Article from Globe & Mail

Employees with disabilities can have a positive impact on profitability

The unemployment rate for Canadians with disabilities is somewhere between 60 per cent and 70 per cent. Officially, Statistics Canada says it’s about 50 per cent, but that doesn’t take into account the many Canadians who have no marketplace attachment, such as the 450,000 school graduates from the past five years who have disabilities and have never worked even a single day. (Of those, about 270,000 have a postsecondary education.) But they aren’t counted in unemployment numbers, so we know that the official numbers are conservative.

More than 15 per cent of Canadians have a disability. Why do employers continue to ignore or fear such a large and untapped labour talent pool? How can an employer say they haven’t given much thought to this massive demographic group?

The answer is simple: Employers believe in a series of stereotypes, myths and misperceptions about including disabled people on their payrolls. They believe disabled employees will work slower and be less productive, need more time off, work less safely or be less innovative. Or that the accommodations required will be too expensive. These are all myths.

In fact, including workers with disabilities in real jobs with equal pay tends to have a direct and positive impact on a business’s profitability. Workers with disabilities are more productive, work more safely, stay longer, require less supervision, are more innovative and have less absenteeism.

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