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Author Topic: Lupus and the Americans with Disabilities Act  (Read 13016 times)
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« on: January 20, 2007, 09:48:03 am »



Lupus and the Americans with Disabilities Act

Is lupus a disability under the ADA?

The ADA does not contain a list of medical conditions that constitute disabilities. Instead, the ADA has a general definition of disability that each person must meet (EEOC, 1992). Therefore, some people with lupus will have a disability under the ADA and some will not.

A person has a disability if he/she has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities, a record of such an impairment, or is regarded as having such an impairment (EEOC, 1992). For more information about how to determine whether a person has a disability under the ADA, visit http://www.jan.wvu.edu/corner/vol02iss04.htm.


Accommodating Employees with Lupus

(Note: People with lupus may develop some of the limitations discussed below, but seldom develop all of them. Also, the degree of limitation will vary among individuals. Be aware that not all people with lupus will need accommodations to perform their jobs and many others may only need a few accommodations. The following is only a sample of the possibilities available. Numerous other accommodation solutions may exist.)

Questions to Consider:

1. What limitations is the employee with lupus experiencing?

2. How do these limitations affect the employee and the employee's job performance?

3. What specific job tasks are problematic as a result of these limitations?

4. What accommodations are available to reduce or eliminate these problems? Are all possible resources being used to determine possible accommodations?

5. Has the employee with lupus been consulted regarding possible accommodations?

6. Once accommodations are in place, would it be useful to meet with the employee with lupus to evaluate the effectiveness of the accommodations and to determine whether additional accommodations are needed?

7. Do supervisory personnel and employees need training regarding lupus?

Accommodation Ideas:

 Activities of Daily Living:

 Allow use of a personal attendant at work
 Allow use of a service animal at work
 Make sure the facility is accessible
 Move workstation closer to the restroom
 Allow longer breaks
 Refer to appropriate community services
 Provide access to a refrigerator

 Cognitive Impairment:

 Provide written job instructions when possible
 Prioritize job assignments
 Allow flexible work hours
 Allow periodic rest periods to reorient
 Provide memory aids, such as schedulers or organizers
 Minimize distractions
 Allow a self-paced workload
 Reduce job stress
 Provide more structure

 Fatigue/Weakness:

 Reduce or eliminate physical exertion and workplace stress
 Schedule periodic rest breaks away from the workstation
 Allow a flexible work schedule and flexible use of leave time
 Allow work from home
 Implement ergonomic workstation design
 Provide a scooter or other mobility aid if walking cannot be reduced

 Fine Motor Impairment:

 Implement ergonomic workstation design
 Provide alternative computer access
 Provide alternative telephone access
 Provide arm supports
 Provide writing and grip aids
 Provide a page turner and a book holder
 Provide a note taker

 Gross Motor Impairment:

 Modify the work-site to make it accessible
 Provide parking close to the work-site
 Provide an accessible entrance
 Install automatic door openers
 Provide an accessible restroom and break room
 Provide an accessible route of travel to other work areas used by the employee
 Modify the workstation to make it accessible
 Adjust desk height if wheelchair or scooter is used
 Make sure materials and equipment are within reach range
 Move workstation close to other work areas, office equipment, and break rooms

 Photosensitivity:

 Minimize outdoor activities between the peak hours of 10:00 am and 4:00 pm
 Avoid reflective surfaces such as sand, snow, and concrete
 Provide clothing to block UV rays
 Provide "waterproof" sun-protective agents such as sunblocks or sunscreens
 Install low wattage overhead lights
 Provide task lighting
 Replace fluorescent lighting with full spectrum or natural lighting
 Eliminate blinking and flickering lights
 Install adjustable window blinds and light filters

 Respiratory Difficulties:

 Provide adjustable ventilation
 Keep work environment free from dust, smoke, odor, and fumes
 Implement a "fragrance-free" workplace policy and a "smoke free" building policy
 Avoid temperature extremes
 Use fan/air-conditioner or heater at the workstation
 Redirect air conditioning and heating vents
 Provide adequate exhaust systems to remove fumes from office machines
 Allow individual to wear a respirator mask
 Allow work from home

 Seizure Activity:

 Eliminate the need to use sharp objects
 Eliminate blinking and flickering lights
 Replace fluorescent lighting with full spectrum or natural lighting
 Use computer monitor glare guards, adjust monitor intensity and color, and decrease the cursor speed of the mouse
 Provide protective clothing/equipment
 Modify job tasks requiring fine finger dexterity
 Allow flexible work hours
 Allow periodic rest breaks
 Allow work from home

 Skin Irritations:

 Avoid infectious agents and chemicals
 Avoid invasive procedures
 Provide protective clothing

 Stress Intolerance:

 Develop strategies to deal with work problems before they arise
 Provide sensitivity training to coworkers
 Allow telephone calls during work hours to doctors and others for support
 Provide information on counseling and employee assistance programs

 Temperature Sensitivity (including Raynaud's Phenomenon):

 Modify work-site temperature
 Modify dress code
 Use fan/air-conditioner or heater at the workstation
 Allow flexible scheduling and flexible use of leave time
 Allow work from home during extremely hot or cold weather
 Maintain the ventilation system
 Redirect air conditioning and heating vents
 Provide an office with separate temperature control

 Vision Impairment:

 Magnify written material using hand/stand optical magnifiers
 Provide large print material, screen reading software, and large-size high resolution monitor
 Control glare by adding a glare screen to the computer
 Install proper office lighting
 Allow frequent rest breaks

Situations and Solutions:

A teacher with lupus was restricted from extended periods of typing. She was having difficulty creating lesson plans. She was accommodated with speech recognition software, an alternative keyboard, and a trackball.

A corporate trainer with lupus had difficulty standing and walking when giving presentations. The individual was accommodated with a scooter for getting around the work-site and a stand/lean stool to support her weight when standing.

A claims representative with lupus was sensitive to fluorescent light in his office and to the radiation emitted from his computer monitor. The overhead lights were changed from fluorescent to broad spectrum by using a special filter that fit onto the existing light fixture. The individual was also accommodated with a glare guard and flicker-free monitor.

An engineer with lupus was having difficulty completing all of his work in the office due to fatigue. The individual was accommodated with frequent rest breaks, a flexible schedule, and work from home on a part-time basis.

An executive secretary with lupus had severe back pain due to arthritis. The individual was accommodated with an adjustable height workstation to alternate between sitting and standing, an adjustable keyboard and mouse tray, and an ergonomic chair with lumbar support.

A health care worker with lupus had low vision. She was having difficulty viewing her computer screen and paper copies. The individual was accommodated with a large monitor, screen magnification software, hand/stand magnifier for paper copies, and a closed circuit television system.

A systems analyst with lupus had migraine headaches. The individual was moved from a cubicle office to a separate workspace away from distractions and noise. She was then able to use task lighting instead of overhead fluorescent lighting and adjust the temperature control when necessary.


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« Reply #1 on: February 03, 2007, 08:00:41 am »


Americans with Disabilities Act Homepage

http://www.ada.gov/

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I look normal, as I have an "Invisible Illness". You can not catch it, you can not see it. It's called Lupus.My body is attacking itself on the inside.
www.LupusMCTD.com Represents:
1) We are patients helping researchers build a future for the lives of others...
2) Where HOPE is a WORK In Progress
3) Pay It Forward~Giving Back To The Future Lupus/MCTD Patients
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