National Disability Employment Awareness Month
As we close out October, let’s talk about Disability Employment
First, some statistics. According to Statistics Canada, in 2017, 3.7 million working-age Canadians identified as having a disability and only 3 in 5 (59%) were employed. The pandemic has made it more challenging for people with disabilities to find work.
There are so many benefits to employers who adopt inclusive hiring practices that make workplaces accessible for all people. Here are just a few facts. Businesses with inclusive hiring practices:
Have 72% more employee productivity.
Have a 45% increase in workplace safety.
Are more likely to see support for their products and services from consumers.
When it comes to hiring, why is it that we rarely look beyond a person’s disability?
People with disabilities face stigma about what they are capable of doing and many employers assume that it is too expensive to provide someone with accommodations. We have a tendency to fixate on what we think it means to have a disability without acknowledging the value that people with diverse lived experiences can bring to any workplace. Instead of focusing on what people with disabilities can’t do, it’s far more helpful to ask ourselves what we can do to ensure everyone has opportunities to share their talents regardless of the challenges we face.
Each and every person has strengths, skills, experiences, and abilities that are valuable. For many, a lack of accessibility in the workplace is one of the biggest barriers to entering the workforce. Imagine how much more possibility there is when we prioritize accessibility and create more avenues for people to participate meaningfully.
As we close out National Disability Employment Awareness Month, let’s make a commitment to continue having conversations about prioritizing accessibility at work.