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4 Reasons Why Businesses Should Care About Disability Issues

Andrew Pulrang
Feb 21, 2022,12:47pm EST|112 views

Disability issues like accessibility, equal service, and employment rights are important to disabled people. But are they really important to anyone else?

Businesses are legally required to follow the Americans with Disabilities Act, state civil rights laws, and sometimes local accessibility standards as well. But there are ways to “comply” with these laws and regulations with only minimal attention and care. And too many businesses still tend to think of accessibility and disability accommodations as semi-voluntary “good deeds.”

The Rise In Telework During The Pandemic, An Opportunity For Accessibility And Inclusion

Debra RuhForbes Councils Member

Focusing on inclusion and diversity is more important than ever during a crisis like the Covid-19 pandemic.

Throughout the pandemic, many were forced to socially isolate and physically distance themselves in order to limit the spread of the pathogen. Nations went into an economic recession, and millions lost their jobs. We saw people unable to work, and businesses closed.

People who have disabilities faced and continue to face unique challenges during a time like this, including inequality of support and a lack of access to information and communication technology. Accessibility can improve the lives of millions of people who have disabilities. This current inequality requires governments, decision-makers and organizations to start accelerating a digital transformation and expand the range of services for people who have disabilities for accessibility and digital inclusion.

Accessible Hiring Practices to Solve for The Great Resignation

January 19, 2022
Meagan Taylor

Meagan Taylor, a project manager at Deque Systems, is passionate about dismantling systemic barriers to capital and opportunity, including on the web.

Employees across industries are quitting their jobs. One recent study reported that one in four people quit their job this year. Whether we want to chalk it up to career moves that were delayed due to the uncertain pandemic economy, a reevaluation of work environments, or a revolt against unsatisfactory employers, one thing is certain: It’s a job seeker’s market, with more than 10 million job openings as of November.

Remote Work Increases Accessibility, Widens Talent Pool

The shift to remote work has meant tools once pitched as “reasonable accommodations” for people with disabilities are now mainstream. That opens up a previously underutilized hiring group for state and local government.

One million people with disabilities lost their jobs as the pandemic took hold in 2020. That’s one of the major negative impacts that lockdowns and the general economic downturn had on the disabled community. For a sense of scale, there are 1.9 million individuals with disabilities of working age (18 to 64) in just the state of California alone.

But there’s much more to it.

Opinion: The World Should Not Fall Into Its Old Ableist Habits as Covid Re-Openings Continue

Matt McCann says despite the challenges of Covid, some welcome changes have come for those with disabilities and those changes should not be lost. Matt McCann (Ireland), November7, 2021

COVID-19 HAS CHANGED the way the world works in numerous and dramatic ways. Since taking to the world stage, this virus has asserted itself and created a universal social disability for everyone, individuals, businesses and nations alike. It has, invariably, changed us all.

One positive note that this global pandemic has revealed, however, is that nothing is impossible for humanity when given the proper amount of focus, intention and support.

How The Labor Market Has Changed For People With Disabilities

Paula MorganContributor

The Labor Market Has Changed for People with Disabilities PEXELS
Even during the best times, men and women with disabilities experience challenges finding and keeping jobs. These challenges can range from insufficient workplace accommodations to difficulty getting transportation and even negative attitudes from managers and coworkers regarding their disability.

Despite only representing about 3 percent of the labor force, the economic fallout from the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has disproportionately affected workers with disabilities. Prior to the pandemic, individuals with disabilities were being hired for jobs faster than their counterparts without disabilities, which was welcome news that seemed to suggest a closing of the long-standing employment gap. In the first year of the pandemic, however, workers with disabilities lost nearly a million jobs – that is a 20 percent decline, compared to only a 14 percent decline among workers without disabilities.

Building Back BETTER: Will Disabled Lives Finally be Valued?

By John Rae

A Presentation delivered at the Disability and Work in Canada 2021 National Employment Conference: Achieving equality of opportunity and choice in careers, jobs and work, December 1, 2021

During the past four and a half decades that I have been active in Canada’s disability rights movement, many, many organizations have worked to improve employer attitudes and assist job-seekers with disabilities to find and retain employment. While I am sure that the individuals who have been assisted appreciate the efforts of these organizations, and while the variety of jobs currently held by Canadians with disabilities has grown somewhat, our overall rate of employment has only inched up very slowly and marginally.

How are Workplaces Supporting Canadian Workers With Disabilities?

November 28, 2021

This is the weekly Careers newsletter. If you’re reading this on the web or someone forwarded this e-mail newsletter to you, you can sign up for Globe Careers and all Globe newsletters at the link below. Radhika Panjwani is a former journalist from Toronto and a blogger.

Underneath the veneer of her successes and accomplishments in Canada’s charitable sector, Wanda Deschamps struggled to make sense of the duality she experienced at work where she says she was both “highly praised and harshly admonished.”

Ms. Deschamps says she was often misunderstood because she lacked the intuitive ability to interpret her colleagues’ non-verbal social cues. Even though she was highly intelligent and competent, she could come across as blunt.

CERB and CRB Discriminated Against Canadians With Disabilities, New Charter Challenge Claims The Star

Unlike other income replacement programs like parental or maternal benefits, the Canadian Pension Plan Disability benefit did not count toward the $5,000 threshold to qualify for CERB and CRB. By Rosa SabaBusiness
Toronto Star, Nov. 26, 2021

A worker with a disability has launched a challenge under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, claiming that the federal government’s COVID-19 relief programs for workers discriminated against workers with disabilities.

Valerie Jacob hopes this challenge could bring long-overdue recognition to the value of workers with disabilities and the many structural and cultural barriers they face in seeking and maintaining employment.

B.C. Charity Touts Diverse Hiring as Partial Solution to Labour Shortage

By Simon Little & Aaron McArthur Global News
Posted October 8, 2021

As businesses across British Columbia struggle with a labour shortage, one Vancouver-based charity thinks it has part of the solution.

Mission Possible says many employers are depriving themselves of good workers through unconscious bias and stigma around poverty, mental illness, disability and neurodiversity.

The organization, which helps people who have experienced homelessness or other major life challenges get back into the workforce, has now produced a hiring guidebook to help employers make use of a relatively untapped labour pool.