Determination of reasonable accommodation of employees with disabilities is often a contentious process.
Disability specialists deal with employees who hold deeply-felt opinions about how their disabilities should be accommodated, sometimes made all the more emotionally charged by their feelings of injustice and entitlement about being disabled in the first place . . . "why me?"
Balancing the ethical and legal responsibilities of the employer with the needs, emotions, and rights of disabled employees requires a high level of skill in managing potentially costly* conflicts.
As the mediator between those parties, the Disability Specialist carries a unique responsibility to handle conflict skilfully. We recommend the Track 3 (Train-the-Professional) registration option.
* Click for complimentary access to the Dana Measure of Financial Cost of Organizational Conflict, an on-line calculator producing immediate results. Computer your financial return-on-investment (ROI) in conflict management training. Computer your financial return-on-investment (ROI) in conflict management training.
Certification Course Information
Can't attend? Or need to train many employees at low cost? Consider using web-based training. Or train your entire team in one hour in your conference room for one low fee by joining an upcoming webinar.
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Edited by Melissa Zarda. See other bibliographies.
Cavit Kahya, Ramiz Khoda
Copyright restriction: The contents of this bibliography may not be placed on other websites, but links from other websites may be directed to this page. Hardcopies of this page may be printed for academic purposes.
- Blank, K (2003). It is Not a Disability Issue. Alternatives, 21.
The article discusses the link between capacity and disability. The author writes, “Although capacity is an issue that applies to parties who are not people with disabilities, parties with disabilities more often may be judged unfairly as lacking in capacity.” The article discusses the need for a better understanding of disability and how our thinking about disability affects our perceptions about capacity and ability.
- Cohen, J (2000). Sophisticated Awareness Is Necessary For Effective Disabilities Act Mediation.
As people with disabilities move deeper into the mainstream, become employed in increasing numbers, and develop a more sophisticated awareness of their rights under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), ADA employment disputes can be expected to increase. The ability to deal with the multi-faceted nature of a dispute makes mediation an ideal forum for resolving ADA employment conflicts. ADA disputes can be limited if there is a reasonable accommodation request procedure in place for use by employees.
- Dupree, D (2003). Mediating Reasonable Accommodations for ADA Cases: What every mediator needs to know.
When faced with the impact of disability in the workplace, both the employee and employer often lack appropriate information about the interactive reasonable accommodation process, their rights and responsibilities under the law, and the disability itself. The author states, “The disability itself is not the source of "conflict" between parties. Instead, it’s the perceptions or attitudes that lead to miscommunication and breakdowns in relations.”
- Leonard A, Duren D, & Reiman J, (2003). Considerations for Mediating with People Who Are Culturally Deaf. Consortium for Appropriate Dispute Resolution in Special Education.
In the past, medication has not been a very effective technique to resolve disputes for deaf people. This was primarily because of the lack of communication and cultural differences that allows one to perceive an individual differently based on disability. The following article illuminates some of these perspectives and explains how mediators can address these differences when working with Deaf people, in order to make mediation a more linguistically and culturally respectful and responsive endeavor.
- Palmer, C.& Roessler, R. T. (2000). Requesting Classroom Accommodations: Self-Advocacy and Conflict Resolution Training for College Students with Disabilities. Journal of Rehabilitation, Vol. 66, p38.
College student with disabilities attended a training program to increase their self advocacy and conflict resolution abilities. The study evaluated the SACR intervention, which emphasizes communication and negotiation skills as the best means for conflict resolution. The study showed that student who received the training were more able to secure necessary accommodation for their disabilities at school.
- Wagner, M (2003). Alternatives to ADA Mediation: An Organizational Ombuds Perspective.
The author shares her own experience as an organizational ombudsperson an impartial, independent, confidential, off-the-record resource for conflict resolution. She has often noticed the frequency with which illness, injury or disability is a factor in workplace disputes. Responding to a dispute by first attempting a relatively informal conciliation does not exclude the option of using formal mediation in the future. There are numerous pros and cons to consider in determining whether to use ADA mediation or a less formal conciliatory approach.