Creating Accessible Workplaces

Creating our Accessible Workforce
Student Experience
  • 49% of persons with disabilities are employed vs. 79% of persons without a disability.
  • Post-secondary graduates with a disability are less likely to hold management positions and typically earn less than their peers.
  • 33% of persons with disabilities in Canada have been refused job opportunities as a result of their disability.
  • Individuals with disabilities frequently have a precarious attachment to the labour market as they are more likely to be employed in short-term, temporary and contractual positions. (Statistics Canada, 2015)
Inclusive Hiring Practices
  • Host interviews in an accessible space.
  • Prepare for disability-related accommodations (e.g. technology, support person, ASL interpreter, etc.).
  • Include a mission statement about your organization’s commitment to employment equity on job postings.
  • Accept applications through a variety of methods (e.g. online, email or in-person).
  • Communicate through multiple approaches (e.g. phone, email, text, VRS, etc.).
  • Focus interview questions entirely on an individual’s education, experiences, skills and strengths.
  • Offer individuals a chance to view questions in a quiet space before starting.
  • Determine the best candidate through a holistic approach – equal emphasis on the interview, resumé, professionalism, experiences, and skills.
Virtual Interview Considerations
  • Ensure interview candidates have access to the technology that will be used.
  • Provide candidates time to become comfortable with the software before the start of the interview.
  • Share interview questions via the chat function or the share screen feature.
  • Communicate the plan if a disconnection or interruption occurs. Interruptions should not be considered in the formal interview performance evaluation.
Building your Inclusive Culture
  • Increase knowledge of Universal Design* and implement key principles that will allow all employees to represent, express and engage throughout the work environment.
  • Follow the Accessible Communication** guidelines for all internal and external communication (e.g. documents, presentations, marketing material, etc.).
  • Encourage employees to use assistive technology to improve the quality and productivity of their work (e.g. laptops, tablets, screen readers, smart pens, etc.).
  • Ensure the organization's office space, meetings, team events and private functions take place in accessible locations.
  • Establish a workplace culture that values open communication through the use of respectful and person-first language.
  • Encourage all employees to identify ways to increase their success within the work environment (e.g. flexibility, technology, office equipment, etc.).
  • Participate in professional development opportunities to increase knowledge of best practices for creating an accessible and inclusive workplace.
Connect with Others
  • Build and establish positive working relationships with community organizations that support the achievement of an equitable workforce.
  • Exchange knowledge and best practices with other organizations and businesses.

* Universal Design
** CNIB Clear Print Accessibility Guidelines


Please connect with Career Development ( if you any questions or would like to have a conversation.

Feel free to also connect with Claire LeDrew directly via email ( or phone (709) 864-7074 VRS calls welcomed.

Printable version available (PDF)