Did you know that almost 70% of adult Albertans with disabilities participate in the workforce? Physical disabilities only represent a fraction of the overall population. Invisible disabilities such as chronic pain, diabetes and depression exist in most employee’s everyday lives.
Many employers are making a claim that they support diversity and inclusion in their workplace. However, behind these claims there are varying levels of commitment. As an employer, are we actually walking the talk? Here are a few reasons why employers should aim to become more inclusive in supporting employment for persons with disabilities:
1. Good for business
Benefits include better job retention, higher attendance, lower turnover, enhanced job performance and work quality and better safety records. Other advantages of accessible employment practices include access to this untapped labour pool and large consumer market, enhanced disability management, improved brand image, and broader community/societal benefits.
2. New Accessibility Legislation
As an employer, you have a legal obligation to be inclusive and as well as a duty to accommodate. In addition, the federal government is expected to implement legislation designed to increase accessibility nationwide. This bill will aim to remove barriers in federally regulated sectors such as banking, inter-provincial transportation, telecommunications and government-run services such as Canada Post.
Research suggests that more diverse work teams create a wider range of solutions to business issues, and are often more innovative and creative.
4. Disability affects all of us
Persons with disabilities include our family members, friends and ourselves. At any stage in life, someone can develop a disability that may impact their employment. By fostering an environment of inclusion in our workplace, we can support, train and develop employees to reach their full potential.
This blog post is a re-post from CEFN- Calgary Employment First Network. Deanna Brousseau is a CPHR Candidate and Member Services Coordinator at CPHR Alberta