Reasonable Accommodations

The Department of the Interior (DOI) provides reasonable accommodation for the known physical or intellectual limitations of qualified employees and applicants with a disability unless the accommodation would impose an undue hardship on the DOI. The Rehabilitation Act requires that federal agencies provide reasonable accommodation to qualified employees and applicants with disabilities, unless to do so would cause undue hardship. Reasonable accommodations remove barriers that prevent individuals with disabilities from applying for, or performing, jobs for which they are qualified.

What is a reasonable accommodation?

A reasonable accommodation is any change in the work environment or the way things are customarily done that would enable a qualified individual with a disability to enjoy equal employment opportunities. There are three categories of reasonable accommodation:

  • Changes to the job application process that enable a qualified applicant with a disability to be considered for the position the applicant desires;
    • For example, providing a sign language interpreter for an interview for an applicant who is hearing impaired.
  • Changes to the work environment, or to the way a job is usually done, that enable a qualified individual with a disability to perform the essential functions of that position;
    • For example, adjusting a work schedule or telework flexibility to enable a disabled employee to attend medical appointments.
  • Changes that enable an employee with a disability to enjoy equal benefits and privileges of employment.
    • For example, making adjustments to training or workshop materials for a visually impaired employee.

Who is a qualified individual with a disability?

A qualified individual with a disability is a person who has a physical or mental impairment (or is regarded as having or has a record of such impairment) which substantially limits one or more major life activities and who meets the skill, experience, education, or other requirements of a position that the individual holds or seeks, and who can perform the essential functions of the position with or without reasonable accommodation.

The Department of the Interior's reasonable accommodation policy is outlined within Personnel Bulletin 14-01 on Reasonable Accommodation for Individuals with Disabilities.

How do I request a Reasonable Accommodation?

An applicant with a disability may request a reasonable accommodation at any time during the application process by contacting the agency contact listed in the vacancy announcement.  

An employee (or eligible volunteer) with a disability may request a reasonable accommodation at any time during their employment. The request for an accommodation can be made verbally or in writing. Requests can be made to the supervisor or another other management official in the chain of command and/or the Bureau/Office Human Resources Reasonable Accommodation Coordinator. If the employee contacts the supervisor or other management official in their chain of command, the supervisor/management official must notify the Bureau/Office Human Resources Reasonable Accommodation Coordinator.  

Personal Assistance Services (PAS)

Some employees with targeted disabilities may find it difficult to work unless personal assistance services are provided to them in the workplace. These services allow such individuals to enjoy the opportunity and independence of employment. PAS are non-medical services that help individuals who, because of targeted disabilities, require assistance to perform basic activities of daily living. 

To learn more about PAS, please review the Department’s Personnel Bulletin 17-18.

And visit these additional resources provided by EEOC:

​Other resources with information regarding reasonable accommodation:

Was this page helpful?