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Your UCP: National October 13, 2003

Fact Sheets

JAN: Opening Doors to Job Accommodation

What is JAN?

The Job Accommodation Network (JAN), a service of the Office of Disability Employment Policy, is a toll-free resource for anyone who has questions about job accommodations, or about the employment sections of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Trained consultants respond to questions, discuss specific job accommodations, and suggest additional resources to assist you.

Who should use JAN?

Employers, persons with disabilities, service providers, rehabilitation counselors, or anybody involved in helping a person with a disability obtain or retain a job.

How does JAN work?

All calls to JAN are kept confidential. If you are calling about accommodating an individual on the job, the more you tell the consultant about the required tasks and the functional limitations and abilities of the individual, the better the consultant will be able to help. When you call, the following steps occur:

  • The receptionist listens to each question and transfers the caller to the JAN consultant who is most knowledgeable in that particular area.
  • The consultant asks questions to obtain the information needed in order to develop the best solution(s).
  • The consultant searches a database of previous accommodations and provides as many potential accommodation options as possible. These may include:
    • different approaches to job tasks
    • proposed policy changes commercially available products different ways to use existing products
    • resources for device
    • modification/fabrication.
  • The consultant provides methods of implementing and maintaining the accommodation(s) and recommends processes for reviewing the effectiveness of the accommodation(s).
  • JAN staff will prepare and send materials in the format requested. Information can be sent electronically, faxed or mailed using the U.S. Postal Service.
  • As follow-up, the caller may be asked to complete a questionnaire regarding the recommended accommodation(s) and their usefulness. This feedback helps JAN improve services and assist future callers with accommodation solutions.
What has been the result of JAN services?

Following are examples of accommodations recommended by JAN that have assisted companies and agencies in hiring, retaining and promoting people with disabilities.

  • Call Request: A teacher with a hearing impairment had difficulties hearing the students' voices over the squeaks of chairs and desks moving over the linoleum floor. Also, the teacher could not see some of the students' faces and therefore could not effectively lip read.

    Accommodation Used: To eliminate noise, used tennis balls were cut and attached to the feet of the chairs and desks. The teacher rearranged the desks in a horseshoe in order to see the faces of all students. COST: $0 (The tennis balls were donated by an avid tennis player who would have thrown them away.)

  • Call Request: Because of low reading skills a child care assistant with a learning disability had difficulty preparing lessons based on children's books.

    Accommodation Used: The employee was given a videotape of various children's stories and effective hand motions to review. Cost: $50

  • Call Request: A new restaurant employee who is legally blind used a service dog to travel to and from work. The employee did not need the dog to perform her job duties.

    Accommodation Used: A dog crate was placed in a back office with a clear path of travel in and out of the facility. The dog was crated during the work day and was out of any contact with food products or supplies used in the restaurant. Cost: $75

  • Call Request: A company vice president with arthritis had difficulty maintaining stamina during the workday.

    Accommodation Used: The employer provided flexibility in the vice president's work hours and a recliner for her office so that she could change body positions to cut down on fatigue. Cost: $750

  • Call Request: A cashier with mild mental retardation had difficulty making change.

    Accommodation Used: The worker used a talking calculator and a chart of bills and coins. Cost: $150

  • Call Request: A worker who is deaf was responsible for inspecting underground water utilities. When the employee was underground alone, co-workers above ground needed to communicate with him.

    Accommodation Used: A wireless portable vibrating paging system was purchased for the employee. Cost: $445

  • Call Request: A department store retail clerk with multiple sclerosis used a scooter and had problems with stamina.

    Accommodation Used: The employee was reassigned to a department on the first floor, provided with space for the scooter, given a sit/lean stool at the register, and scheduled for first shift with every third day off. Cost: $200

  • Call Request: A technical editor in the publishing industry had a spinal cord injury and needed to work lying on his back.

    Accommodation Used: A work station was provided that enabled the editor to work on a computer while in a supine position. Cost: $2,000

  • Call Request: An insurance claims adjuster became ill when exposed to certain chemicals in the air (chemical sensitivity).

    Accommodation Used: The ventilation system in the employee's office was modified, and co-workers were asked not to use scented products. The employee was also permitted to attend staff and training meetings remotely by speaker phone and to wear a mask when needed. Cost: $650

  • Call Request: A greenhouse worker with mental retardation had difficulty correctly mixing various chemicals.

    Accommodation Used: Measuring cups, a checklist, and the chemicals were color-coded in a coordinated manner so the person could accomplish tasks by matching colors. Cost: $25

  • Call Request: A human resources manager has seasonal affective disorder, a condition requiring adequate light during a sufficient number of daytime hours to ward off depression.

    Accommodation Used: A simple device called a sunlight box was installed in the person's office. Cost: $265

These accommodations are only a few examples of the types of effective solutions provided by the Office of Disability Employment Policy's Job Accommodation Network. JAN staff has cumulatively over 100 years of experience and has delivered information on over 100,000 job accommodations since 1984.

For more information, please contact JAN by phone (800) 526-7234 (V/TTY), (800) 232-9675 (V/TTY)

You may also send an e-mail or visit the Job Accommodation Network Web site.

You may also send snail mail to:

    Office of Disability Employment
    Policy's Job Accommodation
    Network, 918 Chestnut Ridge
    Road, Suite 1, WVU PO Box 6080,
    Morgantown, WV 26506-6080

Source: U.S. Department of Labor, Office of Disabilitiy Employment Policy, July 1998

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