ADA Training

This course will:

•Provide a basic understanding of the ADA

•Enable supervisors to identify requests for accommodation under the ADA

•Teach supervisors how to respond to those requests

ADA Training


All materials have been prepared for general information purposes only.

The information presented should be treated as guidelines, not rules. The information presented is not intended to establish a standard of medical care and is not a substitute for common sense. The information presented is not legal advice, is not to be acted on as such, may not be current, and is subject to change without notice. Each situation should be addressed on a case-by-case basis.

ADA Definition

What is the ADA?

  • The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990 was the first comprehensive civil rights law in this country that addressed the needs of people with disabilities. The law was amended by the ADA Amendments Act (ADAAA) of 2008. It applies to employers with 15 or more employees.
  • The ADA as amended prohibits discrimination in employment, public services and accommodations, and telecommunications. It also requires employers to make a reasonable accommodation to an applicant or employee if needed to perform the essential functions of a job.

Covered Employment Practices

  • The ADA makes it unlawful to discriminate in these employment practices:
    • Recruitment.
    • Pay.
    • Hiring.
    • Firing.
    • Training.
    • Job assignment.
    • Promotion. 
    • In addition, the ADA prohibits an employer from retaliating against applicants or employees for asserting their rights under the ADA.

    • The act also makes it unlawful to discriminate against an applicant or employee, whether disabled or not, because of the individual’s family, business, social, or other relationship or association with an individual with a disability.

Covered Individuals

  • Employment discrimination is prohibited against qualified individuals with disabilities. Covered individuals include applicants for employment and employees.
  • An individual is considered to have a disability if he or she has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities, has a record of such an impairment, or is regarded as having such an impairment.
  • Persons discriminated against because they have a known association or relationship with an individual with a disability also are protected.

Reasonable Accomodations

  • The ADA requires employers to provide reasonable accommodations (changes to the job or workplace) to allow employees with disabilities to do their jobs.
  • The reasonable accommodation must be requested by the employee, and it must not impose an undue hardship on the company.


Interactive Process

  • Once an employee makes a request for a reasonable accommodation, we must engage in the interactive process.
  • The interactive process is a dialogue between ACH and the employee where we collectively work to come up with reasonable accommodations to fit the employees needs.
  • •The interactive process can be short (if an easy solution is quickly available and agreed to by both sides) or time consuming (if there is dispute over disability or the requested accommodations are elaborate).

  • Failure to engage in the interactive process after a request has been made will likely lead to liability for ACH!

  • Because of this, it is EXTREMELY IMPORTANT that our supervisors recognize requests for accommodation and understand how to respond to them.

Identifying a Request

  • A request for accommodation needs to inform the employer that the employee needs an adjustment or changes for reasons related to a medical condition.
  • The EEOC has stated that an employee can make a request for a reasonable accommodation in plain English.
  • It does not require the use of the words “ADA” or “reasonable accommodation” and does not need to be in writing.

Accommodation Request

Examples of Requests

  • An employee tells her supervisor, “I'm having trouble getting to work at my scheduled starting time because of medical treatments I'm undergoing.”
  • An employee tells his supervisor, "I need six weeks off to get treatment for a back problem."
  • An employee tells his supervisor “my sleep apnea is coming back again”. THIS IS NOT A REQUEST!

  • An employee asks here supervisor to be put on light duty.

  • •A new employee, who uses a wheelchair, informs the employer that her wheelchair cannot fit under the desk in her office.

  • An employee tells his supervisor that he would like a new chair because his present one is uncomfortable.  THIS IS NOT A REQUEST!

Responding to a Request

  • Don’t tell the employee we can’t accommodate them (this is failing to engage in the IP)
  • Don’t promise the employee we will accommodate them (we might not be able to)
  • Do CALL someone in HR

Some Misconceptions

  • We have to provide this employee with whatever accommodation they request!
  • I can’t discipline this employee because they are disabled!
  • I can’t fire my employee because they are disabled!
  • I have to hire this applicant because they are qualified and disabled!


  • Always be alert for requests for accommodation
  • Don’t dismiss the employees concerns or make promises
  • Work with HR to engage the employee in the interactive process


  • We must always accommodate the employee to make them happy.

Multiple Choice

  • We have to provide this employee with whatever accommodation they request.
  • I can’t discipline this employee because they are disabled.
  • Always be alert for requests for accommodation