From exclusion to inclusion

Tapping the talents of people with disabilities.
By Ruth Wright
|CHRR, Guide to Recruitment & Staffing|Last Updated: 02/24/2002

Employers say they’re keen to hire people with disabilities, they just haven’t. According to research conducted by the Conference Board of Canada employers demonstrate a high degree of awareness and support for diversity in the workplace and have policies about making their workplace more representative of the general population. But that isn’t translating into more people with disabilities finding jobs.

A key factor is the lack of experience going outside “mainstream” sources to find and recruit personnel. As a result of the plentiful labour supply in the past, conventional HR practices have proven to be a model for exclusion of people who are outside the mainstream, and it takes a major shift to adopt an inclusionary approach.

The impending shortage of workers due to the aging workforce has overtaken concerns about social justice to make employers rethink attitudes toward people with disabilities, who represent an underutilized pool of labour.