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Disability Accommodations Required for Invisible Disabilities





MCS America

Lourdes Salvador's Column

...Co-founder of MCS America discusses the latest Multiple Chemical Sensitivity issues.









Lourdes Salvador volunteers as a writer and social advocate for the recognition of multiple chemical sensitivity (MCS). She was a passionate advocate for the homeless and worked with her local governor to provide services to the homeless through a new approach she created to end homelessness. That passion soon turned to advocacy and activism for people with MCS and the medical professionals who serve them. She co-founded MCS Awareness in 2005 and went on to found MCS America in 2006. She serves as a partner for Environmental Education Week, a partner for the Collaborative on Health and the Environment (CHE), and a supporter for the American Cancer Society: Campaign for Smokefree Air.


For more information visit MCS America




Monday, December 22nd, 2008:


Disability Accommodations Required for Invisible Disabilities


by Lourdes Salvador



Disability accommodations can be very challenging to obtain. There is often great resistance from others to making reasonable accommodations. Regardless, it´s the law.


The Job Accommodation Network (JAN) is a service of the Office of Disability Employment Policy of the U.S. Department of Labor. JAN provides many wonderful educational documents about various disabilities and accommodations, including specific material on disabilities such as multiple chemical sensitivity (MCS), fibromyalgia (FM), fragrance sensitivity, and chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), among others.


JAN´s documents are not copyrighted. Since they are government publications, they may be freely reproduced and distributed to employers, schools, and others when requesting accommodations.


Accommodations ideas for MCS from JAN include:


Provide an office or workspace that has working windows.


Make certain the ventilation system is not distributing pollutants and use HEPA filters and air purification systems.


Maintain a work environment which is free of pollutants such as fragrances, toxic cleaning agents, pesticides, exhaust fumes, and tobacco smoke.


Provide adequate exhaust systems to remove fumes from copiers and similar office machines.


Provide pre-notification of events such as remodeling, painting, pesticide applications, floor waxing, and carpet shampooing; and allow for alternative work arrangements for those Disability Accommodationseople who may be sensitive to the chemical agents used in the above activities.


Use non-toxic building materials, furnishings, and supplies.


If possible, have cleaning, maintenance, and remodeling activities performed when the building is not occupied to reduce employee exposure to these activities.


Discontinue the use of toxic pesticides and opt for an alternative pest management policy.


Discontinue the use of synthetic lawn care products.


MCS America has added a new page to it´s website to assist victims of MCS, FM, CFS, and fragrance sensitivity with materials and ideas for obtaining needed accommodations in the workplace, as wells as schools, churches, and other public areas. The new webpage summarizes both general data on the Americans with Disabilities Act and specific information for MCS, FM, CFS, and fragrance sensitivity. For more information, visit: http:/


There are many free Downloadable Brochures and Literature on Disability Accommodations



General Information on the Americans with Disabilities Act


ADA and Rehabilitation Act Compliance and Other Disability Related Laws


ADA and Rehabilitation Act Compliance and Other Disability Related Laws


Fact Sheet Series - Ideas for Writing an Accommodation Request Letter


Employees' Practical Guide to Negotiating and Requesting Reasonable Accommodations Under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)


Enforcement Guidance - Reasonable Accommodation and Undue Hardship Under the Americans with Disabilities Act


Enforcement Guidance - Disability-Related Inquiries And Medical Examinations Of Employees Under The Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA)ADA and Rehabilitation Act Compliance and Other Disability Related Laws


Pre-employment Dos and Don´ts

EEOC Guidance: Pre-employment Disability-Related Questions and Medical Examinations



Multiple Chemical Sensitivity


JAN - Accommodation and Compliance Series - Employees with Multiple Chemical Sensitivity and Environmental Illness


JAN - Accommodation and Compliance Series - Employees with Fragrance Sensitivity


Service Animals and Allergies in the Workplace


Searchable Online Accommodation Resource: Multiple Chemical Sensitivity (MCS)


Fact Sheet - Job Accommodations for People with Respiratory Impairment


(CANADA) Canadian Human Rights Commission Policy on Environmental Sensitivities


(CANADA) The Medical Perspective on Environmental Sensitivities


(CANADA) Accommodation for Environmental Sensitivities: Legal Perspective


(CANADA) Accommodating Employees with Environmental Sensitivities - A Guide for the Workplace (2003)



Chronic Fatigue Syndrome


JAN - Accommodation and Compliance Series - Employees with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome


Searchable Online Accommodation Resource: CFS


Fact Sheet - Job Accommodations for People with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome





JAN - Accommodation and Compliance Series - Employees with Fibromyalgia Syndrome

Fact Sheet - Fibromyalgia




For more information, visit: http:/



For more articles on this topic, see: MCSA News.


Copyrighted 2008 Lourdes Salvador & MCS America



Multiple Chemical Sensitivity Forums







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