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Reasonable Accommodation/ADA

City of Tacoma Government Employee

Reasonable Accommodation (ADA) Information


Reasonable Accommodation (ADA) Policy

Reasonable Accommodation Procedure


Reasonable Accommodation FAQs for ADA


What is the ADA?

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) gives federal civil rights protections to individuals with disabilities similar to those provided to individuals on the basis of race, color, sex, national origin, age, and religion. It guarantees equal opportunity for individuals with disabilities in public accommodations, employment, transportation, State and local government services, and telecommunications.

Which employers are covered by the ADA?

The ADA prohibits discrimination by all private employers with 15 or more employees. In addition, the ADA prohibits all public entities, regardless of the size of their work force, from discriminating in employment against qualified individuals with disabilities.

Who is protected by the employment provisions of the ADA?

The ADA prohibits employment discrimination against qualified individuals with disabilities. A "qualified individual" means an individual who, with or without reasonable accommodation, can perform the essential functions of the employment position that such individual holds or desires.

What is a disability under the ADA?

The ADA defines a person with a disability as a person who has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activity, such as caring for oneself, seeing, hearing, walking, communicating, etc.  This includes people who have a record of such an impairment, even if they do not currently have a disability. It also includes individuals who do not have a disability but are regarded as having a disability. The ADA also makes it unlawful to discriminate against a person based on that person's association with a person with a disability.

What is an "essential function" of the job?

Essential functions of the job are those core duties that are the reason the job position exists. For example, an essential function of a receptionist is to be available to greet customers and answer phones during core hours; an essential function of a Custodian is to perform custodial duties, such as sweeping, mopping, cleaning, etc.

Requiring the ability to perform "essential" functions assures that an individual with a disability will not be considered unqualified because of his or her inability to perform marginal or incidental job functions.

What is a "reasonable accommodation"?

A "reasonable accommodation" is any modification or adjustment to a job, the job application process, or the work environment that will enable a qualified applicant or employee with a disability to participate in the application process, perform the essential functions of the job, or enjoy the benefits and privileges of employment. Examples of "reasonable accommodations" may include: restructuring a job; modifying work schedules; acquiring or modifying equipment; and as a last resort, reassigning a current employee to a vacant position for which the individual is qualified.

Contact Information

City employees:

Disability & Leave Management

(253) 591-5452