SFU Disability Accommodation in the Workplace Procedures


March 26, 2009
Revised March 26, 2012 (A)




  1. An employee shall notify the supervisor in writing that s/he has a disability that requires accommodation. As soon as possible thereafter, the supervisor shall send the notification to the Coordinator, Return to Work and Disability Management ("the Coordinator") or to the Director of Human Rights and Equity ("the Director"). Within 10 business days of receiving the notification, the Coordinator or the Director will meet with the employee to discuss the application for disability accommodation.
  2. Within a reasonable time thereafter, the employee will provide a written medical report which stipulates the nature and scope of the disability and describes the functional limitations.  The cost of the report will be the responsibility of the employee, but in exceptional circumstances, the University may cover the costs. 
  3. The approval of an accommodation application rests with the Coordinator or the Director, who may consult with the employee’s supervisor or third-party experts. The decision shall be made within a reasonable period following receipt of the medical documentation. If an accommodation is not approved, the reasons must be submitted in writing. The employee can appeal this decision within 10 business days to the University Secretary, whose decision is final.
  4. Once an application has been approved by the Coordinator or the Director, a meeting will be convened to discuss the accommodation. The process of accommodation is a multi-party inquiry in which the employee, his or her constituency organization, and the University work together to find a reasonable accommodation, which may not necessarily be the employee’s preferred accommodation.
  5. If workplace modifications are required, either the Coordinator or the Director will inform the employee’s supervisor. The nature of the disability, including the diagnosis, prognosis and treatment shall remain confidential. Information that is shared with the supervisor will be shared strictly on a “need-to-know” basis.
  6. Costs associated with providing accommodations shall be borne by the University, either from the Accommodation Fund held by the University Secretary, or from the departmental budget.