Jason Underhill, Store Manager

Starbucks Downtown Edmonton

Starbucks store manager Jason Underhill said his store got involved with EmployAbilities when approached by Job Developers and other EmployAbilities staff.

“They assisted with two hires and assisted in presentations and mock interviews,” Underhill noted.

He said through his involvement with EmployAbilities, he has learned several things: “candidates are able – focus on ability – more aware of abilities – allowed for more creative thinking and out-of-the-box employment ideas.”

Underhill said having employees with disabilities has had a positive impact, via inclusion, compassion, empathy, and patience – “soft skills that cannot be taught.”

His advice for anyone thinking of hiring someone with a disability?

“Set aside your preconceived notions, as people with disabilities can do everything and may not require accommodations, and candidates want to be treated like everyone else,” said Underhill, adding that implementing accommodations “has not cost us anything but brings value instead.”