Reasonable accommodation (RA) has nothing to do with the accommodation in a hotel and a lot with accessibility. Even when very high standards of accessibility are provided, even if we are approaching standards of Universal Design, it will often still be necessary to provide some individuals with disabilities extra support to ensure that they participate and can realise their rights on an equal basis with others.
Reasonable accommodation is a legal term and is defined in the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) in Article 2 as meaning “necessary and appropriate modification and adjustments not imposing a disproportionate or undue burden, where needed in a particular case, to ensure to persons with disabilities the enjoyment or exercise on an equal basis with others of all human rights and freedoms.”
Reasonable accommodation is provided upon the request of the person with disabilities. It is however advisable to explicitly ask a person about RA requirements to ensure better planning.
Reasonable accommodation responds to the specific requirements of the person. People experience the ‘same’ impairment differently and may have different needs for adjustments. It must be needed for a particular purpose.
Reasonable accommodation must be ‘reasonable’. In case of a legal dispute, the duty bearer (the employer, the organiser of an event, the government office financing r.a., etc.) needs to prove that the request is unreasonable.
Denial of reasonable accommodation equals discrimination and is prohibited under the CRPD.