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WORKSITE ACCOMMODATION AND MODIFICATION

 

The use of worksite or job accommodations is a strategy that addresses the retention and hiring needs of individuals with disabilities and is a common practice with a growing number of employers.  The Job Accommodation Network (JAN, 1995) reports that the number of requests for information and technical assistance on accommodation needs was 92,644 in 1993-94, an increase of approximately 26% since 1991-92.   

Determining the actual costs involved in making accommodations for individuals with disabilities is a question heard from employers and agencies working with individuals with disabilities.  Extensive work done by the Job Accommodation Network has helped to gather useful data from employers on their worksite accommodation activities.  JAN reported in 1995 that the typical accommodation cost for most companies  (78%) surveyed was less than $1000.  Reports such as these suggest that the cost for making accommodations for workers with disabilities can be relatively inexpensive. 

 

 

Cost of Accommodation (N=367)

 

     Cost

 

Percentage

 

No Cost

Between $1-$500

$501-$1,000

$1,001-$1,500

$1,501-$2,000

$2,001-$5,000

Over $5,000

 

19%

49%

10%

4%

4%

9%

5%

Table 1: Job Accommodation Network

Cost of Accommodations (10/94-12/94)

Actual costs of worksite accommodations can be difficult to determine.  Many of the costs, such as time involved with evaluation and research and development, are not always accurately accounted for, even by rehabilitation technologists themselves.  Many rehabilitation technology specialists who provide work site accommodations fail to maintain a detailed record of the staff time involved. This is likely to be more common in situations where technology specialists are employed by programs and agencies where itemized fee-for-services accounting is not required.  It is also possible that there may be a tendency to underestimate the cost of accommodations, possibly in an effort to present rehabilitation technology services in a (more) favorable cost/benefit position or to avoid some charges to be more likely to receive funding approval to implement the necessary changes.

 

 

     

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