“When in greeting, you touch my hand. What knuckled shutters open? What fear do you unlearn?”
These are the words of American artist and poet Laura Hershey, who has spinal muscular atrophy. They are part of a labour awareness campaign for National Disability Employment Awareness Month or “NDEAM 2010” which occurs annually in October, both in the US and Canada. As employers assess their current and future hiring needs, it is important to remember that “talent has no boundaries, and that workforce diversity includes people with disabilities”.
In Canada, over 15 per cent of the population has some form of disability. When we assess the impact more broadly to include family members, over 53% of the population are touched by disability as a result of having a family member with a disability.