Introducing Accommodations to the Workplace

  • In a survey of 500 employers by the BC Chamber of Commerce, more than half of the respondents reported providing a supportive and encouraging work environment and flexible work hours to make their workplaces accessible to people with disabilities.  However, many said additional supports were needed.  The most commonly required are disabilities awareness training for staff and workspaces/equipment modification.

    There are many good reasons to introduce accommodations to your workplace that will benefit your business:

    1. To expand the labour pool by including all potential candidates when seeking the best person for the job.
    2. To increase he participation of people with disabilities throughout the organization.
    3. To reintegrate a staff member returning to work following an accident or an illness.
    4. To provide an accessible, safe and healthy working environment for everyone.

    Keep in mind that accommodation requirements may change.  Like any other worker, a person with a disability may need new or different accommodations as they age or as the disability enters a different stage.  A simple job change can also create new requirements.  Create a workplace where people can speak freely, employees can feel comfortable talking about their changing needs.  Encourage the employee with the disability to be open and frank about what he or she can do and then take steps accordingly.

    Mostly, accommodations turn out to be a combination of flexibility about hours, location and technology.