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Education and Employment

Support for Canadian workplaces to assess their disability management program

Smiley businesswoman in wheelchair

Today’s global economy forces organizations to offer the best products and services at the lowest cost. Organizations are not only competing with the business down the street, but businesses around the world.

An organization that can reduce the socio-economic costs related to disabilities for itself and its workforce, has an advantage. Large or small, organizations have found that by implementing sound stay at work / return to work policies and practices, they have been able to reduce their costs, retain a knowledgeable and skilled workforce, and have become more competitive.

International research has proven that the implementation of disability management (DM) programs is the most effective way of restoring and maintaining workers’ abilities while reducing the cost of disability for workers, employers, government, and insurance carriers.

Through this initiative, Canadian workplaces (with the exception of BC which developed its own similar initiative) are being provided with the opportunity to have a free assessment of their DM program. The Workplace Disability Management Assessment (WDMA) tool is optimized to allow for an accurate program assessment through a face-to-face interview, conducted onsite or online.

Program assessments are carried out through certified auditors who have completed a dedicated training program in the use of the assessment tool and who have also achieved the Certified Disability Management Professional (CDMP) designation.

The framework of the WDMA Assessment tool was developed based on a global review of best practices in DM. The key elements identified as crucial when administering effective DM programs are embodied in the tool. The end result is that the WDMA provides a written analysis that includes:

  • a snapshot of the current program identifying gaps, and
  • provides best practice recommendations moving forward.

Common benefits derived from undertaking such an assessment are:

  • Reducing the number of days lost due to injuries and illness
  • Reducing costs associated with short and long term disability assessment rates
  • Reducing workers compensation assessment rates

This Special Initiative is funded by the Government of Canada’s Sectoral Initiatives Program.

For more information, visit

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