Maloney O'Laughlin PLLC fights for employees throughout Washington, from Seattle to Spokane.

Maloney O'Laughlin PLLC fights for employees throughout Washington, from Seattle to Spokane.

What are reasonable accommodations for ADHD?

On Behalf of | Apr 4, 2024 | Disability Discrimination And Accommodation

ADHD is a neurodevelopmental disorder that is commonly diagnosed in children. Most schools recognize that children with ADHD need a few basic accommodations to make it easier for them to thrive.

However, children with ADHD become adults with ADHD – and their condition doesn’t just go away. They still have the same problems with distractibility, difficulties following instructions, forgetfulness and overall trouble staying on task that they had when they were kids. Many will ultimately need accommodations at work, just as they did at school.

Examples of reasonable accommodations for ADHD

Reasonable accommodations are not special treatment. They’re adjustments or modifications that can be made to help “level the playing field” for people with disabilities – including hidden disabilities like ADHD. Examples of reasonable accommodations can include:

  • Structured environments: Clear, consistent routines can help people with ADHD manage their time better. A structured environment can minimize the potential for distractions and allow the person with ADHD to stay focused and productive. 
  • Flexible work arrangements: This can include allowing a worker with ADHD to work in a private office or conference room whenever possible, or even allowing them to work from home to minimize the distractions they encounter.
  • Technology use: A lot of people with ADHD can benefit from listening to music or white noise while they’re working. This “applied distraction” helps keep them from losing focus on their main activity.
  • Clear workflows: Multitasking is a myth, and asking someone with ADHD to multitask is a recipe for disaster. Workers with ADHD can benefit from clear, scheduled workflows that don’t require constant juggling.

If you have ADHD, you shouldn’t be afraid to approach your employer about reasonable accommodations, especially if you can articulate exactly what you think would help. While it’s illegal for employers to discriminate against someone with a disability, it does happen. If it happens to you, it may be time to find out what you can do to fight for your rights.