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Accommodations: Working With Your Disability

Do you have a disability? You may need workplace accommodations to be successful. Know what reasonable steps an employer has a duty to take to meet your needs.

Under the Alberta Human Rights Act, employers have a duty to accommodate. That means they have to take reasonable steps to allow for your needs.

What types of help could I get?

There are many different types of disability-related accommodations that can be made to a workplace:

  • Changes may be made to workplaces or schedules.
  • Equipment and software may be purchased or adapted.
  • Support services and qualified assistants may be provided.
  • The work location may be changed.
  • An employee may be retrained.
  • An employee’s assignments may be changed.

Most of these are easy to make and don’t cost much. Many of them also help customers. Employers can apply for government funding.

How can workplace trends benefit me?

Some recent workplace trends may help disabled persons like you. Examples include:

  • new technologies
  • working from home or off-site
  • job sharing
  • flexible hours
  • larger computer monitors
  • better lighting
  • ergonomic chairs

How do I talk to an employer?

Whether you’re working or looking for a job, try these tips:

  • If you can, offer to take care of your own needs. Let’s say you’re applying for a job. If you can provide any special equipment, the employer is less likely to see a problem in hiring you.
  • Be open, honest and clear. Give an example of what you need. It will help the employer understand.
  • Explain your specific needs. Don’t expect the employer to know.
  • Know the cost of any physical aids you need. Know where to get them.
  • Know what funding is available. Know how to get it.
  • Offer solutions and suggestions. Focus on what the accommodation will enable you to do.

Find success

Employers need people with a positive attitude and problem-solving skills. Know what you need. Tell employers the solutions. Explain the benefits. Be prepared to succeed.

Additional Information

The Government of Alberta offers funding to help persons with disabilities who are:

  • looking for work
  • employed and, because of their disability, require products or services to help them get or keep a job

You can find out more at Disability Related Employment Supports (DRES)..

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