Reasonable Accommodation Fund
The University recognizes that ensuring equality of opportunity requires accommodation of individuals with special needs, and specifically accommodations for employees with disabilities. It recognizes its legal responsibilities to individuals with special needs and that this obligation exists until the provision of reasonable accommodations creates an undue hardship.

The purpose of reasonable accommodation in employment is to enable employees with disabilities to meet the essential responsibilities and duties of their position/job.

THE FUND

The University has established a fund, the Reasonable Accommodation Fund (RAF), to support the provision of reasonable accommodations of employees with disabilities. The allocation is in budget-only funds.

Purpose of Fund:

This fund has been established to financially support the special needs incurred by employees because of their disabilities. Employees with special needs requiring other types of accommodations should contact Employee Wellness, their supervisor or department head. 

The University recognizes that the nature of special needs and therefore requests for reasonable accommodation must be considered on an individual basis.

The University will handle requests for and the provision of reasonable accommodations with confidentiality, sensitivity, respect, and promptness.

Personal information used in the provision of reasonable accommodations is protected by the Protection of Privacy provisions of The Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act and the Personal Health Information Act (PHIA). Employees with any questions about the collection of this information should contact the FIPPA Coordinator's Office, (204) 474-8339, c/o Archives & Special Collections, 331 Dafoe Library, University of Manitoba, R3T 2N2.

Types of Accommodation:

Accommodation can be physical, procedural, temporary or permanent.

Examples of Accommodations:

Communications Services
Includes captioning, conversion of print to Braille, audiotapes or enlarged print.

Human Support Services
Refers to personnel provided to assist in accommodation; examples include attendants, sign language and oral interpreters and readers.

Technical Aids and Devices: 
Includes environmental control units (for example, remote control to open/close doors,
operate lights), hoists, grips, telephone devices for printers, optical character recognition systems, keyboard adaptations and the training and technical support required to use technical aids and devices.

Position Redesign: 
Refers to the modification of duties and/or the hours of work on either a short or long-term basis.

Employment Policy and Practice Modifications:
Refers to the practice of waiving or modifying a particular working condition to provide accommodation, e.g., by providing flexible hours.

Workplace Modifications: 
Refers to physical or technological alterations of the workplace and includes specialized or adjustable furniture, modified lighting, handrails, door access and retrofitted facilities.

Requesting Reasonable Accommodations:

Employees with disabilities or administrative personnel seeking reasonable accommodation should contact Employee Wellness in HR Services or their dean/director. This entails describing in detail what the employee needs and forwarding that request to their supervisor/the head of their unit. Instructions for making a request are available below.

As far as possible, administrators, consultants and others involved in providing reasonable accommodations shall keep requests for reasonable accommodation confidential, as appropriate. This applies except in situations where reasonable accommodation may require involvement of co-workers or others.

Determining Validity of Request:

Employee Wellness, in consultation with professionals with relevant expertise, as appropriate, shall determine the degree to which the request meets the intended purpose of the RAF.  Typically the department or Employee Wellness shall consult with a medical or other professional expert in various types of disabilities, to confirm that the requested accommodation both meets and is most suited to the needs of the employee. Experts may be University personnel or external experts. Where external consultants are required, any costs of their services may be included in the costs of providing the reasonable accommodation.

Employee Wellness shall consult with the employee requesting the accommodation as well as with the administrative officer (head of department, dean or dean's representative) to ensure the appropriateness of the accommodation, the procedure by which it will be provided and other issues or requirements as necessary. At times, this will involve a physical demands analysis by a professional expert in such analyses. When appropriate, Employee Wellness will consult with the relevant Human Resource Consultant and/or Staff Relations Officer and representatives of the relevant bargaining units.

Provision of Financial Support:

Costs of reasonable accommodations shall be shared by central administration and the employee's faculty or school. Normally, costs shared by central administration will be the difference in costs of special equipment and the costs of office equipment and furnishings routinely provided employees.
Normally, the costs will be shared on a matching fund basis.

In some circumstances, e.g., recruitment, employees returning from LTD, Workers Compensation, there are external sources of financial support. Employees, departments requesting support should apply to these sources prior to submitting a request to the RAF.  Some types of accommodations are more appropriately provided by other departments or offices within the University - e.g., modifications to buildings (ramps, doors, washrooms). Requests for such accommodations should be made to the Vice-President (Administration) or the Director, Physical Plant.
Equipment, furnishings bought with support from the RAF is University property. Employees may take the equipment off campus only for University business.

INSTRUCTIONS

Requests for assistance should be made in writing, and include:

  • Name of employee
  • Nature of special need
  • Accommodation requested
  • Supporting documentation
  • Attach report of consultations with medical or other professionals
  • Costs of accommodation(s)
  • Provide estimates, quotes from vendors
  • Provide shared costs arrangement
  • Signature of employee
  • Signature of person requesting the accommodation (if not  the employee)
  • Signatures of department head, dean/director
  • A list of other sources of financial support:
    • External to the University
    • University sources (Staff Benefits re LTD benefits, others)

This information should be provided by completing the RAF Application Form found [here.]

Requests for assistance can be forwarded to:
Bryan Wiebe
Manager, Employee Wellness
137 Education Building
474-7897