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Return to Work/Disability Resources

Return to Work Accommodation Tool

At the WSIB, we are committed to assisting the workplace parties, workers and employers as well as unions, where applicable in achieving the best possible return to work (RTW) and recovery outcomes following an injury or illness at the workplace. Supporting workers in their returning to work can be challenging when job accommodations are required.

The following document outlines some of the key concepts to successful job accommodations and includes an approach that promotes engagement between all of the workplace parties in order to achieve a safe, suitable and sustainable return to work.

Return to Work/Disability Management Assessment Tools

At the WSIB, our focus is to assist workers and employers achieve the best return to work (RTW) and recovery outcomes possible following a work-related injury or illness. An employer’s disability management program is an important factor in the recovery of their workers.

The Disability Management Self-Assessment (DMSA) published by the National Institute of Disability Management and Research (NIDMAR), is one of a suite of RTW / disability management program assessment protocols developed with the support of leading experts from the employer, labour, provider, insurance and academic communities that can be used to benchmark an organization's disability management program. The DMSA is administered globally under the auspices of the International Disability Management Standards Council (IDMSC) and has been psychometrically calibrated and adopted across Canada and internationally.

The DMSA is designed to allow individual organizations to undertake a basic self-assessment of their current RTW and disability management efforts and obtain a report that provides an overview of their current performance. The report also identifies what the best practice is, thus allowing the organization to determine which areas of their program require review and/or improvement.

Additional tools and resources such as Return to Work/Disability Management Cost Benefit Analysis Calculators are also available for use by employers.


In addition to the valuable assistance and services that are provided by the WSIB, there are many resources that other organizations offer to help you achieve a successful return to work outcome.

  • The Institute for Work and Health is an independent, not-for-profit research organization that conducts and shares research that protects and improves the health of working people. They are one of the top five occupational health and safety research centres in the world. The WSIB is the primary funder of the organization.
  • NIDMAR (National Institute of Disability Management and Research). This is an internationally recognized organization committed to reducing the human, social and economic costs of disability through education, training and research. The WSIB supports the NIDMAR approach and standards.
  • CIRPD (Canadian Institute for the Relief of Pain and Disability) is a federally incorporated not-for-profit charitable organization dedicated to the prevention and reduction of pain, pain-related suffering and disability. CIRPD is committed to disseminating high quality research, reports, guidelines, tools, educational resources, programs and services to the government, public and private-sections, professional, consumers, business and labour organizations and the general public.

Return to Work/Disability Legislation

Organizations that offer Return to Work /Disability resources

  • Canadian Council on Rehabilitation and Work: This is a non-profit Canadian cross disability organization supporting persons with disabilities, employers and community agencies in advancing employment
  • Canadian Helen Keller Centre: This is a resource for persons who are deaf-blind, their families, service providers, volunteers, supporters, and the general public. It provides valuable information about the needs, concerns and challenges of persons living with both vision and hearing loss
  • Job Accommodation Network: This network offers information on job accommodations and disability. Although it is an American website, the job accommodation concepts can be applied to jobs in the Canadian market.
  • Guide and Tools for Modified Work (available for purchase): Developed by the Montreal Department of Public Health, the guide describes an approach to planning and setting up a modified work program for workers with certain musculoskeletal disorders. It is intended for mid-to-large sized companies and can also be useful to trainers and other professionals who work with companies on injury management and return to work programs.

Related info

Compass: Guiding you to a healthy and safe workplace
WSIB@work seasonal newsletter