ACED - Accommodating and Communicating about Episodic Disabilities

A research partnership to support the sustained employment of people with intermittent, chronic health conditions

Issue 3 — February 2021



ACED director’s update: accommodation planning tool coming soon, work starting on disclosure tool

Among the many challenges highlighted by the global pandemic has been the need to keep workers safe, productive and supported. With this in mind, the ACED partnership project has continued to focus on developing and testing tools and resources that will enable better communication, self-management, support and accommodation of episodic disabilities at work. ACED Director and Institute for Work & Health (IWH) Senior Scientist Dr. Monique Gignac highlights the progress on the ACED toolkit and where she has been able to spread the word about ACED, even amid the challenges of COVID-19.

Read more here



ACED team seeking input on latest version of accommodation tool

The first tool to be included in the ACED toolkit has reached a development milestone. The contents of a tool we are currently referring to as “JDAPT” – the Job Demands and Accommodation Planning Tool – asks people to think about job demands and how they relate to episodic health conditions. It has been tested with 69 potential users, including workers and other workplace parties. The next step is an online, interactive version, and we want your input.

Read more here



Episodic health conditions challenge workplace disability management systems

Employers are recognizing that they need a new model of disability management to support workers with episodic health conditions, according to a new study conducted as part of the ACED project. Because episodic health conditions are often characterized by unpredictable periods of illness and disability, they can raise a host of issues for workplaces—including issues related to privacy, stigma and trust. ACED’s director, Dr. Monique Gignac, explains more about the findings in an article published in the IWH newsletter At Work.

Read the At Work article



Resources supporting workers with chronic episodic disabilities – where could we do better?

A scan of workplace resources focused on supporting working people with episodic disabilities was recently published. The scan found that interactive resources are largely missing, and filling this gap could lead to more customizable tools that meet individual worker’s and workplace needs. The resource scan was undertaken by an ACED co-investigator, IWH Scientist Dr. Dwayne Van Eerd.

Learn more



ACED practicum students tackle important work and health issues

Two master’s students brought their passion for disability justice and health equity to their ACED practicums in 2020. Leslie Cheng worked with Crohn’s and Colitis Canada to study the relationship between inflammatory bowel disease and work. Ayesha Khan worked with Realize Canada to study the communication and disclosure of episodic disabilities during the hiring process.

Read more



Policy paper: Disclosure and working towards barrier-free recruitment

ACED partner Realize Canada recently published a policy paper on issues of equity in the hiring process, with the support of ACED practicum student Ayesha Khan. The paper, titled “Should I tell them? Working towards barrier-free recruitment in the Canadian labour market," describes issues around disclosure and how they may affect the hiring process for people with episodic disabilities. The policy paper also contains several policy recommendations.

Get the policy paper (PDF, 1MB)



Partner tool helps young adults with rheumatic disease navigate the world of work

An ACED co-investigator, IWH Scientist Dr. Arif Jetha, led the design of a new interactive tool for youth and young adults with rheumatic health conditions such as juvenile arthritis or lupus as they begin their working lives. The tool is designed to help them identify and address the unique challenges they may face when looking for work, already working or unable to work due to their health condition.

Access the tool



Experts invited to take part in research on young adults with disabilities and the future of work

Past research conducted by IWH has identified different trends that could characterize the future of work for young people with disabilities. Our colleagues are now engaged in a study related to ACED. It seeks to identify policies and programs that promote the sustainable employment of young adults with disabilities.

If you are a disability policy-maker, disability employment service provider, labour market specialist, and/or someone who studies the future of work, the IWH research team invites you to participate in a phone interview about the trends shaping the future of work for young people with disabilities. Interviews will last up to one hour, focusing on various aspects of future work trends and applied solutions for young people with disabilities.

If you are interested in participating or have further questions, please email the study coordinator, Ali Shamaee, at



For more information about the study, contact:

Julie Bowring
Project Coordinator
Institute for Work & Health
416.927.2027, ext. 2105


The ACED newsletter is published roughly twice a year by the ACED partnership, which is housed at the Institute for Work & Health, an independent, not-for-profit organization that conducts and shares research to protect and improve the health and safety of working people.

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