Workplace Accessibility Resources
Why does Accessibility matter?
Creating an accessible workplace benefits everyone. When you design your internal processes, physical work space, and products to be accessible to all – you create opportunities. Opportunities to recruit, accommodate, and retain diverse employees, support existing employees with disabilities or barriers, and attract a wide range of customers. With new Government of Canada Federal Accessibility Legislation due in the Spring of 2018, there’s no better time to develop the accessibility of your organization. We’re here to support you. Read below for more information on the upcoming Accessibility Legislation, why it’s important for your organization, and how CAES services can help you.
- Psychological Health and Safety in the Workplace: assessment, review, recommendations
- HR Audit: assessment, review, and recommendations of recruitment, accommodation, onboarding and retention policy
- Workplace Accessibility Audit: full audit of accessibility of physical workplace, report and recommendations generated
Designing or changing physical environments, systems and interactions to meet the needs of everyone is what Universal Design and Accessibility are all about. You don’t have to be an ‘expert’. Accessing people with lived experience and being conscious and purposeful in the design process are the main requirements.
Even to this day, many employers hold some inaccurate ideas about accessibility or accommodations. In fact many employers often equate a large expense towards accommodating job seekers/employees with disabilities, with some thinking that stairs and doors are the only barriers to physically entering a building at a work site. Yet as managers, supervisors, co-workers, and community partners we all have a role in bringing the right to reasonable accommodations to people with disabilities in the workplace. Remaining flexible and utilizing creative thinking will be our greatest strengths towards workplace inclusion. What we all need to remember while addressing accommodations is that accommodations are afforded to all employees with or without a disability, that every person’s experience of a disability is unique, and we need to focus on a persons ability, not on their disability.
The Honourable Kirsty Duncan
“Society benefits when all Canadians can fully participate. The proposed accessible Canada act represents the most important federal legislative advancement of disability rights in Canada in over 30 years. Thank you to the many community leaders and advocates who have worked for years and decades to make this happen. With the proposed act now in Parliament, we are one step closer to our goal: to have a truly inclusive and accessible Canada.”
The Honourable Carla Qualtrough
“Today’s announcement marks a significant milestone in improving accessibility for all Canadians. As a life-long advocate for disability rights and a person living with a disability myself, I am proud to lead a portfolio tasked with enhancing accessibility in federal buildings and establishing an accessible procurement resource centre. This important work will help ensure the goods and services purchased and offered by the Government of Canada are more accessible for all Canadians.”
Accessibility Legislation in the news:
“Hon. Carla Qualtrough takes on additional responsibilities as Minister of Public Services and Procurement and Accessibility” – Carla Qualtrough MP Website, www.cqualtrough.liberal.ca (July 18, 2018)
“Minister Duncan introduces the proposed Accessible Canada Act” – Employment and Social Development Canada, Government of Canada (June 20, 2018)
“Canada’s first national accessibility law tabled in Ottawa” – Michelle McQuigge, The Canadian Press, CTV News (June 20, 2018)
“Legislation to improve accessibility for those with disabilities planned for spring” – Michelle McQuigge, The Canadian Press, CTV News (October 15, 2017)
“Canada’s new accessibility laws should focus on employment, inclusive buildings, transport” – Michelle McQuigge, The Canadian Press, The Star (May 29, 2017)
“Canadians with Disabilities Act to focus on employment: minister” – Michelle McQuigge, The Canadian Press, Global News (February 5, 2017)
Sometimes there are really well intended accommodations made that fall a little short of the desired outcome. We appreciate the effort, but sometimes you just need to have a laugh and learn from mistakes. Take a look around, evaluate the accessibility of your surroundings, and share your #AccessibilityFail pictures with us by mentioning us @CAES_YYC or email to firstname.lastname@example.org