Hands holding F A Q letters

How do I interview a candidate with a disability?

Interview someone with a disability just like you would anyone else. Focus on abilities and how the candidate will accomplish the essential functions of the job. If you’re unsure about the person’s capability to do the job, ask “How would you perform this task?”

If you suspect that the candidate you are interviewing may have an non-visible disability, it is their responsibility to disclose to you. However, keep in mind that applicants with certain disorders may perform better when provided with questions that gauge ability as opposed to behavior. For more information about interviewing, click here.

What types of jobs can people with disabilities do?

People with disabilities are capable performers in the employment market and can be found in virtually every industry. The availability of workplace accommodations, where required, and the willingness of management and fellow employees to allow people with disabilities to perform to their maximum ability, are the only things most people with disabilities require.

It is important to keep in mind that, while people with disabilities often have some form of post- secondary education, they do not always have the typical training and employment experience of those without disabilities. However, if given the opportunity to succeed, people with disabilities excel in the workplace. Employers can utilize the abilities and education that people with disabilities possess by offering internships and co-op placements.

I want to hire individuals with disabilities. Where should I look to find qualified candidates?

The simple answer is that qualified job seekers with disabilities can be found anywhere those without disabilities can. That being said, there are certain things to keep in mind, and resources that may be of use, if employers are seeking to advertise specifically to those with disabilities. 

First, employers looking to hire should ensure that the methods being used to advertise employment vacancies are inclusive. This means making sure job advertisements are written in such a way as to demonstrate your willingness to consider job seekers with disabilities and that the job postings are available in accessible formats on your website.

Secondly, investigate venues that already provide ready access to a group of qualified people with disabilities, through which you can advertise employment opportunities. Good places to look include community disability organizations and post-secondary career resource centres. Many campus career departments are more than willing to help employers reach an audience of qualified people with disabilities. Co-operative Education & Career Services is dedicated to the career development of all students, including those with disabilities, and would be happy to connect employers with prospective co-op and graduating students with disabilities. Contact Co-operative Education & Career Services for more information.

How can I create an accessible and welcoming environment for individuals with disabilities?

Employers can create an inclusive workplace by fostering a culture that promotes clear communication, active listening and respect. An inclusive workplace includes persons with disabilities. In certain workplaces, an employee with a disability will be able to simply fit into the environment and no special consideration need be considered to prepare staff. In other situations, there may be a need for staff to be prepared with information before a person with a disability begins a position. Whether the employer chooses an informal recruitment session or more formal sensitivity training, the key goal is to prepare staff to work harmoniously. 

  • Make sure all facilities and services are accessible to all employees.
  • Provide information and training to dispel myths and misconceptions about people with disabilities.  
  • Establish onboarding support for individuals that are new to the company.
  • Form a disability employee resource group to increase awareness, gain disability perspectives, increase recruitment and enhance business initiatives.
  • Provide reasonable accommodations for applicants and employees with disabilities to enhance productivity.
  • Inform community organizations about your company’s interest in hiring individuals with disabilities.
  • Notify community recruitment sources about current job openings for an ongoing pipeline of qualified and diverse applicants.