Policy in Action: Stories on the Workplace Accommodation Process

Janikke Solstad Vedeler, Naomi Schreuer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Workplace accommodation is an important measure to ensure equal employment opportunities for people with disabilities. Substantial research has investigated workplace accommodations in the United States. This article represents a first step in exploring the complexities of workplace accommodation from a cross-national perspective. Drawing on 29 qualitative interviews with employed Americans and Norwegians with mobility disabilities, we investigated similarities and differences in experiences with accommodation provision. Two main similarities emerged: Many of the American and Norwegian interviewees made use of accommodations, and the employer played an important role in the provision process in both countries. Concerning the particular role of the employer, two main differences emerged: American interviewees' accounts of obstacles to a smooth accommodation process were related to the redistribution agent (i.e., the employer). In Norway, employers can either provide the accommodation themselves or make use of subsidized public services. When the employer chose to make use of public services, Norwegian interviewees reported a slow process and obstacles that were related to the recognition of eligibility, which rests on medical assessment. The article reveals a common vulnerability among people with disabilities when dependent on the recognition of their needs and effective provision of workplace accommodation to be competitive employees.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)95-105
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Disability Policy Studies
Issue number2
StatePublished - Sep 2011


  • disability
  • employment
  • policy
  • workplace accommodation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Law


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