Examples of Workplace Adjustments

The Disability Discrimination Act (DDA) requires employers to make necessary adjustments to the workplace environment or working arrangements for a person with disability to do their job.

Organisations such as JobAccess can assist employers with implementing workplace adjustments for an employee with disability. Most workplace adjustments can be funded through the Employment Assistance Fund.

Some examples of reasonable adjustments include:

For a person with a mobility impairment (including dexterity impairments)

  • Ramps;
  • Scooter;
  • Stair lifts;
  • Automated doors;
  • Height adjustable work stations;
  • Vehicle modifications (work related);
  • Accessible bathroom;
  • Accessible lift;
  • Handrails;
  • Accessible computer keyboards, mouses;
  • Adapted office furniture or equipment;
  • Speech-recognition speech to text software.

For a person who is deaf or hard of hearing

  • Hearing loops;
  • Vibrating or visual alarms;
  • TTY; SMS;
  • Live captioning;
  • Auslan Interpreters;
  • Video phones;
  • Subtitling.

For a person who is blind or has vision impairment

  • Screen-magnification (e.g. Zoomtext) or screen-reading software (e.g. Jaws for Windows);
  • Magnification software for PDAs and mobile phones;
  • Braille machines and printers;
  • CCTV magnifiers for reading printed material;
  • Tactile ground surface indicators (TGSI’s);
  • Contrasting work surfaces or trays;
  • Braille or tactile maps.

For a person with a mental health condition

  • Flexible working arrangements, for example working from home, working part-time, change of start/finish times;
  • Longer or more frequent breaks;
  • Provide partitioned area or private office to reduce noise/distractions;
  • Divide large projects into smaller tasks;
  • ‘To-do’ lists or checklists;
  • Regular meetings with supervisors.

For a person with a learning disability (e.g. Dyslexia)

  • Personal Digital Assistants (PDA) or smart phones, to assist with memory and planning;
  • Task cards;
  • ‘To do’ lists or checklists;
  • Screen-reading software (e.g. Jaws);
  • Speech to text dictation software;
  • Provide verbal instructions.

For a person with a long term or chronic health condition

  • Cooling collars;
  • Air-conditioning;
  • Height adjustable work stations;
  • Building modifications;
  • Changes to lighting, for example increasing natural light, removing fluorescent lighting;
  • Flexible working arrangements, for example working from home, working part-time.
  • Progression planning may be required for degenerative conditions, for example car parks, ramps, lifts, bathroom modifications.

Some of the most common workplace adjustments are:

  • Allowing a person with disability to have some flexibility in their working hours, such as working part-time or starting and finishing later;
  • Moving a person with disability to a different office, shop or site closer to their home or onto the ground floor, or allowing them to work from home;
  • Moving furniture, widening a doorway or providing a ramp so that a person using a wheelchair or other mobility aid can get around comfortably and safely;
  • Redistributing some minor duties (not inherent requirements of a job) that a person with disability finds difficult to do to another team member;
  • Allowing a person with disability time off during working hours for rehabilitation, assessment or treatment (e.g. physiotherapy or psychotherapy appointments);
  • Providing additional training, mentoring, supervision and support;
  • Purchasing or modifying equipment like voice-activated software for someone with low vision, an amplified phone for a person who is hard of hearing, or a digital recorder for someone who finds it difficult to take written notes;
  • Making changes to tests and interviews so that a person with disability can demonstrate their ability to do the job;
  • Providing Auslan interpreters for a person who is deaf or hard of hearing, or readers who will read out documents for someone with low vision or learning disability;
  • Modifying disciplinary or grievance procedures.

This list is by no means exhaustive. The most important thing to remember is to ask the person; don’t make assumptions.

The majority of adjustments cost very little or nothing at all. However, funding for workplace adjustments is available for eligible employees through the Employment Assistance Fund.