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  • Related Documents:  Accommodation for Persons with Disabilities Policy
  • Approval Dates:  January 2001, October 2004, August 2007
  • Approved by:  Vice President, Administration and Finance
  • Jurisdiction:  Vice President, Administration and Finance, Human Resources

Purpose

The purpose of this procedure is to provide straightforward, transparent guidance and standards in the application of the Accommodation Policy for Persons with Disabilities.

Procedure

Employees

1.    The need for accommodation is identified.  While a request for accommodation is generally raised by an employee, it is also recognized that a manager, health care provider, union representative, or other source may raise an accommodation issue.

Initial discussions may be held in confidence with the appropriate Human Resources Consultant. Sufficient details are required in order to determine accommodation needs, and the individual is expected to cooperate in consultations to enable managers to seriously consider their request.  The person with the disability is also expected to assist in securing appropriate accommodation, accept accommodation and facilitate the implementation of an accommodation plan.

2.    The Human Resources Consultant may request medical documentation to assist in determining the appropriate accommodation requirements.  In such cases, the individual shall sign the necessary consent forms to permit enquiries and release of information.  Information obtained will be maintained in accordance with the policy provisions concerning confidentiality.   The Human Resources Consultant will ensure that there is sufficient and appropriate medical information to validate the disability and to make the appropriate accommodation assessment.

3.     The manager, working in partnership with the employee and in consultation with Human Resources, will make every reasonable effort to provide accommodation to the extent that it does not cause undue hardship.  In doing so the manager will determine the essential duties of the job.  In addition, the manager will determine if the requirement, qualification or factor is reasonable and bona-fide in order to carry out the essential duties of the position. The manager will identify the outcomes expected and the functions required to produce them.

They are determined by answering the following questions:

•     Why does the job exist?

•     Would removing the function fundamentally change the job?

•     Is the function marginal or incidental to the job purpose?

•     Is the job specialized, so that the person in the job is hired for his/her expertise to accomplish the function?

•     Is the function actually accomplished by all current incumbents?

•     Does the incumbent spend a substantial amount of time accomplishing the function?

•     Would the consequences be serious if the function was not accomplished?

•     Are there a limited number of employees available among whom the function can be distributed?

4.    The manager, in determining the appropriate accommodation, will consult with the employee and the Human Resources Consultant, and will consider the following factors:

•    The ability to reassign tasks on a temporary or permanent basis to other employees;

•    The cost of additional time, beyond what can be accomplished through restructuring/reassigning existing resources and job descriptions;

•    The ongoing maintenance of a positive and supportive workplace environment for all employees;

•    The impact of the accommodation on the health and safety of the person being accommodated and on other persons; and

•    Any other quantifiable and demonstrably related costs.

The manager must consult with the Human Resources Consultant and/or the Employment Equity Office before determining that accommodation cannot be made because it would constitute an undue hardship. 

Managers may forward the issue to the next level of management that has the authority to effect the accommodation, including senior directors and deans, the Provost and Vice President Academic, and the Vice President, Administration and Finance.

The Executive Director, Human Resources will facilitate the resolution of any accommodation request that cannot be resolved at any level.

5.    The Human Resources Consultant will determine whether the support of other resources (including the Access Centre, the Office of Discrimination and Harassment Prevention Services, external disability service providers) is necessary, and facilitate contact with them on specific issues.  

6.     The EEO will provide a centralized coordinating function in terms of resolving, tracking and monitoring all employee accommodation issues within the Ryerson community and is available throughout the accommodation process as a resource. The EEO is also responsible for implementing and making recommendations on all issues relating to the operation and maintenance of the Central Employment Accommodation Fund (CEAF), and for providing information and assistance in identifying appropriate resources that may be used in various stages of the accommodation process. 

7.     The manager will consult with the Centre for Environmental Health, Safety and Security Management on health and safety issues.

8.     In consultation with the employee, the manager will prepare an accommodation plan that will outline the nature of the accommodation and the agreement of the parties to adhere to the accommodation agreement. The written agreement will specify the details of the accommodation - who is responsible, who will be involved (including co-workers, if applicable), the time lines for putting the accommodation in place, its duration, and the nature of follow-up evaluation.  In cases of job duty modification a regular review(s) should be carried out by the manager and followed up in writing to all appropriate parties.  The manager will consult appropriately throughout this part of the process.

9.     Normally, the manager will be required to develop an accommodation plan for the employee with the disability within his/her position.  If this is not feasible, a suitable position will be sought after:  first by the manager within his/her work unit, then progressing, if necessary to the senior director/dean within his/her department and concluding with the appropriate line vice president. The Human Resources Consultant will be involved in the search for suitable position vacancies.

10.    Where an employee is on Long Term Disability, departments may fill the temporary vacancy, on a term basis, for up to two years for administrative positions, and for up to three years for RFA positions, from the date of the employee being approved for LTD.  Where an employee is on WSIB status and the injury occurred after January 2, 1990, departments may normally fill the temporary vacancy on a term basis for up to two years from the date of the employee being approved.  Before filling positions permanently, Human Resources must be consulted, and the approval of the appropriate vice president must be obtained.

Job Applicants

1.    The University has a legal responsibility to accommodate job applicants as well as employees.  Applicants who possess the requisite skills to perform the essential duties of a job, and who have accommodation needs, are to be considered on an equal footing with applicants without such needs.  Decisions made with respect to candidates who require accommodation should be made taking into consideration the bona-fide occupational requirements of the position.

2.    When contacting job applicants for the purposes of arranging testing and/or job interviews, Human Resources shall ask all candidates whether they require accommodation.  Human Resources will work with the hiring committee or supervisor to ensure reasonable and appropriate accommodation.  If testing is included in the selection process, and if there are any perceived issues relating to applicant accommodation requirements, the manager will ensure that she or he consults appropriately with a Human Resources Consultant.

3.    The applicant may raise the issue of accommodation needed to perform the duties of the job. Discussion may take place about the type of accommodation that may be required by any applicant in such circumstances.

4.    The costs of accommodation will not enter into the assessment of applicants, except in the unlikely event that the University can demonstrate undue hardship or that no appropriate accommodation exists.  Such a determination can only be made with the assistance and advice of Human Resources.  Job applicants must be assessed solely in terms of the qualifications required for the job and their ability to perform the job (with or without accommodation).  Managers may consult with their Human Resources Consultant on all aspects of the accommodation process, including how an applicant can be accommodated, appropriate recruitment and selection methodologies, etc. 

5.    An applicant who has been selected during the job competition may indicate the need for accommodation at the time of job offering.  Steps to be taken for accommodation will follow the procedures for employees, as outlined above.

Jurisdiction

This procedure, falls under the jurisdiction of the Vice President, Administration and Finance.  The interpretation and application of this policy is a responsibility of Human Resources.