Workplace Accommodations: Know your rights
By: Cam Wells
The Learning Disabilities Association is an example of an organization offering one of the most valuable disability services of all. In Ontario, as part of the Ontario Disability Support program (ODSP) a person with a disability, whether physical or neurological, may be entitled to employment support.
Employment support is a process of assisting individuals with disabilities in not only finding a steady job, but also to ensure that said individual is being treated fairly. This can be done by creating an accommodation plan, which can include a modified workload or adapted duties. It can also include things such as providing mediation in the event of workplace issues.
To begin the process one must apply through the provincial government and be granted ODSP, then select a service provide for employment support. Then the potential employee must work with the service provider to develop a plan.
Too many times I hear of a person with a disability not knowing they have the right to ask, or of an employer hesitating to hire such people for fear of extreme costs to accommodate. This is very rarely the case, many times accommodations cost little or nothing. In these economic times we as a society do not need to make the job search worse for these people.
It is crucial that employers recognize individuals with disabilities as having hopes, dreams and capabilities all their own. An example of an employer with this outlook is Mark Wafer, a Tim Horton’s franchisee, who makes a consistent practice of hiring workers with disabilities.