March 4, 2016 11:48 pm
Updated: March 4, 2016 11:50 pm

More B.C. companies hiring people with disabilities

A growing number of businesses are choosing to hire workers with physical or mental challenges. As Catherine Urquhart explains, many people are benefiting, as are the companies that employ them.

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An estimated 3.8 million Canadians have a disability, and increasingly, more of those individuals are employed. At London Drugs, they have dozens of people with disabilities on the payroll.

Among them is 22-year-old “Michael”, who has autism. One of his responsibilities at the store is managing the battery recycling bins.

In his words his job is “pretty good”, because “you help a lot of customers that need help”. For his boss Dave Woogman, having employees like Michael is a win-win.

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“I think it’s really important for London drugs as a company to be reflective of the community at large,” he says.

“It’s important to have people of all facets working here.”

Michael’s employment at London Drugs was facilitated by PosAbilities, a non-profit organization the helps people with disabilities find paid jobs.

“When employers have a diverse team it really raises the level of everybody involved…I think there has been a big shift towards understanding the benefits of hiring a diverse workforce,” when James Miller of PosAbilities.

Hiring people with disabilities is expected to be even more commonplace in years to come, as the mutual benefits are realized.

“If you’re willing to put the effort into these individuals,” says Woogman, “you will be rewarded.”

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