Most managers were never trained to be managers so though the ADA doesn’t require you to request a reasonable accommodation in a particular way, it can be helpful for you to be clear and specifically use the words “reasonable accommodation” so they know that is what you are asking for. Again, this is where Cancer and Careers’ Manager’s Kit can be very helpful.
Keep in mind that reasonable accommodations can be helpful whether you're working through treatment or if you're going back to work after taking time off.
Once you have asked your employer for a reasonable accommodation, you are supposed to work together to determine what the accommodations are and whether they are working once they are in place. It can be beneficial, once you’ve agreed to a plan, to put it in writing. It is also important to remember that you might actually need more than one accommodation to address the challenges you are having, and/or that you might need to change accommodations over time depending on how your treatment and side effects are impacting you.
For more information on requesting reasonable accommodations, visit the Job Accommodation Network: https://askjan.org/EeGuide/EeGuide.pdf
Questions to ask yourself to help identify potential accommodations:
Is it reasonable to:
- Work the same number of hours every week, but at different times? (e.g. Instead of 9 AM to 5 PM work 7 AM to 3 PM)
- Request more frequent breaks?
- Do some or all of your work from home?
- Rearrange your work space so equipment (printer, telephone, etc.) are easily reachable to reduce unnecessary energy spend
- Move to a different work station? (e.g. closer to the restroom, or further away from the cafeteria to avoid food smells that make you nauseated)
- Ask for special furniture? (e.g. a movie theater ticket taker who is given a chair to sit in while working)
- Ask for special equipment? (e.g. an anti-glare screen for your computer or a cooling vest to help balance heat sensitivity)
- Reassign job responsibilities? (e.g. a teacher has recess duty covered by coworkers so he can rest)
- Ask if an exception can be made to a policy? (e.g. Being allowed to use headphones at your work station to help reduce distractions)
- Change to working an open role that you are qualified for?
- Work in a different location? (e.g. moving to a different restaurant within the same chain that is closer to home)