The development of the ACED toolkit is at the heart of this project. The toolkit, when completed, will contain a number of tools that provide guidance to workers with episodic disabilities, as well as their employers, managers, supervisors, disability managers and human resources personnel.
The toolkit will be easy to access, personalized, interactive and evidence-based. It will include tools that address two main workplace challenges:
- communication decision-making: personalized decision-making tools on whether and how to communicate needs in the workplace, conversation templates, and skills training and coaching workshops; and
- job demands and accommodation planning needs: an interactive job analysis tool with suggestions for accommodation supports.
JDAPT, the Job Demands and Accommodation Planning Tool
The first tool to be included in the ACED toolkit is the Job Demands and Accommodation Planning Tool (JDAPT). The JDAPT is a multi-component tool for identifying job demands that are difficult for workers with episodic health conditions and suggesting personalized support needs. The JDAPT content has undergone extensive feasibility testing with 69 potential users and is currently being tested in an online-interactive format.
The JDAPT asks people to think about the demands of a job and how they relate to episodic health conditions in four key areas:
- the physical tasks required to do the job (called “physical demands")
- the mental or “thinking” tasks required to do the job (called “cognitive demands”)
- the tasks related to working with others that are required to do the job (called “social demands”), and
- the tasks related to working conditions required to do the job (called “environmental and organizational demands”).
One version is for workers with episodic health conditions, and another version is for supervisors, human resources practitioners, disability case managers, worker representatives and other parties who support people with disabilities in the workplace.
The JDAPT helps the user to identify the parts of a job that may be difficult (or may already be difficult) due to an episodic health condition or conditions. Once these have been identified, the JDAPT will suggest a variety of strategies, supports and workplace accommodations tailored to the user's needs. As such, the JDAPT can help workers with episodic health conditions and the workplace parties who support them understand if supports or change may be needed at work and, if so, what kind of support or changes would help those with episodic health conditions work comfortably, safely and productively.
Coming next: Communications decision-making tool
People living with episodic health conditions often grapple with the complex decision of whether or not to tell their employer about their disability. The ACED team is developing a tool to help people work through a decision that is best for them. It will take into account a wide range of issues including a person's personal preferences and their assessment of their work environment. Stay tuned for more information in Fall 2022.
Want to get involved or keep up?
To keep up on the development and release of the various tools to be included in the ACED toolkit, sign up for the ACED newsletter.