Reasonable Accommodations Program
The FHWA Reasonable Accommodation Program is designed to assist FHWA applicants and employees with disabilities. The program provides a modification or adjustment to a job or the work environment that will enable a qualified applicant or employee with a disability to participate in the application process, to perform essential job functions, or to enjoy the benefits and privileges of employment.
The RA procedure implements the changes to 29 CFR Part 1614.203, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) regulation implementing Section 501 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended (Rehabilitation Act), which prohibits Federal agencies from discriminating based on disability in employment. Implementation of this procedure also assists DOT’s compliance with Executive Order 13164, requiring each Federal agency to establish written procedures for processing reasonable accommodation requests for its employees and job applicants with disabilities. These written procedures were required by and should be read to be consistent with the requirements of DOT Order 1101.1B.
Reasonable accommodation applies to all aspects of employment, including the job/internship application process, recruitment, training, promotion, reassignment, rotational assignments, developmental assignments, as well as participation in DOT-conducted programs and activities and enjoyment of the benefits and privileges of employment. These procedures cover all requests for reasonable accommodations made by, or on behalf of, job applicants with disabilities and FHWA employees with disabilities.
The EEOC provides guidance on how to determine the responsible decision maker for contingent workers (contractor employees), which is available here: http://www.eeoc.gov/policy/docs/guidance-contingent.html.
The purpose of the FHWA Reasonable Accommodation program is to provide FHWA job applicants, employees and supervisors with support and technical assistance through the Reasonable Accommodations Process.
The reasonable accommodation process starts with an employee requesting an accommodation. Employees may or may not use the specific words in their request, however managers need to respond to the request in a timely manner.The process may take up to 25 business days. The process is individualized and it is important to reach out to the agency’s disability program manager at FHWA-RAassist@dot.gov to receive assistance with the process.
The DOT Disability Resource Center (DRC) is the department's centralized mechanism for to receive services or equipment. FHWA works with the DRC on a case by case basis.
The Disability Program manager conducts the following:
- Supervisor and Manager Reasonable Accommodations training on an annual basis, including newly appointed supervisor and manager orientation programs.
- Assisting employees and managers with Reasonable Accommodation requests.
- Developing and disseminating information on available Reasonable Accommodation resources.
- Tracking and reporting of Reasonable Accommodation requests in the annual Individuals with Disabilities Affirmative Action Program.
- Submitting RA data for inclusion in the MD715 report annually.
- Ensuring the DOT Order on Reasonable Accommodations is available to FHWA employees.
Key FHWA Responsibilities
- Ensure the removal of barriers in the work environment to enable employees and applicants with disabilities to perform the essential functions of their job
- Allow employees to thrive, to feel welcomed, and contribute fully to the work environment in all aspects of the employee’s work lifecycle
- Educate and assist employees and job applicants with a disability to understand their rights in obtaining an accommodation
- EEOC Reasonable Accommodation Informational Links (https://www.eeoc.gov/eeoc-disability-related-resources/reasonable-accommodation)