Students with Disabilities

Students with a physical, mental or cognitive disability must register with University of Lethbridge Accessible Learning Centre to qualify for funding and tailored support from the Co-op program.

CIBC Navigator Program & Funding

CIBC generously donated funding for students with disabilities to assist in locating a co-op opportunity, especially a self-initiated co-op, that is inclusive and diverse to student needs. Aside from funding other supports for students under the spectrum of disabilities can be tailored support such as disclosure, workplace success plans and strength identification. 

To qualify for Navigator funding, you need to be registered with Accessible Learning Centre

Accessible Learning Centre



It can be tricky to decide when to disclose to an employer or not, but the choice will always remain your own. However, to succeed in Co-op or any opportunity, you will need to share what supports and resources you need to complete tasks outlined in postings.

  1. When reading through the job posting, are there tasks or responsibilities you may need accommodations or supports to be successful? 
  2. Understanding that disclosure does not mean sharing diagnosis or detailed medical history but rather what supports or accommodations you need in place to complete work effectively and be successful in your role. 
  3. Distinguishing between a disability visible or invisible. Considering how noticeable in everyday settings the disability is. Often if a disability is visible, disclosure can be often treated as an acknowledgement, but an individual should ensure if applicable to relay what accommodations and support may be needed. 
  4. If you do decide you want to indicate information around diagnosis or disability terminology, you can do it in two forms: brief or detailed. Briefly means that you identify that you have a disability but do not speak it to in relation to job duties unless it impacts task completion. Detailed means discussing a disability in more depth, how it will relate to work and accommodations that are needed. 
  5. Considering that asking for accommodations may need to be an ongoing discussion between the employer and employee 
  6. The most common time to disclose a disability is during or after the interview setting. Most questions will be open-ended and depend on the candidate to provide information of some level if applicable on what supports or accommodations may be needed to do complete work. 


No. If your disability does not impact your ability to carry out your job duties, you do not have to disclose to your co-op employer.1 Also, if your disability does not cause health or safety risks for yourself or colleagues, you do not have to disclose.

You do not have to.

This is very personal information, and it is not necessary to share such. You can communicate your accommodation needs without specifically stating your diagnosis. 

 While you may ask for accommodation(s) as needs arise, it is advised that you inform your employer about your accommodation needs before you begin the co-op job. This way, not only will you set the tone for an honest and transparent relationship, but you also benefit because your employer can work with you to provide accommodations beforehand.

There is no “right” time. When to disclose will depend on a variety of factors, such as the requirements of a job, the severity of your disability, the work environment, and the extent to which you are comfortable having a conversation about workplace accommodations.

A Bona fide Occupational requirement [BFOR] is a precondition that must be met, in order for one to perform a job.  For example, in order to perform a job as a truck driver, good vision and a valid driver’s license are mandatory.

If this is the case, you should plan to have a discussion with your employer, about what your accommodations might look like. Reasonable accommodations should be provided by your employer, short of “undue hardship.”  

Accommodation needs vary from person to person. The accommodation(s) that you need will be determined based on your particular situation. 

An employer has fulfilled their “duty to accommodate” when they have provided an accommodation that can meet the needs of the employee. You must not get your preferred accommodation.  In as much as you have a say in suggesting workplace accommodations for your co-op work term, the accommodation process involves negotiation between you and your co-op employer. 

As long as your disability will not affect your ability to perform your job duties, “you are not legally obligated to disclose”.  However, makes sure that you weigh the pros and cons of not disclosing, before making a decision

Questions asked during an interview should pertain to the requirements of the co-op job. You can be asked questions about your disability, only in relation to the duties of the co-op job

Build a Community

Gateway Association emerged as the “Gateway to a better life” they envisioned for people with disabilities and their families. Gateway is a Family Resource Centre (FRC) and an Employment Resource (ERC) Centre that provides education, family support, mentorship and inclusive employment. It is our mission to assist the community to understand disabilities.