Government of Canada Funds Lending Library Pilot Project to Improve Workplace Accommodations for Short-term Public Service Employees with Disabilities
Ottawa, Ontario—January 22, 2021—The Government of Canada’s vision is to be the most accessible and inclusive public service in the world by creating a barrier-free workplace where everyone can participate fully. It continues to strive to build a diverse workforce reflective of the Canadian population it serves.
Today the Honourable Joyce Murray, Minister of Digital Government announced up to $4 million of funding for the Lending Library pilot project. This pilot project is a personalized service that offers short-term public service employees with disabilities or injuries quick access to specialized accessibility services, workplace accommodations, and software and hardware loans. It will immediately address physical, technological and communications barriers that can have negative effects on employment and career development opportunities and prevent full participation in the workplace.
The Centralized Enabling Workplace Fund (CEWF), administered by the Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat’s Office of Public Service Accessibility, will fund up to $2 million towards the Lending Library pilot project and the balance will be funded by Shared Services Canada. The pilot project meets the CEWF objective to invest in innovative ideas and tools to improve workplace accommodation practices and reduce barriers for persons with disabilities in the federal public service.
The Lending Library supports the achievement of goals identified in Nothing Without Us: An Accessibility Strategy for the Public Service of Canada and addresses a key issue identified in the 2019 Benchmarking Study of Workplace Accommodations in the Federal Public Service.
“We listened to your feedback about accommodations in the federal public service taking too long for short-term employees with disabilities or injuries. The Lending Library pilot project provides workplace accommodations to further support an accessible and inclusive workplace that enables everyone to contribute and thrive. The Lending Library will enable students, casuals, interns and term employees to quickly gain access to the tools required for them to be ready and equipped to do their best work and to gain valuable work experiences during their terms.”
– The Honourable Joyce Murray, Minister of Digital Government
“All employees, including employees with disabilities, have the right to be properly equipped and to participate fully in the workplace. By providing funding to the Lending Library, we are building a more diverse, inclusive and accessible federal public service. At the same time, we are improving the recruitment, retention and promotion of persons with disabilities and enabling equal chances for success.
– The Honourable Carla Qualtrough, Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Disability Inclusion.
“As the largest employer in the country, the Government of Canada can, and must, lead by example to recruit and retain talented persons with disabilities and have the tools in place to enable them. It is about identifying and removing barriers that prevent people from participating, but also to allow all public servants to work in an environment where they can contribute to their full potential and feel valued. The Lending Library pilot project will help build more equitable and inclusive teams that will benefit everyone.”
– The Honourable Jean-Yves Duclos, President of the Treasury Board
The Office of Public Service Accessibility (OPSA) received $10 million over 5 years from the Government of Canada to establish the CEWF. The fund invests in innovative ideas, projects and initiatives through partnerships with other federal departments and agencies. Its goal is to improve workplace accommodation practices and remove systemic barriers that create a need for individual accommodation.
The Lending Library addresses some recommendations from Accessible Canada Act consultations with persons with disabilities to help address technological and physical accessibility barriers for short-term employees in the Public Service.
The Lending Library supports the Nothing Without Us: An Accessibility Strategy for the Public Service of Canada and Government of Canada Digital Standards principles to “build in accessibility from the start”. The strategies will shape the future of the Government of Canada’s workforce, where everyone can contribute and succeed to their full potential.
By enabling timely and effective implementation of accommodation solutions, the Lending Library addresses a key issue identified through over 6,200 surveys completed by employees and managers as part of the OPSA Benchmarking Study of federal workplace accommodation practices.
Shared Services Canada plays a pivotal role in building a government-wide foundation, supporting accessibility in a digitally enabled public service.
- Lending Library pilot project
- Accessibility, Accommodation and Adaptive Computer Technology Program
- Centralized Enabling Workplace Fund
- Nothing Without Us: An Accessibility Strategy for the Public Service of Canada
- “What We Heard” report on the Public Service Accessibility Strategy
- Accessible Canada Act
- Government of Canada Digital Standards
- Benchmarking Study of Workplace Accommodations in the Federal Public Service
For more information (media only), please contact:
Director of Communications
Office of the Minister of Digital Government
Shared Services Canada
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