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Gastrointestinal Disorders

Accommodation and Compliance: Gastrointestinal Disorders

About Gastrointestinal Disorders

Gastrointestinal (GI) disorders affect millions of people of all ages - men, women, and children. Examples of GI disorders include Crohn's disease, gastroparesis, ulcerative colitis, irritable bowel syndrome, spastic colon, and diverticulitis. Symptoms of GI disorders range from very mild to debilitating. Just as symptoms may vary from person to person, so may the need for job accommodation.

Gastrointestinal Disorders and the Americans with Disabilities Act

The ADA does not contain a list of medical conditions that constitute disabilities. Instead, the ADA has a general definition of disability that each person must meet. A person has a disability if he/she has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities, a record of such an impairment, or is regarded as having an impairment. For more information about how to determine whether a person has a disability under the ADA, see How to Determine Whether a Person Has a Disability under the Americans with Disabilities Act Amendments Act (ADAAA).

Accommodating Employees with Gastrointestinal Disorders

People with gastrointestinal disorders may develop some of the limitations discussed below, but seldom develop all of them. Also, the degree of limitation will vary among individuals. Be aware that not all people with gastrointestinal disorders will need accommodations to perform their jobs and many others may only need a few accommodations. The following is only a sample of the possibilities available. Numerous other accommodation solutions may exist.

Questions to Consider:

  1. What limitations is the employee experiencing?
  2. How do these limitations affect the employee and the employee’s job performance?
  3. What specific job tasks are problematic as a result of these limitations?
  4. What accommodations are available to reduce or eliminate these problems? Are all possible resources being used to determine possible accommodations?
  5. Has the employee been consulted regarding possible accommodations?
  6. Once accommodations are in place, would it be useful to meet with the employee to evaluate the effectiveness of the accommodations and to determine whether additional accommodations are needed?
  7. Do supervisory personnel and employees need training?

Accommodation Ideas:

Events Regarding Gastrointestinal Disorders