How to Write ADA Compliant Job Descriptions and Requirements

Writing Job Requirements

When looking to hire new staff for a position, it is essential to find a way to explain the position to prospective employees within the bounds of the law. This compliance is especially critical for employers trying to staff positions to ensure that those with disabilities are allowed to browse recruitment sites and options.

To this end, the American Disabilities Act (ADA) has guidelines that ensure that those with disabilities are given a fair and comprehensive understanding of what will be expected of them. So, when attempting to create a description for an open position, it can be a challenge to do so in a way compliant with the ADA’s policies. Here are our primary tips for ensuring legal compliance.

The Terminology

While it might seem arbitrary to some, the way things are phrased is actually a significant part of creating an ADA-compliant job description. For example, many job descriptions will include terms like “walk,” “climb,” and “see” when referring to specific tasks they will be expected to perform while on the job. However, such terminology can be misconstrued as exclusive to those who have full functionality of their bodies. At the same time, those with injuries or conditions that have rendered them unable to use certain limbs or suffer from blindness might be excluded.

Use alternate terms like “move,” “traverse,” or “identify” to recognize the capability of professionals with disabilities to perform these tasks in their own way. With candidates in a shortage, it is crucial not to alienate potential hires with terminology that makes them feel lesser than others.

The Conditions

Another thing that is vital to remain within the bounds of the ADA is making sure there are no surprises about the kind of environment where they will be working. This clarity involves describing the kinds of physical demands expected of the employee, describing the actual environment around the workspace, and indicating the kind of hours they can expect.

First, this means explaining if they will have to perform physical actions like lifting objects or being more sedentary. The second involves making them aware of potential hazards like extreme heat or obstacles that might clash with their disability. The third is all about indicating if they will have weekends off or will be covering the night shift.

The Standard

Even when dealing with the details you would typically see in a job description, some aspects need to remain in line with the ADA’s regulations. This includes providing a list of the qualifications you expect candidates to have before they apply. These qualifications should be limited to educational accomplishments like acquiring a degree and previous work experience that aligns with your open position.

That said, the minimum qualifications for a position that can reasonably be accomplished by qualified candidates regardless of their physical condition should remain uniform to avoid excluding candidates with disabilities. This uniformity means not setting overly high qualifications or considering one’s ability to perform a specific task as a qualification.

Wrapping Up

The ADA is responsible for ensuring that those with disabilities are not left behind when finding gainful employment. The guidelines they set help companies to explain their positions to clarify if it is viable for those with specific physical disabilities. However, the role of finding those employees is not necessarily one that needs to be done solely by the employer. We at Job Finders specialize in finding qualified professionals for Missouri businesses, regardless of disabilities. So, if you are having a hard time hiring a new employee or have trouble finding a new position in Missouri, contact us and see what we can do for you.

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