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Reasonable adjustments

Reasonable adjustments and Access to Work

Employers are required to take active steps to support employees with disabilities to participate fully in the workplace under the Equality Act 2010. One way of doing this is for changes to be made to the role. The good news for both employees and employers is that reasonable adjustments are often simple, minor, and cost-free to put in place.

Your TSSA Neurodiversity champion, ULR, or rep can help you negotiate these changes with your manager. The government‘s Access to Work scheme is very useful at this stage; they offer free advice, assessment, and funding to your employer for adjustments and support that may help you to work more effectively (e.g. assistive software, coaching).

When thinking about which reasonable adjustments may be helpful it is a good idea to start with your diagnostic assessment report. You may also consider obtaining a workplace assessment, in which a trained disability assessor will come into your workplace and in consultation with you and your manager make recommendations about which adjustments would be most helpful to you. Access to Work offers workplace assessments for free.

Take a problem-solving approach and be creative - it’s likely you’ve already been doing this for years.

Access to Work:

­­­Potential reasonable adjustments

Ask for written information in advance for training courses and meetings (e.g. course outlines and reading; meeting agendas) and use an audio recorder to record training sessions

Request specialist workplace skills coaching for elements of your job that you find difficult.

Ask for assistive technology such as Dragon, TextHelp or mindmapping software and get coaching on how to use these.

Swap skills: if you find particular tasks difficult, ask a colleague to do this for you in exchange for you performing one of their tasks

Ask your manager to help with organising and prioritising your workload on a regular basis, e.g. talk through a work schedule flow chart on a weekly basis

Create an environment in which you can work effectively if you are in a busy open-plan office and have problems focusing. Concentrate on changing your location or your work practice, e.g. ask to be moved away from sitting next to noisy office machinery

Ask for extra time if the job or promotion you are applying for has a reading or writing comprehension test as part of the selection process, (the rule of thumb is 25% extra time but if you are severely dyslexic you could ask for more).