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 theinterview, resume, 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 Design1 and implement key principles that will allow all employees to represent, express and engage throughout the work environment.
• Follow the Accessible Communication2 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 organizations 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.

1 Universal Design:
2 CNIB Clear Print Accessibility Guidelines: 07/CNIB%20Clear%20Print%20Guide.pdf


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) 


Student Life

230 Elizabeth Ave, St. John's, NL, CANADA, A1B 3X9

Postal Address: P.O. Box 4200, St. John's, NL, CANADA, A1C 5S7

Tel: (709) 864-8000