Canadian Business SenseAbility promotes untapped talent pool

Organization touts business benefits of hiring people with disabilities

Canadian Business SenseAbility — a national, not-for-profit organization created to help more Canadian companies access the benefits of hiring people with disabilities — launched on Sept. 17 in Toronto.

“There is a strong business case for hiring people with disabilities,” said Kathy Martin, chair of Canadian Business SenseAbility. “It’s good for business in terms of higher employee retention, lower absenteeism, improved safety, innovation and revenue growth.”

SenseAbility was established as an outcome of the Government of Canada’s 2012 Panel on Labour Market Opportunities for Persons with Disabilities. The panel’s report documented organizations employing people with disabilities see higher retention rates, revenue growth and customer goodwill.

“Companies should not limit their search for employees in any way,” said David C. Onley, Lieutenant Governor of Ontario and the honorary patron of SenseAbility. “There are almost 800,000 skilled people with disabilities ready and able to work today — half with post-secondary education and training. My message to business is that when you open your door wider, you don’t lower the bar. You reap the benefits in better business performance.”

SenseAbility received start-up funding from the federal government and will be sustained through corporate support. Founding companies include Deloitte LLP, Tim Hortons, Royal Bank of Canada, Loblaw Companies Limited, Sodexo Canada and Assumption Life.

By providing education and practical tools for sustained and measurable business success, SenseAbility hopes to help businesses recognize and act on the strategic advantage of this large, untapped talent pool.

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