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Mindsets Are Shifting On Disability Employment In Some Companies

It is not unheard of for individuals with disabilities to be discriminated against when they apply for a job. However, multiple industry leaders and studies are finding that hiring an individual with a disability can actually be beneficial to a company. The Ontario Disability Employment Network has responded to the growing conversation.

Currently, more than six million Canadians identify as having a disability; globally, this balloons to 1.3 billion. Former Wall Street Trader turned CEO and author Rich Donovan calls this the "world's largest emerging market," controlling billions of dollars in disposable income. He argues that leaving this 24.5 percent of people with a disability out of contention for a job can be detrimental to a company trying to hire the best and brightest, while those who embrace this community can find themselves looking through a pool of untapped talent. Donovan, who has cerebral palsy, counts himself as an example of this.

A spokesperson for the Ontario Disability Employment Network commends the fact that employers are looking at the benefits of hiring individuals with disabilities rather than looking at it as a "charitable" effort. They point to statistics that show employees with disabilities as having lower rates of absenteeism and higher rates of retention. However, they caution against putting any group of people on a pedestal.

October is National Disability Employment Awareness Month. For this reason, there are many conversations taking place about how disabled Canadians may be an asset in the workforce. Despite these changes, many people find it impossible to return to work in the same field or capacity as they previously did when they are disabled due to an accident. In these cases, speaking with a lawyer about legal options for restitution is a good idea.


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