ADHD: Should I ask for workplace accommodations?

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ADHD: Should I ask for workplace accommodations?

The phone rings, your email pings, your co-worker walks by and wants to chat. The workplace is filled with distractions, and when you’ve been diagnosed with ADHD, these distractions can make it difficult to get work done. So, when is it appropriate to request workplace accommodations?

There are laws in place through the Americans with Disabilities Act to give people with disabilities a chance to compete in their field, but you’re not automatically granted accommodations if you do have a disability. What matters is that your diagnosed condition affects your ability to perform an essential job function. When it does, you are entitled to accommodations.

Employers are often concerned that it will cost them too much to accommodate their employees. But many times it’s a low or no cost solution that can help. Also, employers have reported benefits of providing accommodations, such as improved employee productivity and decreased worker’s compensation. Some creative solutions that employers have provided are:

  • Blocking harsh fluorescent lights with a cubicle shield
  • Using light dimming stickers to block or dim blinking lights on a computer
  • Employing a white noise machine to reduce noise distractions
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    Where can you go to find out more information on workplace accommodations?
    Talk with a qualified therapist about how to begin the process or contact Job Accommodation Network.  Job Accommodation Network (JAN) is an organization funded by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Employment Policy. JAN is a free and confidential service that works toward finding practical solutions for workplace accommodations. To get more information, call 800-526-7234 or go to They have experienced staff available to help you.

    Don’t wait to find out if workplace accommodations are appropriate for you! It’s important to request accommodations before your job performance suffers.