Supporting Employees with Disabilities
Are you an employer interested in hiring a person with a disability? Or are you looking for tips to better support a member of your team that has a disability? Here are some tips to make your workplace more welcoming and accommodating for all candidates:
- When posting your job, make a note that the company is inclusive and accessible. You can do this by including an inclusivity statement on your website, or on your job posting.
- Candidates usually visit company websites throughout the hiring process - ensure your website is AODA compliant (visit www.aoda.ca for more information).
- Short-list and interview the same way you would for any candidate - whether or not they have a disability. Be sure to include the option for a candidate to request an accessible format for their interview if they require. That shows them that you are prepared and willing to accommodate if needed.
- During the hiring process, speak to the candidate directly and make eye contact, even if they have an interpreter or an attendant. In short, treat the person just as you would other individuals.
- The best time to ask about accommodations is with the job offer. Simply ask, "What can we provide or do that will make it possible for you to do this job most effectively?"
Resources for Employers
Humber College's Community Employment Services can offer support and resources for employers looking to hire people with disabilities, which include financial incentives of up to $8000 per individual to assist with workplace accommodation needs, among other pockets of funding.
The Ontario Disability Employment Network also offers numerous resources for employers.
This Alberta website has excellent tips and resources.
Canadian Business SenseAbility is an organization created by business for business. The mandate is to help companies access the real, tangible benefits of employing talented people with disabilities: lower turnover, training and safety costs, greater innovation, and access to untapped markets. Primarily, they are advocating for people with disabilities who are graduates of postsecondary and apprenticeship training programs.
- www.ohrc.on.ca, AODA Compliance Checklist.pdf
These websites are helpful for more information about the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA).
Discover Ability is a great resource that highlights the positive impact that hiring persons with disabilities can have on your company.
The National Educational Association of Disabled Students (NEADS) is an organization that supports full access to education and employment for post-secondary students and graduates with disabilities across Canada.
The Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP) offers a variety of employment resources for persons with disabilities and for employers.