It’s Disability Employment Awareness Month, but still lots of room for improvement, say advocates


Agata Gawron would not know if she ought to disclose her incapacity whereas wanting and making use of for work.

The 42-year-old has been combating psychological sickness since she was a youngster.

Recently she misplaced her job, and the Regina resident says she believes that is associated to her hidden incapacity and her “poor psychological well being.”

“The obstacles that I face probably the most usually is being ashamed of my incapacity,” Gawron advised Blue Sky host Garth Materie on Tuesday.

“If anyone had been to have a look at me on the road, possibly it is not as evident that I’ve a incapacity…. You cannot actually discover the appropriate scenario to strategy your supervisor or employer and inform them that you simply’re struggling with this and that you’ll want to take care of your self.”

Gawron is frightened she won’t get employed if she reveals her incapacity through the software course of, but she is conscious of the challenges a non-disclosure may create afterward.

Nikki Langdon, the Neil Squire Society’s regional supervisor for Saskatchewan may be very aware of this catch-22.

Her group provides employment applications and know-how to assist folks dwelling with disabilities.

“If you do not disclose previous to an occasion or one thing going unsuitable within the job, the employer doesn’t need to accommodate you,” stated Langdon.

“It’s greatest to search out an company that can assist you to to know your rights, tips on how to disclose your incapacity and tips on how to ask for the lodging you want.”

Blue Sky49:46Sask. organizations work to convey a lightweight to Disability Employment Awareness Month

October is Disability Employment Awareness Month. Many organizations work yr spherical to open doorways to employment for folks of all skills. We hear from them and listeners.

An ‘untapped’ workforce

In 2017 solely 59 per cent of working-age Canadians who recognized as having a incapacity had been employed, in contrast with 80 per cent of folks aged 25 to 64 years with out disabilities, in line with Statistics Canada.

Disability Employment Awareness Month in Canada was established to extend consciousness about the advantages of hiring folks with disabilities, the Government of Canada says on-line.

However, folks with disabilities proceed to face completely different challenges with regards to getting a job.

“It’s such a large spectrum,” stated Langdon. “Usually stigma is the largest barrier.”

Not each particular person with the identical analysis would possibly want the identical sort of assist, she stated.

However, none of her shoppers need any particular remedy. They simply wish to do jobs they’re excited by and have the ability set for, stated Langdon.

“There’s a complete untapped, very expert workforce ready there for you,” she stated.

“I’ve a incapacity. I’m a tough employee. I handle this area. You do not wish to miss out on an amazing worker simply because of a label.”

Accommodation can profit folks with disabilities

Regina’s Carla Harris agrees with Langdon and says corporations are lacking out on lots of alternatives in the event that they hesitate to rent folks with disabilities.

“The issues that I wanted as accessibility lodging had been truly helpful for different staff as nicely,” stated Harris.

“It would not assist when an organization has a extremely massive car parking zone for somebody like me who cannot drive. And I advocate that companies who supply parking to their staff additionally let the worker select if they might slightly have a free month-to-month bus cross.”

Other folks benefiting from such an strategy may additionally embody residents preferring utilizing transit for environmental causes or people who find themselves struggling to afford proudly owning and refueling a automobile, stated Harris.

Carla Harris is a disabled queer author, performer and interdisciplinary artist dwelling in Regina. (Submitted by Carla Harris)

Often the group benefiting from sure instruments or assist programs, designed to help folks with disabilities, is way broader than the meant neighborhood, Harris stated.

For instance applications providing captioning may also be useful for staff with English as a second language, she stated.

In addition, employees with disabilities have the expertise and information to assist higher serve shoppers with disabilities and their households who would possibly require tailored companies, she stated.

This turns into particularly vital with an ageing Canadian inhabitants, she stated, and nearly one quarter of the nation’s inhabitants aged 15 years and older reporting a number of disabilities in 2017, in line with Statistics Canada.

“The greatest solution to ensure that your organization is being inclusive and it is efficiently going to be a spot the place everybody may purchase their stuff and feels welcome, is hiring individuals who have disabilities,” stated Harris.

“Let’s get rid of the expectation that lodging are solely for an individual in a wheelchair.”

In 2021, Statistics Canada famous an increase in psychological health-related disabilities amongst working Canadians in contrast with 2019. (Statistics Canada)

Gawron has all the time been frightened about sustaining employment, she advised CBC on Wednesday. Her job has been her id, giving her a objective to get up within the morning.

But dwelling with anorexia and bulimia have negatively impacted her capability to focus at occasions, stated Gawron. 

More than two million Canadians aged 15 and older have been dwelling with a mental-health associated incapacity, in line with Statistics Canada knowledge from 2017.

As Gawron is now scanning the job market for becoming alternatives, she hopes to get a good probability through the hiring course of and past. She desires corporations to do extra than simply put up guarantees of inclusivity on their web sites.

“Practice what you preach, do not simply have it as a result of it appears good,” stated Gawron.

“There’s nothing extra degrading and nothing extra hurtful to anyone like me than being beneath the impression that you’re inclusive and also you’re actually not.”


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