Many American employees are discovering this as they attempt to continue working from home while their employers are trying to force them back into the office

Person sitting in front of laptop tearing paper in half
Person sitting in front of laptop tearing paper in half

In an earlier article, I wrote about how mental health conditions have to be accommodated like any other disability.

Immediately my inbox was flooded with people telling me their stories, with most of the stories falling into one of three categories:

Here are my personal thoughts…


This situation will become more prevalent thanks to the pandemic.

Ocean with hand reaching out of water towards dark clouds
Ocean with hand reaching out of water towards dark clouds
Photo by Stormseeker on Unsplash

This article will start with a general discussion on accommodations and then move on to the specifics of a mental health condition.

Is the employer required to provide accommodations?

Unless one of the following extremely narrow conditions applies, employers must “engage in the interactive process,” which means talk to the employee when an accommodations request is made.

1. The employer is too small

All employers with fifteen or more employees have a duty to provide reasonable accommodations such as assistance or changes to a position or workplace that will enable an employee to do their job despite having a disability. If you have less than 15 employees, you are exempt from the requirement…


So many people are writing or developing products around this hot tech topic right now. Many of them are getting it very wrong.

Woman wearing bracelets and a brown sweater typing on a laptop on a wooden table
Woman wearing bracelets and a brown sweater typing on a laptop on a wooden table
Photo by Christin Hume on Unsplash

I read a lot of articles about accessibility. Some of them (and not just the ones I write) are very, very good. Others are cringe-worthy. These are the signs that I use to determine which to read to the end and which to close the browser tab on partway through.

The author/product developer does not have access to lived experience

It’s never enough to “comply” with whatever WCAG standard you have chosen to follow. People who work in accessibility who want to be good at it must understand how people with disabilities process interactions flows and data to make it usable.

Example: If slide text announces in a training deck…


ADA and digital accessibility litigation are full of claims filed by “testers.” How far should that be allowed to go?

Two women in hard hats looking at a tablet in a warehouse setting
Two women in hard hats looking at a tablet in a warehouse setting

Testers are individuals who have no intention of ever buying the product or visiting the location the website revolves around.

Testers only visit websites or physical locations to determine whether or not they are compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act or a soft target for a demand letter or lawsuit. They then pass their test results along to their associated law firm, which generates the official paperwork identifying the tester as the potential plaintiff.

A less nice term for “ADA tester” is “serial plaintiff” — some of these individuals are listed as plaintiffs on hundreds of lawsuits, with dozens…


Mask regulations have been lifted for fully vaccinated Americans, but wearing masks for some of us will never be optional.

Woman in red long-sleeved shirt wearing a mask in a pose indicating exasperation
Woman in red long-sleeved shirt wearing a mask in a pose indicating exasperation

2017 was a pretty bad year for influenza. I had a job that required me to travel to the corporate headquarters regularly. I have received the flu vaccine religiously every year since 1976 and had only contracted influenza once in more than 40 years.

Presumably, I contracted the influenza virus from another passenger on a flight returning home from my then most recent “pilgrimage to the mothership,” as my husband referred to my bi-monthly trips to the Midwest. Thank goodness the event that I am about to describe happened after my trip home. If I had contracted the virus on…


Hand resting on keyboard holding pen with open calendar with diary entries for meetings
Hand resting on keyboard holding pen with open calendar with diary entries for meetings
Photo by STIL on Unsplash

When I was growing up, my father always said, “if you want to know who runs the show, ask an executive assistant.” He is rarely wrong.

An executive assistant (EA) is an administrative professional who supports an organization’s executives. They perform various office management duties, provide clerical support, and often handle tasks that directly affect their group’s success, such as setting up events.

VMware has almost 250 global individuals with the title “executive assistant.” …


It’s not enough to make products and marketing websites accessible. Organizations need to ensure that employee-facing tools accessible as well.

Person giving presentation in conference room with several diverse attendees with laptops
Person giving presentation in conference room with several diverse attendees with laptops

How many pieces of software do you use at your job?

Seems like a simple enough question. When the VMware accessibility team started investigating the answer, the number was much higher than we anticipated.

Most larger companies have “software catalogs” of pre-approved tools that are either automatically pre-installed on IT-provided laptop images or that can be downloaded on demand.

At VMware, this catalog is known as the Intelligent Hub. The VMware Workspace ONE® Intelligent Hub app offers a single destination where users can securely access, discover, and connect with corporate resources.

Our first inventory approximately two years ago determined that VMware IT had placed 285 distinct pieces of software in the…


Several significant rulings were made on 6/25/21 on competing Motions for Summary Judgment 20 months after the Supreme Court kicked the Robles case back down to the district court.

Pizza and hand holding can of pepsi
Pizza and hand holding can of pepsi
Photo by Oleg Ivanov on Unsplash

Case history

The case was scheduled to go to trial on Monday. Today’s order cancels that trial.

Important Points

Here are the important points from today’s long and complicated ruling

Keep detailed track (screenshots and devices) of the evidence supporting your claims.

Robles upgraded the iPhone he used for his original claim and no longer had it…


The glaring hole in her donation plan and why it sends a terrible message to others

Perrson wearing torn jeans shown from elbows down, holding out hands with change in them and a slip of paper that says “make a change”
Perrson wearing torn jeans shown from elbows down, holding out hands with change in them and a slip of paper that says “make a change”
Photo by Katt Yukawa on Unsplash

Love Amazon or hate them, no one disputes that MacKenzie Scott is very well off, owning 4 % of Amazon stock. Ms. Scott has taken the huge step of committing to donating the vast majority of her wealth to non-profits.

When you look at the list of causes she has donated to, one group is glaringly underrepresented: disability.

Ms. Scott describes her own approach to philanthropic giving in several Medium articles:

She further describes her categories of giving as:


Chatbots are everywhere online customer service is necessary. However, few are accessible to people with disabilities.

Anything a company can shift from an employee to a computer saves them money. That is why many retail companies are now using chatbots to answer simple questions to facilitate sales without having to involve humans who get a paycheck..

A chatbot is a piece of software that runs on either a mobile device or desktop, which companies use to conduct online chat conversations via text or text-to-speech, instead of providing direct contact with a live human agent.

Sheri Byrne-Haber, CPACC

Blogger, disability advocate, nerd. Bringing the fire on ableism. A11y Architect @ VMware. Wheelchair user w/ a deaf daughter. CS, Law, and Business background

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