Many who work with disabilities might have to talk with their employer about accommodations. Accommodations take many forms, such as work from home, modified duties, or special equipment and tools. It is important to work with an employer to best accommodate your needs. EmployAbilities helps prepare our clients for how to speak with employers about accommodations.

Duty to Accommodate

First, it’s your choice to tell an employer you have a disability. But they can only accommodate your disability if they know about it. The law does protect you under the Alberta Human Rights Act. The Act says employers have a Duty to Accommodate.

Approaching your employer

Be open and honest. Tell them what you need and why. This means doing your research. For example, if the accommodation costs money, know there are programs that can help the employer pay for your accommodation. When you’re specific, it demonstrates your dedication, determination, and worth. And remember, any accommodation helps you do your job better.

Helpful resources

What if they say no?

Move up the chain of command. Talk to your employer’s supervisor or to human resources. Keep moving up until somebody hears you. Or, if you are part of a union, talk to the union rep. That is what they are there for—advocating for you. If all avenues have been exhausted, file a complaint with the Alberta Human Rights Commission.


Approaching your employer to find suitable accommodations is essential for your success. And it’s the law—they have a duty to accommodate. So, do not be intimidated. Accommodations add to a more inclusive workspace. It also shows you can find solutions that help not only you but also the company. And finally, it helps you be the best you can be. So, let’s start talking.