Department of Defense Education Activity

Reasonable Accommodations

The Rehabilitation Act of 1973, in conjunction with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), requires federal agencies to provide reasonable accommodation to qualified Individuals or applicants with disabilities, unless to do so would cause undue hardship.

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission states, “A reasonable accommodation is any change in the workplace, or the way things are customarily done that provides an equal employment opportunity to an individual with a disability. While there are some things that are not considered reasonable accommodations (e.g., removal of an essential job function or personal use items such as a hearing aid that is needed on and off the job), reasonable accommodations can cover most things that enable an individual to apply for a job, perform a job, or have equal access to the workplace and employee benefits such as kitchens, parking lots, and office events.” Some common types of accommodations include, but are not limited to, sit-to-stand desk, telework, assistive technology and software.”

DoDEA is committed to providing reasonable accommodations to applicants and employees with disabilities. Reasonable accommodations are provided to remove barriers that prevent individual with disabilities from applying for jobs, performing the essential functions of the position held or desired, gaining access to the workplace, or enjoying equal benefits and privileges of employment as individual without disabilities. If you would like to make a reasonable accommodation request, please use the RA templates below and return them to your first line supervisor and/or your headquarters or regional disability program manager

If a requester chooses not to use the Templates provided to request reasonable accommodation, all required information must be provided by some other means. 

If you believe you need a reasonable accommodation, you should do the following:

  1. Initiate a Reasonable Accommodation request by speaking with or submitting a request in writing using the link and/or templates, to your immediate supervisor, or the Regional Disability Program Manager. If you cannot make the request, a family member, friend or health professional, or representative may initiate a request for reasonable accommodation on your behalf. The process of requesting and receiving a reasonable accommodation is anticipated to be completed within 30 calendar days unless medical documentation is necessary.
  2. Once your request has been received, you must engage in the interactive process with your First Line Supervisor and/or Reginal Disability Program Manager to determine the appropriate reasonable accommodation for your limitation enabling you to perform the essential functions of your position. Although the interactive discussion will begin within five calendar days of receiving the request, this discussion should continue throughout the reasonable accommodation process.
  3. Your immediate supervisor will inform you, in writing, of the approved reasonable accommodation and when/ how the accommodation will be implemented.

The Reasonable Accommodation Templates are used to assist DMEO staff with processing Reasonable Accommodation (RA) requests from employees and applicants.  You may be asked to provide medical documentation with the diagnosis, prognosis and recommended accommodation from your attending physician using the Medical Documentation Template. 

In some instances, requesters may also need to complete a Medical Release Template when clarification is needed on the medical information provided.  This template authorizes the Disability Program Manager to communicate with your provider, when necessary.   

If you are interested in Personal Assistance Services (PAS), please visit PAS.

Resolution Options

An employee who disagrees with the resolution of his/her request may ask the Disability Program Manager (DPM), to reconsider that decision within 10 business days of receiving this memorandum and/or the “Deciding Official Documentation.” Note that requesting reconsideration does not extend the time limits for initiating a complaint of discrimination.

If you are dissatisfied with the resolution and wish to pursue either an administrative claim or file a grievance under the applicable collective-bargaining agreement, you may select one of the following steps:

  • For an EEO complaint pursuant to 29 C.F.R. § 1614, contact an EEO counselor in the Office of Equal Opportunity within 45 days from the date of receipt of this Form or a verbal response (whichever comes first); OR
  • For a grievance, initiate it in accordance with the provisions of the applicable collective-bargaining agreement, OR
  • For adverse actions over which the Merit Systems Protection Board (MSPB) has jurisdiction, initiate an appeal to the MSPB within 30 days of an appealable adverse action as defined in 5 C.F.R. § 1201.3.

Please contact your regional Disability Program Manager with questions about the reasonable accommodation process.

Reasonable Accommodation Laws

  • Rehabilitation Act of 1973, Sections 501 and 505 - Sections 501 and 505 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (Pub. L. 93-112) (Rehab. Act), as amended, as these sections appear in volume 29 of the United States Code, beginning at section 791. Section 501 prohibits employment discrimination against individuals with disabilities in the federal sector. Section 505 contains provisions governing remedies and attorney's fees under Section 501. Relevant definitions that apply to sections 501 and 505 precede these sections.
  • Rehabilitation Act of 1973 Section 508 - Section 508 requires that Federal agencies must ensure comparable accessibility to persons with disabilities whenever that agency uses electronic or information technology unless such access would impose an undue burden. This web site contains the text of Section 508, as amended, as well as other materials.
  • Title I of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA) - This law makes it illegal to discriminate against people with disabilities in employment (Title I), in public services (Title II), in public accommodations (Title III) and in telecommunications (Title IV). EEOC is responsible for enforcing Title I's prohibition against discrimination against people with disabilities in employment. The law also makes it illegal to retaliate against a person because the person complained about discrimination, filed a charge of discrimination, or participated in an employment discrimination investigation or lawsuit. The law also requires that employers provide reasonable accommodations to applicants and qualified individual with disabilities unless doing so would impose an undue hardship on the operation of the employer's business.
  • Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008 (GINA)- Under Title II of GINA, it is illegal to discriminate against employees or applicants because of genetic information. Title II of GINA prohibits the use of genetic information in making employment decisions, restricts employers and other entities covered by Title II (employment agencies, labor organizations and joint labor-management training and apprenticeship programs - referred to as "covered entities") from requesting, requiring, or purchasing genetic information, and strictly limits the disclosure of genetic information.
  • Americans with Disabilities Amendments Act of 2008 ADAAA - This law made a number of significant changes to the definition of “disability.” It also directed the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) to amend its ADA regulations to reflect the changes made by the ADAAA. EEOC provides information about the ADAAA.

Guidance and Regulations
Accommodation Resources
  • CAP - The Computer/Electronic Accommodations Program (CAP) provides assistive technology and services to people with disabilities throughout the federal government FREE OF CHARGE! (Note: Before contacting CAP directly, check with the Disability and Diversity Program Manager or Selective Placement Program Coordinator, as they may already have a relationship with CAP.)
  • JAN - The Job Accommodation Network (JAN) is the most comprehensive resource for job accommodations available and is a terrific and easy-to-use resource. This free consulting service is designed to increase the employability of people with disabilities. JAN provides individualized worksite accommodation solutions, as well as information on job accommodations and related subjects for employers and people with disabilities.