Ask the Experts

Teachers With Adult ADHD: Work Accommodations Available?

“Are there any state-mandated accommodations for teachers who have been diagnosed with ADD/ADHD? I told my principal about my condition, but I haven’t requested accommodations — yet.”

There are no “state-mandated” accommodations for teachers or students. To avail yourself of protection under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), or Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, you must not only disclose your diagnosis, but you must show how attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADD/ADHD) substantially impairs a major life activity. The reason the law is worded this way is that ADD/ADHD and other disabilities manifest themselves differently in each person, depending on age, brain function, and other factors. The test for accommodations under the law is that they be reasonable and necessary, given a particular circumstance.

Educate yourself about your disability. Determine exactly how it affects you, so that you can request specific workplace accommodations that will address your limitations at school. Both the ADA and Section 504 are deliberately flexible about types of accommodations, so that students or adults can seek the services and support that will work for them.

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