Statistics show that one in five Canadians over the age of 15 and over had one or more disabilities, according to the 2017 Canadian Survey on Disability.

People with disabilities can do the job!

While they may require certain accommodations in order to fulfill job duties, people with disabilities can do the job. Statistics also show that more than one-third of Canadians with disabilities have some form of post-secondary education – 26 per cent with college diplomas, and 7 per cent with university degrees – and this number is on the increase. Despite this, the number of unemployed people with disabilities is significantly higher than those without disabilities.

Hiring people with disabilities can create a feeling among all employees that their employer is truly inclusive and forward thinking, which can only have positive implications for workplace morale. Companies that hire individuals with disabilities may help to attract customers with disabilities, increasing business.

The ability to find meaningful employment is very important for people to feel like full participants within society. People with disabilities deserve the same opportunity to participate in Canada’s labor force as people without disabilities.

Diversity vs Inclusion

Good diversity and inclusion strategies and tactics must be job-relevant, skills-specific, and assist team members in understanding current workforce and marketplace realities. Organizations which tie diversity and inclusion to their business strategy increase performance, productivity and customer satisfaction.

Do employees in all groups and categories feel comfortable and welcomed in your organization?

Do they feel included and do they experience the environment as inclusive?

To answer these questions, employers need to assess their environment and identify the barriers to inclusion, whether they are practices, policies, or the informal culture of the organization. Having identified barriers, the job of the employer is to change the company culture and to create an inclusive workplace environment.

Systems and Policies

As inclusion becomes the focus of diversity work, the attention switches to the systems, policies and practices of the company. Several systems influence the degree to which the climate is inclusive:

  • Communications
  • Work assignment
  • Training and education
  • Performance management
  • Mentoring
  • Coaching
  • Hiring
  • Career development
  • Flexible work arrangements; and
  • Managers’ accountability.

Companies that are known for their inclusive climate do not rely on the goodwill of their managers but work hard so that each organizational system is equitable. Once barriers are identified, they act to address them. Each system is analyzed to determine the degree to which it provides equitable access and benefits to all employees.

Need help getting started? Contact EmployAbilities today!