Accommodation starts with you
When you are advertising a job, have you considered:
- declaring yourself an “equal opportunity employer” and supporting applications from designated minority groups (i.e. people with disabilities, visible minorities, aboriginals, women in non-traditional roles)?
- ensuring that the advertisement is in an accessible format and offering it in multiple formats upon request, such as large print, audio file, Braille, or electronic text?
- ensuring that the websites you are using for advertising are accessible?
- sending your job listing to organizations that are working with people with disabilities who are looking for work?
- ensuring that only the job tasks that are essential to the job are listed?
When developing a job application form, have you considered:
- reviewing the form to ensure that the information you are requesting is relevant for the job and is not discriminatory?
- ensuring that the application form is in an accessible format and on an accessible web page?
- offering the job application in multiple formats such as large print, audio file, Braille, or electronic text?
When selecting candidates for interviews, have you considered:
- recognizing that there are many ways to complete a task? Be open to how a person with a disability can innovate how to effectively perform an essential task of a job, which you might not have imagined.
- including people who have gaps in their resume? Consider that the gap may represent knowledge and skills gained through other experiences such as travel, self-care because of a disability, or maternity leave, to name a few.
- other types of relevant working experience that have been gained through other positions such as volunteering, co-op placements, or internships?
When interviewing for a job, have you considered:
- ensuring that the location and the interview process are accessible for all candidates?
- ensuring that the interview space is quiet and brightly lit with minimal distractions? For example, have computers and cells been turned off and all phone calls held or transferred?
- allowing enough time for each interview to be completed comfortably?
- when calling to arrange the interview, asking all candidates if they require any accommodations? Arrange accommodations, such as an American Sign Language (ASL) interpreter, well in advance (at least two weeks).
- ensuring that your pre-employment testing methods are accessible to everyone and necessary for the advertised job, while still meeting your requirements?
- offering accommodations for the testing, such as providing an ASL interpreter, providing extra time or a quiet location, and offering the test in multiple formats such as large print?
After the interview, have you considered:
- asking a candidate’s references questions related to the candidate’s relevant work experience, not their disability?
When hiring, have you considered:
- asking every new employee about their accommodation needs, openly discussing accommodations with them, and supporting the fulfilment of reasonable accommodations, if required? This inclusive practice helps new employees feel supported. An employment contract should include arrangements for continued accommodations.
- educating your staff with awareness training on inclusion in the workplace?
When you are hiring, please remember:
- to keep questions focused on the job requirements and the candidate’s relevant skills, experiences, and qualities for the job. If the candidate has a known disability, you may ask she/he to describe the way they would carry out a particular job function, only if it is an essential duty.
- to only ask for medical or psychological testing after you have offered a position, and only if it is a bona fide way to assess a candidate’s functionality to carry out the essential duties of the job.
- when asking for drug and alcohol testing before and after employing a candidate, ensure there is a clear relationship between the testing and job performance. Particular people should not be singled out to be tested.
- “Recruit Ability…A handbook for success in recruitment & hiring individuals with disabilities”, Persons with Disabilities Collaborative Partnership Network of Nova Scotia
- “Taking Action: HR guide hiring and retaining employees with disabilities”, section – “Putting best HR practices to work”