All DTA staff (including Central Office staff with client contact and Hearings Officers) must always be alert to situations where it appears an applicant or client (hereafter called client) is having difficulty with a Department service, activity, rule or requirement because of a disability. If such a situation arises, you should inform the client of the opportunity to request an Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) accommodation. For procedures see: ADA Accommodation Process: Accommodation/Special Assistance Request.
If a client tells you that s/he has a physical or mental disability that limits him or her from meeting Department requirements or from utilizing Department services, that client may be requesting an ADA accommodation. The client does not need to reference the ADA or say that an accommodation is needed in order to get help.
Accordingly, requests for ADA accommodations can be made either orally or in writing. There are no magic words a client must say to request an accommodation. An ADA accommodation may be requested at any time.
In an effort to provide clients and staff with a way to explore disabilities and their possible impact, the Department will conduct a routine inquiry in specific circumstances. For all application, reevaluation and recertification interviews, you must ask specific questions to determine whether a client might have a disability, and whether the disability might pose barriers to getting and retaining assistance. Also, anytime a client indicates s/he has a disability, including when requesting a disability exemption, these same steps will be followed. The procedures are covered at ADA Accommodation Process: Accommodation/Special Assistance Request.
Regardless of whether a client has a disability, you should be alert to responding to and assisting clients with any type of barrier that may get in the way of receiving the services the client needs. All staff (including Central Office staff with client contact and Hearings Officers) have a duty to assist all clients.
ADA Policy and Procedures