What is a Disability?

  • There are many benefits of hiring persons with disabilities.  Not only does it increase the size of your talent pool, hiring persons with disabilities creates diversity in the workplace, expands your consumer base to more likely include persons with disabilities, and sets you apart as a progressive employer.

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    What is a disability?

    Every disability is different, and every person is different, so there is no one definition of ‘disability’.  In general, people are considered to have a disability if they have a permanent or long-term medical, mental or physical condition that would inhibit their ability to carry out common tasks and activities.  Such tasks could include:  walking, working, communicating, going to school, or carrying out household chores.  Some conditions are characterized by ‘ups and downs’ or by periods of time when the individual has reached a plateau and seems to be in recovery of whatever disability they may have.

    Fortunately, the overall view of persons with disabilities has shifted.  Society encourages us to look passed the disability to see the very capable person, who given the right accommodation or adjustment of social and economic factors, could easily participate in the activities of daily life just like anyone else.

    Here are some quick facts about Albertans with disabilities:

    • Nearly 12.5% of working age Albertans has a disability.
    • Most working age Albertans with disabilities describe their condition as mild or moderate.
    • Over half of working aged Albertans with disabilities has completed high school and over  7% have a university degree.
    • Unfortunately, the employment rate for adults with disabilities is almost half that for people without disabilities.
    • Fortunately, advances in assistive devices and wider use of technology as a work tool have increased the types of jobs that people with disabilities can do.

    The lower employment rate of people with disabilities has more to do with the lack of supports and appropriate training, the availability of jobs and the accessibility of the workplace, rather than with their own capacity and desire to work.

    Do you want to start the process, explore the opportunities for success within this untapped workforce and hire a person with disabilities?  EmployAbilities is here to assist progressive employers recruit, train, hire and retain quality employees.  If you have questions or require further resources please visit our Employers section of the website or call us at (780) 423-4106.

    Contact us today!