Support for Employers to Strengthen Disability Inclusion
Halifax, NS, Dec 1 – For the International Day of Persons with Disabilities on December 3, the Canadian Association for Supported Employment (CASE) encourages employers to reach out to their local employment service providers for support to strengthen disability inclusion.
While workplaces across the country struggle to find and retain talent, nearly 645,000 Canadians experiencing disability have the skill and potential to work.¹ Canadians experiencing disability face more barriers to employment, resulting in lower employment rates and in earnings that are 20 per cent lower than Canadians without disability.²
National Network of Support for Employers
Progress has been made in the past few years to remove barriers to employment for persons experiencing disability and to create more inclusive workplaces. Support is also available to employers to integrate disability inclusion at all stages of the employment cycle.
“In the past four years, CASE has collaborated with employment professionals and employers in communities across the country to develop resources and to build a network of support for employers,” said Joanna Goode, Executive Director at CASE. “Information and services are available, at no cost, for employers with varying levels of knowledge about disability inclusion.”
Online Training, Mentorships and Networking Events
Online training is available for employers on workplace inclusion and accessible communication. When these inclusive practices are integrated into an organization, they benefit all employees from the interview process to career development planning.
Short-term mentorships (from one hour to one day) can be facilitated that allow employers and job seekers experiencing disability to engage and to learn from one another. Networking events provide opportunities for employers to share their challenges and successes around disability inclusion. CASE also produces a newsletter that offers practical tips and resources for employers around workplace disability inclusion.
Innovation Key to Addressing Ongoing Challenges
While progress has been made on some fronts, systemic barriers to employment prevent persons experiencing disability from equitable access to employment. CASE’s Innovation Lab collaborates with organizations across the country to pilot promising practices and to share what they learn with others.
Inclusion Benefits Workplace Culture for All Employees
The effort employers put into building a diverse business environment is a worthwhile investment. In addition to expanding the hiring pool and consumer base, diversity has been shown to improve workplace culture and performance for all employees.
To learn more about hiring, retaining and promoting persons who experience disability, employers can email [email protected] or visit CASE’s website at supportedemployment.ca.
About the Canadian Association for Supported Employment:
The Canadian Association for Supported Employment (CASE) is a national association that facilitates opportunities for community-based employment service providers and stakeholders, including employers and persons who experience disability, to increase employment inclusion in Canada. CASE envisions a country in which all Canadians experiencing disability have equal opportunity to secure and sustain relevant, purposeful employment.
CASE initiatives are funded in part by the Government of Canada’s Opportunity Fund for Persons with Disabilities Program and the Sectoral Initiatives Program (SIP).
1. Employment and Social Development Canada Press Release. “Government of Canada creates the Disability Inclusion Business Council to champion and advance accessibility and inclusion in the work place.” Released December 7, 2022. Accessed October 3, 2023.
2. Statistics Canada. Earnings pay gap among persons with and without disabilities, 2019. Released June 27, 2023.