Ottawa, Ontario — The Government of Canada has partnered with Canadian business leaders to identify successes and best practices in the employment of people with disabilities, as well as the barriers faced by employers in employing people with disabilities. Today, the Honourable Diane Finley, Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development, and the Honourable Jim Flaherty, Minister of Finance, announced the release of Rethinking disAbility in the Private Sector, the report of the Panel on Labour Market Opportunities for Persons with Disabilities.
“Our Government is committed to working with our partners to remove barriers and help Canadians with disabilities find jobs,” said Minister Finley. “Canada is facing skills and labour shortages in many sectors, and finding ways to get all Canadians working is key to meeting this challenge.”
First announced in Economic Action Plan 2012, the Panel was created to identify private-sector successes and best practices with regard to the labour market participation of people with disabilities. The Panel conducted about 200 in-person, telephone and online consultations with employers of all sizes across the country and in a broad range of industry sectors to identify successes and barriers in employing people with disabilities.
“I am very pleased with the important work done by the Panel,” added Minister Flaherty. “Our Government is committed to helping more people with disabilities be employed by encouraging inclusive workplaces and removing barriers to employment, but we can’t do it alone. Employers in the private sector also have a key role in employing Canadians with disabilities.”
The report highlights actions employers can take to accommodate people with disabilities in their workplaces, as well as the benefits to both individuals and businesses. As well, the report recognizes the need for business leadership and effective community partnerships.
“We were impressed by the support and participation of so many Canadian corporations. Collaboration is the key to finding better ways to access the talent and skills of Canadians with disabilities, and we all benefit when this happens,” said Kenneth J. Fredeen, Chair of the Panel and General Counsel of Deloitte & Touche LLP. “There is a strong business case to be made for businesses hiring people with disabilities.”
The Government of Canada supports numerous programs and initiatives to promote the inclusion and full participation of people with disabilities in Canadian society. Some of these measures include the Registered Disability Savings Plan, the Labour Market Agreements for Persons with Disabilities, the Enabling Accessibility Fund and the Opportunities Fund for Persons with Disabilities. The Panel on Labour Market Opportunities for Persons with Disabilities’ report, Rethinking disAbility in the Private Sector, is available online at www.hrsdc.gc.ca/eng/consultations/past.shtml and in alternative formats.