How to Ask for Job Accommodations at the Workplace

As explained in my last article on Financial Anxiety, there are times when a work accommodation is needed and as indicated in the Americans with Disabilities  Act  (ADA) you are entitled to reasonable accommodations.

What’s a Reasonable Accommodation?

Job Accommodation Network (JAN defines a reasonable accommodation as “any change or adjustment to a job or work environment that permits a qualified applicant or employee with a disability to participate in the job application process, to perform the essential functions of a job, or to enjoy benefits and privileges of employment equal to those enjoyed by employees without disabilities.” However, this must be accomplished without undue hardship (significant difficulty or expense) to the employer.

List of possible reasonable accommodations:

  • providing or modifying equipment or devices
  • job restructuring
  • part-time or modified work schedules
  • reassignment to a vacant position or working from home
  • adjusting or modifying examinations, training materials, or policies
  • providing readers and interpreters
  • making the workplace readily accessible to and usable by people with disabilities

To Disclose or Not

Disclosing a disability can be challenging. Fears of being stigmatized or feeling like you are asking for special treatment might get in the way of telling your employer, but, if needed,  accommodations help you perform your job to the best of your ability.

Per JAN, here are some questions to help you decide, but also remember it is your choice as to when it’s the best time to disclose:

  • “Do I have an obligation to disclose?
  • When is the right time?
  • How much information does the employer need?
  • How will disclosing the information affect my employment?”

How to Request Accommodations?

The request does not have to be in writing, however, it is recommended to have a record of the request in the event the accommodation is disputed. Attaching  medical information establishing you as a person with a disability needing an accommodation is also helpful.

There isn’t a required form from the ADA that should be used; nonetheless, there are employers who have their own form. Becoming familiar with your employer’s guidelines will be helpful.

How to Write a Letter Requesting an Accommodation

Here’s a sample of what to include taken from JAN.

Date of letter

Your name

Your address

Employer’s name

Employer’s address

Dear (e.g., Supervisor, Manager, Human Resources, Personnel):

Content to consider in body of letter:

  • Identify yourself as a person with a disability
  • State that you are requesting accommodations under the ADA (or the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 if you are a federal employee)
  • Identify your specific problematic job tasks
  • Identify your accommodation ideas
  • Request your employer’s accommodation ideas
  • Refer to attached medical documentation if appropriate*
  • Ask that your employer respond to your request in a reasonable amount of time


Your signature

Your printed name

Cc: to appropriate individuals

Here’s another example of a letter from Equip for Equality:

Date (January 1, 2024)

Method of Delivery (Email/U.S. Mail/Hand Delivered, etc.)

Human Resources Department

Employer’s Address

Re: Request for Reasonable Accommodation for (Your Name)

Dear Mr./Ms. (Contact at Human Resources Department):

I work at ________(Company Name) as a ________(Your Job Title) and have been in this position since ____ (Date). 

I am writing to request that you provide __________________(list accommodation needed here) as a reasonable accommodation under the ADA. As you may know, I have a disability (you may list your disability here or wait for your employer to request documentation of your disability) and this accommodation would help me be successful at my job.

If you are unable to provide me with _______ (list accommodation needed here), I ask that we engage in the interactive process to determine whether there is an alternative effective accommodation. 

If you have any questions, you can feel free to contact the Job Accommodation Network at 1-800-526-7234.

Please contact me if you have any questions about my request. I would appreciate a written response to this letter.

Thank you very much.

Very truly yours, 

(Your Name)

Your printed name

Cc: to appropriate individuals

Need Additional Help?

Here’s a helpful video on reasonable accommodations:

If you would like to speak to someone at JAN, here’s their contact page and below is their number:

Voice: 800-526-7234

TTY:   877-781-9403

Attend a Workshop

If you are interested in attending a live webinar on improving your relationship with your finances, please visit my events.

Related Posts

Work Accommodations
for Anxiety
Panic Attacks
Depression &
Accommodations Were Not
Effective – Communicating
With Your Employer