US Department of Education NIDRR Technical Assistance Program

Home/Employment/Technical Assistance Manual

Chapter VII: Nondiscrimination In Other Employment Practices

7.6 Training

Employees with disabilities must be provided equal opportunities to participate in training to improve job performance and provide opportunity for advancement. Training opportunities cannot be denied because of the need to make a reasonable accommodation, unless the accommodation would be an undue hardship. Accommodations that may be necessary, depending on the needs of particular individuals, may include:

If an employer contracts for training with a training company, or contracts for training facilities such as hotels or conference centers, the employer is responsible for assuring accessibility and other needed accommodations.

It is advisable that any contract with a company or facility used for training include a provision requiring the other party to provide needed accommodations. However, if the contractor does not do so, the employer remains responsible for providing the accommodation, unless it would cause an undue hardship.

For example: Suppose a company with which an employer has contracted proposes to conduct training at an inaccessible location. The employer is responsible for providing an accommodation that would enable an employee who uses a wheelchair to obtain this training. The employer might do this by: requiring the training company to relocate the program to an accessible site; requiring the company to make the site (including all facilities used by trainees) accessible; making the site accessible or providing resources that enable the training company to do so; contracting with another training company that uses accessible sites; or providing any other accommodation (such as temporary ramps) that would not impose an undue hardship. If it is impossible to make an accommodation because the need is only discovered when an employee arrives at the training site, the employer may have to provide accessible training at a later date.

Or, for example: An employer contracts with a hotel to hold a conference for its employees. The employer must assure physical and communications accessibility for employees with disabilities, including accessibility of guest rooms and all meeting and other rooms used by attendees. The employer may assure accessibility by inspecting the site, or may ask a local disability group with accessibility expertise (such as an Independent Living Center) to do so. The employer remains responsible for assuring accessibility. However, if the hotel breaches a contract provision requiring accessibility, the hotel may be liable to the employer under regular (non-ADA) breach of contract law. The hotel also may be liable under Title III of the ADA, which requires accessibility in public accommodations.