Cal/OSHA Disability Accommodation Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Q: What is a "disability accommodation"?

A: It is assistance that allows a person with a disability to have the opportunity to equally participate in the Division of Occupational Safety and Health programs and activities and use DOSH services. Accommodations can be provided for all DOSH services and programs, including Occupational Safety and Health Appeals Board (OSHAB) and the Occupational Safety and Health Standards Board (OSHSB).

Q: Aren't all persons with disabilities disabled?

A: Not all are considered "disabled" under the law for accommodation purposes. To be considered disabled in California, you need to have an impairment that limits a major life activity. Generally, the impairment needs to be permanent, but some temporary impairments may qualify for accommodations.

If you are not sure if you are disabled under the law or think you qualify as disabled and would like to request an accommodation, please contact the district office disability accommodation coordinator in the DOSH district office where your case is filed.

Q: How do I request a disability accommodation?

A: Several ways:

  1. You may make a request by filling out the form, Request for Accommodations by Persons with Disabilities (DOSH Form-RA)
  2. After completing the form, send or fax it to the DOSH district office disability accommodation coordinator where your case is located. Your district office disability accommodation coordinator can provide you with the number to fax your accommodation request if needed.
  3. You can also give your request to the local disability coordinator verbally, in person or over the phone.
  4. You may also give your request to the Statewide Disability Coordinator, who can be reached at 1-866-326-1616

Q: How far in advance do I need to request the accommodation?

A: As soon as possible. If you are requesting a sign-language interpreter or a computerized translation service as an accommodation, we ask that you give us five (5) days notice before the date of the event, so DOSH can make the appropriate arrangements. Failure to give us enough notice to arrange for your accommodation may result in having to reschedule the event.

Q: What kinds of accommodations can be provided?

A: DOSH can provide reasonable accommodations. Reasonable accommodations can include the following:

  • sign-language interpreters
  • computerized translation services
  • assistive listening devices
  • wheelchairs
  • ergonomic chairs
  • audio tape recorder
  • voice amplification system
  • a "reader" for visually-impaired persons
  • enlargement of documents for visually-impaired persons
  • Braille
  • Other reasonable accommodations may be available
  • All accommodation requests will be determined on a case-by-case basis.

Q: Once I've made my request for accommodation, what do I do?

A: Please arrive 15 minutes before your scheduled event and ask for the disability accommodation coordinator in the office where the event is scheduled. He or she will work with you prior to the event starting to acquaint you with any equipment and help you with any preparation and/or set up for the event.

Q: Should I confirm my accommodation before the scheduled hearing?

A: Although it is not required, it would be helpful and may eliminate any possible confusion if you would contact the district office disability accommodation coordinator to confirm that we have made proper arrangements for all your needs or to make any changes. If your event is cancelled or rescheduled, please contact the coordinator as soon as possible after you become aware of the cancellation or change.

Q: What if I have other questions about my case?

A: For specific questions about your case, contact the district office.

January 2007