Hope for Disabilities

Fulfilling unmet needs in the disability community

What is a reasonable accommodation and why is asking for a reasonable accommodation so challenging?

Posted by Ask Emily on August 5, 2018 at 11:05 AM

A Reasonable Accommodation is a small request that a person with a medical diagnosis is forced to ask for when a public place does not already accommodate that person and their request.  Reasonable Accommodation requests, are done around the world every single day.  Some Reasonable Accommodation requests impact one person here and there while other Reasonable Accommodations impact a larger population worldwide. Reasonable Accommodations can be asked for in a housing situation if a person is renting and they need something like a ramp or bars put in the bathroom for mobility issues, or in an employment position, a person can ask for extra or longer bathroom breaks if they use a catheter or a colostomy and require more time to do their procedure. 

Another reasonable accommodation that may seem more obvious to some than to others, but it needs to be mentioned is if a person is on a public housing list and depends on a wheelchair to get around, obviously expecting them to move into a rental where the bedrooms are on the second floor and there is only stairs to get to the second floor, this is not accommodating the person with the wheelchair, so the housing authority needs to be mindful of that when offering a potential tenant in a wheelchair a reasonable accommodation by only offering them ground floor units to consider.

The latest Reasonable Accommodation that some people with medical diagnosis' are having to ask for is to have an exception made to the ban that has recently gon into affect regarding plastic straws.  The people that are trying to get this law in place are doing it to protect the environment, but have not fully considered the impact that it will have on people with disabilities who can't drink without them.  Some people's theory to this is to make the straws out of bamboo or metal, but haven't considered the dangers that those materials could cause a person who may have a diagnosis that involves Tics like Tourette's Syndrome, or someone who has some sort of Seizure Disorder and the harm that these materials could do to the inside of a person's mouth.  These materials could easily cut someone and that would be a very bad thing for the individual if it were to happen on a regular basis.  Some people might have paralysis or mobility issues and they are not able to turn their head to use a metal or bamboo straw that may be reusable, but is not bendable to get into the person's mouth.  

Categories: Disabilities and Special Needs, Coping Skills, Discrimination