ACED director's update: accommodation planning tool coming soon, work starting on disclosure tool
We hope you are keeping safe and healthy as the COVID-19 pandemic continues. The pandemic has highlighted many challenges, including the importance of keeping workers safe and supported. As part of the ACED study, partners and study participants have continued to lend their time to test and provide feedback on ACED tools and resources. Our interactions have highlighted the vulnerabilities of people living and working with a chronic episodic condition during COVID-19. As the ACED research and toolkit development continues, we are keeping these issues top of mind.
In the first half of 2020, we completed an initial or formative evaluation of key components in the Job Demands and Accommodation Planning Tool (JDAPT). We examined the need, feasibility and usability of the JDAPT. In the latter half of 2020, the partnership built a support and accommodations database for the JDAPT, which provides potential solutions to the challenges people face when working with episodic disabilities. We assessed and compiled key evidence-based resources on self-management, workplace supports and accommodations for individuals across a range of jobs and types of episodic disabilities. This year, we will be inviting participants to test our online, interactive JDAPT and will begin conducting additional evaluation of the tool.
Further work by the team in 2020 included laying the groundwork for a communications decision-making tool. This tool will be an important part of the ACED toolkit as it is designed to help workers consider issues relevant to their decision to disclose or not disclose information about their health as they seek support. We are looking forward to receiving input on the structure of this tool in 2021.
ACED research and the future ACED toolkit attracted attention across Ontario in 2020. We shared our research findings with diverse groups looking for evidence regarding chronic conditions and employment. For example, I presented to labour lawyers at the Lancaster House audio conference in Toronto, to employers and policy-makers at the Workforce Planning Board in the Waterloo Wellington and Dufferin area, to health practitioners and people with lived experience at several health charity seminars and workshops, and to disability prevention and policy professionals at the IWH Speaker Series and the Disability at Work in Canada 2020 conference.
We are thrilled with the growing interest from people committed to understanding ways they can make work a safer and more productive environment for people living with episodic disabilities.
Please enjoy the latest edition of the ACED newsletter. It provides a snapshot of our research and many other partnership activities. Our team is looking forward to sharing more about the ACED project in the coming year.