With employers across the country facing significant barriers to finding the skilled labour they need to thrive and expand, there’s one solution that we need to do better on — hiring persons with disabilities.
In a time when accommodating the health and safety of employees has risen to new priority levels and technology that has made it easier than ever to adapt and accommodate, there’s little excuse for not expanding our mindset on what the physical requirements of the job are.
According to the Discover Ability Network (DAN), 6.2 million Canadians have disabilities and it’s a group that anyone can be a part of, whether temporarily or permanently. More than 75% of people with disabilities acquire them as adults.
Hiring persons with disabilities typically leads to cost reductions related to turnover, absenteeism, safety, and improvements to productivity. In addition to finding a new talent pool, companies that hire persons with disabilities find that bringing people with different perspectives and experiences improves their products and services.
The DAN also has found that there is typically no or low cost to provide accommodations.
The Ontario Chamber of Commerce is partnering with the Discover Ability Network to help provide employers with the tools and resources they need to expand their workforce in a more inclusive manner. When it comes to hiring people with disabilities, the business opportunity is irrefutable.
The Discover Ability Network provides tools and supports through in-person workshops, webinars and online resources to help businesses understand the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, why and how to become a more inclusive employer, and how to hire and retain talent from the persons with disabilities labour pool.
Local chambers of commerce and boards of trade, industry associations, not-for-profit organizations, and businesses can request in-person and online training on a variety of topics related to accessibility, inclusion, and hiring from the persons with disabilities talent pool. Training is also available to staff of organizations that support job seekers with disabilities, such as post-secondary institutions and employment service providers, as well as training targeted to persons with disabilities to help them become more confident job seekers. Find out more here: https://occ.ca/discoverability/
The DAN highlights proven advantages to employing people with disabilities:
• Increasing the size of its skilled labour pool
• Reduced costs associated with turnover, training and safety
• Improving the engagement of all your employees
• Harnessing the value of innovative processes and new perspectives
• Attracting an underserved consumer market worth $55 billion per year in Canada
If you’re an employer interested in learning more, join us for the virtual Discover Ability Network ROI Conference May 25 and 26, 9 am to 12 pm. This free conference will discuss the value of hiring inclusively, the tools and resources to support building disability-confident organizations, and the importance of inclusive hiring to workforce development and future economic prosperity.
Get your tickets here: https://www.eventbrite.ca/e/diversity-in-business-roi-conference-tickets-310056205457
Find out more about hiring persons with disabilities and what resources chambers of commerce have to offer on the OCC discoverability page: https://occ.ca/discoverability/
The Peterborough and the Kawarthas Chamber of Commerce acts as a catalyst to enhance business growth, opportunity, innovation, partnerships and a diverse business community.