What Youth with Mental Health Needs Should Know About Accommodations

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) protects people with disabilities from discrimination, including youth with mental health impairments. Under the ADA, an employer cannot discriminate against a prospective job applicant or employee with a disability, barring that they can perform their job with reasonable accommodation.

The ADA covers all areas of employment including recruitment, pre–employment screening, hiring, compensation, benefits, training, layoffs, termination, and promotions, as well as access to reasonable accommodations for employees that do not incur a large expense for the employer.

Do you need to disclose your disability? In the midst of a job search, disclosing a disability can be a complex decision. However, it is a decision that is solely up to you. There are several considerations that you may want to factor in during your job search. For instance, if you are limited to being able to perform certain areas of a job as a result of your disability, this is something you may choose to address during the interview or pre–offer stage. If you require an accommodation to perform your job, this is also something that you may choose to disclose.

How do you request an accommodation? An employer is required by law to provide employees with known disabilities access to reasonable accommodations. These can range from technologies, services to scheduling considerations – as long as these accommodations do not incur a large expense to the employer. Most employers understand that they need to accommodate individuals with disabilities by law, but they may not know exactly what accommodations you require. The best thing to do is ask. You can request an accommodation at any time – before you are hired and during your employment.

What is a reasonable accommodation? You may require having to come into work late one day per week due to a doctor’s visit. You may require a periodic break during the day. You may require working in quiet location. You may also require the use of special equipment, such as a larger computer monitor to reduce eye strain or stress. These are some of the examples of a reasonable accommodation that will enable you to perform your job.

For more information on mental health accommodations, visit here.