How Can I Help?

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How can I help? Asking this simple question can be a strategic way of creating a safe space for disability-disclosure at work. It can be a way of demonstrating good faith and opening a door to discuss reasonable accommodations that can enable employees with disabilities to improve performance or complete essential job tasks. This question, or a variation of the question, doesn’t make employers vulnerable to appearing as if they are making assumptions about disability or the possible need for accommodation. Instead, it conveys an interest in employees and the desire to be part of a solution to resolve a challenging situation.

Asking, How can I help?, is a strategy I often suggest to employers who are trying to manage employees who are not meeting performance standards, or when there is an apparent impact on the performance of essential job duties because of a known impairment. This may be a useful strategy when an accommodation has not already been requested, or when disability disclosure has not occurred in response to counseling for poor [...]

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