The Conference Board of Canada, in partnership with the government of Ontario, has released a new free resource to help employers make their workplaces more inclusive.
The Employers Toolkit: Making Ontario Workplaces Accessible to People with Disabilities is intended to help employers to understand and implement the employment standard related to the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA).
“Employers across Ontario will have to implement the employment standard over the next five years. This tool kit will help organizations make their workplaces more inclusive. A strong business case exists for creating accessible and inclusive work environments for employees with disabilities,” said Ruth Wright, director, human resources management research, at the Conference Board of Canada.
“The full inclusion of people with disabilities in all aspects of community life and the workplace opens the door to their full participation in the economy as customers, entrepreneurs and employees. An inclusive work environment is one where everyone is treated with respect and all employees are valued for their contributions.”
Labour shortages are looming in Ontario. A 2007 Conference Board report indicated that vacancies in Ontario could reach 190,000 in 2020, and rise to 364,000 by 2025 and to 564,000 by 2030.
According to Statistics Canada, 15.5 per cent of Ontarians had a disability in 2006. And Ontario government data reveal that in 2009, people with disabilities were three times more likely than people without disabilities to be unemployed or out of the labour force.
This tool kit helps employers of all sizes to implement the employment standard. It includes:
• special text boxes that introduce each of the individual sections of the employment standard requirements
• tips and good practices to promote inclusive practices at all stages of employment
• case studies to help employers to see how others have successfully implemented accessible strategies and policies
• tips for small businesses that frame the requirements of the employment standard according their specific circumstances
• tools and templates that employers can tailor to their own organizations.
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