There are many reasons to consider hiring a person with a disability. The most obvious might be to help satisfy your obligations under the federal Employment Equity Act, which requires certain employers to have a staff that is reflective of the percentage of persons with disabilities in the Canadian workforce. But this should not be your only reason. Statistics show that 2.3 million or 13% of Canadians between 15 and 64 years of age have disabilities. To exclude that many people with otherwise potentially excellent qualifications and abilities does not make a lot of business sense. Many employers in our community have been able to overcome society’s misconceptions about the employability of people with disabilities and have benefited greatly as a result. In fact, 1 in 8 Canadians currently in the workforce has a disability and studies have shown that greater than 80% of them rate as average or above average in safety, attendance, and overall performance of job duties.
The fact is that an employee with a disability can be a valuable asset to your organization. CareerQuest can help you find the right candidate to satisfy your business needs. Moreover, we provide a variety of support services, usually at no cost to the employer, to ensure a candidate’s successful integration into the work environment. These services can include:
Unpaid Work Placements
If you are uncertain of a candidate’s ability, CareerQuest can arrange an unpaid work placement to allow you to determine if he/she can satisfy the requirements of the position, as long as paid employment is available upon successful completion.
For a worker with a physical disability, CareerQuest can perform a workstation analysis to determine what, if any, assistive devices are needed to maximize comfort and productivity.
The needs of many workers can be accommodated with minimal investments in ergonomic assistive devices. Through the recommendations of a workstation analysis or other valid means, CareerQuest can provide, at no cost to the employer, a number of the most commonly required assistive devices: ergonomic writing tools, back and seat supports, fully adjustable footrests, heating pads, inclined writing surfaces, etc.
Computer Assistive Devices
Candidates with hand or arm-related disabilities can receive training in unimanual keyboarding skills or Dragon NaturallySpeaking, a speech-recognition software application. For candidates with a visual impairment, CareerQuest can provide assistive computer programs such as JAWS or ZoomText and offer on-the-job training to the user.
Once a candidate is placed in a job, CareerQuest can offer a job coach to assist with implementing assistive devices and compensatory strategies to ensure a smooth transition to successful and sustained employment.
Even after a successful job placement, CareerQuest can continue to monitor progress for a period of time to address potential concerns or barriers that may arise during the first months of employment