Job Accommodation Network Definition

Cite this article as:"Job Accommodation Network Definition," in The Business Professor, updated March 21, 2019, last accessed October 21, 2020,


Job Accommodation Network (JAN) Definition

A Job Accommodation Network (JAN) refers to a service that is offered by the US Department of Labor under the Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP). The network facilitates the employment and retention of employees with disabilities through the provision of information on job accommodation, entrepreneurship, and related subjects to employers, employment providers, family members of individuals with disabilities, and other interested parties. The efforts of JAN support employment, self-employment, and entrepreneurship among individuals with disability.

A Little More on What is the Job Accommodation Network

Since 1983, JAN has always been located on West Virginia University campus where it began with 2 consultants offering accommodation information using only 2 telephone lines. During this time, the network served only employers that were looking for accommodation information. Due to the additional demand for JAN’s confidential, direct, and no-cost service, the network expanded beyond providing employers with data, and included rehabilitation and educational professional, individuals with disabilities, and all individuals interested in workplace accommodation.

JAN initially consulted on sensory disabilities only including hearing, touch, vision, and speech impairment. Before the 1990s, 30% of the network’s requests addressed the key disability areas. As office machines, computers, wireless communication, cell phones, and other technologies emerged at the workplaces, employees with disabilities needed to learn how to use the technology. JAN consultants, thus, changed their delivery approach, providing services in three team categories: motor/mobility, sensory, and neurological/cognitive teams. With these teams, the network was able to handle increasing caseloads with the available knowledge.

After the implementation of the 1992 Americans with Disabilities Act, several individuals began contacting JAN, requesting for accommodation information for individuals with motor impairment. Before the Act, JAN recorded 630 inquiries about accommodation every month. However, after 1992, the caseloads increased to 1,600 per month and continued to rise steadily up to 3,000 per month by the end of 1990s. Currently, the network has an average of 53,000 inquiries with 5 million customers annually.

In 2000, WESTAT, an employee-owned research corporation that offers services to US government agencies and businesses, evaluated all the JAN staff. The network was able to get recognition for achieving the highest score in the ranking.

Services Provided by JAN

Consultants of JAN provide accommodation information for all types of impairments including motor, sensory, psychiatric, and cognitive conditions. The network also has information regarding rights and responsibilities of individuals with disabilities under the American with Disabilities Act and other related legislation. JAN also provides resources for veterans and injured or wounded military as well as support for the Heroes at Work Foundation.

The network also provides entrepreneurship information in regard to people with disabilities. The consultants at JAN handle each inquiry using case-by-case approach, thereby providing self-employment and small business development expertise and referrals regarding business planning, marketing research, financial strategies, income supports, benefits planning, and disability-specific programs. The network also offers referrals to independent contracting, small business initiatives, and home-based business options for disabled veterans. Customers of the network are able to receive a resource packet tailored to their specific entrepreneurial goals with consultants available in all stages of information dissemination

Technical assistance is provided by the network in Spanish and English, and is free of charge via email, chat, telephone, and postal mail. The communication between JAN and its clients is usually confidential and available to employers, medical, individuals with disabilities, rehabilitation professionals and anyone else in need of workplace accommodation.

Furthermore, the network provides information through other media. JAN consultants produce webcasts every month on various subjects pertaining to disabilities at the workplace. The consultants also submit requests for distant, local, and remote training events.

References for Job Accommodation Network

Job Accommodation Network (JAN)

  • Policy development for advocates: Lessons from the job accommodation network (JAN), Johnston, S. P., & Helms, L. B. (2008). Journal of Disability Policy Studies, 19(3), 172-181. This article gives a description on the dynamics of making a policy by studying JAN and through this process, modest advocates will be able to spot narrower niches, improve collaboration and lastly form better linkages between stakeholders in their hard work to increase job opportunities for the disabled. The analysis gives a demonstration on the evolution of the policy programs and shape to the advocates and practitioners. The authors asserts that understanding of policy and development of practical initiatives is prevented when there is failure to put the environment of the policy making process into consideration.
  • Job accommodation network, Network, J. A. (2014). This article describes the role of the Job Accommodation Network (JAN) as a tool to transform disability experience at the workplace. The author insinuates that JAN enables employers to talk with other employers regarding the successful accommodation process for individuals with disability. It also addresses the limitations JAN and how it is incorporated by many employers.
  • The Job Accommodation Network: A Tool for Transition., Rochlin, J. (1985). American Rehabilitation, 11(3), 6-8. This paper shows how JAN allows the employers to interact with their colleagues on matters concerning the successful accommodation for the disabled. It majorly focuses on weaknesses rather than disabilities and also on functional job duties and not titles. The JAN also incorporates human interaction with the employer and computer (CL). In general, the JAN is only interested on the result produced and not on the one who has done it neither on his/her status.
  • JAN-Job Accommodation Network: A Great Idea Takes Wing, Dietl, D. (1984). Journal of Rehabilitation, 50(4), 16. This article explains the origin of JAN. It explains that it was an organization that was formed as a result complains that were raised by employers when they were told to employ people with disabilities and they did not know how to go about it. It also shows that JAN is a practical accommodation system that is proven to be successful in business and industries. According to this article, an examination was carried out and one the results that was obtained is that JAN gathered the information that was required successfully from the employees nationwide. The information was based on; how the accommodation was made for the disabled and, what the costs were and the information has been placed into a retrievable package.
  • Job Accommodation Network, Staff. (2008). Encyclopedia of Special Education, 1174-1174. This article describes the definition and role of the Job Accommodation Network (JAN) as a tool to transform disability experience at the workplace. The author insinuates that JAN enables employers to talk with other employers regarding the successful accommodation process for individuals with disability. It also addresses the limitations JAN and how it is incorporated by many employers.
  • Enhancing employment outcomes through job accommodation and assistive technology resources and services, Langton, A. J., & Ramseur, H. (2001). Journal of Vocational Rehabilitation, 16(1), 27-37. This paper shows that assistive technology is one of the effective strategies of job accommodation and should be given a priority in order to accommodate job tasks successfully. When commencing the use of assistive technology, there are some important steps that are put into consideration and must be carried out properly in order to achieve a well- developed technology assessment. The author also claims that it is at the focal point that the process is most effective. The job opportunities always exist where there is low cost which assist in increasing several factors like needed resources and replacement options.
  • Workplace accommodations: Evidence based outcomes, Schartz, H. A., Hendricks, D. J., & Blanck, P. (2006). Work, 27(4), 345-354. The ADA’s workplace accommodation provision enables qualified disables individuals to carry out important job functions. Cost, benefits and effectiveness of accommodations have been analyzed and evaluated using little evidence by the author and the results shows that accommodations are low cost, beneficial and effective. A significant concept discussed by the study is the inclusive accommodation cost/benefit analysis which should include direct and indirect costs and benefits and to differentiate disability-related accommodation costs from typical employee costs.
  • Assistive technology: Choosing the right tool for the right job, Gamble, M. J., Dowler, D. L., & Orslene, L. E. (2006). Journal of Vocational Rehabilitation, 24(2), 73-80. This article gives a presentation and description on the best ways of choosing the appropriate assistive technology (AT).The often requirements while making decisions on the AT benefits in the workplace are the rehabilitation professionals. This paper also shows that the consumers outcomes increases when the identification and the selection of AT is done properly.
  • Real-life issues in job accommodation, Hendricks, D. J., Dowler, D. L., & Judy, B. T. (1994). Journal of Vocational Rehabilitation, 4(3), 174-182. This article presents an examination that was done on more than 2000 cases. The objectives of this examination were to; expose how the discussed issues were related, the type of job involved and lastly the career progression of disable individuals. Amongst the six types of issues that were identified include impact of accommodation, conflict between employers and employees, understanding the Americans with Disabilities Act [ADA], cost, government agency problems and etc.
  • The wage and employment effects of the Americans with Disabilities Act, DeLeire, T. (2000). Journal of Human Resources, 693-715. This paper discusses the economic and employment impacts of the American with Disabilities Act. It shows that the analysis of ADA is done using the survey of Income and Program Participation based on its impacts on the employment and salaries of disabled men. According to the results, the employees’ wages decreases drastically and continuously and the wages did not change as was passed in the ADA.

Was this article helpful?