top of page

The ADA’s Interactive Process is a Two-Way Street

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) requires that employers provide reasonable accommodations to employees with disabilities. This can be a tricky process, as both the employer and employee need to work together to find an accommodation that works for everyone.

In this blog post, we will discuss the ADA's interactive process and how it can help employees with disabilities succeed in the workplace.

What is the ADA?

The ADA was signed into law in 1990 and requires employers with 15 or more employees to provide reasonable accommodations for their workers' disabilities, unless the accommodation poses undue hardship on the employer. An accommodation might pose an undue hardship if it is significantly expensive or difficult for the employer to implement.

The ADA defines reasonable accommodation as "any modification in the work environment that will enable an employee with disabilities to perform his/her job duties."

Reasonable accommodations could include:

● Modifications to the work environment (i.e., installing ramps instead of stairs).

● Changes in policies, rules, or practices that would allow disabled people equal access or opportunity to do their jobs.

● Providing additional training on how to perform essential functions of a job (which may involve learning new skills).

What Is The Interactive Process?

The ADA's interactive process is a two-way street between employee and employer, in which both parties work together to find accommodations that are reasonable for everyone involved. This can include anything from modifying the job duties so that an employee can work at home more often, to providing extra training on how to perform essential functions of your job.

The interactive process is not just a one-time event. It's an ongoing discussion between employers and employees about what needs to be done, what resources are available for them both now and in the future, and how best to proceed.

Both the employer and employee should keep in mind that accommodations can vary from case to case, and there is no "one size fits all" solution. The goal is to find an accommodation that works for everyone involved, which may take some trial and error.

How Does The Interactive Process Work?

The interactive process can be a bit tricky to navigate, but it's definitely worth the effort. Here are some tips on how to make it work:

● Both parties should be prepared to communicate openly and honestly with each other. This is essential for finding a reasonable accommodation that works for everyone.

● The employer should gather information about what the employee needs, and then propose accommodations based on this information.

● The employer should also ask questions or request additional documentation if necessary to ensure that they understand what their employees' limitations are (and how those limitations affect their ability to perform essential job functions). This can help ensure compliance with ADA requirements while minimizing disruption at work.

● The employee should be prepared to provide feedback on any proposed accommodations and work with the employer to find a solution that meets everyone's needs.

● It's important to keep in mind that accommodations may not always be possible, but it's worth exploring all possibilities before giving up.

The interactive process is an essential part of the ADA, and it's a great way for employers and employees to work together to create a more inclusive workplace. By following these tips, both parties can ensure that everyone has the opportunity to succeed.

Our Office Can Help You Navigate the ADA's Interactive Process

If you're an employee who believes your employer has failed to engage in the interactive process or failed to accommodate, our office can assist. We can provide guidance on what constitutes a disability under the law, as well as assistance in holding your employer accountable for ADA violations. Contact us today for more information.


bottom of page