Access-Ability Program in Atlantic Canada through St. Mary's University

The Sobey School Business Development Centre (SSBDC) at St. Mary's University in Halifax, Nova Scotia is currently coordinating a program called Access-Ability: Employment Opportunities for Persons with Disabilities. The overall objective of Access-Ability is to give persons with disabilities the opportunity to apply their skills in a work setting consistent with their education and allow them to become leaders in their chosen fields. The project will focus on promoting advanced education and the development of advanced and essential skills.

The program is currently accepting applications from employers and participants in Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island. Employers participating in Access-Ability will attract diverse talent to their organization, providing essential career opportunities while receiving subsidies to enhance their business’ ability to grow.

Access-Ability provides:

  • A $12/hour subsidy for full-time employment for 52 weeks of work experience ($21,840 in funding)
  • Assistance with job posting and short listing of candidates
  • Mentoring for participants to enhance their work experience
  • Advice and monitoring throughout the program to ensure participants and employers are receiving the best possible experience

Employer requirements are as follows:

  • Provide a $4/hour wage top-up making the participants wage $16/hour (wage can be adjusted according to industry standards)
  • Submit monthly reports in regards to participant’s performance
  • Assign a mentor for the selected participant to ensure the participant’s integration into the workplace
  • Provide coverage of MERCs (mandatory employment related costs – CPP, EI, Vacation Pay) on the full wage

Eligibility requirements of candidates are as follows:

  • Self-identify as having a physical or mental disability
  • Be unemployed or underemployed
  • Legally entitled to work in Canada
  • Have not received Employment Insurance benefits in the past three years

AccessAbility works directly with employers, participants, agencies, and case managers to arrange work placements. The following organizations are eligible to participate:

  • An employer interested in posting a position and hiring through the program
  • A participant interested in setting up their own work placement
  • An agency or case manager who has a job match for a client or has clients who are interested in participating in the program
  • A person or organization just looking for further details about the program

For more information please email us at, call (902)491-6514.

This program is funded by Service Canada's Opportunities Fund.


Sobey School Business Development Centre
St. Mary's University
960 Tower Road
Halifax, Nova Scotia
B3H 2Y4

Tel: (902) 491-6500
Fax: (902) 491-6501