Disclosure and Accommodations

Knowing your legal rights and employers’ legal obligations can help inform your decisions around whether to disclose a disability to an employer and request accommodations. Disclosure means explaining the impact of your disability and usually happens because accommodation for that impact is needed. Accommodations are reasonable steps an employer must by law, provide an employee with a disability, to meet their needs for success on the job.  

The legal duty to accommodate for disabilities in the workplace is spelled out in the Canadian Human Rights Code and at the provincial level in the Ontario Human Rights Code Duty to Accommodate - Ontario Human Rights Commission  

Requesting Accommodations usually requires disclosing a disability’s impact on the job to the employer but the decision to disclose, how much to disclose, when and to whom is highly personal and depends on both the candidate or employee and their employment situation. This document from Wilfrid Laurier University discusses the pros and cons of when to disclose and some sample wordings on how to raise the topic. Self-Identifying Disability in the Workplace – A Guide from Wilfrid Laurier University   

Not sure what accommodations would be helpful for you? This website has great information on the types of accommodations suitable for specific disability conditions. Ask JAN - Job Accommodation Network’s Searchable Online Accommodations Resource  

Consultation service for employers to identify and implement accommodations and remove workplace barriers from the Canadian Council on Rehabilitation and Work – JAS (Job Accommodation Service)  

The Canadian Mental Health Association’s guide to finding employment for persons with mental health disabilities discusses when, how and why to disclose and is broadly applicable to any disclosure decision. See Chapter 7 “Disclosure of Your Disability” for this information: Steps to Employment Guide for Persons with Mental Health Disabilities  

If you are unsure about disclosure decisions and/or how to ask for accommodations, please make an appointment to discuss it with a Career Counsellor.