After your initial contact with Employee Well-Being (EWB), you may receive a list of questions that your medical provider must answer to serve as medical documentation of your accommodation needs. The standard list of questions is below; please note there might be some changes depending on the circumstances, especially if your accommodation request relates to COVID-19.
- Kindly advise on the nature of condition(s) for which limitations are present. (NOTE: Diagnosis information is not being requested)
- Please advise on your patient’s functional limitations (e.g. walking, concentration, social interaction, sitting etc.) related to their medical condition(s), both including physical and cognitive. Please indicate duration or weight for any physical limitations such as sitting, walking or lifting.
- Kindly advise on the prognosis of aforementioned limitations.
- If applicable, kindly comment on any medical contraindications we need to be aware of in determining a suitable and reasonable accommodation to support your patient to participate in their role at York University
- Please indicate any additional comments, as applicable.
Your medical provider is likely experienced in answering these questions. However, incomplete or insufficient medical documentation may lead to a longer accommodations process if EWB requires more information or rejects your application. So here are a few things to keep in mind as you talk to your medical provider about your documentation:
- Focus on the effects of your condition, not the diagnosis.
- The “nature” of your condition possibly includes the following: chronic illness, episodic disability (episodic in nature), mental health related, sensory disability, mobility impairment, etc. You don’t need to go into the details of your condition.
- Be detailed about your access needs, but only insofar as they relate to your accommodation needs as an employee of York University.
- Focus on identifying what barriers exist to your access in the classroom or workplace, e.g. limited ability to stand, hearing impairment makes it hard to communicate with students especially while wearing masks, medication schedule prevents you from focusing in the early morning, etc.
- If you require a particular accommodation, do not phrase it as a preference or a suggestion.
- Sometimes, members make the mistake of phrasing needs as preferences in order to avoid seeming too demanding. However, the employer has a duty to accommodate your needs, not your preferences. Be clear about what you need, and phrase it as such.
- A medical contraindication (question 4) is when there is a limitation, disability, or medical situation which impacts the accommodations you can receive, but which is not the condition for which you are seeking accommodation.
- E.g. A member is seeking accommodation for a hearing impairment, but does not speak ASL; therefore, ASL interpretation would not be an appropriate accommodation.
The Role of the Union
The only people who need to see your medical documentation are EWB. No union representative will ask you to share your medical. However, we are happy to discuss your medical with you if you so choose.
At any point in the accommodations process, you can contact Nadia Kanani, CUPE 3903 Equity Officer, at email@example.com.