Accommodating employees with disabilities to the point of undue hardship under human rights legislation can be a complicated task. It's important to make sure the accommodation process goes smoothly and the employee can focus on working as efficiently as possible, but employers may not be sure about what kinds of questions to ask disabled employees in order to meet their needs.
Imagine this: a customer enters your office or store and very quickly suffers an attack of some sort, causing her to break out in hives and have difficulty breathing. Employees remove her from the store, but she's in such a state that she has to go to the hospital. You later discover that the customer suffers from environmental sensitivities, and unfortunately she had her first major attack at your workplace. Oh, and she claims she can no longer work because of the episode, so she's suing you for damages and lost wages.
Public sector organizations in the province of Ontario are working toward the January 1, 2010 deadline for implementing the first stage of compliance to ensure accessibility for Ontarians with disabilities in all areas of daily life. The Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA) outlines the new customer service standards businesses and other organizations in Ontario must attain to make the provision of their goods and services more accessible to people with disabilities. Private sector and non-profit organizations need to comply by January 1, 2012.