The UBC Centre for Workplace Accessibility supports employees and jobseekers
February 19th, 2023
British Columbia needs greater accessibility and inclusion in our workplaces. Recognizing this, the UBC Centre for Workplace Accessibility was launched to support employees and jobseekers with disabilities.
We learned more from the Centre's Alexandria Baugh.
What led to the creation of the Centre for Workplace Accessibility?
Alex: At UBC there were already extensive supports in place for people who’d been acutely injured and then returned to work once reaching a certain stage of recovery.
But we heard from the disabled community that there were no supports for employees or applicants with a chronic illness or disability.
So, the centre developed with a focus on filling that need. That means, for example, coordinating accommodations for Deaf instructors, providing voice dictation and screen reading software, ensuring there are extra large screens for visually impaired staff, and so on.
What's the process for finding someone the right support?
Alex: Our process is a personalized one. We speak with the individual and get to know their specific needs and what works best for them.
And we don’t just support UBC employees – we’re also there for prospective employees who are just applying for a job at UBC.
That means providing supports like ASL interpreters or whatever it may be to ensure they’re fully supported, and this continues if they are hired, from onboarding to performing their job.
What's the ultimate goal for the Centre?
Alex: We want to make a difference beyond the university. We're aiming to increase the amount of disabled British Columbians who apply and are hired, and we also want to give employers the tools to make hiring and employment more inclusive.
We need to set a model of inclusive employment, one that other workplaces can look to as an example to follow.
How can someone connect with you for help?
Alex: Just send us a message. You don’t need to disclose whether you have a disability or not; you can talk to us about the process, what your concerns are, and anything you need to feel confident that you have accessibility support.
Learn more about the UBC Centre for Workplace Accessibility