When you hear the word “accommodation”, do you immediately think of disability? You shouldn’t.
Accommodations occur in the workplace every day. For example, you may need to start work a little later on certain days to meet a daycare drop-off time. Your employer agrees to adjust your start time for those days. I may need a five-minute coffee break hourly instead of a single fifteen-minute break at 10:30am to clear my head and stretch. It’s a strategy that allows me to remain mentally alert and healthy. Someone else may require a larger screen, or a screen magnifier on their computer. Their eyesight is not as good as it used to be.
We disclose our need for workplace adjustments to make us more productive and to allow us to be our best at work. Accommodations happen every day in the workplace. But when we start to talk about disability accommodations, something changes. People start to think of it as special treatment, or something that will cost a lot of money. Neither of these is true. In fact, the majority of accommodations cost less than $500, yet the benefits to business in lower absenteeism and presenteeism, better workplace engagement and trust are invaluable!