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The Employer’s Guide to Hiring People With Disabilities

The year 2022 began with an increase of 72% vacancies or 874,700 unfilled positions, according StatsCan. Employers are struggling to find and retain the labour they need. One of the ways to remedy this? Employers can assess their DEI policies and ensure they are taking an inclusive approach to recruiting. Simply by auditing DEI policies, employers can identify ways that they can open up more opportunities to more members of the labour force. 

Carleton University in Ottawa, next door to the Ontario East region, has shared a guide from their READ Initiative (Research, Education, Accessibility, and Design) for employers looking to hire and work with people with disabilities. 

Employing people with disabilities will: 

  • help your business meet customer needs with a workforce that is more reflective of society; 78% of your customers are more likely to buy a product or service from a business that hires people with disabilities
  • expand resource and talent pool
  • do your part to promote universal access
  • improve retention rates; retention is 72% among people with disabilities 

Creating an Inclusive Workplace for Hiring People With Disabilities

If you conduct an audit and find you have changes to make, don’t fret. Chances are you won’t have to implement big changes. Small simple steps can help you create a more inclusive and accessible workplace. 

  • Start from the top down: normalize disability in your workplace by taking opportunities to talk about disability issues 
  • Provide diversity education to all staff
  • Be open to providing accommodations 
  • Include people with disabilities in discussions about their workplace needs. Do not make assumption about their needs
  • Listen, be flexible, and do not be afraid to ask questions if you don’t understand something
  • And, of course, treat all individuals equally 

Make Your Job Postings More Accessible 

Learn 7 tips for how to create more effective - and accessible - job posts from the Ontario Disability Employment Network. Here are some highlights: 

  • Watch for wording that may exclude people with disabilities
  • Include an inclusive hiring statement
  • Avoid technical jargon that is non-essential to the posting
  • Use clear, simple, and easy to understand language

Read the entire Employers Guide to Hiring and Working With Professional with Disabilities from the David C. Onley Initiative For Employment and Enterprise Development provided by Carleton University’s READ Initiative (Research, Education, Accessibility, and Design)

Want More DEI Resources? Click Here 👇

DEI in your workplace

External links are provided as informational resources only and are not necessarily endorsed by Ontario East.


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