person know ahead of time.
General Tips
• Transportation is often a major
issue for those who have to
depend on others to get them to
and from work. Offering flexible
work schedules is a way to
accommodate transportation
needs.
General Tips
• Be prepared. Encourage fellow
employees to learn how to assist
persons with disabilities in cases
of emergency including proper
evacuation procedures and
medical emergencies.
General Tips
• Help encourage interaction between
employees with disabilities and their
co-workers. Include employees with
disabilities in group activities,
meetings, and social gatherings.
Forming workgroups or teams with
interdependent tasks are an excellent
way to enhance employee relations.
General Tips
• Be approachable. Saying "If you
need anything, just ask," speaks
volumes in terms of reassuring
the person with a disability that
you are willing to help.
Situation:
A production worker with mental
retardation, who has limited fine
motor dexterity, must use
tweezers and a magnifying glass
to perform the job. The worker
had difficulty holding the
tweezers.
Solution:
Giant tweezers were purchased.
Cost: $5.
Situation:
A teacher with bipolar disorder, who
works in a home-based
instruction program, experienced
reduced concentration, short term
memory, and task sequencing
problems.
Solution:
Employee and supervisor jointly developed
a check list showing both the week's
work and the following week's activities.
Forms were adapted so that they would
be easy to complete, and structured
steps were developed so that paper work
could be completed at the end of each
teaching session. An unintended bonus
to the company was the value of the
weekly check-off forms in training new
staff. Cost: $0.
Situation: A garage mechanic with
epilepsy was unable to drive
vehicles.
Solution: The employer negotiated
with the employee's union and
reached an agreement that any
qualified employee, regardless of
job held, could drive the vehicles
to the mechanic's work station.
Cost: $0.
Situation: An individual with a neck
injury, who worked in a lab, had
difficulty bending his neck to use
the microscope.
Solution: A periscope was
attached to the microscope.
Cost: $2,400.
Situation: A catalog salesperson,
who had a spinal cord injury, had
problems using the catalog due to
difficulty with finger dexterity.
Solution: The employer purchased
a motorized catalog rack,
controlled by a single switch via
the mouthstick, and provided an
angled computer keyboard stand
for better accessibility. Cost:
$1,500.
Situation: A field geologist who
was deaf and worked alone in
remote areas was unable to use
two-way radio communication to
report his findings.
Solution: Text telephone
technology was used to allow the
geologist to communicate using a
cellular telephone. Cost: $400
plus monthly service fee for the
phone.
Situation: A saw operator with a
learning disability had difficulty
measuring to the fraction of an
inch.
Solution: The employee was
provided with a wallet-sized card
on which the fractions were listed
on an enlarged picture of an inch.
This allowed the employee to
compare the card with the
location on the ruler to identify the
correct fraction. Cost: $5.
Situation: An office manager who
had been treated for stress and
depression was experiencing
difficulty maintaining her
concentration when trying to
complete assignments and meet
critical deadlines.
Solution: Discussed performance
problems with her supervisor. The
employer allowed her to organize her time
by scheduling "off" times during the week
where she could work without
interruptions. She was also placed on a
flexible schedule that gave her more time
for counseling and exercise. The
supervisor trained co-workers on stress
management and provided the office
manager with information about the
employee assistance program.
Situation: An accountant with HIV
was experiencing sensitivity to
fluorescent light. As a result, she
was not able to see her computer
screen or written materials clearly.
Solution: The employer lowered
the wattage in overhead lights,
provided task lighting and a
computer screen glare guard.
Cost: $80.
Resources
Job Accommodation Network (JAN):
1-800-526-7234,
http://janweb.icdi.wvu.edu
VCU, RRTC on Workplace Supports: (804)
828-1851 (Voice), (804) 828-2494 (TTY),
http://www.worksupport.com
U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity
Commission: 1-800-800-3302 (TTY),
http://www.eeoc.gov
U.S. Department of Labor (written materials):
1-800-959-3652 (Voice), 1-800-326-2577 (TTY),
to ask questions: (202) 219-8412 (Voice)
ADA Disability and Business Technical
Assistance Centers (DBTACs): 1-800-949-4232
(Voice/TTY), http://www.adata.org/dbtac.htm
Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf: (301)
608-0050 (Voice/TTY), http://www.rid.org
Rehabilitation Engineering Society of North
America Technical Assistance Project: (703)
524-6686 (Voice), (703) 524-6639 (TTY),
http://www.resna.org/hometa1.html
Internal Revenue Service: (202) 622-6060
(Voice), http://www.irs.ustreas.gov
Rehabilitation Services Administration
(RSA) http://www.ed.gov
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