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    Workplace Accommodations for People with Disabilities

    Workplace accommodations such as flexible work schedules or workstation modifications can play an important role in creating an inclusive and accessible work environment for many employees with disabilities. Recent studies reveal that of employees with disabilities aged 25 to 64 years, more than 1 in 3 (37%) required at least one workplace accommodation to be able to work. This represented just over 772,000 Canadians. The most commonly required type of workplace accommodations were flexible work arrangements (27%), workstation modifications (15%), and human or technical supports (6%).

    Workplace accommodations such as flexible work schedules, assistive devices, or ergonomic workstations can play an important role for employees with disabilities by helping mitigate some of the barriers they may face in the workplace. While not all employees with disabilities will require workplace accommodations to be able to do their work, a sizeable number does.

    Employers can provide different accommodations to keep people with disabilities on the payroll and help them contribute effectively at the workplace:

    Modified Work Schedules and Flexible Leave Policies

    Changing a regular work schedule or establishing a flexible leave policy may be a reasonable accommodation unless it would cause an undue hardship. Modified work schedules may include flexibility in work hours or the workweek or part-time work.

    Modification or Purchase of Equipment and Devices

    Purchase of equipment or changes to existing equipment may be effective accommodations for people with many types of disabilities. There are many devices that make it possible for people to overcome existing barriers to performing the functions of a job. These devices range from very simple solutions, such as an elastic band that can enable a person with cerebral palsy to hold a pencil and write, to “high-tech” electronic equipment operated by head or mouth movements by people who cannot use it their hands.

    Training

    Reasonable accommodation should be provided, when needed, to give employees with disabilities equal opportunity to benefit from training to perform their jobs effectively and to advance in employment.

    All these methods can improve the workplace environment to a robust place for people with disabilities. Some of them require investment; however, some demand a new perspective of the employers. Remember! the more diverse and inclusive workforce, the more productive outcomes.

     

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