Disability Barriers in Academia: An Analysis of Disability Accommodation Policies for Faculty at Canadian Universities

  • Natasha Saltes PhD, Department of Communication, University of Ottawa


This article examines disability accommodation policies for faculty at 42 Canadian universities. Although universities in Canada are legally required to accommodate disabled employees, fewer than half of all universities have a written disability accommodation policy available. The search for disability accommodation policies revealed that there is a lack of consistency in policy implementation as well as language and content. The analysis revealed that disability accommodation policies contain overtly medical language and provisions that work to isolate disabled faculty by reinforcing the notion of competency as able-bodiedness and emphasizing the entanglement between disability, health and medicine. This article encourages universities to acknowledge their role in establishing accessible and inclusive workplaces and concludes with recommendations aimed at addressing some of the gaps and inconsistencies in disability accommodation policies.

Author Biography

Natasha Saltes, PhD, Department of Communication, University of Ottawa

PhD, Department of Communication, University of Ottawa