DAOD 5516-5, Learning Disability Accommodation during Recruiting, Training and Education


1. Introduction

Date of Issue: 2019-04-29

Application: This DAOD is an order that applies to officers and non-commissioned members of the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF members).

Approval Authority: Chief of Military Personnel (CMP)

Enquiries: Director Human Rights and Diversity (DHRD)


2. Definitions

duty to accommodate (obligation de prendre des mesures d'adaptation)

The obligation of the Department of National Defence and the Canadian Armed Forces to adopt measures to eliminate disadvantage to current and prospective Department of National Defence employees, Canadian Armed Forces members and applicants to the Canadian Armed Forces, as a result of a rule, policy, practice or barrier that has or may have an adverse impact on individuals or designated groups protected under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, the Canadian Human Rights Act or the Employment Equity Act. (Defence Terminology Bank record number 694596)

functional limitation (limitation fonctionnelle)

Any limitation of an individual’s functioning due to a learning disability. (Defence Terminology Bank new record number 695069)

learning disability (trouble d’apprentissage)

Any disability that may affect the acquisition, organization, retention, understanding or use of verbal or nonverbal information by an individual who otherwise demonstrates at least average abilities essential for thinking and reasoning. (Defence Terminology Bank new record number 694998)

3. Abbreviations

Abbreviation Complete Word or Phrase
BPSO
Base Personnel Selection Officer
CFRC
Canadian Forces Recruiting Centre
CO
commanding officer
DPGR
Director Personnel Generation Requirements
JBS
job-based specification
LD
learning disability
NCMGS
non-commissioned member general specification
OA
occupation authority
OFP
operationally functional point
OGS
officer general specification
QS
qualification standard
RMC
Royal Military College of Canada
RMC Saint-Jean
Royal Military College Saint-Jean
SOP
standard operating procedure
TA
training authority
U of S
universality of service

4. Overview

Interpretation

4.1 In this DAOD, unless the context provides otherwise, “individual” refers to a CAF member or a person seeking enrolment or re-enrolment in the CAF (a “CAF applicant”).

Purpose and Application

4.2 The purpose of this DAOD is to:

  1. meet the duty to accommodate individuals with LDs during recruiting, training and education;
  2. ensure human rights are respected when evaluating individuals; and
  3. ensure consistent and fair decisions in the accommodation of individuals, while ensuring that the operational requirements of the CAF are met.

4.3 This DAOD applies to:

  1. the recruiting of CAF applicants;
  2. the training of CAF members, including second language training and foreign language training; and
  3. the education of CAF members at RMC, RMC Saint-Jean and civilian institutions.

Note – This DAOD does not apply to the execution of skills and performance of tasks, duties or activities by CAF members that are not part of training or education.

Duty to Accommodate

4.4 The duty to accommodate the needs of individuals with LDs is a legal obligation under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, the Canadian Human Rights Act and the Employment Equity Act. Subject to paragraph 4.5, the CAF must accommodate the needs of individuals with LDs unless accommodating those needs would impose undue hardship on the CAF, considering health, safety and cost.

4.5 The duty to accommodate the needs of individuals with LDs is subject to the requirement of U of S under which CAF members must at all times and under any circumstances perform any duties that they may be required to perform. For the minimum operational standards related to U of S, see DAOD 5023-1, Minimum Operational Standards Related to Universality of Service.

Learning Disabilities

4.6 The diagnosis and reporting of LDs has increased within the general population. Because of the evolution of research and awareness, persons with LDs have been able to achieve greater success in education and careers. Required awareness of LDs extends to CAF members who work in CFRCs (recruiters) and are involved in the recruiting of CAF applicants who have LDs.

4.7 The processes described in this DAOD will enable recruiters to direct a CAF applicant to the most appropriate military occupation, and a BPSO to redirect a CAF member if required to a more appropriate military occupation, considering their LD.

4.8 An LD is not specifically a medical issue unless medication is prescribed or the LD is the result of an illness or injury.

Disclosure of an LD

4.9 An individual is strongly encouraged, but not required, to disclose an LD to enable accommodation under this DAOD. An individual must not be subject to discrimination or harassment in any form on the basis of an LD or a perceived LD, for disclosing one or for the use of an accommodation.

4.10 A CAF member may disclose an LD at any time during their career.

4.11 Recruiters must encourage CAF applicants to disclose any LDs that they may have.

Accommodation

4.12 If an individual is capable despite an LD of meeting the minimum operational standards related to U of S, the needs of that individual must be accommodated unless accommodating those needs would impose undue hardship on the CAF considering health, safety and cost. The point of undue hardship is determined by the DPGR on a case-by-case basis. For additional information see the tables at paragraph 5.5, 5.6 and 5.7.

4.13 If an individual with an LD is not capable of meeting the minimum operational standards related to U of S, the needs of that individual will not be accommodated.

4.14 The availability of appropriate accommodations for individuals with diagnosed LDs provides military career counsellors during the recruiting of CAF applicants, and staff during the training and education of CAF members, with the means to evaluate these individuals, taking into consideration their needs while ensuring that the operational requirements of the CAF are met. This is in the best interests of the CAF and the individuals as it helps to ensure that they are given the opportunity to apply for military occupations that can best accommodate their specific LDs during recruiting, training or education, as applicable. This should ultimately result in better selection for appropriate military occupations and a subsequent reduction in training and education failures as a result of undiagnosed LDs. Ultimately, this will increase opportunities for success and promote a more inclusive work environment.

Assessment Validity

4.15 The QSs, including the second language QS, the foreign language QS and their applicability to operational settings (including the linguistic designation of position), reflect operational requirements. All CAF members undergoing training must meet the same performance objectives and job standards, and be tested under the same conditions as defined in the applicable QS. Accordingly, training cannot introduce any accommodation that cannot be maintained in the operational setting.

4.16 When changes for the purpose of an accommodation are made to the procedures, format or content of an assessment instrument for recruiting, training or education, there is a possibility that these changes may affect the level of qualification being assessed to achieve the minimum standard that is required. Individuals with LDs must demonstrate that they meet the required standard. Therefore, any accommodation provided must not alter the nature or the level of difficulty of a qualification being assessed. The use of different assessment methods or sources of information must be justified on the basis that such differential usage provides for a more accurate assessment of the individual, while remaining equitable and fair to others.

Approved Accommodations

4.17 Potential accommodations that may be considered for individuals with LDs include the following:

  1. the use of assistive technology to compensate for a functional limitation, including specialized computer programs or specially adapted tools such as calculators or text-talk converters;
  2. the use of communication devices, including tape recorders, computers or other adaptive equipment, which permit more effective learning or communication;
  3. scheduling changes, including extended time to complete a test or tasking, more frequently scheduled breaks or completing the task at a time most beneficial to the individual, recognizing operational requirements;
  4. human support in terms of extra assistance, including having someone proof-reading written work, providing extra practice and providing alternative methods of direction; and
  5. any other individualized support to provide a specific accommodation.

Implementation of Accommodations

4.18 Any plan for the implementation of accommodations is not permanent. It is specific to the required training or education of a CAF member for each specific military occupation, rank and workplace. Every effort will be made to evaluate recommended accommodations considering all training and education requirements of the current developmental period level of a CAF member in order to avoid the resubmission of an accommodation request. However, considering that QS changes significantly from one developmental period level to another and from one environment to another, accommodation requests must be resubmitted by the CAF member and re-evaluated when military factors change, such as further training for promotion and posting to a different command.

4.19 If an approved accommodation is implemented and imposes undue hardship on the CAF, a CAF applicant may be removed either temporarily or permanently from the recruiting process. In the case of a CAF member progressing through training or education, the CAF member should normally continue until a final determination is made that an approved accommodation imposes undue hardship on the CAF.

5. Learning Disability Accommodation Process

LD Assessment by Qualified Professional

5.1 An LD assessment can only be done by a qualified professional who is accredited with a regulated professional association. The assessment report provided by a professional should include the following:

  1. a clear description of the nature and extent of the functional limitations specific to the individual that result from the LD, including any professionally-recognized standardized test results and any use of systematic or differential assessments;
  2. one or more recommended accommodations;
  3. a list of any accommodations that the person is currently using or has used, as well as any means by which the individual compensates for the functional limitations;
  4. when applicable, a description of the variability or of the progression of the individual's functional limitations; and
  5. the individual’s history, whether educational, developmental or medical, if relevant to understanding the LD for the purpose of providing accommodation.

5.2 Any information concerning specific side effects of medication taken in respect of an LD, that is disclosed by an individual to a qualified professional during the LD assessment, must be forwarded to CAF medical personnel as directed by DPGR and is not to be included in the assessment report.

Accommodation Assessment by DPGR

5.3 In the conduct of the review of an assessment report, and determination if the implementation of recommended accommodations would impose undue hardship on the CAF, DPGR takes into consideration the following:

  1. all functional limitations that the individual with the LD is experiencing;
  2. the recommended accommodations to reduce or eliminate the functional limitations;
  3. the specific U of S and occupational tasks that are problematic as a result of the functional limitations;
  4. a determination as to whether U of S can be met given the functional limitations and recommended accommodations;
  5. the occupational tasks that can be met given the functional limitations and recommended accommodations;
  6. the impact, including safety or risk, to the individual and others;
  7. the ability to implement the recommended accommodations given security and health requirements and cost; and
  8. for university courses at RMC, RMC Saint-Jean and civilian institutions, an assessment of the academic course learning outcomes that can be achieved with the recommended accommodations.

Consent of Individual

5.4 The accommodation processes set out in this DAOD require the consent of the individual using Part 1 of DND Form 4458-E, Learning Disability Accommodation Request.

CAF Applicant at a CFRC/Reserve Unit

5.5 The following table outlines the accommodation process for a CAF applicant at a CFRC/Reserve Unit:

Step Abbreviation Complete Word or Phrase
1. Informing the CAF applicant
  • CFRC/Reserve Unit staff ensure that the CAF applicant is:
    • informed of the accommodation process by means of recruiting posters, test instructions and test administration manuals;
    • given standard encouragement to disclose any LD before the recruiting process or testing occurs; and
    • advised that the recruiting process will be delayed if the LD is not declared early.
2. Disclosure of LD by CAF applicant
  • The CAF applicant:
    • discloses the LD orally or in writing to CFRC/Reserve Unit staff; and
    • completes Part 1 of Form DND 4458-E.
3. CFRC/Reserve Unit staff review
  • CFRC/Reserve Unit staff review Part 1 of Form DND 4458-E and any related documents; and
  • the CFRC Personnel Selection Officer or a military career counsellor or CO signs Part 2 and submits it to DPGR.
4. CFRC/Reserve Unit action
  • If a psycho-educational assessment is required, CFRC/Reserve Unit refers the CAF applicant to one or more local qualified professionals accredited with regulated professional associations, using Annex A of Form DND 4458-E and applicable occupation QSs.
  • If the candidate already has a valid psycho-educational assessment, CFRC/Reserve Unit submit the form, the assessment, and all related documents to DPGR for review.
5. Conduct of LD assessment
  • An accredited professional conducts an LD assessment and produces an assessment report with a description of the LD, specific functional limitations and one or more recommended accommodations, as applicable.
6. Report review and accommodation assessment
  • DPGR reviews the assessment report and coordinates the evaluation of the recommended accommodations up to the OFP, taking into consideration U of S, linguistic designation and occupational tasks;
  • DPGR is assisted by:
    • the appropriate OAs and TAs for the military occupations for which the CAF applicant has applied;
    • the Canadian Defence Academy for the linguistic designation QS; and,
    • any other specialist as required;
  • DPGR determines if the CAF applicant meets U of S and which military occupations, if any, appropriately match the functional limitations and recommended accommodations in the report, taking into consideration the information set out in paragraph 5.1 and the following as applicable:
    • the OGS or NCMGS;
    • JBSs;
    • environmental standards; and
    • occupation QSs;
  • DPGR may seek assistance from the local representative of the Judge Advocate General or the National Security and Public Law section of the Office of the DND/CF Legal Advisor, as applicable and if required, to determine if a particular occupation QS is a bona fide operational requirement;
  • If the applicant requires medication as part of the LD management plan, Health Services will evaluate for compliance with the Common Enrollment Medical Standard; and
  • DPGR completes Part 3 of Form DND 4458-E, setting out approved and not approved accommodations, with reasons, and forwards it to the CFRC/Reserve Unit.
7. Communication to the CAF applicant
  • The CFRC or Unit CO:
    • provides a copy of the assessment report to the CAF applicant;
    • completes Part 4 of Form DND 4458-E and informs the CAF applicant that one or more accommodations have been either approved or not approved; and
    • ensures that the CAF applicant clearly understands the limitations of the approved accommodations and related expectations; and
  • the CAF applicant signs Part 5 of Form DND 4458-E and is provided with a copy of the Form.
8. Incorporation of accommodations
  • CFRC/Reserve Unit staff:
    • incorporate approved accommodations into the recruiting process;
    • consign the assessment report, Form DND 4458-E and any related documents to the CAF applicant’s medical file; and
    • forward a copy of the Form DND 4458-E to the Canadian Forces Leadership and Recruit School or other applicable school for their information and action as required.

Note The OFP occurs when a CAF member completes all qualifications required for first employment in their military occupation.

CAF Member up to their OFP

5.6 The following table outlines the accommodation process for a CAF member up to their OFP:

Step Action What Happens?
1. Informing the CAF member
  • The CO of the unit, including RMC and RMC Saint-Jean, ensures that:
    • the CAF member is informed of the accommodation process by means of joining instructions, test instructions and test administration manuals;
    • o   the CAF member is given standard encouragement to disclose any LD before any training, education or testing occurs; and
    • any performance of a CAF member during training, education or testing suggesting a possible LD is considered.
2. Disclosure of LD by CAF member
  • The CAF member:
    • discloses the LD orally or in writing; and
    • completes Part 1 of Form DND 4458-E.
3. Unit review
  • Unit staff review Part 1 of Form DND 4458-E and any related documents; and
  • the CO of the unit signs Part 2 and submits it to DPGR.
4. CO action
  • If a psycho-educational assessment is required, the CO refers the CAF member to one or more local qualified professionals accredited with regulated professional associations, using Annex A of Form DND 4458-E and the applicable occupation QS.
  • It there is a previous psycho-educational assessment in the medical file, the CAF member may request a copy from their supporting Health Services Records Section.
5. Conduct of LD assessment
  • An accredited professional conducts an LD assessment and produces an assessment report with a description of the LD, specific functional limitations and one or more recommended accommodations, as applicable.
6. Report review and accommodation assessment
  • DPGR completes step 6 in the table in paragraph 5.5 with the necessary modifications for a CAF member who has not achieved their OFP.
7. Communication to the CAF member
  • The CO of the unit:
    • provides a copy of the assessment report to the CAF member;
    • completes Part 4 of Form DND 4458-E and informs the CAF member that one or more accommodations have been either approved or not approved; and
    • ensures that the CAF member clearly understands the limitations of the approved accommodations and related expectations; and
  • the CAF applicant signs Part 5 of Form DND 4458-E and is provided with a copy of the Form.
8. Incorporation of accommodations
  • Unit staff:
    • incorporate approved accommodations into the CAF member’s training, education and testing;
    • forward a copy of the assessment report to Health Services to be scanned into their medical file; and
    • consign the Form DND 4458-E to the CAF member’s personnel file.

CAF Member After Achieving OFP

5.7 The following table outlines the accommodation process for a CAF member who has achieved their OFP (a “trained CAF member”):

Step Action What Happens ?
1. Informing the CAF member
  • The CO of the CAF member ensures that:
    • the CAF member is informed of the accommodation process by means of joining instructions, test instructions and test administration manuals, PSO career counselling session/selection assessment, etc.;
    • the CAF member is given standard encouragement to disclose any LD before any training, education or testing occurs; and
    • any performance of a CAF member during training, education or testing suggesting a possible LD is considered.
2. Disclosure of LD by CAF member
  • The CAF member:
    • discloses the LD orally or in writing; and
    • completes Part 1 of Form DND 4458-E.
3. Unit review
  • Unit staff review Part 1 of Form DND 4458-E and any related documents; and
  • the CO of the unit signs Part 2 and submits it to DPGR, with an information copy to the PSO, as applicable.
4. CO action
  • If a psycho-educational assessment is required, the CO refers the CAF member to one or more local qualified professionals accredited with regulated professional associations, using Annex A of Form DND 4458-E and the applicable occupation QS.
  • If there is a previous psycho-educational assessment in the medical file, the CAF member may request a copy from their supporting Health Services Records Section.
5. Conduct of LD assessment
  • An accredited professional conducts an LD assessment and produces an assessment report with a description of the LD, specific functional limitations and one or more recommended accommodations, as applicable.
6. Report review and accommodation assessment
  • DPGR completes step 6 in the table in paragraph 5.5 with the necessary modifications for a trained CAF member.
7. Communication to the CAF member
  • The CO of the unit
    • provides a copy of the assessment report to the CAF member;
    • completes Part 4 of Form DND 4458-E and informs the CAF member that one or more accommodations have been either approved or not approved;
    • ensures that the CAF member clearly understands the limitations of the approved accommodations and related expectations; and
    • refers the CAF member to the PSO for evaluation of career actions, such as occupational transfer, if the approved accommodations are not compatible with the military occupation of the CAF member; and
  • the CAF member signs Part 5 of Form DND 4458-E and is provided with a copy of the Form.
8. Incorporation of accommodations
  • Unit staff:
    • incorporate approved accommodations into the CAF member’s training, education and testing;
    • forward a copy of the assessment report to Health Services to be scanned into their medical file; and
    • consign the Form DND 4458-E to the CAF member’s personnel file.

Denial of Accommodation Request

5.8 Any denial of an accommodation request must be substantiated based on specific provisions of DAOD 5023-1, Universality of Service, the OGS or NCMGS, JBSs or associated doctrine manuals.

CAF Applicant Decision Recourse

5.9 A CAF applicant who is not satisfied with the disposition of an accommodation request may submit:

  1. in the case of a discriminatory practice, a human rights complaint to the Canadian Human Rights Commission; or
  2. a complaint to the Office of the Ombudsman for the DND and the CAF in accordance with DAOD 5047-1, Office of the Ombudsman.

CAF Member Decision Recourse

5.10 A CAF member who is not satisfied with the disposition of an accommodation request may submit:

  1. a grievance in accordance with QR&O Chapter 7, Grievances;
  2. in the case of a discriminatory practice, a human rights complaint to the Canadian Human Rights Commission (see DAOD 5516-1, Human Right Complaints); or
  3. a complaint to the Office of the Ombudsman for the DND and the CAF in accordance with DAOD 5047-1.

6. Compliance and Consequences

Compliance

6.1 CAF members must comply with this DAOD. Should clarification of the policies or instructions set out in this DAOD be required, CAF members may seek direction through their chain of command, as appropriate. Military supervisors have the primary responsibility for and means of ensuring the compliance of their CAF members with this DAOD.

Consequences of Non-Compliance

6.2 CAF members are accountable to their military supervisors for any failure to comply with the direction set out in this DAOD. Non-compliance with this DAOD may have consequences for the DND and the CAF as institutions, and for CAF members as individuals. Suspected non-compliance may be investigated. Military supervisors must take or direct appropriate corrective measures if non-compliance with this DAOD has consequences for the DND or the CAF. The decision of an L1 or other senior official to take action or to intervene in a case of non-compliance, other than in respect of a decision under the Code of Service Discipline, will depend on the degree of risk based on the impact and likelihood of an adverse outcome resulting from the non-compliance and other circumstances of the case.

6.3 The nature and severity of the consequences resulting from non-compliance should be commensurate with the circumstances of the non-compliance and other relevant circumstances. Consequences of non-compliance may include one or more of the following:

  1. the ordering of the completion of appropriate learning, training or professional development;
  2. the entering of observations in individual performance evaluations;
  3. increased reporting and performance monitoring;
  4. the withdrawal of any authority provided under this DAOD to a CAF member;
  5. the reporting of suspected offences to responsible law enforcement agencies;
  6. the application of specific consequences as set out in applicable laws, codes of conduct, and CAF policies and instructions;
  7. other administrative or disciplinary action, or both; and
  8. the imposition of liability on the part of Her Majesty in right of Canada and CAF members.

7. Responsibilities

Responsibility Table

7.1 The following table identifies the responsibilities associated with this DAOD:

The... is or are responsible for …
Commander, Military Personnel Command
  • developing and maintaining LD accommodation doctrine and SOPs for individual training and education;
  • implementing this DAOD in selection and training;
  • ensuring that training and education in respect of the duty to accommodate is provided in appropriate training, education and professional development programs for CAF members, particularly for recruiters and trainers;
  • evaluating accommodation requests and assessment reports pertaining to language training standards; and
  • providing DHRD with data on the duty to accommodate LDs.
Commander, Canadian Forces Recruiting Group & Commander Military Personnel Generation
  • developing and maintaining LD accommodation doctrine and SOPs for recruiting;
  • implementing this DAOD in recruit selection and training;
  • ensuring that recruiters receive training in respect of the duty to accommodate LDs disclosed by CAF applicants;
  • informing CAF applicants, and former CAF members applying for  re-enrolment, of the CAF policy on accommodation for LDs;
  • processing accommodation requests;
  • maintaining records on accommodation requests and approved accommodations; and
  • providing DHRD, DPGR and career managers with data on the duty to accommodate LDs.
Health Services
  • determining if the CAF applicant meets Common Enrollment Medical Standards; and
  • assisting DPGR if required in the review of assessment reports and the evaluation of recommended accommodations.
DPGR
  • evaluating accommodation requests and assessment reports, and approving accommodations that ensure the duty to accommodate is appropriately respected in relation to U of S and occupational tasks;
  • liaising with OAs and TAs in the review of assessment reports and the evaluation of recommended accommodations;
  • informing CFRC and COs requesting accommodation of:
    • accommodations that are approved or not approved; and
    • the reasons for approving or not approving;
  • providing DHRD, the Canadian Forces Recruiting Group and career managers with data on the duty to accommodate LDs; and
  • providing specific direction on any accommodation to be provided during the administration of any CAF selection protocols.
OAs, TAs and occupation advisors
  • assisting DPGR if required in the review of assessment reports and the evaluation of recommended accommodations. 
DHRD
  • maintaining, evaluating and updating this DAOD.
CO of RMC, RMC Saint-Jean, a CFRC or any other unit
  • processing accommodation requests;
  • forwarding a copy of Form DND 4458-E to DHRD after Part 5 is completed;
  • implementing approved accommodations; and
  • considering the possibility of an LD during any administrative career review of a CAF member and informing the CAF member that a request for LD accommodation may be made under this DAOD.
PSO
  • considering the possibility of an LD during any administrative career review of a CAF member and informing the CAF member that a request for LD accommodation may be made under this DAOD.

8. References

Acts, Regulations, Central Agency Policies and Policy DAOD

Other References

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