Reasonable adjustments in action

Woman standing at desk looking at phone

Here are some real-life stories of Reasonable Adjustments that have helped employees.

Reasonable Adjustments for disabled employees might include actions like acquiring or modifying equipment, altering working hours, providing a reader or interpreter for example.

Find out more in our Reasonable Adjustments factsheet, and an overview on Reasonable Adjustments.

Workplace and HR disability training

Case studies:

Tallie - a person in the workplace living with a physical disability

woman smiling sat on a stool by a window in an office Tallie works in a call centre, full time, has an hour lunch break and two 15-minute breaks morning and afternoon. With arthritis to her hands and knees, she experiences constant discomfort. She often needs to stand up to alleviate discomfort and finds typing and controlling the mouse for long periods increases feelings of pain to her hands. 

Tallie drives to work but does not have a disability parking space close to the office. She finds the walk to and from the office painful and this impacts upon her focus and attention from the start of the day.  

What reasonable adjustments could her workplace offer? 

Physical adjustments:

  • Sit/stand desk
  • Adjustments to seat slide to reduce depth
  • Keyboard wrist rest
  • Mouse wrist rest

Non-physical adjustment:

  • Breaks to be flexible across the day, align with key performance indicators (KPIs)
  • Microbreaks
  • Display screen equipment (DSE) - check workstation set-up
  • Allocated parking space

Rachita - ASD & Dyslexia

Woman in an office standing next to a high desk with a laptop openRachita is autistic and dyslexic and is new to her role in working with disadvantaged families. It is mostly office based but does include some travel. Whilst the face-to-face meetings with clients works well there are some barriers. 

ASD was only recently diagnosed but has provided Rachita with some comfort in understanding why she experiences social anxiety and feelings of discomfort when unexpected changes occur.  

Dyslexia was diagnosed at university, and Disabled Students' Allowances funded assistive technology solutions to support her when studying, but these have not been transferred over to the workplace. She is struggling with prioritising workloads, writing up family visits accurately (she does not spot her own spelling errors) and cannot read her own written notes which causes feelings of stress when trying to recall events. 

Rachita uses a laptop with Office 365, all her colleagues use Teams to collaborate and communicate. She finds written information difficult to take onboard, and in the past has used speech output software. This doesn’t appear to be available, and she doesn’t want to ask for help.  

Online team meetings can feel overwhelming, especially when an agenda isn’t shared in advance and cameras are required to be on. This stress makes it hard to focus and recall information.

What reasonable adjustments could her workplace offer? 

Physical Adjustments:

  • My Computer My Way (MCMW) – spelling and grammar checks in Microsoft Office 365
  • MCMW – immersive reader (to read emails/docs)
  • Face to face meetings – use of laptop to type notes
  • Consider text to speech software where free solutions don’t support access  

Non-physical adjustments: 

  • Meeting Agendas to be shared in advance
  • Buddy support – help with prioritising workloads (training)
  • Microsoft Office 365 Teams – record online meetings
  • Teams Meetings – option to have camera off
  • Teams Meetings – option to interact via chat
  • Option to work from home or access to office space
  • Assistive Technology (AT) champion (to raise awareness of in-house AT and free solutions)
If this fits your description then these are some resources you might find useful:

Top tips for dyslexia and technology
Dyslexia and technology factsheet
Autism and Computers

    Man in suit stands facing the camera in front of a brick wallKelvin - visual (age-related)

    Kelvin is an office manager; he oversees a team of 20. His role is desk based and requires analysis of excel documents and reporting on outcomes to the senior management team.  

    Reports are written to a word document, and then shared via email. He finds typing and reading of emails tiring, and when added to looking at the excel reports he often feels sleepy.  

    Kelvin has noticed a deterioration of vision just recently; he finds the glare of the screen visually fatiguing and can’t always track the pointer. In addition, he notes that he’s leaning forward to look at the spreadsheets as the text appears quite small, this is causing him some back discomfort.  

    Kelvin feels that he’s not keeping pace with his workload, and this is becoming stressful. He frequently works through his lunch break to try and keep up with his schedules. 

    What reasonable adjustments could his workplace offer? 

    Physical Adjustments:

    • Larger Monitor
    • My Computer My Way (MCMW) – pointer size and colour (glare)
    • MCMW – magnification
    • MCMW – immersive reader (outlook)
    • MCMW – dictate (word and outlook)
    • Consider speech to text, and text to speech software where free solutions do not support access

    Non-physical adjustments:

    • Microbreaks 
    • Lunch breaks away from the desk
    • DSE to check workstation set-up
    • Eye test (some organisations have Employee Assistance Programmes that could fund this) 
    If this fits your description then these are some resources you might find useful:

    Assistive technology training
    Vision impairment and Computing
    Workstation adjustments for visually impaired people

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    Further resources

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    Take a look at the Reasonable Adjustments factsheet

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