Access to Success: A Guide for Employers

Resources for Employers

The following pages detail some resources in print, online and in other forms, which can offer employers advice on hiring, accommodating, and effectively working with people with disabilities. In this section you will find resource materials from the Canadian and American governments, along with some organizations and individuals aiming to increase the representation of people with disabilities in the workforce.

Barrier-Free Employers: Practical Guide for Employment Accommodation for People with Disabilities, online resource (

This online guide from the Canadian Human Rights Commission is designed to aid employers who have questions regarding hiring and accommodating people with disabilities in the workplace. Information on the duty to accommodate, as set out in the Canadian Human Rights Act, is included, as are links to the Employment Equity Act and a Framework for Compliance to the Act. Another section details how to ensure a workplace is accessible to people of all abilities, from the interview process, to making adjustments in an organization’s physical environment.

Brief descriptions are given for various types of disabilities, and a selection of common accommodation considerations is listed, giving employers an idea of the sorts of changes that might be required in order for an employee with a disability to effectively do his or her job. Finally the guide offers an FAQ section, discussing common questions employers have regarding accommodation, from the costs involved in accommodating, to how best to prepare other employees who will work with a person with a disability.

Succeeding Together: People with Disabilities in the Workplace, online resource ( Goldstein, Terry, Christina Simonds, and Courtney Sanders.

An American publication, much of the legal information within this online publication is American in focus. However, the information included is extensive and of value to employers everywhere. A section details various disabilities and ways for employers to effectively interact with people with disabilities. There is also good information for employers looking to write a comprehensive job description, so that both employers and employment candidates are aware of a position’s duties. A section on interview techniques discusses how to ensure the interview is accessible, questions that should not be asked of a candidate, how to effectively test applicants with disabilities, and specific interview guidelines for candidates with specific disabilities. Finally, the document contains good information on average accommodation costs and types.

Preparing For and Conducting an Effective Job Interview, online resource (

This tip sheet, compiled by the U.S. Department of Labor, provides brief but informative ideas on effectively conducting a job interview with a person with a disability. The information, presented in point form, is listed under the headings Preparing for the Interview, and Conducting the Interview.

United States Office of Disability Employment Policy, Publications page (

This page offers links to a selection of documents put out by this U.S. government office, aimed at both employers looking to hire people with disabilities, and those persons with disabilities looking for employment. The material examines the importance of hiring people with disabilities, how to recruit the best candidates, effective ways to accommodate, how to prepare employees working with someone with a disability, and other key topics. Also, there is a variety of information on relevant American laws and regulations. Although much of the material is American-focused, it is comprehensive and relevant to employers in Canada and elsewhere.

Tap into Employability: An Employers Guide (Community Action Network, 2001)

This Canadian guide places an emphasis on how hiring and managing people with disabilities can be much the same as those without disabilities, with some exceptions. The book covers methods employers can use to ensure people with disabilities have an equal opportunity to apply for and obtain employment, and looks at how to effectively manage people with disabilities – covering topics such as accommodation and termination.

Tapping the Talents of People with Disabilities: A Guide for Employers (The Conference Board of Canada, 2001)

This guide emphasizes how hiring people with disabilities can improve a company’s image in society, and attract a new client base in those individuals with disabilities. It is suggested that employers work with employment agencies and organizations that assist people with disabilities, in order to recruit qualified candidates and create a more diverse workforce. Also of note, the guide discusses the value of working with post-secondary campus centres for people with disabilities, and of offering internships to locate and train skilled people.

Other valuable resources:

  • Creating a Welcoming Workplace for Employees with Disabilities, Treasury Board of Canada, 2000.
  • Disability, Job Accommodations and Their Costs, Roeher Institute, 2000.
  • Employ with Expertise: A Toolkit for Success in Hiring Individuals with a Disability, WORKink Alberta, 2002.
  • Hiring Someone with an Intellectual Disability: A Tool Kit for Employers, Canadian Association for Community Living.
  • A Way with Words: Guidelines and Appropriate Terminology for the Portrayal of Persons with Disabilities, Office for Disability Issues, Human Resources Development Canada, 1998.
  • Working Well: An Employer’s Guide to Hiring and Retaining People with Mental Illness, Agnes Vandergang, Canadian Mental Health Association, 2002.
  • Working with Hearing Loss: A Guide for Employees, Employers and Entrepreneurs, Canadian Hard of Hearing Association, 2000.