Accessibility in the BC Public Service

Last updated: March 1, 2021

Accessibility-confident employers are mindful of the needs of employees with disabilities when they create employment opportunities, embrace digital accessibility and develop and implement policies and practices that ensure employees with disabilities are included.  

For more information, please visit our homepage – the Diversity & Inclusion Resource Centre – which includes information about the Diversity & Inclusion Strategy, Indigenous initiativesLearning and resourcesGovernance and Community.

On this page

What is a disability?

The United Nations defines persons with disabilities as including those who have long-term physical, mental, intellectual or sensory impairments which, in interaction with various barriers, may hinder their full and effective participation in society on an equal basis with others.

Barriers to employment

There are five identified barriers that stop people with disabilities from participating successfully in the workplace.


When others think and act based upon false assumptions.


  • Making decisions about people with disabilities without including them

Physical barriers are obstacles in an environment that make it difficult to access, such as:

  • Inaccessible events or meeting spaces
  • Accessible stall inside a washroom but no automatic door opener

These are experienced by people who have disabilities that affect hearing, speaking, reading, writing and/or understanding—and who use different ways to communicate than people who don't have these disabilities.

Barriers include:

  • Use of small print or no large-print versions of material
  • Videos, events or meetings that do not have closed captions

Systemic barriers occur when an organization’s policies, practices or procedures result in exclusion. For instance:

  • Employees with disabilities are excluded from events/meetings because there is no American Sign Language Interpreter or closed captioning provided
  • Requiring a driver’s license for a job that could be reorganized to use another form of transportation

Technology barriers happen when technology can’t be accessed by people with disabilities, such as when:

  • Websites, documents or databases are not accessible for screen readers
  • Website graphs and charts are posted without text to explain them


Managers' Guide to Reasonable Accommodation

The Managers' Guide to Reasonable Accommodation is intended for managers and supervisors of the BC Public Service.

The guide is key to being an inclusive employer, to respond effectively to individual accommodation needs, fulfill responsibilities and meet Where Ideas Work 2020 goals.

Work-Able internship program

The Work-Able internship program is a 12-month paid internship with the BC Public Service for recent (within the last three years) post-secondary graduates who self-identify as having a disability. Each year, this unique program provides learning, coaching and mentorship to employees who face barriers to achieving gainful employment.