September 19, 2023
by Kara Cogswell Kidder

EEOC Provides Updated Guidance on ADA, Including Implications of New Technology

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) recently issued updated guidance for how the American with Disabilities Act (ADA) applies to job applicants and employees with visual disabilities. Earlier this year, the EEOC issued a similar document regarding how the ADA applies to job applicants and employees with hearing disabilities.

Formatted in a Q&A style, the updated guidelines are a trove of useful information to help employers navigate ADA requirements, from the application screening and interview process through employment. Although the guidelines contain information and examples specific to visual and hearing disabilities, much of the guidance is also applicable to other conditions and disabilities.

In its July 2023 guidelines addressing visual disabilities, the EEOC also addresses a topic likely to come up more as many employers increasingly rely on algorithms or artificial intelligence (AI) tools to identify job candidates.

The EEOC guidelines indicates employers have an obligation to make reasonable accommodations to applicants or employees with visual disabilities who request them in connection with an algorithm or AI assessment.

The guideline also recommends employers act proactively, providing information to applicants/employee about how technology is being used to evaluate them, and including instructions for how to seek a reasonable accommodation. As an example, the guidelines suggest that an employer using an algorithm to evaluate productivity that considers keystrokes per minute should inform employees so that an employee using voice recognition software will know to request a reasonable accommodation.

The latest EEOC guidance reiterates the importance of ADA compliance beginning with the job application and pre-employment process. Prudent employers who rely on algorithms and AI to screen applicants or evaluate employees will also consider how their technologies may affect individuals with disabilities and potential accommodation.The updated EEOC guidelines regarding ADA application to hearing and visual disabilities, and other resources for employers, are available on the EEOC’s website (

Navigating ADA issues can be complicated. If you have a question related to the ADA or another employment law matter, please contact Kara Cogswell Kidder or another SBH employment attorney.

Posted by: Kara Cogswell Kidder