UFV recognizes that, for medical or other reasons, it may not be possible for some students and employees to wear a mask while at UFV, as per the current BC Public Health Order.
UFV must also ensure there is a balance between the rights of people who cannot wear a mask on the basis of protected grounds in B.C.’s Human Rights Code (such as disability) and the public health risks, especially people who are at risk of more severe illnesses.
The following are circumstances by which mask exemptions will normally be granted.
All requests for mask exemption require documentation that confirms one or more functional limitations as listed below:
- A person with a disability who, for reasons related to the disability, would be physically unable to remove a mask without assistance if breathing becomes obstructed. Examples might include a person with impaired motor skills, quadriplegia, or limb restrictions.
- A person with an intellectual, developmental, cognitive, or psychiatric disability that affects the person's ability to understand the need to remove a mask if breathing becomes obstructed.
- A person with a disability who cannot wear a mask because it would cause the person to be unable to breathe or have respiratory distress if a mask were worn over the mouth and nose. A person with a condition that causes intermittent respiratory distress, such as asthma, likely does not qualify for this exemption because people with asthma, or other similar conditions, can generally wear a mask safely.
- A person with a disability requiring the use of an assistive device, such as for mobility or communication, that prevents the person from wearing a mask and wearing or using the assistive device at the same time. If use of the device is intermittent and the person can remove the mask independently to use the device, then a mask must be worn during periods when the person is not using the device.
- A person with a severe sensory disability or a severe mental health disability who would pose an imminent threat of harm to themselves or others if required to wear a mask. Persons who experience discomfort or anxiety while wearing a mask without imminent threat of harm would not qualify for this exemption.