Career Equity Resources

For students

CEL believes in equitable access to employment opportunities and recognizes the importance of supporting the career development of TRU’s diverse student population. This page contains resources for students who experience barriers to employment due to a health condition, injury or disability.

However, we also acknowledge that students with intersecting marginalized identities (e.g. Women, LGBTQ2S+, Black, Indigenous, People of Colour) can experience even more complex barriers to employment opportunities. That’s why we have also included resources for other marginalized students who may be experiencing physical and mental health stressors related to navigating employment processes.

Be sure to check out the Deep Map for community resources that may be able to address needs specific to your situation. The Accessibility Experiential Learning Coordinator is also available for consultation on disclosure strategies and possible accommodations.

Jennifer Mei

Jennifer Mei
Accessibility Experiential Learning Coordinator
jmei@tru.ca



FAQ

What medical conditions are considered disabilities by the Government of Canada?

We recognize that people define and experience their mental health, physical health, neurological, developmental, and/or sensory conditions in different ways. But often, medical documentation indicating the presence of a disability is a required to be eligible for employment accommodations. Here is a link to a list of just some of the health conditions that are considered a disability by the Government of Canada.

  • Addictions
  • ADD/ADHD
  • Agoraphobia
  • Alzheimer’s Disease
  • Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis
  • Angina
  • Autism
  • Anorexia Nervosa
  • Anxiety
  • Arthritis
  • Asperger Syndrome
  • Ataxia
  • Auditory Processing Disorder
  • Behcet’s Disease
  • Bipolar Disorder
  • Borderline Personality Disorder
  • Bulimia Nervosa
  • Cerebral Palsy
  • Chromosome Abnormality
  • Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
  • Chronic Disability Pain
  • Chronic Pain Disorder
  • Colitis
  • Conduct Disorder
  • Coronary Artery Disease
  • Cri-Du-Chat Syndrome
  • Crohn’s Disease
  • De Vivo Disease
  • Dementia
  • Depression
  • Developmentally Delayed
  • Dissociative Identity Disorder
  • Downs Syndrome
  • Dysgraphia
  • Elimination Difficulties
  • Epilepsy
  • Fetal Alcohol Syndrome
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Gender Identity Dysphoria
  • Glaucoma
  • Global Developmental Delay
  • Hearing Disorders
  • Hepatitis C
  • Huntington’s Disease
  • Hypermobility Syndrome
  • Hypothyroidism
  • Hypotonia
  • Inability or Difficulty Walking
  • Inability or Trouble Feeding
  • Infantile Spasms
  • Irritable Bowel Syndrome
  • Learning Disabilities
  • Mania
  • Mental Illness
  • Migraines
  • Mild Intellectual Disability
  • Multiple Sclerosis
  • Myotonic Myopathy
  • Obsessive Compulsive Disorder
  • Oppositional Defiant Disorder
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Panic Disorder
  • Parkinson’s Disease
  • Personality Disorder
  • Pervasive Developmental Disorder
  • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
  • Prader-Willi Syndrome
  • Psychosis
  • Quadriplegia
  • Retinoschisis
  • Schizophrenia
  • Scoliosis
  • Seizure Disorder
  • Sleep Disorder
  • Specific Developmental Disorder
  • Speech Disorder
  • Stroke
  • Substance Abuse
  • Tic Disorder
  • Tourette Syndrome
  • Trouble Dressing
  • Tumor
  • Vision Problems

Reference

What is an accommodation?

An accommodation is an adaptation to the work environment that supports the different ways people work and learn. For example, a person who has chronic back pain may require a supportive chair or, a person with difficulty with focus and concentration may need a distraction reduced environment.

What is a functional impact?

A functional impact is the way a person’s condition affects the way they work and learn. For example, a person may have difficulty interacting socially or experience chronic pain and require adaptations to their working environment that will enable them to meet the expectations of the job.

Functional impacts infographic

Should I disclose that I have a physical or mental health condition, injury or disability during an interview?

Due to the current situation, you may be interviewing for jobs either by phone or videoconferencing. You are not required to disclose that you have a health condition during your interview. Requiring accommodations is not related to whether you are qualified to do the job. Unless your accommodations create a safety risk or cause significant financial impact to the company, you should have equitable access to employment opportunities. If, during the interview, you feel that disclosing would be beneficial to you and your potential employer, it is your choice to do so.

What should I do if I need an accommodation while working from home?

Your employer has a legal responsibility to accommodate people who live with an ongoing diagnosable condition that impacts their functioning. Work with your employer to determine accommodations that will best support you in meeting the expectations of the job while working from home.

I’m worried that disclosing that I need an accommodation will jeopardize my employment. What should I do?

It’s your choice whether or not to disclose that you have a condition that requires an accommodation. If you choose to disclose, consider letting your employer know how the accommodation will help you do you best work from home. Try using strengths-based language such as “I can be more productive if I have an ergonomic chair to reduce chronic back pain”, rather than, “I can’t do my work unless I have an ergonomic chair.” Let the employer know what you can do rather than what you can’t so that you can confidently request accommodations.

Strength-based communication infographic

Will my information be kept confidential?

Information about a person’s diagnosis is considered confidential. Your employer should not disclose your information to anyone without your permission.

Manager's Guide to Reasonable Accommodation

What if my employer asks me for medical documentation to support my accommodation?

Due to COVID-19 safety protocols, there may be delays in being able to obtain medical documentation. Consider asking your employer if they would be willing to accommodate you temporarily until you are able to obtain your medical documentation. Your employer may also accept documentation from an online general practitioner until you can get more detailed documentation from your doctor or specialist.

Medical form template

What should I do if my employer declines my request for accommodations?

Check your company policy for information on the process to appeal this decision. You may also want to consult with your company’s human resources representative for information on next steps. Then, decide whether you would like to move forward with your appeal. If your appeal is declined, you may want to pursue a human rights complaint. Get in touch with your province’s Human Rights Commission or Tribunal for information on the complaint process.

BC Human Rights Protection

What should I do if I am struggling with working from home but I’m not sure what accommodations I need?

Check out our self-assessment to help you get an idea of what accommodation you may find helpful. The self-assessment is not meant to replace the assessment of a certified healthcare professional, rather, to give you an idea of tools or interventions that could support you in doing your best work. Alternatively, connect with your local employment centre for assistance.

Open Door Group

Accommodations self-assessment template

I’m a coop student. Who should I talk to if I need an accommodation?

Speak to your employer as soon as you notice that you require an accommodation. If you are not sure how to ask you employer for accommodations, reach out to your university coop coordinator for assistance. If you would like your coordinator to speak to your employer on your behalf, you will likely need to provide written consent. The Accessibility Experiential Learning Coordinator is also available for consultation on disclosure strategies and employment accommodations.

Should I disclose that I have a physical or mental health condition, injury or disability during an interview?

Due to the current situation, you may be interviewing for jobs either by phone or videoconferencing. You are not required to disclose that you have a health condition during your interview. Requiring accommodations is not related to whether you are qualified to do the job. Unless your accommodations create a safety risk or cause significant financial impact to the company, you should have equitable access to employment opportunities. If, during the interview, you feel that disclosing would be beneficial to you and your potential employer, it is your choice to do so.

What are my human rights?

People with disabilities are protected under the BC Human Rights Code and are entitled to equitable access to employment opportunities. Employers should ensure that their hiring practices are inclusive and provide reasonable accommodations to people who work and learn in different ways.

BC Human Rights Protection


Working towards accessibility

Functional Impacts – Working and Learning with a Disability

This infographic provides an explanation of how a person’s health condition, injury or disability may impact the way they work and learn.

Accessing Accommodations - Employment Accessibility Tips

This infographic provides tips for students would like to access practicum/clinical, coop or paid employment accommodations.

Strengths-based Communication – Requesting Employment Accommodations

This infographic provides strategies for using positive language to request employment accommodations.

List of Medical Conditions Defined as Disability

This list provides several examples of medical conditions that the Government of Canada considers a disability under the World Health Organization’s definition.

See the list

We recognize that people define and experience their mental health, physical health, neurological, developmental, and/or sensory conditions in different ways. But often, medical documentation indicating the presence of a disability is a required to be eligible for employment accommodations. Here is a link to a list of just some of the health conditions that are considered a disability by the Government of Canada.

  • Addictions
  • ADD/ADHD
  • Agoraphobia
  • Alzheimer’s Disease
  • Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis
  • Angina
  • Autism
  • Anorexia Nervosa
  • Anxiety
  • Arthritis
  • Asperger Syndrome
  • Ataxia
  • Auditory Processing Disorder
  • Behcet’s Disease
  • Bipolar Disorder
  • Borderline Personality Disorder
  • Bulimia Nervosa
  • Cerebral Palsy
  • Chromosome Abnormality
  • Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
  • Chronic Disability Pain
  • Chronic Pain Disorder
  • Colitis
  • Conduct Disorder
  • Coronary Artery Disease
  • Cri-Du-Chat Syndrome
  • Crohn’s Disease
  • De Vivo Disease
  • Dementia
  • Depression
  • Developmentally Delayed
  • Dissociative Identity Disorder
  • Downs Syndrome
  • Dysgraphia
  • Elimination Difficulties
  • Epilepsy
  • Fetal Alcohol Syndrome
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Gender Identity Dysphoria
  • Glaucoma
  • Global Developmental Delay
  • Hearing Disorders
  • Hepatitis C
  • Huntington’s Disease
  • Hypermobility Syndrome
  • Hypothyroidism
  • Hypotonia
  • Inability or Difficulty Walking
  • Inability or Trouble Feeding
  • Infantile Spasms
  • Irritable Bowel Syndrome
  • Learning Disabilities
  • Mania
  • Mental Illness
  • Migraines
  • Mild Intellectual Disability
  • Multiple Sclerosis
  • Myotonic Myopathy
  • Obsessive Compulsive Disorder
  • Oppositional Defiant Disorder
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Panic Disorder
  • Parkinson’s Disease
  • Personality Disorder
  • Pervasive Developmental Disorder
  • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
  • Prader-Willi Syndrome
  • Psychosis
  • Quadriplegia
  • Retinoschisis
  • Schizophrenia
  • Scoliosis
  • Seizure Disorder
  • Sleep Disorder
  • Specific Developmental Disorder
  • Speech Disorder
  • Stroke
  • Substance Abuse
  • Tic Disorder
  • Tourette Syndrome
  • Trouble Dressing
  • Tumor
  • Vision Problems

Reference

Accommodations Self-Assessment Template

This template was designed to generate ideas for accommodations you may find helpful. It does not take the place of medical documentation provided by a certified healthcare professional.

Medical Form Template

This medical form template was designed to provide you with an example of the information employers often need from your doctor or specialist to approve accommodations.


Community resources

Deep Map

The Deep Map is community resource hub in the form of an interactive map. The purpose of this map is to identify inclusive community services to support our diverse student population. With limited resources due to COVID-19, it’s even more important that we are providing students, employers, faculty and staff with information that prioritizes health and well-being. Search the map by people group or service using the drop-down menus. To view the contact information and a description of services for an organization, simply click the hotspot location on the map.

TRU Law Clinic

The TRU Community Law Clinic can support employers with legal advice on issues related to employment law and human rights. The law clinic also provides a variety of other legal services; however, limitations do apply. See website for more details.

Open Door Group

Our knowledgeable team is here to help you find all the resources you need to find employment, training or other services and programs in the Kamloops area. Our Kamloops programs include WorkBC Employment Services, Jobs in Demand, Opportunities Fund, and Gardengate. From self-employment to training and employment, we have something for you. Ready to start? Contact us today!


Useful links

Legal information

Organizations

Funding opportunities

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