[lit-ideas] Re: amazing employment application questions

  • From: John Wager <john.wager1@xxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Mon, 05 Jun 2006 21:12:44 -0500

JimKandJulieB@xxxxxxx wrote:

So, let's say I'm paralyzed from the waist down in a wheelchair, but my clerical skills are outstanding (if I do say so myself). So they're asking me if I am able to perform the clerical duties if the building does not have wheelchair access?

They're asking you if you can perform your duties in a wheelchair IF THEY MAKE REASONABLE ACCOMMODATIONS, which means if they make the building wheelchair-accessible. That's THEIR responsibility; they are REQUIRED to make such reasonable accommodations.

"Reasonable accommodations" seems, well, reasonable to me. When I served on hiring committees for faculty, we were required to ask at the end something like this: "This job requires standing or sitting before classes for several hours; do you feel you are able to meet these job requirements with reasonable accommodations?" Nobody ever said no, although several people were a bit taken aback by the question. (I must say that if two candidates were of equal qualifications, maybe the one who at least knew about the idea of reasonable accommodations might get a slight edge.)

I was once asked to make "reasonable accommodations" for a deaf student in my class. She didn't want an interpreter that would translate my class on the fly into sign language; all she wanted was for me to shave my mustache a bit higher so she could see my upper lip to do lip reading. This seemed quite reasonable to me, so for the rest of the semester I was a bit less shaggy in my mustache than I might have been.

"Never attribute to malice that which can be explained by incompetence and ignorance." -------------------------------------------------
John Wager john.wager1@xxxxxxxxxxx
Lisle, IL, USA

Other related posts: