The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is committed to providing reasonable accommodations for employees and applicants. DHS provides reasonable accommodations for the known physical or mental limitations of otherwise qualified employees and applicants with disabilities, unless DHS can demonstrate that a particular accommodation would impose an undue hardship on the operation of its programs.
A reasonable accommodation is an adjustment or alteration that enables an otherwise qualified person with a disability to apply for a job, perform job duties, or enjoy benefits and privileges of employment. There are three categories of reasonable accommodations:
- Modifications or adjustments to a job application process to permit an individual with a disability to be considered for a job (such as providing application forms in alternative formats like large print or Braille).
- Modifications or adjustments to enable a qualified individual with a disability to perform the essential functions of the job (such as providing sign language interpreters).
- Modifications or adjustments that enable employees with disabilities to enjoy equal benefits and privileges of employment (such as removing physical barriers in an organization’s cafeteria).
In 2013, CRCL issued a Directive to establish the DHS policy for providing reasonable accommodations for employees and applicants with disabilities. In 2021, CRCL issued a revised Instruction establishing the procedures for providing reasonable accommodations to qualified employees and applicants with disabilities and personal assistance services for employees with targeted disabilities at DHS.
In 2017, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) released a Questions and Answers guide to assist federal agencies in providing personal assistance services under Section 501 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. EEOC Issues New Guide to Assist Federal Agencies to Provide Personal Assistance Services. Consistent with the EEOC’s guidance, requests for personal assistance services for employees with targeted disabilities will be processed under reasonable accommodations procedures.
On September 9, 2021, President Biden issued Executive Order 14043 Requiring Coronavirus Disease 2019 Vaccination for Federal Employees to promote the health and safety of the Federal workforce and the efficiency of the civil service. As a DHS federal employee, you must be fully vaccinated by November 22, 2021, unless you have received or have requested an exemption for religious or medical reasons. Religious or medical exemption requests must be submitted through the DHS Accessibility Compliance Management System (ACMS) by November 9, 2021. If you have previously submitted a religious or medical exemption request, you need to re-submit using ACMS. If you do not have access to any government furnished equipment (GFE), please fill out either of these forms (including the medical providers’ information for the medical exemption), depending on your request, and send them to your Component’s Reasonable Accommodation or Disability Program Manager.
- Request for a Religious Exemption to the COVID-19 Vaccination Requirement
- Request for a Medical Exemption to the COVID-19 Vaccination Requirement
If you have any questions regarding the process to request a medial or religious exemption, contact your Component’s Reasonable Accommodation or Disability Program Manager.
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