Close Menu

Live Chat

Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions page

What is JAN?

The Job Accommodation Network (JAN) is the leading source of free, expert, and confidential guidance on workplace accommodations and disability employment issues.  Working toward practical solutions that benefit both employer and employee, JAN helps people with disabilities enhance their employability, and shows employers how to capitalize on the value and talent that people with disabilities add to the workplace.

What services does JAN provide?

JAN’s trusted consultants offer one-on-one guidance on workplace accommodations, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and related legislation, and self-employment and entrepreneurship options for people with disabilities.  Assistance is available both over the phone and online.

Who can benefit from JAN's services?

Those who can benefit from JAN’s services include private employers of all sizes, government agencies, employee representatives, and service providers, as well as people with disabilities and their families.  

JAN helps employers capitalize on the talents and value of employees with disabilities.  Its experts help private employers:

  • Hire, retain, and promote qualified employees with disabilities;
  • Recognize why hiring people with disabilities makes good business sense;
  • Learn about workplace accommodation options and practical solutions;
  • Protect their businesses through education on disability-related legislation;
  • Learn about employment practices that can ultimately save them money through reduced workers' compensation and other insurance costs; and
  • Address issues pertaining to accessibility.

JAN helps federal agencies:

  • Benefit from the skills and talents of qualified individuals with disabilities;
  • Identify resources that can help them learn how to use Schedule A and other hiring authorities to hire people with disabilities;
  • Support the Office of Personnel Management’s (OPM) expressed commitment to increasing the employment of people with disabilities within the federal government; and
  • Understand their responsibilities under the ADA and Section 501 of the Rehabilitation Act and how to fulfill them. 

JAN helps people who represent and advocate on behalf of employees with disabilities better serve their constituents.  Its experts help them:

  • Learn about accommodations that can assist employees in improving productivity on the job;
  • Obtain confidential, objective guidance that may assist in mediating matters of dispute between employees and employers relative to disability discrimination; and
  • Learn about options that can keep union members with disabilities safe on the job.

JAN helps service providers to people with disabilities better serve their constituents. Its experts help them:

  • Obtain accommodation assistance to help them further assist customers;
  • Brainstorm accommodation options for the people with disabilities they serve;
  • Find local resources for workplace assessment; 
  • Discover resources for workplace accommodations including device fabrication and modification; and
  • Understand their responsibilities under the ADA and other disability legislation.

JAN helps people with disabilities increase their employability and succeed on the job.  Its experts help them:

  • Understand their rights under the ADA and the Rehabilitation Act;
  • Learn the benefits of requesting accommodations from their employer or potential employer;
  • Pinpoint specific accommodation and accessibility options to enhance their on-the-job success;
  • Identify other government resources and placement agencies that can help them find jobs or succeed in their current work environments; and
  • Learn about self-employment options.

How can I contact JAN?

JAN offers several ways to obtain confidential, personalized assistance – anytime, anywhere. 

  • By Phone:  From 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. ET, customers can call JAN toll-free to speak with a workplace accommodation expert. (800) 526-7234 or (877) 781-9403 (TTY)
  • Via the Web: AskJAN.org offers more than 300 disability-specific publications, as well as the Searchable Online Accommodation Resource (SOAR), which enables users to explore accommodation options for different disabilities and workplace settings. 
  • On Demand:  JAN’s online service provides customers with individualized e-mail responses to questions about accommodations and the ADA.
  • Through Social Networks:  JAN connects with users through a variety of social media platforms, from Facebook and LinkedIn, to Twitter, blogs, and Second Life.
  • Through In-Person Trainings:  JAN delivers training workshops at events sponsored by corporations, organizations, and federal, state, and local governments.

Does JAN offer assistance in Spanish?

Yes.  JAN offers assistance in Spanish, both through its phone service and its JAN en Español Web page, which offers many of JAN’s publications in Spanish.

Why are JAN consultants so trusted?

JAN represents the most comprehensive job accommodation resource available.  From Fortune 500 companies to entrepreneurs, JAN has served customers across the U.S. and around the world for more than 25 years.  Its consultants are thought leaders and innovators on disability employment issues, and all have earned at least one Master's degree in their specialized fields, ranging from rehabilitation counseling to education and engineering.  Meet the JAN staff.

How is JAN funded and operated?

JAN is one of several services provided by the U.S. Department of Labor's Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP).  Its development has been achieved through the collaborative efforts of ODEP, West Virginia University, and private industry throughout North America.

Who is protected by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)?

The ADA does not contain a list of covered disabilities, so JAN consultants cannot tell callers whether an individual is protected by the Act.  However, JAN consultants are able to provide guidance regarding the ADA’s definition of disability from the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the enforcing agency for the ADA’s employment provisions.  Callers to JAN do not need to be protected by the ADA in order to use JAN.

What is reasonable accommodation?

In relation to the ADA, reasonable accommodation is any modification or adjustment to a job or the work environment that will enable a qualified applicant or employee with a disability to participate in the application process or to perform essential job functions.  Reasonable accommodation also includes adjustments to ensure that a qualified individual with a disability has rights and privileges in employment equal to those of employees without disabilities.  JAN consultants can provide callers with various accommodation solution ideas for a specific situation.  They cannot tell callers what is reasonable for a specific situation, but are able to provide guidance regarding the ADA’s definition of reasonable accommodation from the EEOC, the enforcing agency for the ADA’s employment provisions.

How can an employee request reasonable accommodation from an employer?

Though not required by the ADA, JAN suggests that employees ask for accommodations in writing.  See JAN's Ideas for Writing an Accommodation Request Letter for information on how to form such a letter.

When can an employer ask an individual for medical documentation?

Contact JAN directly for specific situations and read EEOC’s Enforcement Guidance on Disability-Related Inquiries and Medical Examinations and Pre-employment Disability-Related Questions and Medical Examinations for an overview.  Also, see JAN’s Medical Inquiry Response to an Accommodation Request.

How do we make our facility accessible?

JAN provides extensive information on specific products for making facilities accessible and where to purchase equipment necessary to do so.  For information on ADA accessibility guidelines, visit JAN's ADA Library.

Where can I get funding for accommodations, and how much do accommodations typically cost?

Tax incentives are available to help employers implement workplace accommodations. Additional funding is available through several organizations.  Read JAN’s publication on Tax Incentives and visit its funding links for additional information.  Since its inception, JAN has collected cost and benefit data from its customers.  Data collected suggest that more than half of all accommodations cost nothing.  Furthermore, JAN’s statistics show that most employers report financial benefits from providing accommodations due to reduced costs in terms of insurance and training new employees and increased worker productivity.

Where can I get ADA posters, training, and videos?

To obtain ADA posters and other materials, contact your regional Disability Business and Technical Assistance Center or the EEOC.  While there are a number of sources for training throughout the United States, contact JAN directly to identify resources in your area or to schedule a training facilitated by JAN personnel.