Creating Accessible Workplaces
Creating our Accessible Workforce
- 49% of persons with disabilities are employed vs. 79% of persons without a disability.
- Post-secondary graduates with a disability are less likely to hold management positions and typically earn less than their peers.
- 33% of persons with disabilities in Canada have been refused job opportunities as a result of their disability.
- Individuals with disabilities frequently have a precarious attachment to the labour market as they are more likely to be employed in short-term, temporary and contractual positions. (Statistics Canada, 2015)
Inclusive Hiring Practices
- Host interviews in an accessible space.
- Prepare for disability-related accommodations (e.g. technology, support person, ASL interpreter, etc.).
- Include a mission statement about your organization’s commitment to employment equity on job postings.
- Accept applications through a variety of methods (e.g. online, email or in-person).
- Communicate through multiple approaches (e.g. phone, email, text, VRS, etc.).
- Focus interview questions entirely on an individual’s education, experiences, skills and strengths.
- Offer individuals a chance to view questions in a quiet space before starting.
- Determine the best candidate through a holistic approach – equal emphasis on the interview, resumé, professionalism, experiences, and skills.
Virtual Interview Considerations
- Ensure interview candidates have access to the technology that will be used.
- Provide candidates time to become comfortable with the software before the start of the interview.
- Share interview questions via the chat function or the share screen feature.
- Communicate the plan if a disconnection or interruption occurs. Interruptions should not be considered in the formal interview performance evaluation.
Building your Inclusive Culture
- Increase knowledge of Universal Design* and implement key principles that will allow all employees to represent, express and engage throughout the work environment.
- Follow the Accessible Communication** guidelines for all internal and external communication (e.g. documents, presentations, marketing material, etc.).
- Encourage employees to use assistive technology to improve the quality and productivity of their work (e.g. laptops, tablets, screen readers, smart pens, etc.).
- Ensure the organization's office space, meetings, team events and private functions take place in accessible locations.
- Establish a workplace culture that values open communication through the use of respectful and person-first language.
- Encourage all employees to identify ways to increase their success within the work environment (e.g. flexibility, technology, office equipment, etc.).
- Participate in professional development opportunities to increase knowledge of best practices for creating an accessible and inclusive workplace.
Connect with Others
- Build and establish positive working relationships with community organizations that support the achievement of an equitable workforce.
- Exchange knowledge and best practices with other organizations and businesses.
Please connect with Career Development (firstname.lastname@example.org) if you any questions or would like to have a conversation.
Feel free to also connect with Claire LeDrew directly via email (email@example.com) or phone (709) 864-7074 VRS calls welcomed.