NOAA Workforce Management Office
Serving NOAA's Most Valuable Asset - People
NOAA's Reasonable Accommodation Program
What is a Reasonable Accommodation?
The term Reasonable Accommodation means:
- Modifications or adjustments to a job application process that enable a qualified applicant with a disability to be considered for the position such qualified applicant desires; or
- Modifications or adjustments to the work environment, or to the manner or circumstances under which the position held or desired is customarily performed, that enable an individual with a disability who is qualified to perform the essential functions of that position; or
- Modifications or adjustments that enable an agency's employee with a disability to enjoy equal benefits and privileges of employment as are enjoyed by its other similarly situated employees without disabilities.
NOAA provides Reasonable Accommodation for employees with disabilities.
An individual is considered to have a "disability" if that individual:
- has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more of that person's major life activities;
- has a record of such impairment; or
- is regarded as having such an impairment
The Reasonable Accommodation Process:
Once a Reasonable Accommodation Request is received, the Interactive Process begins, to determine what, if any, accommodation should be provided. The Reasonable Accommodation Chart gives a brief overview of the entire process. If you have questions regarding the Reasonable Accommodation Program you may contact your supervisor, or Debbie Ferrara, NOAA's Reasonable Accommodation Coordinator (RAC) at (816) 426-7822 or Debbie.A.Ferrara@noaa.gov.
To Request an Accommodation:
- Please complete the employee portion (Part A) of Form CD-575, Request for Reasonable Accommodation and submit the entire form to your supervisor or the RAC (contact information above);
- Please read carefully the document Assisting Your Health Care Provider in Preparing Your Medical Documentation. If you have a hidden disability you need to provide medical documentation to the RAC. The documentation from your health care provider must address the elements in the document mentioned above.
- The RAC will contact you to discuss your case.
- NOAA follows Departmental Administrative Order (DAO) #215-10 Reasonable Accommodation for Employees and Applicants With Disabilities
- The RAC is available to provide advice and assistance to employees as well as decision makers in processing all requests for reasonable accommodation.
- Requests for accommodation should be forwarded to the RAC if they are received by management. Requests need to be processed timely to comply with Departmental policy.
- The RAC shall determine if medical documentation is necessary to process the accommodation request.
- The RAC (NOT the supervisor) may request medical documentation when a disability is not obvious.
- Requests for reasonable accommodation are CONFIDENTIAL. The RAC will not share any medical documentation the requestor submits with any individual who does not have an official need to know.
- The RAC will advise the deciding official of the RAC's determinations and recommendations.
- Although the deciding official may need to know the RAC's recommendations regarding whether the requestor has a covered disability, what the requestor's restrictions are, and what accommodation(s) if any, would be effective, the deciding official will not ordinarily need to know what the underlying disability is or any details about the requestor's medical condition.
- The RAC does not serve as the deciding official in any reasonable accommodation request.
- The deciding official, in collaboration with the RAC, shall consult with the Office of General Counsel (OGC) before denying a request for accommodation.
NOAA's Premium Class Travel Accommodations
Effective June 15, 2012, NOAA's Deputy Under Secretary is the only authorizing official who can approve premium class travel accommodations. Your supervisor should consult with the RAC to determine if premium class travel accommodation or choice/premium seating can be provided based on your medical disability and in accordance with DAO 215-10.
Frequently Asked Questions:
Reasonable Accommodation Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
- Sign Language Interpreting Services
- Office of Personnel Management - Reasonable Accommodation
- The Job Accommodation Network (JAN) is the leading source of free, expert, and confidential guidance on workplace accommodations and disability employment issues to managers and employees.
- The Computer/Electronic Accommodations Program (CAP), a program of the Department of Defense, provides assistive technology and services to people with disabilities, Federal managers, supervisors, IT professionals, and Wounded Services Members. CAP provides necessary accommodations FREE OF CHARGE to federal agencies.
- The Workplace Ergonomics Reference Guide, published by CAP, provides illustrations of proper workstation ergonomics, a checklist for implementation of strategies, and tips for a proactive approach in the prevention of repetitive stress injuries.
- Workers Compensation is managed by Managed Care Advisors (MCA). MCA is a processing and liaison service for DOC organizations and bureaus. MCA can be reached at 1-844-DOC-CLAIM (1-844-362-2524) or 202-684-3081, Fax: 1-844-224-2891. For additional questions, you may contact Jennifer Heyob, 301-713-6350, Jennifer.Heyob@noaa.gov.
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Page last edited: February 14, 2017