February 12, 2020
Disability Confident Employers – A Thrilling Shift in the Landscape
Who is CCRW? We are the Canadian Council on Rehabilitation and Work, a national, not-for-profit organization with the sole mandate of employment. We support the business community, both small/medium sized business and large corporations, and the talent- the job seekers with disabilities. We create avenues for businesses to meet employees – an untapped talent pool of people with disabilities – and advocate for an employment landscape where the aspirations of people with disabilities coincide with the needs of business.
What really drives the work we do at CCRW is having the ability and the platform to share our resources, experience, expertise and skills to make employment opportunities accessible for every qualified candidate and seeing the impact employment has in the lives of people from coast to coast. This driving force is especially true when we consider the transfer of this knowledge to business – their role in employment is critical as we move to change the landscape of employment for people with disabilities across the country. They hold the key to access employment – the jobs! This is why our laser focus on employment encompasses our every being as an organization, as well as the projects, programs and services we deliver. Employment runs through our veins, led by the talented pool we serve at the heart, and is brought in to focus by the business lens of our brain.
We pay close attention to publications released by the business community such as, “Canadians with Disabilities: Seizing the Opportunity”, released by senior economists at TD Bank, and, “Labour Shortage: Here to Stay”, a study released by Business Development Bank of Canada. Staying on the pulse of business allows us to create talent pipelines to respond to need, as well as have the best-informed approach to the work we do with the talent we work with across Canada!
We also follow developments in academic research, some of this through WWDPI webinars. For example, Susanne Bruyère presented an incredible fact in her recent presentation – 95% of employers provide accommodations for people without disabilities. This is a great insight to employer’s minds – they have the equipment and the ability to accommodate. We just need to continue to support them to bridge the experience they demonstrate into the realm of disability and accommodations. Learn more in her webinar, “Workplace Disability Accessibility and Accommodation: The Role of HR Professionals.”
Emile Tompa and Rebecca Gewurtz’s work on financial incentives will help CCRW use tools properly, without further marginalizing an already oppressed population, and we will be able to lead other organizations working with people with disabilities to understand how to use these tools for success. Learn more in their webinar, “Financial Incentives of Hiring People with Disabilities.”
It’s been thrilling to see the shift in the landscape in Canada, away from only focusing on people with disabilities and how they need to change in order to become participating members in the labour market, to helping businesses morph into disability confident employers. It levels the playing field. I am honoured to lead the organization that is on the cutting edge of this work and continue to be excited about being on the edge of the precipice of Canadian change for 22% of our population.