Get the latest information and updates on GPRC’s response to COVID-19
Skip to Main Content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.

Learning Portal - Career: Arranging for Accommodation

Arranging Accommodations

In the interview process and in the workplace, persons with disabilities are entitled to access the same opportunities and benefits as those who don’t have disabilities. For some persons with disabilities, this means that certain adjustments need to be made in order for them to perform the duties of their job. Any such adjustment is known as an accommodation.

About accommodations

Employers have a legal “duty to accommodate” to ensure that those who are otherwise fit to work are not unjustly excluded where workplace adjustments can be made. You will be most productive when you are given the tools you need to do your job. Consider the following:

  • Accommodation needs vary widely from person to person and can be related to the individual, the environment, the tasks or the tools needed to perform a job/task.
  • You may need accommodation at any stage in the employment relationship including before the job begins (testing, interviews), within the work environment, during training and/or at times of promotion.
  • An employer is not obligated to provide the exact accommodation you prefer, but they cannot decide on an accommodation without consultation with you.
  • Employers cannot use your need for accommodation to evaluate your merits when you’re applying for a job.
  • The probationary period for a job should start after you have been accommodated.

Responsibilities and Understanding Your Needs

Responsibilities

According to the Alberta Human Rights Commission, employers and employees have specific roles and responsibilities for the process of accommodation.

Typically, the employer does not have the right to your confidential information, unless the information clearly relates to the accommodation you are requesting or your needs are complex or unclear and more information is needed to make a proper assessment. They can ask questions about your ability to perform the functions of the job, but cannot ask for specific information about the disability such as the name or diagnosis.

Understanding your needs

If you’re starting co-op, a placement, or a new job, you might be asking yourself, “How do I know what accommodations I need?” Perhaps you have recently acquired a disability or are simply unaware of how your disability will impact your ability to do a job.

You will be the first to know what you need. A good starting place is to think about the academic accommodations you’ve received in the past to see how they might transfer to a workplace setting. You can also talk with your employer and come up with solutions together. Here are some resources with examples of potential accommodations:

Examples of types of accommodations:

  • Restructuring work or daily tasks. E.g. larger tasks are divided into smaller ones

  • Acquiring or modifying equipment, software or devices needed to do the job. E.g. computer screen magnifier, voice input or speech recognition aids, ergonomic chair

  • Changing work locations. E.g. a quiet workspace, working from home

  • Creating flexible or modified work schedules. E.g. reduced or part-time hours, frequent breaks, self- paced workload

  • Offering retraining options or job reassignment. E.g. assigned to a new position

  • Changing workplace facilities to be more accessible. E.g. an accessible door opener, improved lighting

  • Providing assistance through a support service or person. E.g. an ASL interpreter

Sources

Responsibilities and Understanding Your Needs

Responsibilities

According to the Alberta Human Rights Commission, employers and employees have specific roles and responsibilities for the process of accommodation.

What are the Employee Responsibilities?

Employees have a right to privacy regarding their personal medical information. The employee must work with the employer to keep the lines of communication and cooperation open. Therefore the employee has a responsibility to cooperate in the process by providing the medical information necessary to explain an absence or support an accommodation request.

An employee is usually expected to report an absence from work as soon as possible and, if at all possible before they are expected to show up for work. If requested, an employee is expected to make every reasonable attempt to get a medical note to explain the absence.

The employee usually supplies medical information from their own doctor as to whether they are fit to work or require accommodation at work

Alberta Human Rights Commission, Obtaining and Responding to Medical Information

 

What are the Employer Responsibilities?

Accommodation means making changes to certain rules, standards, policies, workplace cultures and physical environments to ensure that they don't have a negative effect on a person because of the person's mental or physical disability, religion, gender or any other protected ground. Accommodation is a way to balance the diverse needs of individuals and employers. For example, a person may be unable to work on a particular day because it conflicts with his or her religious beliefs. In such cases, the employer must try to resolve the conflict in a way that is agreeable to both parties. An employer's duty to accommodate is far-reaching.

Alberta Human Rights Commission, Duty to Accommodate

What employers do not need to know.

Typically, the employer does not have the right to your confidential information, unless the information clearly relates to the accommodation you are requesting or your needs are complex or unclear and more information is needed to make a proper assessment. They can ask questions about your ability to perform the functions of the job, but cannot ask for specific information about the disability such as the name or diagnosis.

Attribution

Attribution 

Unless otherwise stated, the material in this guide is from the Learning Portal created by College Libraries Ontario. Content has been adapted for the GPRC Learning Commons in June 2021. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons BY NC SA 4.0 International License.

All icons on these pages are from The Noun Project. See individual icons for creator attribution. 

Grande Prairie Campus
10726 - 106 Avenue
Grande Prairie, AB T8V 4C4
Phone: 1-780-539-2939
Email: library@gprc.ab.ca
Fairview Campus
11235-98 Avenue
Fairview,AB T0H 1L0
Phone: 1-780-835-6750
Email: fvlibrary@gprc.ab.ca