Writing A Hardship Letter For Reasonable Accommodation

If you are classed as disabled under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), then reasonable accommodations may need to be made to enable you to work. Indeed, it is a legal requirement for employers to make such provisions. However, it is your responsibility to tell them that you have a disability and that you require such a provision. The best way to do that is through a hardship letter.

Understanding Reasonable Accommodations

Reasonable accommodations are classed as changes or other forms of help to the workplace or the job itself that will make it possible for someone with a disability to perform his or her job. This can be structural (widening a doorway, adjusting lighting), technological (voice-activated software), or strategic (changing uniform or allowing flexible hours).

Requesting for Reasonable Accommodations

It is your responsibility to tell your employer that you have a disability and need a reasonable accommodation. They do not have to anticipate this in other words. Under the ADA, disabled persons have the right to request accommodation, but it is their responsibility to ask for it.

You do not have to write a letter to request an accommodation nor a specific type of wording. In other words, it doesn’t have to be a formal request. However, making a formal request is generally better, not in the least because it leaves a paper trail should your employer take too much time or should you have a dispute at a later stage.

What to Include in the Letter

In your letter, you should make sure that you provide all relevant information. This includes the nature of your disability, the impact of your disability on your life, what parts of your job may require reasonable accommodation, and what specific accommodations are needed. You also need to include a number of key facts, including:

  1. Your name, employee number, and position. Do make sure to include this information, even if the letter is addressed to someone like your immediate supervisor or anybody else whom you are familiar with. It is likely that your letter will travel up the chain of command, going through different departments, and they may not know who you are.
  2. The date, which may be of vital importance if there is ever a dispute at your workplace.
  3. Full details about the disability that you have, identifying it by name and explaining what it is and how it affects you and your ability to perform your tasks.
  4. A complete description of the accommodation that you require. That is, at the end of the day, the point of the letter.
  5. Ideas for accommodation. Perhaps you already know exactly what you need in order to be able to do your job. If so, then you should put this in your letter. Again, don’t make others guess what you need.
  6. Copies of any medical information that you have. For instance, a letter from your physician that explains your condition and how it limits your life can be very beneficial. You could also state that any medical information can be provided upon request.

Hardship Letter For Reasonable Accommodation Example

{Your Name}
{Your Address}
{Your Phone #}


To Whom It May Concern:

Due to the hardship caused by my {permanent/temporary} disability, I would like to request {an interpreter/an assistant/reassignment/a modified job site/modified duties}. I write this letter as a request for Reasonable Accommodation under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

On {date}, {description of event that caused disability, or description of disability when hired}. Unfortunately, my disability keeps me from being able to adequately perform the work required at my job without {accommodation}. At this time, I am unable to meet my job requirements because {description of restrictions caused by disability}. If I were to receive {accommodation}, {projected result}.

The Reasonable Accommodation Act ensures that I receive necessary accommodations, provided that it does not cause undue hardship on {Company Name}. I believe that since it would require {projected effort/cost} and would not compromise safety, interrupt workflow, or inconvenience other workers, this request falls within those parameters. I am a hard worker and with minimal accommodation I can perform my duties to their full extent.

Thank you for your consideration and understanding in this matter.


{Sender Name}

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