Government of Canada Workplace Accessibility Passport: Supporting your employees

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Creating an inclusive workplace

As a manager, you play a pivotal role in shaping the work environment for your employees. You’re responsible for setting the tone and creating a positive work culture. In doing so, you’re not just fulfilling your legal obligations with respect to your organization’s duty to accommodate, you’re also fostering a supportive environment where everyone feels valued and equipped to do their best.

Managers are not responsible for formally approving the GC Workplace Accessibility Passport (the Passport) and should avoid asking for proof of an employee’s disability or mental health condition, unless there are concerns for employees’ safety. Never share an employee’s information without their consent.

Starting conversations and promoting the Passport

You should ask each of your employees how you can best support them on the job. Let them know about the Passport and encourage them to complete it when they face accessibility barriers at work.

Conversation starter over email

We are  committed to creating an inclusive work environment for all employees. The Office of Public Service Accessibility, within the Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat, has developed the Government of Canada (GC) Workplace Accessibility Passport. The Passport enables employees with lived experience of disability to share information about their workplace experiences and obtain the tools and support measures they need to succeed.

I encourage you to complete the Passport if you face barriers in the workplace, or if adaptive devices, tools or support measures can make a difference for you. Once completed, the Passport belongs to you. It follows you throughout your career so that you don’t have to renegotiate workplace accommodation measures every time your work situation changes.

Please share your Passport with me so that we can discuss your accommodation needs and next steps.

Supporting accommodation measures for your employees

While there’s currently no central procurement mechanism for purchasing adaptive equipment or tools, certain accommodation measures are within your immediate control. These might include flexible work schedules, written instructions for tasks, as well as accessible team meetings and materials.

For additional accommodation tools and support measures that require approvals, you can start by contacting:

AAACT provides advice on how to procure adaptive equipment. They also offer a variety of information and services to facilitate access to adaptive tools for employees, including the Lending Library Service Pilot program.

Professional assessments

When an employee hasn’t identified their workplace accommodation needs or when you and the employee can’t identify any solutions, you may ask the employee to provide professional assessments. These assessments will inform the solutions to be put in place. Only the portions of these assessments that address workplace barriers and solutions should be discussed and documented in the Passport.

Tools and support measures for employees

There’s a broad range of mainstream and adaptive products and services that can improve participation of individuals with disabilities, as well as all individuals in the federal public service.

Examples of tools and equipment
  • ergonomic chairs
  • adaptive software to ensure full understanding, perception or operation of the computer
  • training and support for adaptive software
  • monitors of various sizes, monitor stands, monitor risers
  • Braille display or Braille printers
  • ergonomic keyboards, mice, headphones and switches
  • adjustable work surfaces, such as sit-stand desks or desk risers
  • appropriate workstation size (for example, wide enough for a wheelchair or a service dog)
  • angled writing surfaces and document holders or supports
  • office supplies such as desktop printers, coloured pens, pens with different grips, different sizes of pens, coloured paper, overlays, privacy screens, keyboard trays, footrests
  • different lighting, such as incandescent or LED lighting
Examples of supports and measures
  • signage about allergies and education for colleagues
  • communication Access Realtime Translation services or sign language interpretation
  • written checklists or instructions
  • flexible work hours
  • planning for uninterrupted work time, which could include a quiet space, scheduling time, or working from a remote location
  • longer or more frequent breaks or stretch periods
  • flexibility regarding work location, such as the employee’s place of residence, the regular workplace, an alternative location
  • access to shift changes or modified work hours for employees who do shift or on call work, or who have some other non-standard work week
Examples of non-office work equipment

For employees who don’t work in an office environment, accommodation measures can include:

  • appropriately sized bed in employees’ sleeping quarters
  • allergy-free meals and food options
  • access to washrooms, regardless of group and level
  • ergonomic tools, including supports for lifting heavy items
  • braille text on specialized equipment
  • uncluttered laboratory surfaces and shelving at appropriate height

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