Friday, May 17, 2013

New EEOC Guidance On "Intellectual Disabilities"

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has issued new guidance for employers on ways to accommodate employees with "intellectual disabilities", a.k.a. "cognitive impairments" or "mental retardation". This is the latest in a series of well-written, informative documents on different kinds of disabilities, focused on practical ideas for helping employees with disabilities function effectively on the job.

I really feel like these documents are underrated. Actually, I can't think of a better source for nuts-and-bolts advice on treating people with disabilities fairly, not just in the workplace but in general. It isn't enough to want to be fair to people with disabilities; in many situations, you have to know how. Instead of rehashing why it's important to accommodate people with disabilities, the EEOC guides provide useful advice on how to do it.

Since intellectual disabilities may be among the least understood and most stigmatized disabilities, I hope this guidance paper is widely read. I'm going to read it now, and I may decide to discuss or nitpick it another time.

U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission