Reasonable Accommodations & Accessibility

NSA's Reasonable Accommodations program ensures all employees, including those with disabilities, have an equal opportunity to reach their highest potential and contribute fully to mission. We balance employee need and mission requirement to provide a wide array of accommodations that enable our employees to successfully perform the essential duties of their position. This might include anything from sit/stand desks to assistive technology and American Sign Language (ASL) interpreters.

If you require reasonable accommodations during your application process due to a disability or if you have accessibility/mobility needs related to performing your essential job duties, please email immediately. Disability Recruiting will work with NSA's Office of Reasonable Accommodations and Accessibility (ORAA) on your accommodation request. An ORAA Reasonable Accommodations Manager may ask you to provide documentation to support your request. All information submitted to support an accommodation request is kept confidential and your privacy rights are protected.

Additionally, if you are required to maintain possession of a medical electronic device(s) inside NSA Facilities (to include, but not limited to: hearing aids, glucose devices, insulin pumps, pace makers, etc.), you will need to complete a medical device questionnaire. Your device will need approval prior to entry/exit into NSA facilities. Please contact as soon as possible to communicate your medical device needs.

NSA's ORAA manages the reasonable accommodations process. NSA is required to provide a workplace accommodation for qualified applicants with a disability within the meaning of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as Amended.

Learn about NSA's Personal Assistance Services (PAS), managed by NSA's Well-Being Services.

Below is a summary of the reasonable accommodations process.

Reasonable Accommodations Process:

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Applicants should contact​ if they are in need of reasonable accommodations and/or personal assistance services.

The Office of Recruitment contacts ORAA. The ORAA Reasonable Accommodations Manager will follow-up with the Office of Recruitment within three (3) business days to discuss the needs of the applicant.

Requests can also be provided to ORAA. Requests for accommodation can be provided orally or in writing at any time.

The ORAA Reasonable Accommodations Manager may need to obtain information to determine if an individual’s impairment is a “disability” pursuant to the Rehabilitation Act or to determine an appropriate accommodation. Where documentation is needed, the ORAA Reasonable Accommodations Manager will work with the applicant to obtain it.

If clarification or additional information is needed, the ORAA may request review of the medical documentation by the Agency’s Occupational Health and Well-Being (OHWB), medical staff or another medical professional (at the Agency’s expense) if consent is provided by the applicant.

The ORAA Reasonable Accommodations Manager or Agency medical staff may also give the applicant a list of questions to give to their (the applicant's) health care provider to answer or contact the medical provider directly, if consent is provided by the applicant.

Once the medical information is reviewed and the individual is determined to be a person with a disability, the ORAA Reasonable Accommodations Manager will engage in the interactive process to determine the specific workplace accommodations needed. The ORAA Reasonable Accommodations Manager will contact the individual to clarify the accommodations requested. The ORAA Reasonable Accommodations Manager will also contact the individual’s management or the Office of Recruitment to discuss the accommodation request. 

Once the appropriate accommodation(s) is/are clarified with the requestor, the ORAA Reasonable Accommodations Manager will coordinate with the requestor’s management or the Office of Recruitment to determine the implementation plan for the accommodation(s). The ORAA Reasonable Accommodations Manager will ensure that the individual and the appropriate Agency personnel receive a copy of the Reasonable Accommodation Decision (RAD).

Individuals can track the processing of their cases by emailing​ or calling 410-854-7384.

Job reassignment is an accommodation of last resort and should only be used with an employee who cannot be accommodated in his/her current position.

Qualified individuals with disabilities, who can no longer perform the essential functions of their job with or without reasonable accommodations due to a new or worsening condition, will be considered for job reassignment to a vacant position as a reasonable accommodation.

Once approved, absent extenuating circumstances, the provision of a reasonable accommodation will occur no later than 21 business days from the date of the request. 

If the ORAA Reasonable Accommodations Manager must request medical information or documentation from a requestor’s doctor, the processing time frame will stop on the date the ORAA Reasonable Accommodations Manager makes a request and will resume on the date the information/documentation is received by the ORAA Reasonable Accommodations Manager.

In the event that an accommodation cannot be implemented within the 21 business day time period, an interim accommodation may be implemented if practical. The interactive process between the applicant and the Agency (Recruitment and ORAA Reasonable Accommodations Manager) will occur to determine what interim measures are needed.

All decisions regarding a request for reasonable accommodations will be communicated to an applicant by their recruiter.

A decision to provide an accommodation other than the one specifically requested will be considered a decision to grant an accommodation. The decision to provide an alternative accommodation will be discussed with the applicant before implementation to ensure the applicant understands the alternative accommodation and agrees with it.

Applicants may be denied an accommodation if:

  • They are not a qualified individual with a disability.

  • The accommodation creates an undue hardship to the Agency (which is determined in consultation with the Office of General Counsel).

  • The accommodation would introduce a risk to national security.

If an accommodation cannot be supported due to undue hardship to mission or productivity requirements, alternative accommodations options are explored.

Denial decisions will include specific reasons for denial. The ORAA Reasonable Accommodations Manager will provide the denial decision to Recruitment who will share it with the applicant. 

In cases where an accommodation other than the one requested is offered, an applicant will have the opportunity to accept or reject the alternate accommodation. If the alternative accommodation is not accepted the applicant’s rejection will be documented.

If an applicant disagrees with the approved accommodation(s) or alternate accommodation(s), or believes their request should not have been denied, the applicant may request an appeal or reconsideration of the approved/denied accommodation(s) within 10 business days of the receipt of the decision in writing. The written reconsideration request can be emailed or faxed to (301) 688-5405.

NOTE: The Reasonable Accommodations Board (RADB) appeals/reconsideration process does not apply to requests for religious accommodations; nor does it apply to decisions regarding requests for exemption to the Agency's COVID-19 facial covering, screening testing, and vaccination requirements. Individuals have the right to file an Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) complaint with the Office of Discrimination Complaints.

The RADB will convene within 10 business days of receipt of written request for reconsideration in the ORAA. Individuals will be notified of the date their reconsideration request was received.

Applicants should provide their written request for reconsideration by emailing Reasonable Accommodations or sending a fax to (301) 688-5405.

A final decision will be rendered within 15 business days from the date of receipt of the reconsideration request in the ORAA. The final decision from the RADB will be provided to the applicant in writing by the Chief of ORAA.

Under the Rehabilitation Act, medical information obtained through the reasonable accommodation process must be kept confidential. All medical information is kept in files separate from the individual’s personnel file. Any Agency employee who receives medical information is strictly bound by these confidentiality requirements. Medical information is shared only with those with a need to know.

The ORAA Reasonable Accommodations Manager may share certain information with an employee’s supervisor or other Agency official(s) as needed to make determinations regarding a reasonable accommodations request. The recipients are informed about confidentiality requirements. The Information disclosed is no more than necessary to process the request.

Notice to applicant or employee who chooses to pursue statutory remedies for denial of reasonable accommodation:

These procedures create no new enforceable rights under section 501 of the Rehabilitation Act, or any other law. Executive Order 13164, which requires all Federal agencies to adopt reasonable accommodations procedures, explains in section 5(b) that the procedures are “intended only to improve the internal management of the executive branch and does not create any right or benefit.”

For an EEO complaint: Contact an EEO Counselor in the Office of Discrimination Complaints within 45 days from the date of receipt of the written resolution notice or verbal response to the request (whichever comes first). EEO Counselors can be reached at (301) 688-1087. If a counselor is not contacted within 45 days the right to file a complaint will be lost. Individuals are encouraged to use informal dispute resolution processes to resolve complaints regarding reasonable accommodations.