Accessibility in the BC Public Service

Last updated: December 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 6 identified barriers that stop people with disabilities from participating successfully in the workplace.


When people without disabilities think and act based upon false assumptions, such as:

  • Making decisions about people with disabilities without including them
  • Not believing that a person with a disability can contribute to the workforce

When obstacles in an environment make it difficult to access, such as:

  • Hosting inaccessible events or meeting spaces
  • A washroom with an accessible stall but no automatic door opener

When people with disabilities use different ways to communicate than people who don't have disabilities, such as:

  • Using small print or not providing large-print versions of material
  • Videos, events, or meetings that do not have closed captions

When an organization’s policies, practices or procedures result in exclusion, such as:

  • Not providing American Sign Language Interpreter or closed captioning
  • Requiring a driver’s license for a job that could be reorganized to use another form of transportation

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

Sensory barriers

When sensory information such as lights, sounds, smells, etc. impede people with disabilities to participate in the environment, such as: 

  • Co-workers wearing perfume in the workplace
  • Use of fluorescent lighting in the workplace 


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.