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Reasonable Accommodation
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 Office of Outreach Diversity, and Equal Opportunity (ODEO)

Our Programs
Reasonable Accommodation Poster

Click here to view the updated Reasonable Accommodation policy.

As required by the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended, the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, and the Americans with Disabilities Amendments Act of 2008, Agencies are required to provide a reasonable accommodation to a "qualified" individual (employee or applicant) with a disability unless it proves to be an undue hardship. "Qualified" under the ADA is an individual that has the requisite skills, experience, education, etc. AND is able to perform the essential job functions, with or without a reasonable accommodation. Requests for accommodations must be considered on a case-by-case basis.  For the majority of cases, accommodations are resolved between the employee and the first-level supervisor with technical assistance and guidance provided by the REE Reasonable Accommodation Program Manager. 

An individual with a disability is a person who:
1. Has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities; 
2. Has a record of such an impairment; or 
3. Is regarded as having such impairment. 

Reasonable accommodation may include, but is not limited to:
1. Making existing facilities readily accessible to and usable by persons with disabilities.
2. Job restructuring, modifying work schedules, or a reassignment to a vacant position;
3. Acquiring or modifying equipment or devices, training materials, policies, etc.; and/or
4. Providing qualified readers or interpreters.  

Employee/Applicant's Responsibility:
1. Notify the Supervisor, REE Reasonable Accommodation Program Manager, the Human Resources Specialist and/or other individual within the leadership chain of the individual with the disability when the need for an accommodation arises; 
2. Provide medical documentation to the REE Reasonable Accommodation Program Manager when the disability is unknown or not obvious or visible.  All medical documentation obtained in connection with a reasonable accommodation request will be kept confidential by REE Reasonable Accommodation Program Manager; 
3. Suggest accommodation ideas; and 
4. Complete REE Form 172, Request for a Reasonable Accommodation to document the request.  This form may be found in E-forms or by contacting the REE Reasonable Accommodation Program Manager.

Supervisor/Managers' Responsibility:
1. Participate in an interactive discussion with the employee regarding the accommodation request;
2. Have employee complete REE Form 172;
3. Complete and sign the bottom portion of REE Form 172 and forward a completed copy to the REE Reasonable Accommodation Program Manager;
4. Suggest accommodation options;
5. Contact the REE Reasonable Accommodation Program Manager for additional guidance and assistance.

Denial of Reasonable Accommodation:
An employer is not required to provide a reasonable accommodation if it would impose an undue hardship on its Agency's business operations.  When an undue hardship is evident and there are no alternative accommodations that could be offered to ensure the essential (critical) job functions can be performed successfully, a supervisor may deny the reasonable accommodation request.  REE Form 173, Denial of a Reasonable Accommodation, should be immediately completed, signed by the supervisor, and a copy provided to the individual with the disability.  The REE Reasonable Accommodation Program Manager should also receive a copy for record keeping.  This form may be found in E-forms or by contacting the REE Reasonable Accommodation Program Manager.

Reassignment as the "Accommodation of Last Resort":
As a last resort accommodation - typically when the accommodation requested would impose an undue hardship and there are no other accommodations possible - the employer may need to search for a vacant position to reassign the individual into for which the individual qualifies.  As with all reasonable accommodations, the individual must be "qualified" as defined by the ADA (see 1st paragraph above for definition).

For additional information or guidance, please contact:

Joseph McCleary, REE Reasonable Accommodation Program Manager

Telephone number (301) 602-2079

Email: or

USDA DR 4300-008, Reasonable Accommodations and Personal Assistance Services for Employees and Applicants with Disabilities, October 27, 2020