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Spotlight the National Employment Awareness Month for Persons with Disabilities




The times are getting tougher, getting harder and harder to stay in today’s work. The endless Covid-19 pandemic has played a brutal role for thousands of people suffering from viral unemployment.

For those who have a job – their jobs are certainly cut out for them, as positions are constantly being reimagined to accommodate the ever-changing employment environment in Canada created by the pandemic.

And the challenges for people with disabilities are far greater in today’s workforce.

Canadians with disabilities have also been hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a new analysis by Statistics Canada, reporting temporary or permanent unemployment or time savings since March.

According to a survey, an estimated 25% of Canadians with disabilities are underemployed and likely to live in poverty.

The rights of persons with disabilities are set out in the Canadian Human Rights Law and the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedom. Nonetheless, the Commission on Human Rights (CHRC) stated on its website that “Persons with disabilities are looking for a job, looking for accommodation at work, when trying to grow or advance their career. We continue to face barriers and stigma. ”

You shouldn’t do this. According to the website, “People with disabilities have a hard time finding employment and it’s a talent pool that employers often overlook.” The board said, “Employment barriers. From negative attitudes and false assumptions about an individual’s abilities to job-seeking procedures that are often difficult for people with disabilities. “

Many people can work, especially work spaces and facilities are more accessible, and people with disabilities can become part of the workforce.

October is National Employment Awareness Month for Persons with Disabilities (NDEAM), an annual event celebrating the importance of workers with disabilities and inclusive employment practices. (DEAM’s central message is to promote employment inclusion for people with disabilities and to celebrate the many diverse contributions of workers with disabilities.)

This message is especially important given the length of employment that many are struggling with as Canada is navigating the COVID-19 economic recovery.

According to the Government of Canada website (, “Comprehensive practices help reduce sales, improve attendance and safety records, involve employees, and boost corporate morale.” , Comprehensive workplace is suitable for business.

There is an army of companies that accept this mission. Companies like Amazon and its “All Abilities Hiring” policy employ people with disabilities in a variety of roles, from engineering to accounting, customer service, sorting and distribution centers, and everything in between. From a recent Amazon press release, “We’ve designed the employee experience to be intentionally accessible so that people with disabilities can reach their goals.”

In fact, the March of Dimes Canada and Amazon are celebrating the first anniversary of their own Mississauga-based employment program. This program provides people with disabilities with a path to full-time employment, including all the benefits.

Employment of persons with disabilities is near Mark Wafer, a disability rights activist who is an internationally recognized expert in inclusion economics and an advisor to governments around the world, including Canada, in employment strategies for persons with disabilities. This is an important theme.

Until recently, Wafer, a member of the Hall of Fame for the Disabled, was the owner of a series of highly successful Tim Hortons locations in Toronto, and in his 25-year business, he has 200 people in all areas of his business. I was hiring the above disabled people. Including senior management. At any given time, about 17% of his workforce was identified as having a disability.

“Employment awareness month for people with disabilities is October, but employment issues in our community are ongoing,” Wafer said in a recent interview. “Statistics show horrific unemployment and very low participation.”

“While the time has come for action, we want to believe that the time of awareness is behind us, but in reality, too many employers and society as a whole niche the disabled community. And consider it a consumable item, especially during times of crisis such as war and pandemics. “

From experience, Wafer says: “As a Deaf person, I knew the challenges and barriers faced by people with disabilities, but that wasn’t the reason I hired them, because I thought it was good for my business.”

The pandemic has revealed how difficult it is to be disabled and not work, Wafer adds. “Work changes everything. It allows individuals to lead a fulfilling life. By paying taxes, individuals can contribute to society and the economy. This is who’s personal growth. But the problem of people with disabilities is that finding a job is just because the employer and the HR department are still in favor of a set of myths, misunderstandings and stereotypes. It can be daunting at work. “

Considering the current employment situation, it is a profound word. Ultimately, this special lunar message is one of the important words that a strong workforce is inclusive.

With numbers

“In many cases, it’s normal for humans to make decisions based on unconscious prejudice,” says Wafer. “I’m a disabled person, but I believed I knew the abilities and abilities of all the 200 people with disabilities who came to work with us. I was wrong 200 times. Although not superheroes, their abilities are always far superior to what others believe. “

Wafer provides statistics from his own business to show the success of his own employment practices.

– When we sold our business, we had 250 employees, 46 of whom were identified as disabled. The absenteeism rate of 46 disabled employees was 85% lower than the 200 not identified as disabled. The data is scalable, and DuPont Corp in the United States reported that employees with disabilities had 86% less absenteeism than their regular workforce.

– Our safety rating was the highest possible in the Quick Services sector. People with disabilities work more safely and are less likely to break policies. As a hearing impaired person, I need to be more aware of my surroundings. People in wheelchairs do not climb the box to reach the item. People without disabilities always do this, and that’s how accidents happen. However, the evidence is that they have not completed an occupational accident report for an employee identified as disabled for 25 years.

– Innovation is created by hiring regular workers who solve problems in different ways. When employees use wheelchairs and drives to operate hand controls, their entire routine is different from ours and is a kind of problem-solving feature that leads to innovation.

– Employees with disabilities stay at work up to 7 times longer than employees without disabilities. In other words, employee turnover is reduced.

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