Accommodations for employees with disabilities


McGill University is committed to fostering an equitable, accessible, and inclusive workplace. As such, the University is committed to ensuring that all employees enjoy equal opportunity free from discrimination prohibited by law, including discrimination on the basis of a disability.

In line with these commitments, McGill abides by its legal duty to provide workplace accommodations for persons with disabilities, to the point of undue hardship. Such accommodations seek to ensure that employees can carry out their employment responsibilities where this requires an accommodation that does not pose an undue hardship.

Accommodations may be provided for employees with disabilities of a permanent, temporary, or episodic nature, when supported by valid and objective medical documentation. Accommodations are based on documented functional implications of disability in the workplace.


These Guidelines apply to:

  • all current employees and applicants for employment at McGill University, including: full and part-time, casual, contract, permanent and temporary employees;
  • all aspects of employment including, but not limited to: staffing, training, and work arrangements.


An Inclusive Workplace means a workplace wherein all employees have the opportunity to contribute and participate meaningfully and wherein reasonable accommodations are made to reduce or eliminate barriers to such contribution and participation.

Reasonable Accommodation is a means used to put an end to any situation of discrimination based on disability, religion, age or any other ground prohibited by the Quebec Charter of Human Rights and Freedoms.

Undue Hardship is a factor taken into account to assess whether a given accommodation measure is reasonable or not. Undue hardship is assessed, in particular, on the basis of the cost of the accommodation, its impact on the organization’s operations and on the security and rights of others.

Discrimination is any action that disadvantages someone based on any prohibited ground of discrimination (e.g., race, sex, national origin, disability, religion, etc.).

Responsibilities and Expectations

Accommodation is a shared responsibility between employees, unions, supervisors, and McGill University, as the employer. Local Human Resources (HR) representatives, the University’s Disability Management group, Labour & employee relations group and McGill’s Accessibility Advisor support the University in carrying out, determining and implementing appropriate accommodations.

McGill University is responsible for:

  • Addressing barriers that prevent employees from accessing, or being included in, the workplace and working to eliminate or reduce such barriers;
  • Minimizing the need for individual accommodation by reviewing regulations, policies, and practices to promote inclusion and universal accessibility;
  • Ensuring that these Guidelines are accessible to employees and job applicants;
  • Responding to requests for reasonable accommodations in a confidential, and sensitive manner; and
  • Developing and implementing reasonable accommodations to the point of undue hardship.

Supervisors are responsible for:

  • Responding to requests for reasonable accommodations in a confidential and sensitive manner;
  • Informing employees who may need an accommodation of the information required to support a request;
  • Reviewing the essential duties and requirements of the position;
  • Consulting with the employee, local HR representative, and any other internal resources to assess requests for accommodations and identify reasonable accommodation options; and
  • Monitoring the progress of the accommodation plan, and providing updates to the local HR representative.

Local Human Resources representatives and Central HR are responsible for:

  • Providing guidance and support to employees and supervisors regarding workplace accommodation and duty to accommodate;
  • Responding to requests for reasonable accommodation in a confidential and sensitive manner;
  • Informing the employee as to any documentation or other supporting information that may be necessary to respond to an accommodation request;
  • Requesting guidance from internal and external resources as appropriate; and
  • Collaborating with all parties involved to generate reasonable accommodation options based on the information provided and, documenting the process.

Employees are responsible for:

  • Communicating any known workplace accommodation needs at the earliest possible opportunity;
  • Providing documentation and other supporting information to accompany a request for accommodation, including information about any restrictions or limitations they have;
  • Participating and cooperating in the accommodation process, including helping in identifying potential reasonable accommodation options, participating in discussions and co-operating with any experts whose assistance or consultation is required in the University’s management of the accommodation process;
  • Accepting an offer of accommodation that meets their needs, even if it is not their preferred accommodation option; and
  • Advising their supervisor of any change in circumstances that affects their need for accommodation.


When contacted for an interview, applicants may signal a need for a reasonable accommodation during the hiring process. The relevant HR representative will evaluate the request for accommodation and may seek further information to facilitate the accommodation during the hiring process. If a request for accommodation is denied, reasons will be provided to the applicant.

Privacy and Confidentiality

All records associated with accommodation requests will be maintained in a secure location, and will only be shared with persons who need the information in order to implement the accommodations. McGill University and all individuals involved in the accommodation process will comply with the requirements of the Loi sur l’accès aux documents des organismes publics et sur la protection des renseignements personnels to protect personal information.

Procedures for Accommodation

  1. An employee with a disability may request an accommodation by notifying their supervisor (for academic staff, this is the Chair/Director) and/or their designated HR representative in writing of their limitations and their needs.
  2. The supervisor and/or HR representative will document the request and may ask the employee to provide appropriate supporting documents to determine the needs and possible reasonable accommodation such as:
    • Description of the disability, the limitations and if they are temporary or permanent. This information can be sent directly to the Disability management group (HR) if the employee wants this information to remain confidential;
    • Description of the duties affected by the disability;
    • Description of the effect caused to the performance by the disability and the needs the employee face as a result of the disability;
    • Description of the nature of the accommodation requested (for specific equipment please include complete name);
    • Description of the changes in the work environment which could reasonably accommodate these needs.
  3. Throughout the process, the supervisor and/or HR representative are encouraged to seek advice, and work in collaboration with other internal resources such as:
    • Accessibility Advisor (Provost and Executive Vice-President (Academic))
    • Disability management (HR)
    • Labour & employee relations (HR)
  4. Should a reasonable accommodation measure be agreed upon, an accommodation letter will be provided and may include, based on each situation, the following information: accommodation plan, terms, duration, and review period. Should the University be unable to accommodate the request, the employee will be informed in writing.

Central Accommodation Fund

A Central Accommodation Fund supports the purchase of any equipment or materials necessary to the implementation of the reasonable accommodation identified for employees, in order to carry out their work duties. Requests to access support from this Fund shall be made by the supervisor or HR representative to McGill’s Accessibility Advisor. Examples of requests that can be made to the fund: communication services (CART, conversion to Braille), technical aids and devices (e.g. split keyboard, magnifiers), adaptive software (e.g. licenses for JAWS, Kurzweil, read&write), and human support services (e.g. attendants). 


Questions about these guidelines and related procedures can be made to:

  • Disability management (HR) [at]
  • Labour & employee relations
  • Office of the Provost and Executive Vice-President (Academic) – Accessibility Advisor: catherine.roy7 [at]


Parking and adapted transport services

Staff who require assistance moving around the McGill downtown campus or are unable to use public transportation to and from campus due to a temporary or permanent disability, can apply with Disability Management to use McGill’s free adapted transport service or proximity parking on campus. The adapted van will transport staff between any of McGill’s downtown campus buildings, Monday through Friday between 8:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m.

To apply for these services

  1. Please have your treating physician complete the Physician's Statement (request for proximity parking permit or adapted transport) located on the HR website under Forms.
  2. Submit the form by [at] (email).
  3. Confirmation of registration will be sent to the staff member.  

Questions can be directed to [at]

Back to top