Persons with disabilities (PwDs) are an under-utilized talent pool in Canada, despite significant strides in post-secondary achievements and work readiness. BHER, on behalf of our members, is working to understand and undo barriers to work for PwDs.

The Government of Canada is developing new accessibility regulations as part of the Accessible Canada Act, with the goal of making workplaces barrier-free for PwDs by 2040. In partnership with the Canadian National Institute for the Blind (CNIB), and with funding from Accessibility Standards Canada, we spoke to employers about the barriers, needs, and enablers when it comes to hiring, supporting, and retaining PwDs. 

The hiring and EDI managers we spoke to face misconceptions about how to accommodate PwDs, prohibitive organizational structures and hiring processes, and capacity and funding needs. One Crown corporation talent leader noted: “Hiring more PwDs is not only the moral thing to do, it's a business decision: there is an amazing talent pool of candidates that are ready to work and commit to your organization. We need this talent more than ever in the current market.”

Clearly, employers need information, resources, and support to create inclusive workplaces. To get started, they need to know where to find help and who they can partner with. 

Our report, available to all here, also offers a tool that helps employers self-identify what level they are at in the journey to universal accessibility, and a guide to available supports for employers.

This work is part of a larger series of BHER projects that facilitate increasing accessibility for a better future of work for all Canadians. The recent federal budget announcement reaffirmed Canada’s commitment to the Disability Inclusion Action Plan, and BHER looks forward to supporting this with further projects in partnership with CNIB, as well as exciting new work on digital accessibility with eCampusOntario. 

To schedule an interview with BHER, please contact @email