Feds launch ad campaign promoting hiring of persons with disabilities

Resources about how to hire persons with disabilities available to employers

Feds launch ad campaign promoting hiring of persons with disabilities

The federal government is encouraging small- and medium-sized businesses to hire persons with disabilities via a new advertising campaign.

Called Inclusive Workplaces, the campaign highlights how persons with disabilities can bring a broader range of experiences and skills in the workplace. By tapping into this employment pool, employers can fill their hiring needs, according to the government.

"Workers with disabilities make innovative and unique contributions to workplaces across Canada. They are key to helping us grow our economy and making communities more resilient,” said Randy Boissonnault, minister of employment, workforce development and official languages.

“That's why our government is working with employers to create a barrier-free Canada to build workplaces that are fair and free of physical, societal and attitudinal obstacles. Together, we are paving the way for economic growth that empowers all persons with disabilities to succeed as we build an economy that works for everyone."

People with disabilities can “add such a different dynamic to the organization,” one expert said in a previous HRD report.

How to create inclusive workplaces

The campaign highlights Ottawa’s repository of information, tools and resources about how to hire persons with disabilities and how to create inclusive workplaces.

It includes: 

  • the Enabling Accessibility Fund, for projects that make Canadian communities and workplaces more accessible;
  • the Student Work Placement Program, which supports employers to hire post-secondary students and create work-integrated learning experiences;
  • the Sectoral Workforce Solutions Program, which funds sectoral projects that help employers attract and retain a skilled workforce that includes members of equity-deserving groups, including persons with disabilities;
  • the Canada Summer Jobs program – part of the Youth Employment and Skills Strategy – which provides funding for not-for-profit organizations, public sector employers and businesses with 50 or fewer full-time employees to create summer job opportunities for youth;
  • the Canadian Apprenticeship Strategy, which aims to support a skilled, certified and inclusive trades workforce. Under the strategy, equity-deserving groups, including persons with disabilities, get the support they need to enter and succeed in the trades; and
  • the Opportunities Fund for Persons with Disabilities, which supports projects that help employers to hire and retain employees with disabilities and create more inclusive and accessible workplaces.

Ottawa is doing the advertising campaign via social media, the web, podcasts and radio.

"When workplaces become more accessible, we all win. By continuing the Inclusive Workplaces campaign, our government is taking another step in making our country and its workplaces more inclusive for persons with disabilities,” said Kamal Khera, minister of diversity, inclusion and persons with disabilities.

About 8 million Canadians – or 27% – of Canadians aged 15 and over report having a disability that limits them in their daily activities, according to the 2022 Canada Survey on Disability, according to the government. And 30.4% of persons with a disability are not in the labour force.

Also, workers with disabilities faced a 21.4% pay gap when compared with those without disabilities: persons with disabilities earn 79 cents to every dollar earned by persons without disabilities, according to Statistics Canada (StatCan).

“I encourage all Canadians to join me in raising awareness about accessibility and disability inclusion in their own communities and workplaces,”said Khera. “I also encourage employers to learn more about the support and resources available for creating more accessible workplaces and enhancing the hiring and retention of employees with disabilities."

Boosting inclusivity of disabilities

Here’s how to be more inclusive of people with disabilities in the workplace, according to Julie Kratz, chief engagement officer at Next Pivot Point:

  • Practice acts of inclusion every day, including: 
    • adjustments to work hours and office layouts
    • specialized equipment to accommodate needs
    • interpreters and closed captions for those with vision or hearing disabilities
  • Shift you language by:
    • Say “person with a disability” rather than “disabled person”
    • Say “non-disabled person” rather than “able-bodied”
    • Say “person with autism” rather than “autistic person”
  • Stay committed to allyship.

 

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