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Thompson Rivers University
Thompson Rivers University

Career Equity Resources

The TRU Career and Experiential Learning department is committed to supporting employment opportunities for a diverse labour market.

We are thankful for the long-standing relationships we have with employers all over BC and believe it is important to support the people who are integral to our students’ career success.

Here, employers can find resources and book free training on how to become more accessible for people who live with on-going health conditions, injuries, and/or disabilities. With many people working remotely due to COVID-19, it’s more important than ever for employees to feel supported and able to do their best work during this unusual time.

If you would like to book a company accessibility consultation or free staff training on how to become a more accessible workplace. We invite you to contact Jennifer Mei at

Did you know?

Community resources

Deep Map
The Deep Map is a community resource hub in the form of an interactive map. The purpose of this map is to identify inclusive community services to support our diverse student population. With limited resources due to COVID-19, it’s even more important that we are providing students, employers, faculty and staff with information that prioritizes health and well-being. Search the map by people group or service using the drop-down menus. To view the contact information and a description of services for an organization, simply click the hotspot location on the map.  Click here to see the Deep Map. 
Community Law Clinic
The TRU Community Law Clinic can support employers with legal advice on issues related to employment law and human rights. The law clinic also provides a variety of other legal services; however, limitations do apply. See website for more details.

Accessibility FAQ

 What conditions are considered a disability?

We are using the terms medical condition, injury and disability to describe a diagnosable condition that impacts permanently or temporarily impacts a person’s functioning. The World Health Organization uses the overarching term "disability" to describe most of these conditions. Here are just some examples of medical conditions that are considered a disability in Canada.

 Conditions defined as a disability by the government of Canada

Here is a list of many of the common disabilities recognized by the Canadian government. This is by no means a complete list but will give you an idea of the many conditions that may cause changes to the way a person works and learns.

  • Addictions
  • Agoraphobia
  • Alzheimer’s Disease
  • Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis
  • Angina
  • Autism
  • Anorexia Nervosa
  • Anxiety
  • Arthritis
  • Asperger Syndrome
  • Ataxia
  • Auditory Processing Disorder
  • Behcet’s Disease
  • Bipolar Disorder
  • Borderline Personality Disorder
  • Bulimia Nervosa
  • Cerebral Palsy
  • Chromosome Abnormality
  • Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
  • Chronic Disability Pain
  • Chronic Pain Disorder
  • Colitis
  • Conduct Disorder
  • Coronary Artery Disease
  • Cri-Du-Chat Syndrome
  • Crohn’s Disease
  • De Vivo Disease
  • Dementia
  • Depression
  • Developmentally Delayed
  • Dissociative Identity Disorder
  • Downs Syndrome
  • Dysgraphia
  • Elimination Difficulties
  • Epilepsy
  • Fetal Alcohol Syndrome
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Gender Identity Dysphoria
  • Glaucoma
  • Global Developmental Delay
  • Hearing Disorders
  • Hepatitis C
  • Huntington’s Disease
  • Hypermobility Syndrome
  • Hypothyroidism
  • Hypotonia
  • Inability or Difficulty Walking
  • Inability or Trouble Feeding
  • Infantile Spasms
  • Irritable Bowel Syndrome
  • Learning Disabilities
  • Mania
  • Mental Illness
  • Migraines
  • Mild Intellectual Disability
  • Multiple Sclerosis
  • Myotonic Myopathy
  • Obsessive Compulsive Disorder
  • Oppositional Defiant Disorder
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Panic Disorder
  • Parkinson’s Disease
  • Personality Disorder
  • Pervasive Developmental Disorder
  • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
  • Prader-Willi Syndrome
  • Psychosis
  • Quadriplegia
  • Retinoschisis
  • Schizophrenia
  • Scoliosis
  • Seizure Disorder
  • Sleep Disorder
  • Specific Developmental Disorder
  • Speech Disorder
  • Stroke
  • Substance Abuse
  • Tic Disorder
  • Tourette Syndrome
  • Trouble Dressing
  • Tumor
  • Vision Problems


 What is a functional impact?

A functional impact describes how a person’s medical condition or disability affects the way they work and learn. For example, a person may have difficulty interacting socially or experience on-going migraines. A person’s medical diagnosis is considered confidential; therefore, employers should accommodate based on how a person’s functioning is impacted, rather than on their diagnosis.

 What is an accommodation?

An accommodation is an adaptation to the way a person works and learns that allows them to meet the expectations of a job. For example, a person who has chronic back pain may require a supportive chair or, a person with difficulty with focus and concentration may need a distraction reduced environment. For suggestions on how to determine accommodations for specific functional impacts, check out our accommodation matrix.

 Who is eligible for accommodations?

Persons with a diagnosable disability, injury or medical condition may be eligible for accommodations either in the workplace or working from home. Most companies have an accessibility policy that outlines what information is needed to qualify. For example, an employee may need to provide an employer with medical documentation that supports their accommodation request(s). For assistance with determining eligibility, check out our Employer Guide for Determining Accommodations.

 How can medical documentation help in determining accommodations?

Medical documentation can be helpful in determining accommodations if it confirms the presence of a disability, describes the person’s functional impacts and provides recommendations for accommodations. It is not necessary for the documentation to include the person’s diagnosis. » Medical template

 What are my legal responsibilities?

Employers have a duty to accommodate employees with disabilities, as per BC Human Rights Code and Canadian Charter of Human Rights and Freedoms, to the point of undue hardship. For more information, on the duty to accommodate and undue hardship, check out the BC Human Rights Tribunal website.

 What should I do if a co-op student discloses that they have a disability?

If a co-op student discloses that they have a disability at any point during their work term, ask if there is anything you can do to accommodate them. If you require assistance determining accommodations, you may find our Employer Guide for Determining Accommodations and Decision-Making Tree helpful. With the student’s permission, you may also want to connect with the student’s coop coordinator to discuss options for accommodations that will support them in meeting their learning outcomes. Our Accessibility Experiential Learning Coordinator is available to support staff, students and employers in becoming more accessible.

 What should I do if an employee/co-op student discloses that they have a mental health disability?

Mental health disabilities are considered episodic which means that there are unexpected periods of time when a person feels unwell. Depending on the severity and length of the episode, a person may need time to recover. While some companies are embracing flexible schedules, others require that employees work their scheduled hours to maintain productivity. If an employee discloses that they have a mental health disability, first ask them if they require accommodations. Every person’s experience with mental health is unique, so the accommodation request may be simple to implement. More complex situations may require some creative planning with the student/employee so that they can still meet the expectations of the job. We encourage you to reach out to the student’s coop coordinator or contact our Accessibility Experiential Learning Coordinator for additional support.

Working towards accessibility

Employer guide for determining accommodations
This guide provides suggestions on how to proceed with approving employee accommodation requests such as when to ask for medical documentation.
Tips for employers
This infographic provides some key tips on how employers can work towards becoming more accessible.
List of medical conditions defined as disability
This list provides several examples of medical conditions that the Government of Canada considers a disability under the World Health Organization’s definition.
Accommodations matrix
This matrix provides suggestions for accommodations for functional impacts related to a variety of disabilities.
Decision making tree
This decision-making tree illustrates the approval process flow outlined in the Employer Guide for Determining Accommodations.
Medical form template
This streamlined template was designed to save you and your employee time when requesting medical documentation from healthcare professionals.
Accommodations employee self-assessment
This template was designed to generate ideas for accommodations and could also be included in your hiring package to encourage accommodation requests at the start of employment.

Useful links

Funding and wage subsidies
Legal duties and responsibilities
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