Your self-directed employment assistant

If you’re someone with wanderlust or the traveling bug, chances are it would be a major perk to have a job that requires you to travel. However, if you’re an individual with a disability, traveling for work can be a very difficult or complex task. That isn’t to say that it shouldn’t be an option for that particular employee, but that there will need to be a lot more discussion for how to make it possible.

Workplaces are required to provide reasonable accommodations for their employees, and this requirement is extended to assisting their team members if they need to travel for work. This could mean that an employer will provide a mode of travel better suited for that particular employee. Instead of flying by plane, perhaps taking a train or bus would be more sufficient. In the event of the employee not being able to travel at all due to any given circumstances, the employee might allow them to hold a meeting over a video chat service. That way they’re still accomplishing the same goals as being there in person, discussing work in real time. Another situation that will often come up is that an employee may require a personal care assistant to accompany them while traveling for work. Legally employers do not need to accommodate the personal care assistants of their employees while in the workplace, but it’s different in regards to travel. Since the employee would need their assistant to be able to help them perform work tasks while traveling, the workplace would then need to assume they would be taking care of the added costs. 

To read more about traveling for work with a disability, check out this resource by Job Accommodation Network (JAN). In addition, take a listen to a very informative webinar about the Air Carrier Access Act (AACA), travelers with disabilities, and traveling by air with service animals brought to you by the Great Lakes ADA Center.  

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