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Canadian Employers Disability Forum Puts People To Work

March 25, 2014

In Canada, people with disabilities are willing and able to work. Also, Canadian employers say they are open to hiring people with disabilities. So what is the issue? Why are unemployment numbers high among this capable community?

Job Fair Canadian Employers Disability Forum Puts People To Work

The issue is that education and training is needed to dispel myths among employers. To make job options available to the disability community, there needs to be a partnership between nonprofit organizations and business leadership. Thankfully, Canadian government and disability community organizations are preparing to work together to establish program to train, educate and equip eager workers.

The Benefits of Employment

Everyone benefits when job opportunities are fulfilled. For instance, a person with disabilities can contribute to the economy. Employment also offers a sense of independence and dignity. Also, with proper programs in place, like job coaching and counselling for employment, persons with disabilities can move forward into the job force.

To help in this cause, the Canadian Employers Disability Forum is teaming up with the government. The forum was established by Canadian business leaders who want to elevate people with disabilities throughout society. In the forum, business leaders offer education and training to people who want to work. They share and combine resources to increase the labour market for Canadians with disabilities.

What Other Initiatives will Take Place?

There are two other complementary initiatives. One is called Ready, Willing and Able (RWA) and the other is CommunityWorks. RWA is a program designed to work with employers. The object is to help employers develop confidence people with disabilities have in their abilities to perform jobs.

In addition, Costco recently formed a partnership with The Canadian Association for Community Living and Community Living Ontario to help further this venture. The organizations involved are working with several individual Costco Wholesale businesses who are taking part in the RWA initiative. They are all working together to hire people with developmental disabilities in 20 stores.

Through CommunityWorks, vocational training is provided for people with autism spectrum disorders. The Economic Action Plan 2014 is proposing $11.4 million over a four year period for expansion of this program. Individuals who have this disorder are extremely intelligent but have challenges with social skills. This has led to poor employment prospects and job retention problems in the past.

In addition, programs are being developed through post-secondary education and at work which develop training materials for people with Asperger’s Syndrome. Providing these students with the right skills will further Canada’s economic prospects and bring a new source of labour to the job market.

People with disabilities want to work and employers have jobs available for them. With the variety of programs available, employment for the disability community is likely. With the right training on one side and a better understanding on the part of people with disabilities of the needs of the employer. It’s a win-win situation.

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