Effective utilization of assistive devices in the workplace

Desleigh de Jonge, Libby Gibson

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterResearchpeer-review


One of the essential requirements of the American Disabilities Act (ADA) is that employers make reasonable accommodations for the employees with a disability or injury. A reasonable accommodation is described as "a modifi cation or adjustment to a job, the work environment, or the way things usually are done that enables a qualifi ed individual with a disability to enjoy an equal employment opportunity" [1]. Workplaces that employ more than 15 people are obliged to provide such accommodations unless undue hardship is likely to result. "Undue hardship" may be declared when actions are "excessively costly, extensive, substantial or disruptive" (p. 194) [2]. People with disabilities have the right of appeal if a reasonable accommodation is denied. Data collected by the Job Accommodation Network (JAN) suggests that over half of all accommodations cost less than $500. Most employers report that providing accommodations results in fi nancial benefi ts due to an increase in worker productivity and a reduction in the cost of insurance and training new employees. However, it can be diffi cult to determine the real cost of accommodations [3]. Costs can sometimes exceed $10,000-$15,000 when employees have a signifi cant injury or impairment [3,4].

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationErgonomics for Rehabilitation Professionals
EditorsShrawan Kumar
PublisherCRC Press
Number of pages30
ISBN (Electronic)9780849382697
ISBN (Print)9780849381461
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2009
Externally publishedYes


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