In identifying an essential function to determine if an individual with a disability is qualified, the employer should focus on the purpose of the function and the result to be accomplished, rather than the manner in which the function presently is performed. An individual with a disability may be qualified to perform the function if an accommodation would enable this person to perform the job in a different way, and the accommodation does not impose an undue hardship. Although it may be essential that a function be performed, frequently it is not essential that it be performed in a particular way (EEOC, 1992).
Properly written job position descriptions are often the only document that totally define what a role is, what skills are required to perform it, and where the role fits in an organization. This makes it simple to identify candidates that are a good fit for the role and also to hold candidates accountable if they are not performing essential duties that are required in the role.