Accommodation Discrimination

36 Pages Posted: 20 Aug 2022

Date Written: August 15, 2022


Reasonable accommodations should be tools of equality yet can feel more like punishment than remedy. To receive accommodations, people with disabilities must disclose intimate details about their health. The accommodation process that follows disclosure is arduous, dissuading many people with disabilities who need accommodations from requesting them. Even if accommodations are granted, institutional enforcement is not guaranteed. Instead, the labor of implementing reasonable accommodations often falls to disabled people themselves. Accommodated people with disabilities also endure remarks about receiving “special” treatment for disabilities that are allegedly exaggerated or faked.

Though people with disabilities may bring failure to accommodate claims when reasonable accommodations are denied, the law does not adequately protect them against the discrimination that occurs when accommodations are granted. This Article identifies experiences deeply familiar to people with disabilities to explore how rules intended to perpetuate equality foster discrimination. It focuses on reasonable accommodations in the workplace and higher education to highlight the mistreatment of accommodated people with disabilities.

Keywords: Disability, ADA, higher education, reasonable accommodation

Suggested Citation

Macfarlane, Katherine, Accommodation Discrimination (August 15, 2022). 72 American University Law Review (Forthcoming 2023) , Available at SSRN: or

Katherine Macfarlane (Contact Author)

Syracuse University College of Law ( email )

950 Irving Avenue
Syracuse, NY 13244
United States
5622017208 (Phone)

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