The Employment Standard of the AODA states that all organizations with performance management processes must make those processes accessible to workers with disabilities. In addition, employers must accommodate workers with disabilities advancing their careers by gaining new responsibilities or transferring to higher positions. Likewise, if organizations redeploy workers to other positions, they must accommodate redeployed workers with disabilities.
Accessible Performance Management
Performance management is a way for employers to help workers succeed by assessing their effectiveness and productivity. Employers who have performance management processes in place must accommodate the needs of workers with disabilities when they implement their processes.
Performance management development
Each employer develops its own performance management process differently. For instance, small employers may have conversations with each worker. On the other hand, large employers with human resources departments may create written questionnaires. Therefore, the accommodations each employer makes will depend on the tasks their process involves.
Moreover, the employer should approach each worker to find out how to make the process accessible. In addition, employers of fifty or more workers in the private sector and all employers in the public sector, should consult a worker’s individual accommodation plan to learn how that worker will access the process. For example, a worker who is visually impaired and uses accommodations for job tasks involving reading and writing, such as large print or emails, will likely need written elements of the performance management process in an accessible format. The same worker may not need an accommodation if the employer’s process involves a verbal conversation.
In contrast, a worker who usually receives accommodations for tasks involving verbal information, such as writing or a communication board, would likely need the same communication supports during a verbal performance management process. This worker might not use any accommodations for a written process.
Furthermore, employers should also consider whether a worker might become more successful with a different accommodation. For example, a worker currently using a hearing aid at meetings could try using Real-Time Captioning (RTC) instead. Moreover, if the employer offers the worker any feedback about their performance, that feedback must be offered in a way that accommodates the worker’s disability. Kinds of accessible feedback may include:
- Writing down or recording instructions
- Using plain language
- Demonstrating tasks
Accessible Career Advancement
Similarly, employers and workers must take a worker’s accommodations into account when a worker acquires new responsibilities. Workers might be performing new tasks while remaining in their current position or might advance to a higher position in the company. The worker and employer should re-examine what the worker’s accommodations are and what tasks those accommodations are used for. A worker’s accommodations may remain the same even if the worker gains new responsibilities. For instance, a worker supervising more colleagues, with brain-injury-induced memory loss, may use similar accommodations in their new role.
However, if the worker’s new position involves different kinds of tasks or locations, the worker may use more accommodations. For example, if a worker now attending management meetings uses a wheelchair, the employer may need to hold meetings elsewhere. Alternately, a worker may require fewer accommodations if there are tasks the worker will no longer be performing. For instance, a worker with a mental illness and promotion to a private office may no longer need sound-absorption panels.
Likewise, when workers are:
- Transferred to other jobs
- Transferred to other departments
because their current positions no longer exist, employers must take into account what accommodations workers will need in their new positions. Like advanced workers, redeployed workers may use similar accommodations, use new accommodations, or no longer need certain accommodations.
Why do we Need Accessible Performance Management, Career Advancement, and Redeployment?
Accessible performance management processes, career advancement, and redeployment allow every worker to remain as effective as possible. Workers accommodated as they make the most of their current or future positions will accomplish more for the whole organization.