Announcing the launch of the Centre for Workplace Accessibility

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UBC strives to foster inclusive environments for all faculty and staff, where those who are historically, persistently, or systematically marginalized are treated equitably, are respected, and belong.

Informed by UBC’s Inclusion Action Plan, consultations with community members, the Disability Affinity Group, and employment equity data, strategic efforts are underway to work towards the goal of reducing and eliminating barriers for disabled faculty and staff.

As part of this work, Human Resources is pleased to announce the launch of a new Centre for Workplace Accessibility (CWA) at UBC Vancouver. The aim of the CWA will be to help remove barriers, expedite the accommodation process, and where possible, minimize the medicalization of disability by identifying resources, supports, or workplace adjustments.

Effective April 2022, and in partnership with UBC’s Centre for Accessibility, this new supportive office will be housed in a central location on the Vancouver campus. In the coming weeks we will be recruiting three new full-time positions to provide confidential on-site or virtual support. The objectives of the CWA are to:

  • Provide a central location where faculty and staff can confidentially discuss accessibility and accommodation needs, including information on the types of accommodations available, how to access them, and what to expect in the process.
  • Expedite the accommodations process by, for example, purchasing accessible equipment, software, or support services and coordinating implementation where approved.
  • Through a centralized Workplace Accommodation Fund, reduce any legitimate or perceived financial barriers that departments may have when accommodating a faculty or staff member.
  • Wherever possible, minimize the medicalization of disability by identifying resources, supports, or temporary workplace adjustments that can be arranged without requiring supporting medical documentation.
  • Increase awareness and education around inclusive workplace practices and the physical, social, and cultural barriers that exist for disabled faculty and staff.

The process for disability-related workplace accommodations for faculty and staff is currently supported by Workplace Health Services at UBC Vancouver and the Work Reintegration and Accommodation Program at UBC Okanagan. The CWA does not replace these programs, but rather is intended to enhance these resources by creating a central hub for faculty and staff to receive information, resources, and tools, and to support accommodations in order to promote meaningful participation in the workplace.

A Workplace Accommodation Fund will be set up to cover approved and reasonable expenses and reduce any perceived or legitimate financial barriers that departments may have, within acceptable financial limits or by established program guidelines. Funding for the CWA will extend into 2025.

Learn more about the CWA

We look forward to the evolution of the CWA and the support it will provide for disabled faculty and staff. This is an important part of UBC’s strategic efforts to ensure it is an inclusive and accessible environment for all our faculty and staff. We will provide further updates as this work progresses.