Canadians with disabilities tend to be underemployed compared to those without disabilities. Stigma and inaccessible workplaces make it challenging for many who want to and are able to work find sustainable employment. Recent Statistics Canada research found that among those with disabilities aged 25 to 64 years who were not employed and not currently in school, 645,000 individuals had potential to work.
The following resources relate to the employment of people with disabilities, and may be useful for career professionals, jobseekers and employers.
#AbleTo is a social-media-driven campaign that aims to close the employment gap for people with disabilities and help every student and graduate find meaningful work. The website contains information for employers, including this myth-busting infographic, as well as stories from recruiters and employers working with people with disabilities.
Hosted through the federal government’s Job Bank, this page has tools and services that aim to help people with disabilities connect with employers. It also links to additional sites including the Canadian Council on Rehabilitation and Work and the Opportunities Fund for Persons with Disabilities.
Discover Ability has separate portals for jobseekers and employers. It is a free resource that connects people with disabilities directly to Ontario businesses. It also has a resource page linking to employment service providers that specialize in serving jobseekers with disabilities.
The Return on Disability Group provides:
- Strategic advice: Delivering a customized plan to attract people with disabilities to companies
- Product and experience development: Helping companies adjust their products, customer experience and recruiting process
- Investments: Delivering outperformance by identifying public companies that profit by serving people with disabilities
The Neil Squire Society, with a vision of economic and social inclusiveness, serves people with disabilities and their future employers. It offers employment and computer tutoring programs, as well as ergonomic and assistive technology services.
Rick Hansen Foundation aims to create and deliver innovative solutions that remove barriers and liberate the potential of people with disabilities. The Rick Hansen Foundation Accessibility Certification program works to improve accessibility of the built environment in Canada.
Accessibility and Universal Design in Career Transitions Programming and Services (National Educational Association of Disabled Students)
This is the Final Report, published in May 2019, of a CERIC-funded project undertaken by NEADS. The report finds that while there has been progress in advancing inclusion for students with disabilities in Canadian colleges and universities, there is still work to be done to reduce structural barriers, discrimination and alienation from access to career education and work-integrated learning.
This report was developed out of an expansion of the scope of research within the landmark The Landscape of Accessibility and Accommodation for Post-Secondary Students with Disabilities in Canada project.
Roadblocks on the career path: Challenges faced by persons with disabilities in employment (Canadian Human Rights Commission)
This 2018 report finds people with disabilities continue to face barriers and stigma when looking for work, when seeking workplace accommodation and when trying to thrive or advance in their careers. Among the findings:
- More than 30% of persons with disabilities report that their disability makes it difficult for them to change jobs or advance in their careers
- Across Canada, nearly 30% of persons with disabilities report having asked for workplace accommodation that was not made available
CERIC literature searches
This literature search, which was updated in April 2019, covers topics including: workplace bullying; dyslexia and ADD; accommodation; literacy and essential skills; gender and disability; disclosing illness and disability; and Aboriginal peoples.
This literature search, which was updated in January 2017, covers topics including: employer practices; disability issues; employment retention; and disability and skills.
The CareerWise website and CERIC’s Careering magazine have many articles related to employment and disability. Here are a few of them:
- Canada’s lack of digital accessibility is robbing its workforce of resilient talent
- 11 free webinars to help build inclusive workplaces for people with disabilities
- Myths and misconceptions about hiring people with disabilities (infographic)
- How my disability changed my perspective on jobseeking
- Sustainable employment a challenge amid labour shortage
- Family and the employment journey of people with disabilities
- How words impact employment barriers and stigma
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