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Disability Inclusion in the Public Service of Canada: Hélène's Story

Description: Follows the story of Hélène, who has an invisible disability, and how a hiring manager removed the barriers to her participating fully in a job interview process. For more information, please consult the Canada School of Public Service's Accessibility Learning Series and the Accessibility Hub.

Date: November 25, 2020

Duration: 00:02:08

Resolution: 1080p


Music plays

[Visual: Animated white Canada School of Public Service logo appears on a purple background, pages turn, a maple leaf appears in the middle of a book that also resembles a flag, with curvy lines beneath.]

[Visual: The logo disappears, and the screen divides into four squares, with a white banner across the middle which contains the title in blue. Each square contains an image of a different person engaged in a different activity. In the top left corner is a man in a blue shirt and black pants, in a wheelchair. He approaches and stops a short distance from a flight of two stairs, with his arm outstretched towards them. After a moment, he drops his hands, and then reaches up with one hand and scratches his head. The square in the top right corner has a picture of a man in a green and white t-shirt. He is holding both hands over his ears, and dots and squiggly lines emanate out from his body, as though he is in discomfort. The square on the bottom left contains a picture of a man in a red and white shirt. He is wearing dark glasses, and is standing next to a yellow photocopier. He runs his hand along the side of the photocopier, and then drops his hand to his side without using the machine. The square on the bottom right contains a blonde woman in a blue shirt standing in front of a counter with a sink at one end. Above the counter, high above the woman's head, is a shelf with coffee mugs on it. The woman reaches her hand up towards one of the coffee mugs, but is unable to reach it, and lets her hand fall again.]

Female Narrator: Barriers to accessibility are obstacles that make things more difficult, and sometimes impossible for those of us with disabilities.

Barriers to accessibility

[Visual: The top left square, containing the man in the wheelchair, glows with a red outline, and as it does, the flight of two stairs flattens out and becomes a ramp with a handrail.]

[Visual: The top right square, containing with the man holding his ears, glows with a red outline, and as it does, the red dots and squiggly lines emanating out from the man cease, and circles with different shades of pink bloom outwards from the man's head, and he removes his hands from his ears.]

[Visual: The bottom left square, containing the man in the red shirt with the photocopier, glows with a red outline, and as it does, a small blue circle forms on the side of the photocopier, with a line extruding from it. At the end of the line, a larger blue oval forms containing Braille writing, a magnification of the Braille on the side of the photocopier, which the man runs his hand over.]

[Visual: The man in the top left square moves his wheelchair and ascends the new ramp.]

[Visual: The bottom right square, containing the woman trying to reach the coffee cup, glows with a red outline, and as it does, the high shelf on the right side slides down until it is just above the counter, and more shelves with coffee mugs appear. The woman reaches up and takes a coffee cup off the lowered shelf.]

[Visual: The man standing next to the photocopier presses a button, and paper feeds through the top of the photocopier, and a stack of copies piles up in the rectangular opening at the bottom of the copier.]

Female Narrator: Barriers exclude people. But when we understand and remove these barriers, we create an accessible federal public service that is inclusive for everyone. Let's look at an example.

[Visual: Helene, a cartoon drawing of a brown-haired woman with a featureless face in a black t-shirt, sits behind a red desk with a red computer sitting on it. Helene is waving hello with her left hand. As the narrator speaks, Helene drops her hand and begins typing on the computer's keyboard.]

Female Narrator: Helene is looking for a job in the federal public service. She has an invisible disability.

[Visual: The words "Autism Spectrum Disorder" appear in red at the top of the screen.]

Female Narrator: Her disability is called Autism Spectrum Disorder. This means she has difficulty processing information when there is a lot of external stimuli, as well as difficulty with communication, and socialization.

Autism Spectrum Disorder

[Visual: Helene and the desk slide down and away, and the text moves down to the bottom. Above the text, a drawing of a light fixture appears on the left, with lines radiating out from the lightbulb like rays of light.]

[Visual: To the right of the light fixture, curvy lines like waves of sound radiate towards each other inside a white circle.]

[Visual: To the right of the sound waves, a white speech bubble appears, with red lines inside representing speech.]

Female Narrator: For Helene, this means difficulty with bright lights, multiple sounds at a time, and social situations that involve lots of people.

[Visual: The text and images disappear, and another red desk with a computer on it appears. Seated behind this desk is the manager, a blonde woman with a featureless face, her hair in a bun, wearing a green and white shirt. She is using the computer.]

[Visual: A white oblong bubble appears above the computer screen. Inside the bubble is a small red envelope icon on the left, with the words, " - Job Application - Helene D..." beside and to the right.]

Female Narrator: When she applies to a job opportunity, she makes a request for accommodations during the job process.

[Visual: The manager nods her head vigorously.]

Female Narrator: After applying for a government job, and submitting her CV, the manager sees that she is very qualified for the position.

[Visual: The manager and Helene stand facing each other in a room with a red door and desk. They both wave hello.]

[Visual: Helene and the manager stand talking to each other, gesturing with their hands. The picture gradually becomes shaded pink.]

Female Narrator: She is asked to come in for an interview, and the manager makes sure to reduce barriers Helene has to her inclusion in the competition process.

[Visual: A white rectangle with the words, "One interviewer" inside extends out to the left from the manager, and she returns to her regular colours, while the rest of the picture remains pink.]

Female Narrator: In this case, there is only one person interviewing her,

One Interviewer

[Visual: The manager turns pink again, so that the entire picture is pink. The white rectangle disappears. Another white rectangle with the words, "Quiet room" inside appears extending out from a line stretching to the right of the door.]

Female Narrator: and they choose a meeting room that is calm and quiet,

Quiet room

[Visual: The rectangle next to the door disappears, and a new white rectangle with the words, "Dimmed lights" inside appears extending down from the red light fixture overhead.]

Female Narrator: where the lights are dim.

Dimmed lights

[Visual: The text and images disappear, and a red smartphone appears against a pink background. On the phone's screen is an icon of a closed envelope.]

[Visual: The top right corner of the envelope flashes with lines radiating out, and a red circle appears there with the number one in it. Beneath the envelope icon, lines of text appear: "1 new message," "From: CSPS," "Subject: Interview Questions." ]

[Visual: The smartphone slides to the left, and the screen splits to show Helene on the right. She puts one hand to her chin and looks upward, as though she is thinking.]

Female Narrator: Helene is given the interview questions in advance, and is allowed extra time in the interview to answer them. This enables her to organize her thoughts, and express herself effectively.

[Visual: The split-screen disappears, and Helene appears in the centre of the screen, with both hands above her head, waving them excitedly. Pink confetti rains down on her from above.]

Female Narrator: Helene aces the interview, and gets the job.

[Visual: Helene lowers her hands as the confetti stops, and she slides to the left, taking a relaxed pose with one hand on her hip. The manager slides in from the right to stand beside Helene in a similar pose.]

Female Narrator: Why? Because the employer has removed barriers to accessibility, allowing her to participate fully in the interview.

[Visual: A blue circle appears in the middle of the screen and grows outward until it fills the entire screen. A group of five people slide up from below. In the centre of the group and in front of the others, Helene stands with her hands on her hips. To Helene's right and slightly behind her is the manger, and standing to the right and slightly behind the manager is a man in a red and white shirt wearing dark glasses. To the left of Helene and slightly behind, a man is standing who has blonde hair and a white t-shirt. To left and slightly behind the man in the white t-shirt, a man in a red shirt with short dark hair carries a large box out in front of him with both hands.]

[Visual: Behind the people, a blue and white spiral-bound book, "The Accessible Canada Act" appears. To the right of the book two hands making circles out of thumb and forefinger appear, one right-side-up and one upside down, denoting sign language, and a magnifying glass appears to the left of the book.]

Female Narrator: Accessibility is a big step towards inclusion, and it starts by taking action.

The Accessible Canada Act

[Visual: The view zooms out slowly, and the people move their arms, shifting their posture.]

Female Narrator: Together let's build an inclusive and accessibility-confident federal public service.

[Visual: Text appears in dark blue on a light blue background.]

Female Narrator: For more information, please consult the Canada School of Public Service's website. Please find the links in the video description below.

For more information, please consult the Canada School of Public Service's website

Please find the links in the video description below

[Visual: Animated white Canada School of Public Service logo appears on a purple background, pages turn, a maple leaf appears in the middle of a book that also resembles a flag, with curvy lines beneath.]

Music fades out.



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