Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and Reasonable Accommodations

A classroom activity for learning how to accommodate individuals with disabilities.

Pre-class Instructions:

Gather about 20 current company job descriptions. The job descriptions must be in different functions and at different levels of the organization. Each job description needs to go on a separate sheet of paper. These should come from a wide variety of company positions, such as management, blue-collar workers, knowledge workers, etc. For example, do NOT make all of them entry level, non-professional jobs as it sends the wrong message.

Next, write a disability on a separate sheet of paper. Create as many disabilities as there are job descriptions. NOTE: The disabilities do not have to be all different, you can have 2 or 3 hearing impaired, etc.

Classroom Instructions:

  1. Objective: Accommodate individuals with disabilities.

  2. Divide the class into small groups composed of about 4 learners per group.

  3. Randomly issue (e.g. drawing out of a hat) each group one or more job descriptions (large classes should get a couple of questions, while smaller groups should get more.

  4. Next, randomly issue each group a disability (the number of disabilities should equal the number of of job descriptions per group.

  5. The task is to determine reasonable accommodations for a person with a disability for a particular job. For example, if the job description is for a Plant Manager and the assigned disability is blindness, then the group needs to determine how they would accommodate a blind Plant Manager.

  6. After the groups have worked the activity for about 20 minutes, bring the groups together and have each one present their findings.

Next Steps

This activity is based on the chapter, Diversity

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