Employment & Training Programs and Services

Published Date: July 12, 2016
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Career & Employment Information Services

Disability Related Employment Supports (DRES)

Workplace Supports

AUTHORITY

Income and Employment Supports Act, Part 2 Section 12,
Disability-Related Employment Supports and Services Regulation

INTENT


The intent of DRES Workplace Supports is to provide initial short-term supports and/or services to assist a person with a disability transition into the workplace; maintain employment of at least 15 hours/week and be receiving at least the minimum wage as defined in the Alberta Employment Standards Code (includes comparable self-employment); and enable their full participation in the workplace.

All policy, eligibility and responsibilities stated in the Overview Disability Related Employment Supports policy must be met and/or agreed to prior to issuance of DRES supports and/or services.

Workplace Supports is provided through four areas:
  1. On the Job Supports
  2. Worksite Modifications
  3. Vehicle Modifications and 
  4. Assistive Technology

Policy

  • Workplace Supports are employee specific and are provided as supports and/or services to the person with a disability to address the employment related barrier created by the disability.  
  • Workplace Supports may be available to individuals with disabilities who are 16 years of age or older. 
  • Human Services will work in partnership with the employee with a disability and the employer to determine what disability related supports and/or services are needed to address the barrier(s).  
  • Maximum funding expenditures have been determined for each of the four areas listed below.  In exceptional circumstances these maximums can be exceeded with Regional Director’s Approval excluding Worksite Modifications and Vehicle Modifications made on an employer owned vehicle as per DRES Regulations Section 5 (4).
  • Employees with disabilities can access workplace supports in each of the four areas while employed by the same employer.  
  • Eligible employers must provide the basic equipment and technology required by all employees for the job. DRES may assist in providing the employee with a disability the supports and/or services needed to address the barrier(s) created by the disability. (e.g. all employees require a computer to perform work duties but an employee with a disability may need disability related software to do the job. The employer is responsible to provide the computer and DRES may assist with the cost of the disability related software.) 
  • Employers who are requesting worksite modifications and employer owned vehicle modifications must contribute the regulated amount for the cost of the accommodations for the employee(s) with a disability. Refer to 2B and 2C below for more details. 
  • DRES will not cover business expenses such as start-up, operating, capital or renovation costs 
  • A Service Plan must be developed outlining the supports and/or services needed by the employee with a disability, the period of time that DRES workplace supports will be provided, the employer’s contribution, and the DRES cost. 
  1. On-the-Job Supports 

    Intent

    The intent of on-the-job supports is to provide initial short-term supports and/or services to assist an employee with a disability transition into a new workplace, and/or maintain employment and/or enable their full participation in the workplace.   

    Policy

    • On-the-job supports may be funded to a maximum Human Services contribution of $35,000/employee with a disability while employed with the same employer.  
    • Cost-sharing is expected between Human Services and the employer. 
    • DRES does not fund ongoing supports and/or services. DRES provides initial supports and/or services and gradually lessen its involvement as the employee with the disability becomes more competent in performing their job duties and builds their independence and employment capacity and/or the employer assumes the cost of accommodations. Exceptional circumstances may be considered if there is a change in the person’s disability or job duties which require additional DRES supports and/or services.

      On-the-job supports may include funding supports/services to an employee with a disability who is taking short-term training that is directly connected to performing their current job duties. This does not include education leading to certification offered by a post-secondary institution as that would then fall within DRES Education Supports. 

      Refer to the Eligible and Ineligible Assistive Services and Assistive Technology List for approved services and/or supports.
  2. Worksite Modifications  

    Intent

    The intent of worksite modifications is to physically modify a specific worksite to enable an employee with a disability to have access to their place of employment and/or to perform their work as any other employee.

    Policy

    • Worksite modifications are 50% cost-shared with the employer to a maximum Human Services contribution of $10,000/employee with a disability and up to $40,000/worksite that employs 4 or more persons with disabilities. 
    • In the situation where a person with a disability changes employers, worksite modifications may be considered with the new employer. 
    • Worksite modifications can be made to privately owned or operated buildings, but not to publicly owned or operated or publicly subsidized buildings. 

      Refer to the Structural Alterations List within the Eligible and Ineligible Assistive Services and Assistive Technology List.
  3. Vehicle Modifications

    Intent

    To assist a person with a disability get to and from employment by modifying their vehicle when no other method of transportation such as public transportation or making alternate transportation arrangements is available, and/or when the vehicle is necessary to perform their work duties. Vehicle modifications can be done on the eligible employer’s vehicle if the employee with a disability is required to operate the vehicle to perform their work duties.   

    Policy

    • DRES will only fund the vehicle modifications that are directly related to addressing the barrier(s) created by the person’s disability 
    • DRES may provide funding to assist with the cost(s) of modifying a vehicle owned by a person with a disability or an employer. 
    • Vehicle modifications may be funded to a maximum Human Services contribution of $40,000 per vehicle. 
    • Personal vehicle owned by the person with a disability:
      1. initial and subsequent vehicle modifications require the owner to contribute to the cost of the modifications.
      2. for the first vehicle modification, DRES may contribute up to 100% of the cost to a maximum of $40,000, 
      3. for the second vehicle modification, DRES may contribute up to 50% of the actual cost to a maximum of $20,000  and 
      4.  for the third modification (which is the last vehicle modification DRES will fund for the individual with a disability), DRES may contribute up to 25% of the actual cost to a maximum of $10,000.  
      5.  DRES will not modify another vehicle within five years of the last Human Services funded vehicle modification, unless the need is verified and recommended through an assessment by a recognized specialist.    
    • The vehicle is owned by the employer:
      1. modifications are 50% cost-shared with the employer to a maximum Human Services contribution of $40,000/employee while employed with the same employer and
      2. subsequent vehicle modifications for the same employee with a disability are the responsibility of the employer.  
    • If the person with a disability is the operator of the vehicle, a vehicle modification assessment must be completed by a recognized specialist. On subsequent vehicle modifications an assessment is only required if there is a significant change in the person’s with a disability functional ability.   
    • If the person with the disability is the operator of the vehicle they must hold a valid Alberta Driver’s License (minimum Class 5) stating the appropriate condition codes prior to any vehicle modifications being approved.  The individual’s license must allow them to legally drive without the requirement of having an accompanying driver with them (individuals with a Class 7 learner’s license are not eligible for vehicle modifications). 
    • If the person with a disability is the passenger in the vehicle being modified, then a vehicle modification assessment is not required as the vendor can make the recommendations. In this situation, the only vehicle modifications that DRES will support are those done to accommodate the passenger with the disability. 
    • Vehicle modifications must be completed by an Alberta vendor. If the person with a disability plans to have the vehicle modification completed outside of Alberta or is purchasing a vehicle that has been modified outside of Alberta, proof must be provided that an Alberta vendor will maintain and repair it after the modifications have been completed.  
    • A minimum of two quotes are required from certified Alberta vendors who perform vehicle modifications.   
    • The owner of the vehicle that is modified must purchase vehicle insurance that includes coverage of the modifications. Documentation must be provided to confirm this coverage. 
    • All vehicle modifications funded by DRES must have prior authorization from Human Services. 
    • DRES does not cover the cost of driver training or driver training specific to the modification(s) made to a vehicle, licensing, and insurance coverage. 
    • DRES does not provide funding to purchase a vehicle and/or cover the costs of repairs, warranties or operating expenses of the vehicle that was modified or the vehicle modifications.
  4. Assistive Technology

    Intent

    To provide employees with disabilities specialized disability related technology which will enable them to perform their duties as any other employee in the workplace.

    Policy

    • Assistive technology may be funded to a maximum Human Services contribution of $35,000/employee with a disability while employed by the same employer. 
    • Funding of the disability related assistive technology, installation, set-up, training, upgrades and maintenance may be shared between the employer and Human Services. The employer and Human Services will negotiate cost-sharing. DRES’s intent is to provide support for the initial disability related assistive technology and connected services needed by the employee with a disability and the employer’s responsibility will be the ongoing costs such as upgrades and maintenance of that assistive technology.  
    • The assistive technology funded by DRES is provided to assist the employee with a disability and considered to be employee specific. If the employee leaves the job, the assistive technology belongs to the employee and will leave with the employee to another job. If the employer has cost-shared the purchase of the assistive technology, ownership will be discussed at the time of purchase and agreed upon between all parties. This agreement will be put in writing.
Refer to the Eligible and Ineligible Assistive Services and Assistive Technology List for approved services and/or supports.