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Guillain-Barré Syndrome

Accommodation and Compliance: Guillain-Barré Syndrome

About Guillain-Barré Syndrome

Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS) can affect anybody but is rare, affecting only about one person in 100,000. The first symptoms of this disorder include varying degrees of weakness or tingling sensations in the legs, which can later spread to the arms and upper body. These symptoms can increase in intensity until certain muscles cannot be used at all and, when severe, the person is almost totally paralyzed. In these cases the disorder is life threatening and is considered a medical emergency. Most individuals, however, have good recovery from even the most severe cases of GBS, although some continue to have a certain degree of weakness.

Guillain-Barré Syndrome 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 Guillain-Barré Syndrome

People with Guillain-Barr&#é;ple with Guillain-Barr&#é;ple with Guillain-Barré Syndrome 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 Guillain-Barré Syndrome 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:

Situations and Solutions:

Events Regarding Guillain-Barré Syndrome