Perhaps you are just beginning a new job. When you applied, you and the recruiter discussed your disability and the need for the employer to make some accommodations for you.

Now that you are officially employed, how is your need for “reasonable accommodation” going? Has your new employer complied with your request?

About reasonable accommodation

The term “reasonable accommodation” in the workplace for a disabled employee refers to a change from the norm. It may be a change in the job description itself or in the way the job is done so as to help a person with disabilities perform the duties required. For example, you may need wheelchair access to the location in which you work. You may be partially blind and therefore require the documents you work with to be in large print. Your employer should make such accommodations for you unless it creates an undue hardship for the company.

Benefits for the company

Reasonable accommodations do not just benefit the employee. In making a reasonable accommodation for your needs as a disabled employee, your employer benefits in at least two ways: first, from the expertise you bring to the job and second, from the tax incentives available.

A brief look at tax benefits

Like many government agencies, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is interested in creating a more accepting mindset for businesses with regard to the hiring of people with disabilities. The IRS has therefore created certain tax incentives, such as the Small Business Tax Credit. A business with 30 or fewer full-time employees and $1 million or less in yearly revenue is eligible for an annual tax credit of up to $5,000 to defray the cost of providing reasonable accommodations for disabled employees.

The Architectural/Transportation Tax Deduction of up to $15,000 is also available annually. This deduction is for companies that go through the efforts and expenses of removing barriers and providing disabled people with better access through making improvements such as wheelchair ramps and wider walkways.