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Low Cost, High Impact

Even in uncertain times, there’s one business cost holding steady—the typically low cost of providing workplace accommodations.

Accommodations are modifications or adjustments to a job or work environment that enable a qualified person with a disability to apply for or perform a job. Although employers are required to provide reasonable accommodations to qualified individuals with disabilities, many employers prefer to think of them simply as “productivity enhancements” since they help employees work to their fullest potential. The Job Accommodation Network’s (JAN) ongoing study on the topic underscores the high return on investment for these valuable workplace tools.

The JAN survey is called Accommodations and Compliance: Low Cost, High Impact, and since it began in 2004, it has consistently shown that the benefits employers receive from making workplace accommodations far outweigh the cost, which is typically low. This year’s results again indicate that most (56%) of accommodations for employees with disabilities cost nothing to implement, while the rest have a median cost of $500.

Other highlights from the latest survey include the following:

  • Employers want to provide accommodations so they can retain valued and qualified employees. Eighty-two percent of respondents were seeking accommodation information and solutions to retain or promote a current employee.

  • Employers report accommodations are effective. The majority of respondents (75%) said that the accommodations they implemented were either very effective or extremely effective.

  • Employers experience multiple direct and indirect benefits after making accommodations. The most frequently mentioned direct benefits were allowing the company to retain a valued employee, increasing the employee’s productivity, and eliminating training a new employee. The most widely mentioned indirect benefits employers received were improved interactions with co-workers and increased overall company morale and productivity.

  • Employers find JAN helpful during the accommodation process. Ninety-eight percent reported that JAN understood their needs, 94% stated the information JAN sent them met their needs, and 100% of employers said they would use JAN again.

Funded by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Disability Employment Policy, JAN is the leading source of free, expert, and confidential guidance on workplace accommodations and disability employment issues. JAN provides assistance via phone at 1-800-526-7234 (voice) or 1-877-781-9403 (TTY) or online at