Steps to comply with the interactive ADA process (2023)

Steps to comply with the interactive ADA process (1)

You may be familiar with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). It was last enacted in 1990 and has been amended once since then. The ADA is a very important civil rights law because it prohibits any form of discrimination against persons with disabilities throughout the United States.

(Video) ADA Interactive Process

The comprehensive Americans with Disabilities Act sets minimum standards that commercial buildings, offices, public spaces, schools, state and local government agencies, and even employers should follow. ADA requires public spaces to accommodate people with a specific disability without causing them difficulty or harm. These standards range from larger spaces in public restrooms to adapting operations to properly communicate with a customer who may be visually or hearing impaired.

Many changes have occurred since this law was passed. Its primary goal is to provide equal opportunities for people with disabilities—be it in education, employment, state or federal government services, and everything in between.

Title I of the ADA prohibits discrimination in the work environment based on disability. Employers must then engage in an interactive process to prevent discrimination against workers and provide reasonable accommodation. Because the ADA is a law, employers who do not comply expect liability and penalties.

The ADA requires employers to "make reasonable accommodations for qualified applicants or employees." Reasonable accommodation is defined as assisting or changing a job or job to accommodate applicants or workers with disabilities to enable them to do their assigned job without causing undue hardship to the employer.

Determining reasonable accommodations in accordance with the ADA Interactive Process

There is an ADA interactive process to help determine the reasonable reasonable accommodation for individuals with disabilities. This interactive process involves both the employer and the employee to communicate properly and in good faith to explore any accommodation request options that can be undertaken.

(Video) Engaging Employees in the ADA's Interactive Process – Best Practices and Tips for Employers

Employers engaging in the interactive process should proceed with integrity to truly listen to employees' needs and desires. Likewise, the applicant or employee with a disability must act in good faith to comply with the interactive process and the accommodations requested of them.

Steps to comply with the interactive ADA process

As the two parties engage in the interactive process, important steps must be followed.

Below we will summarize the important information about the steps in the interactive ADA process for your quick reference.

Step 1: Accept the accommodation request.

The employee must state that they have a problem related to their health condition. It is understood that this condition or disability prevents the worker from performing the essential functions of his or her job. Any report of an employee's disability must be received without discrimination or prejudice in the workplace.

After that, the employer can make considerations. The employer must now check whether this is a request for (reasonable) accommodation.

(Video) Understanding the ADA Interactive Process

The employee's request for reasonable accommodation in the workplace may include:

  • The worker who is required to take time off but is not eligible under the Family and Medical Leave Act 1993 (FMLA).
  • The employee has used up their FMLA leave but needs more time off.
  • The employee used medical arguments to explain absences or professional deficiencies (e.g. poor concentration due to medication, physical exhaustion and similar symptoms).

Step 2: Gather relevant information.

The employee is required to provide documentation of their (covered) disability and any limitations from their healthcare provider. This step is essential for both parties to assess whether the position is suitable for the employee and whether there is a need for the desired accommodation.

Meanwhile, the employer must provide the exact information they need from their employee's healthcare provider and most importantly, they should verify the employee's essential work functions. Analysis of the job description along with the employee's disability is critical as it helps the employer determine if job functions are in any way affected by the employee's disability and/or limitations. Of course, employers can request further information, such as B. the professional career, request respectfully. You are also welcome to request or request other documentation related to, but not limited to, the person's employment.

Steps to comply with the interactive ADA process (2)

Step 3: Explore accommodation options and select accommodation as per the employee's request.

Employers must review past placement requests. This may require some time and research to investigate previous cases.

(Video) Engaging disabled employees in the ADA’s interactive process

Employers may require the employee and their healthcare provider to provide accommodation suggestions or other medical information. This will help determine the effective accommodation to be made - ideally one that would enable the employee to perform the essential functions of the job without discrimination based on their disability.

To ensure that reasonable accommodation is provided, employers may need to carry out an unjustified hardship analysis. This analysis must be based on an individual assessment of the current circumstances showing that a particular reasonable accommodation would cause significant difficulty or cost (on the employer's part). The following are some considerations that the employer may consider:

  • Type and cost of accommodation required
  • the total financial and human resources of the employer and the institution to which they belong
  • Size, type and location of the facility
  • Type of establishment (including structure and functions), geographical data, administrative or fiscal relationship of the establishment with the employer
  • Effects of accommodation on facility operations

If more than one effective reasonable accommodation applies at that time, the employer may choose the accommodation with that one exception - which is to furlough the employee. If there is another range of possible accommodation that would enable the person to work and perform the duties of the job, the employer cannot require the person to take leave.

Note: Generally, if the employee has FMLA available, they can choose to take time off rather than accept transfer to another job.

Common mistakes in the ADA interactive process

Steps to comply with the interactive ADA process (3)

The employer or supervisor has a legal obligation to engage in this interactive process before determining whether an effective accommodation is available. Deciding on what reasonable accommodation the employer can provide is an extensive back-and-forth between the relevant parties.

(Video) Navigating the Interactive Process - ADA & Accommodations | Ep. 118

Refusing to participate in these discussions or displaying any form of discrimination may be penalized against them as it is a violation of the ADA. For example, the following are some common mistakes a manager can make when they do not manage the interactive process in good faith.

  • insecurity and resistance.Sometimes the interactive process should be started as soon as the employee raises any difficulties regarding the position related to their disability. Employees with disabilities may face further discrimination should their manager deny claims or requests for accommodations—a clear violation of ADA and even labor law guidelines. Therefore, it is very important to be cooperative from the beginning.
  • Inadequate education.The employer may not be well equipped to manage the interactive process or even receive the accommodation request. It's not necessarily their fault, but it can hinder the interactive process. To address this, they can work closely with HR.
  • complication of the process.When the employee expresses their needs and desires, the manager should first look for a quick, easy, and user-friendly solution. There is often a quick fix that can allay their concerns if the manager is willing to let it happen. However, if there is none, the formal ADA process can be started in close consultation with the employee and HR.
  • Sharing or requesting too much information.Supervisors can make mistakes when sharing medical information with colleagues or other parties not involved in the interactive process. You should be careful to keep everything confidential. Likewise, they should only focus on information that they can use to determine the disability and placement needs.

The interactive process as required by ADA sounds complicated, but it doesn't have to be. ADA was designed to prohibit discrimination against people with disabilities, so employees should honor and enforce it.

Visit the ADA website for more information on the interactive process


What is the interactive process in ADA regulations? ›

The interactive process is used to determine whether an effective and reasonable accommodation is available for an employee under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The interactive process is required and simply means the employee with a disability and the employer work together to determine an accommodation.

What is the interactive process for employees? ›

What Is The Interactive Process? The Interactive Process is the way in which employees, supervisors, and their departments determine whether reasonable accommodation can be made to an employee. The interactive process obligation applies to both workers' compensation and non- industrial related injuries or illnesses.

What is the ADA interactive process good faith? ›

Once the duty to engage in the good faith interactive process is triggered, an employer must (1) promptly meet with the employee and discuss and select appropriate disability-related accommodations and (2) provide selected accommodations so long as they don't pose an “undue hardship” on the employer.

How management is an interactive process? ›

The interactive process includes identifying the essential functions of the job, consulting with the individual to ascertain the specific job-related limitations and how they could be overcome with a reasonable accommodation, and identifying, assessing and implementing appropriate accommodations.

What can I expect in an interactive process? ›

In the interactive process—a discussion about an applicant's or employee's disability--the applicant or employee, health care provider and employer each share information about the nature of the disability and the limitations that may affect his or her ability to perform the essential job duties.

What is an ADA compliance plan? ›

CDOT's ADA Compliance Transition Plan is a living document that assesses accessibility across all programs and projects, highlighting compliance efforts and charting a course for improvements.

Which three requirements are mandated by the Integrated accessibility Standards Regulation? ›

Part 1 – General Requirements

The General Requirements are those regulatory requirements that apply across all three standards in this regulation – Information and Communications, Employment, and Transportation.

How do you start an interactive process with employees? ›

To start the interactive process, the employer should gather information from the employee, including the specific nature of the limitation, the specific difficulty or issue that the employee is experiencing at work, and what sort of accommodation the employee is seeking.

How can I make my workplace more interactive? ›

50 Employee Engagement Ideas to Seriously Boost Engagement
  1. Create an engaging onboarding experience. ...
  2. Spice up the work environment. ...
  3. Celebrate people (not just their work). ...
  4. Do a strengths assessment. ...
  5. Be a motivating coach, not a managing boss. ...
  6. Ask employees to write their own job description. ...
  7. Ask employees for advice.
Jan 13, 2022

What is dynamic and interactive process? ›

1. a process that is continuous and evolving. Learn more in: Functions and Strategies of Email Communication at the Workplace. Find more terms and definitions using our Dictionary Search.

What is failure to engage in interactive process? ›

If an employer refuses to sit down and talk to the employee to come up with a reasonable accommodation, then in addition to a failure to accommodate claim, the employer could have a “failure to engage in an interactive process” claim.

What is the evaluation process for ADA? ›

EVALUATION/PLACEMENT PROCEDURES--A comprehensive evaluation is required. A multidisciplinary team evaluates the child, and parental consent is required before an initial evaluation. IDEA requires that reevaluations be conducted at least every 3 years.

What are the four primary purposes of the ADA? ›

The ADA's four primary goals include full participation, equal opportunity, independent living and economic self-sufficiency.

What are the 4 management activities include in process? ›

Over the years, Fayol's functions were combined and reduced to the following four main functions of management: planning, organizing, leading, and controlling.

What are the 7 management process? ›

Each of these functions plays a critical role in helping organizations achieve efficiently and effectively. Luther Gulick, Fayol's successor, further defined 7 functions of management or POSDCORB—planning, organizing, staffing, directing, coordinating, reporting and budgeting.

What are the three main activities involved in process management? ›

The five major activities of the operating system with regard to process management are:
  • The creation and deletion of both user and system processes.
  • The suspension and resumption of processes.
  • The provision of mechanisms for process synchronization.
  • The provision of mechanisms for process communication.

What are some examples of ADA compliance? ›

Here are some examples:
  • Whether the facility is a public school or a private office, buildings should be accessible for wheelchairs. ...
  • Streets need to have right-angled curb ramps in order to make the sidewalk accessible for wheelchairs or people with walking difficulties.
  • Often, technology can be implemented to assist.
Jun 14, 2021

How do you handle ADA requests? ›

How to Handle an Employee's Request for an ADA Accommodation
  1. Step 1: Determine Whether the Employer Is Covered by the ADA. ...
  2. Step 2: Ensure a Policy and Procedure Exist for Handling Accommodation Requests. ...
  3. Step 3: Determine Whether the Employee with a Disability Is "Qualified" ...
  4. Step 4: Initiate the Interactive Process.

What is effective communication ADA? ›

The purpose of the effective communication rules is to ensure that the person with a vision, hearing, or speech disability can communicate with, receive information from, and convey information to, the covered entity.

What are examples of interactive instruction? ›

Interactive instruction is when students learn through social interaction. Examples of interactive instruction include group discussion, question-and-answer sessions, debates and tutoring. The third type of instructional strategy we discussed was hands-on instruction.

How do I prepare for an interactive session? ›

10 tips to create interaction in your trainings
  1. Use ice-breakers and energizers. Create a positive group atmosphere. ...
  2. Preparation is key. Define the goal. ...
  3. Think in Building Blocks. ...
  4. Location & Setting is important. ...
  5. Stimulate collaboration. ...
  6. Ask questions & give feedback. ...
  7. Play with formats. ...
  8. End in style.
Feb 27, 2022

What are the interactive techniques? ›

Interactive learning techniques encompass the repertoire of instructional strategies that can be incorporated into interactive learning environments to enable learning to occur. There are three key components that must be included in every interactive learning technique: engagement, interaction, and feedback.

What are the basic requirements of the ADA? ›

Under the ADA , workers with disabilities must have equal access to all benefits and privileges of employment that are available to similarly situated employees without disabilities. The duty to provide reasonable accommodation applies to all non-work facilities provided or maintained by you for your employees.

How do you verify ADA compliance? ›

There are two ways that you can perform an ADA test. One option is to audit your site manually by evaluating each page and comparing it to the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines. The second is to use an automatic ADA testing tool that scans your site for web accessibility issues.

What are the 3 parts of ADA? ›

The ADA is divided into five titles:
  • Employment (Title I) ...
  • Public Services (Title II) ...
  • Public Accommodations (Title III) ...
  • Telecommunications (Title IV) ...
  • Miscellaneous (Title V)
Jul 26, 2012

What are the 5 steps of the accessible information standard? ›

  • The Accessible Information Standard. The Accessible Information Standard says that people who have a disability or sensory loss should get information in a way they can access and understand. ...
  • Ask: ...
  • Record: ...
  • Alert / flag / highlight: ...
  • Share: ...
  • Act:

What are the 5 standards of integrated accessibility? ›

The IASR sets standards in the following five areas: information and communications; employment; transportation; design of public spaces; and customer service. The compliance dates of this Regulation are staggered, allowing for a gradual implementation over several years.

What are the four main principles you need to follow to ensure content accessibility? ›

There are four main guiding principles of accessibility upon which WCAG has been built. These four principles are known by the acronym POUR for perceivable, operable, understandable and robust. POUR is a way of approaching web accessibility by breaking it down into these four main aspects.

What is a interactive process meeting IPM? ›

The Interactive Process Meeting (IPM) is a meeting, in person or by telephone, between the employee and the employer. The purpose is to identify appropriate reasonable accommodations to assist employees with a known disability in returning to work. An IPM is a cooperative effort in a neutral environment.

What triggers the interactive process? ›

What Triggers The Interactive Process? The Interactive Process is triggered as soon as the employer becomes aware that the employee may have a mental or physical impairment that limits his/her ability to perform any aspect of his/her job.

What is the nature of interactive process? ›

The interactive process is an informal practice in which the employee and employer determine the precise limitations created by the disability and how best to respond to the need for an accommodation.

What is an interactive meeting? ›

Events that put people together in a way that encourages meeting new people, collaborations and an exchange of ideas.

What is failure to engage in the interactive process? ›

The failure to engage in the interactive process occurs when the employer actively avoids discussing reasonable accommodations or blows the worker off. You may there not be reasonably accommodated at all, and your employer could try to argue that it did not know that you needed any assistance.

When should I start an interactive process? ›

Generally, an employer's duty to engage in the interactive process is triggered whenever it learns that an employee needs an accommodation. Courts give employees wide latitude in how they make this known.

What is an ADA questionnaire? ›

The purpose of this form is to determine whether an employee has a disability that qualifies for an accommodation consistent with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and must be completed by the treating healthcare provider.

When should I initiate ADA? ›

When you have enough information to establish that the employee has a disability compromising employee's ability to perform their essential job functions, you need to approach the employee and initiate the interactive process, without having to wait for the employee's request for an accommodation.

What are the four major components of an interactive system? ›

Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) has four main components: the user, task, tools / interface, the context. HCI studies requires the evaluation of obtained observations while the user performs certain tasks and habits of the user together. These data are used in the development process of interactive systems.

What is the definition of interactive processing? ›

1. In a system, processing in which a computer program or a procedure directs the system to alternately (a) accept input and (b) respond to the input. 2. In a computer system, processing such that a computer program allows each user to cause the system to respond.

What are the three key characteristics of interaction design process? ›

The 5 Main Characteristics of Interaction Design
  • It changes situations by shaping and deploying artifacts.
  • It explores possible futures.
  • It frames the problem in parallel with possible solutions.
  • It requires thinking through “sketching” and other “tangible representations”
Aug 1, 2015


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2. Webinar | ADA/ADAAA Challenges: Are you compliant?
3. ADA workshop video and ADA compliance demonstration
(Graduate Studies)
4. 5 Tips on How To Design An ADA Compliant Online Course
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5. How to use Microsoft Forms
(Kevin Stratvert)
6. The Interactive Process and Accommodation of the Disabled under the ADA - TrainHR
(Train HR)


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