Success in STEM

Individual Rights Within the Workforce: A guide for employees

The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms states that individuals with disabilities have the right to be treated equally. This includes the process of obtaining satisfying employment. As such, it is important for individuals with disabilities to be aware of their employment rights, and of the hiring process, when entering into these career fields. This section seeks to address the common concerns employees with disabilities and their employers may share. It examines some of the organizations that are available to help and procedures an employee should understand in the steps which need to be taken to deal with discrimination in the workforce.

Accommodation and the Interview Process

Interviewing for a job can be an anxiety-provoking process for anyone. For those who have experienced any form of bias or discrimination based upon their disability, this process may be disheartening and overwhelming. Self advocacy should be an individual choice. Therefore, the following are only suggestions for strategies in effectively preparing to discuss disability and potential accommodation needs with an employer during a job interview.

When preparing for an interview, organization is key. It is important to have an understanding of the job description, and know what personal accommodations you might require within that particular work setting. Coming to the interview prepared with a list of suggestions on how the company can accommodate may demystify the accommodation process for the employer. Additionally, it is useful to be aware of what government tax incentives will cover in terms of accommodations. Being open, communicative and willing to educate an employer on these issues will display your motivation, attention to detail and ambition to get and do the job.

In a recent article in Jobpostings magazine, Ileana Brito discusses how to present accommodation requests to potential employers. That article is presented on the next page.