While the majority of employers chose to ignore David Foote’s book, ‘Boom, Bust, and Echo’, many are regretting their lack of planning as they scramble to fill the empty positions in their organizations. It is now a regular occurrence to see ‘Help Wanted’ signs in the store windows.
Construction projects are springing up everywhere in the communities on Vancouver Island, some being delayed by the lack of workers. It is not only labour positions that are in short supply, but right throughout all areas with skilled workers.
As the unemployment percent dips, those who are unemployed tend to be the more disadvantaged. Persons with a disability tend to be overlooked by employers and as a result, the workforce is missing out on extremely good employees. The unemployment rate for persons with a disability is many times higher and needlessly so.
There are many myths about hiring employees with disabilities. These myths and realities were published by the Province of Alberta’s Human Services. Below is an excerpt from their article. To view the complete article visit: www.humanservices,Alberta.ca/disability-services/myths-of-hiring-people-with-disabilities.html
- Employees with disabilities require expensive specialized equipment.
Not everyone with a disability requires specialized equipment and where it is necessary, most job accommodations are simple and inexpensive.
- Employees with disabilities are frequently absent from work.
Workers with disabilities have the same or better attendance records as other employees according to studies by organizations like DuPont. Workers with disabilities also tend to stay longer on the job.
- My Worker’s Compensation premiums will rise if I hire someone with a disability.
Worker’s Compensation rates are based on the hazards of the operation and the organization’s accident record, not on how many employees have disabilities.
- If they don’t work out, I can’t discipline or fire them.
Employing a person with a disability is the same as any other worker. You must establish clear performance expectations from the start. If they are unable or unwilling to do the job, you can discipline or terminate their employment.
- People with disabilities are more likely to have accidents.
A study by DuPont found that people with disabilities actually have a lower risk of injury at work.
- They will always need help.
People with disabilities are more independent than you might think. They have learned to live their lives and complete a myriad of daily tasks despite any challenges they may have.
- It’s risky to interview someone with a disability, because it’s so easy to break human rights laws.
Interviewing someone with a disability isn’t any different than interviewing anyone else – just focus on the requirements of the job and their ability to do the job. Tell them about the job and ask if they are able to complete all of the required tasks.
- People with disabilities don’t have the skills or education that I require.
The majority of people with disabilities have a high school diploma, over half have some post-secondary education, and more than one in three have a post-secondary diploma.
- People with disabilities are unable to meet performance standards.
A DuPont study which involved 2,745 employees with disabilities found that 92 percent of employees with disabilities rated average or better on their performance.
- Individuals with disabilities are not as productive or don’t work as hard as employees without disabilities.
In a study by Louis Harris and Associates nearly 80% of the managers said that their employees with a disability work as hard or harder than their employees without a disability.
The workforce shortage is going to continue and increase. We have people who want to work and can fill many of the available positions if we change our lenses to see ability rather than disability.
“The greatest disability is the inability to take advantage of your abilities.”
Khang Kijarro Nguyen
As always, feel free to share this post giving credit to the author.