Goodwill Industries of Alberta has launched a new program aimed at bringing together employers with people who have a disability and are looking for work.
“Goodwill runs disability awareness and mental awareness training for Alberta businesses once a month,” program co-ordinator, Murray Davidson, told me. “We have some great people working in this province. Their ability to work adds to their contributions to society and to their own self-esteem. Satisfied employers can integrate these folks into the culture of their business and that adds value as well.”
October is Disability Employment Awareness Month across Canada. One in seven Canadians reported a disability. That translates into about 370,000 Albertans. Less than half of working-age Canadians with disabilities are employed, according to a 2012 report from Statistics Canada. One in four workers with disabilities choose not to disclose limitations to employers.
These are big numbers. Goodwill Industries is a non-profit group dedicated to creating meaningful job opportunities for Albertans with disabilities. Education is critically important in this regard.
“If we can bring awareness and dispel a lot of myths around disabilities and realize we are all just individuals with different levels of abilities, we will all benefit from being part of an inclusive community,” says Murray Davidson.