Policies and practices on the accommodation of people with visible disabilities in the workplace

Reasons for the study

Many people with disabilities are unemployed or underemployed despite being able and willing to work. Work disability is, to a high degree, influenced by the presence of physical, attitudinal and social barriers to workplace participation. Removing or neutralizing these barriers by providing workplace accommodations and support can enable people with disabilities to find meaningful employment, to stay at work or to return to work. This study reviewed the literature to identify the workplace accommodations that employers in different workplaces are making at the recruitment, hiring and working stages for employees with visible disabilities.

Objectives of the study

  • To explore the barriers to employment for persons with visible disabilities and how they are addressed by workplace accommodations
  • To examine the evidence on the effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of accommodations
  • To provide recommendations on best practices of accommodating people with physical disabilities

Related scientific publications

Project status

Completed 2017

Research team

  • Emile Tompa, Institute for Work & Health (PI)
  • Quenby Mahood, Institute for Work & Health
  • Kathy Padkapayeva, Institute for Work & Health
  • Alexis Buettgen, York University
  • Andrew Posen, Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care
  • Amin Yazdani, University of Waterloo

Funded by

Employment and Social Development Canada