We are sometimes blinded by what we see or our perceptions of who people are. We consciously or subconsciously measure their abilities by what we see or hear. That is not who they are.
Physical or mental issues can set limits, but by no means limits a person’s ability to contribute and enjoy the engagement of working and contributing. We live in a timeframe where the workforce is struggling, and we need everyone who can contribute to the workforce to do so.
In my opinion there are two things that prevent this from happening. One is employer attitude because they tend to ‘see’ someone who is not capable without even considering them. Also, they may feel that this person is going to cost them a lot of money for accommodations in the workplace. The second is knowledge that there are programs that can assist them in becoming self-employed and working to their capacity.
In the first case where employers are worried about costs, most accommodations are less than $500. There are also employers who have Social Enterprises and employ and train those with developmental disabilities such as the COCO Café in Cedar, BC, and the Pie Factory in Parksville, BC.
In the second, the Self-Employment P through the Employment Program of British Columbia can give individuals the knowledge needed to start their business. All they need is to be unemployed and visit their local WorkBC Employment Centre.
Everyone deserves to experience life to their potential. This can only happen when we take off the glasses of judgment and view everyone as capable human beings. Let’s work towards inclusion, not exclusion.
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