Accommodations: Adjustments to working conditions

An accommodation is a change or adjustment to a job, the work environment, or the way things are usually done so that someone with a disability can apply for a job, perform job functions, or enjoy equal access to benefits available to other individuals in the workplace.

What you need to know

  • The University has a duty to accommodate. It is the University’s responsibility to work with you to develop appropriate accommodations.

  • You have the right not to disclose your diagnosis to anyone. The medical documentation that you share in requesting an accommodation should only go to Occupational Health.

Where to find information

Policies

Other sources

We also encourage you to check out our blog posts on accommodations at Waterloo.

If you are looking for information on accommodations for students, AccessAbility Services (AAS) is the place to go. (Read about how AAS works with faculty on our blog.)


Who to talk to

  • Occupational Health (OH), to initiate the process. OH Works with you to verify medical documentation and identify appropriate and reasonable adjustments to your work duties and environment. (Get to know OH nurse Linda Brogden on our blog.)

  • FAUW, at any stage. The Academic Freedom & Tenure Committee (AF&T) can help you understand the process, explore possibilities, and discuss the implications for your academic life.

  • The Safety Office, for ergonomic assessments of workstations and a catalog of vetted workstation equipment (chairs, mice, keyboards, and more). Talk to them about testing equipment.

FAUW's advice

  • If you need it, ask for it! It benefits the University and the entire community to ensure you have the adjustments you need to perform your job. Start by talking to Occupational Health, and if you’re unsure at any stage of the process, talk to us.

When considering options for accommodation, the preference is to

  • ensure your dignity, autonomy and privacy,

  • minimize barriers, and

  • address your needs in a timely manner.

Further reading

On the FAUW Blog