Virtual/Remote Work arrangements can expand employment opportunities for many employees but are especially for employees with disabilities.
What is it?
Many employers have discovered the benefits of allowing employees to work at home through remote/virtual work. Working remotely has allowed employers to attract and retain valuable workers by boosting employee morale and productivity.
Not all persons with disabilities need - or want - to work at home, and not all jobs can be performed at home. However, allowing an employee to work at home may be a reasonable accommodation where the person's disability prevents successfully performing the job on-site, and the job (or parts of the job) can be performed at home without causing significant difficulty or expense.
Alternative work arrangements, like working from home, can expand employment opportunities for many employees, but particularly for employees with disability-related limitations that affect commuting to work or performing job duties at a traditional worksite.
How does it help?
Remote work is often suggested as an accommodation solution to address a variety of impairments, limitations, and work-related barriers. Examples of work-related barriers can include:
• Difficulty commuting to and from work due to disability-related reasons • Limited access to accessible parking • Limited worksite or workstation accessibility • Environmental issues (e.g., construction activities, exposure to chemicals/irritants, temperature sensitivity, problematic lighting, etc.) • Lack of privacy to manage personal/medical needs, like using the restroom, taking medication, or receiving treatment • Rigid work schedule • Exposure to viruses and bacteria • Workplace distractions affecting concentration
Choosing telework as an accommodation requires a collaborative effort on behalf of the employer and employee to determine what is reasonable, on a case-by-case basis.
Do you want to learn more about how remote work could work for your employees with disabilities? Send us an email and one of our Inclusive Workforce Specialists will be in touch to share our free disability inclusion recruitment, training, and consulting services for your organization.
Looking for more detailed information on workplace adjustments?
The Job Accommodation Network (JAN) is the leading source of free, expert, and confidential guidance on job accommodations and disability employment issues. Serving customers across the United States and around the world for more than 35 years, JAN provides free practical guidance and technical assistance on job accommodation solutions, and self-employment and entrepreneurship options for people with disabilities.
Do you want to be a more inclusive and accessible employer?
Take this 15-minute Disability Inclusive Employer Self-Assessment to gain a deeper understanding of where you’re doing well and where there’s room to improve.
Open Door Group and Presidents Group collaborated on this tool, created from recent international research on practices that truly increase inclusion and retention of people with disabilities in the workplace.