Glossary: Accessibility Strategy for the Public Service of Canada
- The degree to which a product, service, program or environment is available to be accessed or used by all.
- accessibility confidence
- The ability of organizations to “manage disability as a business priority related to customer experience, talent, productivity, innovation, new product development, brand reputation and investment in human potential.” (Source: Business Disability International)
- accommodation (adjustment)
Any change in the working environment that allows a person with functional limitations in their abilities to do their job. Changes can include:
- adjustments to the physical workspace
- adaptations to the equipment or tools
- flexible work hours or job-sharing
- relocation of the workspace within the greater workplace
- the ability to work from home
- reallocation or exchange of some non-essential tasks for others
- time off for medical appointments
Accommodations (adjustments) can be temporary, periodic or long-term, depending on the employee’s situation or changes in the workplace.
- accommodation/adjustment plan
- A plan that outlines a supervisor’s responsibilities, usually including a set of accommodation (adjustment) measures, in order to enable an employee to successfully perform job-related duties and to contribute at their full potential.
- assistive or adaptive device/technology
- A device or system designed to help a person to perform a task, including assistive devices or equipment (for example, canes, crutches, walkers, wheelchairs, hearing aids and personal emergency response systems) as well as IT-related items (for example, computer screen-reading software).
- Anything that hinders the full and equal participation in society of persons with an impairment, including a physical, mental, intellectual, cognitive, learning, communication or sensory impairment or a functional limitation. Barriers can be physical, architectural, technological or attitudinal. (Source: Bill C-81: An Act to Ensure a Barrier-Free Canada)
- Canadian workforce
- All persons in Canada of working age who are willing and able to work. (Source: Employment Equity Act)
- Individuals, businesses or their representatives served by or using services provided by a government department.
- the departments named in Schedule I of the Financial Administration Act
- the divisions or branches of the federal public administration set out in column I of Schedule I.1 of the Financial Administration Act
- a commission under the Inquiries Act that is designated by order of the Governor in Council as a department for the purposes of this Act
- the staffs of:
- the Senate
- the House of Commons
- the Library of Parliament
- the Office of the Senate Ethics Officer
- the Office of the Conflict of Interest and Ethics Commissioner
- the Parliamentary Protective Service
- the Office of the Parliamentary Budget Officer
- any departmental corporation named in Schedule II of the Financial Administration Act
(Source: Financial Administration Act)
- designated groups
- Women, Aboriginal peoples, persons with disabilities and members of visible minorities (Source: Employment Equity Act)
- Any impairment, including a physical, mental, intellectual, cognitive, learning, communication or sensory impairment, or a functional limitation, whether permanent, temporary or episodic in nature, or evident or not, that, in interaction with a barrier, hinders a person’s full and equal participation in society. (Source: Bill C-81: An Act to Ensure a Barrier-Free Canada)
- disability type
A form of limitation, be it physical, mental, intellectual, cognitive, learning, communication or sensory or other.
In its 2017 Canadian Survey on Disability, Statistics Canada used screening questions to identify the following 10 types of disability:
- mental health-related
The screening questionnaire also contained a question concerning any other health problem or condition that has lasted or is expected to last for six months or more. This question was meant to be a catch-all in case the 10 disability types did not cover the respondent’s situation. This question is associated with an 11th “unknown” disability type.
- disability severity
The extent of a physical, mental, intellectual, cognitive, learning, communication or sensory or other limitation.
Statistics Canada’s 2017 Canadian Survey on Disability calculated for each person the level of difficulty experienced in performing certain tasks and the frequency of activity limitations. To simplify the concept of severity, four severity classes were established:
- very severe
Treating someone differently or unfairly because of a personal characteristic or distinction, which, whether intentional or not, has an effect that imposes disadvantages not imposed on others or that withholds or limits access that is given to others.
There are 13 prohibited grounds of discrimination under the Canadian Human Rights Act (that is, based on race, national or ethnic origin, colour, religion, age, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, marital status, family status, genetic characteristics (including a requirement to undergo a genetic test or disclose the results of a genetic test), disability or conviction for an offence for which a pardon has been granted or in respect of which a record suspension has been ordered).
The inclusion of different types of people. A diverse workforce in the public service is made up of individuals who have an array of identities, abilities, backgrounds, cultures, skills, perspectives and experiences that are representative of Canada’s current and evolving population. (Source: Building a Diverse and Inclusive Public Service: Final Report of the Joint Union/Management Task Force on Diversity and Inclusion)
- A person employed in the public service.
- gender-based analysis plus (GBA+)
An analytical process used to assess how diverse groups of women, men and non-binary people may experience policies, programs and initiatives. The “plus” in GBA+ acknowledges that GBA goes beyond biological (sex) and socio-cultural (gender) differences.
We all have multiple identity factors that intersect to make us who we are, and GBA+ considers many other identity factors such as race, ethnicity, religion, age, and mental or physical disability. (Source: Department of Women and Gender Equality GBA+ website)
Any improper conduct by an individual that:
- is directed at and offensive to another individual in the workplace, including at any event or any location related to work
- the individual knew or ought reasonably to have known would cause offence or harm
Harassment comprises objectionable act(s), comment(s) or display(s) that demean, belittle, or cause personal humiliation or embarrassment, and any act of intimidation or threat. It also includes harassment within the meaning of the Canadian Human Rights Act (that is, based on race, national or ethnic origin, colour, religion, age, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, marital status, family status, genetic characteristics (including a requirement to undergo a genetic test, or disclose the results of a genetic test), disability or conviction for an offence for which a pardon has been granted or in respect of which a record suspension has been ordered).
Staffing actions that added to the employee population in the past fiscal year that involve:
- indeterminate and seasonal employees
- those with terms of three months or more
- casual employees whose employment status has changed to indeterminate, terms of three months or more, or seasonal
Hirings measure the flow of employees into the public service and may include more than one staffing action per person per year. (Source: Employment Equity in the Public Service of Canada for Fiscal Year 2017 to 2018)
The act of including someone or something as part of a group. An inclusive workplace is fair, equitable, supportive, welcoming and respectful.
Inclusion recognizes, values and leverages differences in identities, abilities, backgrounds, cultures, skills, experiences and perspectives that support and reinforce Canada’s evolving human rights framework. (Source: Building a Diverse and Inclusive Public Service: Final Report of the Joint Union/Management Task Force on Diversity and Inclusion)
- Indigenous peoples
A collective name for the original peoples of North America and their descendants. The Constitution of Canada recognizes three distinct groups of Indigenous (Aboriginal) peoples:
- Indians (referred to as First Nations)
Increasingly, and in keeping with international agreements, “Indigenous peoples” is being used instead of “Aboriginal peoples” except when referencing legislative requirements in the Employment Equity Act. (Source: Employment Equity in the Public Service of Canada for Fiscal Year 2017 to 2018)
- members of visible minorities
- Persons, other than Indigenous peoples, who are non-Caucasian in race or non-white in colour. (Source: Employment Equity Act)
- persons with disabilities
Persons who have a long-term or recurring physical, mental, sensory, psychiatric or learning impairment and who a) consider themselves to be disadvantaged in employment by reason of that impairment, or b) believe that an employer or potential employer is likely to consider them to be disadvantaged in employment by reason of that impairment.
Persons with disabilities include persons whose functional limitations owing to their impairment have been accommodated in their current job or workplace. (Source: Employment Equity Act)
- Persons with Disabilities Chairs and Champions Committee
An employment equity committee, composed of champions and employee network chairs from departments and agencies from across the public service of Canada.
Such a committee is chaired by a deputy minister champion, appointed by the Clerk of the Privy Council. The committee’s mandate is to support public service employment equity objectives by:
- serving as a forum for networking
- sharing employment equity best practices among departments and agencies
- The number of appointments to positions at higher pay levels, either within the same occupational group or subgroup or in another group or subgroup. (Source: Employment Equity in the Public Service of Canada for Fiscal Year 2017 to 2018)
- public service positions
Positions that are in or under:
- the departments named in Schedule I to the Financial Administration Act
- the organizations named in Schedule IV to the Financial Administration Act
- the separate agencies named in Schedule V to the Financial Administration Act
(Source: Public Service Employment Act)
- Applicants voluntarily providing information in appointment processes for statistical purposes related to appointments and, in the case of processes that target employment equity groups, to determine eligibility. (Source: Employment Equity in the Public Service of Canada for Fiscal Year 2017 to 2018)
- Employees providing employment equity information for statistical purposes in analyzing and monitoring the progress of employment equity groups in the federal public service and for reporting on workforce representation. (Source: Employment Equity in the Public Service of Canada for Fiscal Year 2017 to 2018
The number of employees (indeterminate, terms of three months or more, and seasonal) removed from the public service payroll, which may include more than one action per person per year. Separations include:
- employees who retired or resigned
- employees whose specified employment period (term) ended
- An employment equity designated group under the Employment Equity Act.
- workforce availability
For the core public administration, refers to the estimated availability of people in designated groups as a percentage of the workforce population. For the core public administration, workforce availability is based on the population of Canadian citizens who:
- are active in the workforce
- work in those occupations that correspond to the occupations in the core public administration
Availability is estimated from 2011 Census data. Estimates for persons with disabilities are derived from data, also collected by Statistics Canada, in the 2012 Canadian Survey on Disability. (Source: Employment Equity in the Public Service of Canada for Fiscal Year 2017 to 2018)
- work potential
A concept used to describe persons with disabilities not currently working who might be likely to enter paid employment under the best-case scenario, which is an inclusive labour market without discrimination, with full accessibility and accommodation.
Work potential is not an attempt to measure one’s internal capacity, ability to work, or even likelihood of finding employment under current conditions; it is rather a way to examine how the labour market might change under more inclusive conditions. (Source: A Demographic, Employment and Income Profile of Canadians with Disabilities Aged 15 Years and Over, 2017, Statistics Canada)
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