Access to Success: A Guide for Employers
Profiles of Employment-Related Organizations
By Neil Faba
The following section reviews a variety of organizations across Canada, which offer services to both job seekers with disabilities, and to employers looking to hire people with disabilities. Some of these organizations can help employers with matters such as workplace assessment and accommodations, or diversity training for existing employers, and some of the organizations help employers and qualified employees with disabilities connect with one another. Still others offer a wide array of services, helping employers in recruitment and hiring, and also in ensuring good employer-employee relations once a position has been filled.
Reaching E-Quality Employment Services
This Winnipeg-based non-profit agency offers services to both local job seekers with disabilities, and employers hiring people with disabilities.
Reaching E-Quality assists employers by attempting to match up job seekers with disabilities, through contact with agency users, as well as through employment and training programs run by the agency.
The Reaching E-Quality Enhanced Internship Training Partnership Program aids people with disabilities and employers in making the right match by offering either:
- 12 weeks of paid internship training at a partner company, where possible, leading to paid employment; OR
- Up to 12 weeks targeted wage subsidy (an agreed upon percentage of the company’s standard wage paid by Reaching E-Quality), for a company looking to directly hire people with disabilities, to offset costs of training and accommodations.
Employers interested in this program can contact Project Coordinator, Tracy Schubert, at (204) 947-1609, ext. 230.
The Reaching E-Quality Hiring Incentive Project offers job seekers up to two-week, 80-hour job placements, at a wage of $7.00 per hour, paid by the agency. The expectation is that host employers will offer ongoing employment for participants once the placement ends, if employee performance has been satisfactory to that point. For more information, employers should contact Project Coordinator, Paula Harris, at (204) 947-1609, ext. 236.
Reaching E-Quality’s Web site also presents many links of information and interest to employers looking to hire people with disabilities.
This Ottawa non-profit employment agency for people with disabilities has been in business since 1979. The agency works with community partners, employers and job seekers to assist people with disabilities in the job market.
Line 1000 provides free recruitment support for employers seeking to hire people with disabilities. This is achieved through:
- Candidate Screening – Line 1000 candidates are screened by agency staff to ensure they have the educational credentials and skills required for successful transition to the labour force.
- Online Candidate Inventory – The agency offers employers the opportunity to search and review skill profiles for hundreds of candidates.
- Advice and Information – Line 1000 provides employers with advice on employment equity strategies, accessibility and accommodations.
- Financial Information – Employers can access information on training and subsidy programs available for the hiring of people with disabilities.
- Skills Training Partnerships – The agency works with companies to determine job skill requirements, pre-screen candidates, and assist with other services.
Champions Career Centre
This organization was established to connect employers with Albertans with disabilities. It assists both job seekers and employers to ensure workplace challenges are overcome. Champions Career Centre assesses clients seeking employment, and works with employers looking to hire people with disabilities, to ensure the right match is made between employer and the job candidate.
The centre’s job developers also work to educate community businesses about the skills and abilities of the working-age disabled population. They inform employers of financial supports available in the event a company hires a person with a disability for full-time, permanent employment.
In addition to information on the services offered by the centre, their Web site lists several resource materials that employers can look to for advice on hiring and accommodating people with disabilities.
Champions Career Centre
839-5th Ave. SW
Calgary, AB T2P 3C8
Tel: (403) 265-5374
Fax: (403) 265-5675
TTY: (403) 265-5309
Web site: www.championscareercentre.org/index2.html
(Please see the article submitted by the Champions Career Centre)
Ontario March of Dimes
This organization is mandated to serve the needs of adults with physical disabilities. It works with employers to properly assess clients’ skills and abilities, and to help clients to properly and fully function in the workplace.
The Ontario March of Dimes also assists employers to match available job opportunities with clients seeking employment, who fit the needs of those employers hiring. It conducts follow-up discussions with clients and employers after a successful job placement has been made, to ensure that both employer and employee are meeting expectations.
Finally, the organization’s Supported Employment Program considers the concerns of both employer and employee to address barriers in the workplace, to ensure on-the-job success.
Canadian Council on Rehabilitation and Work (CCRW)
The CCRW is a Canada-wide network of organizations and individuals supporting meaningful and equitable employment for people with disabilities. The Council offers a variety of programs and services linking employers and job seekers with disabilities, including:
- The CCRW’s WORKink Web site offers tools for job seekers with disabilities, such as articles on employment issues, private chat rooms for discussion with employment counsellors specializing in the employment of people with disabilities, and an ‘Ask ECO (Employment Counsellor Online)’ advice column. Employers submit articles to WORKink on subjects of interest to job seekers, post employment opportunities for people with disabilities, access information on hiring practices and workplace accommodations, and have their questions answered through the ‘Ask a Disability Specialist’ feature.
- The Web Access Employment Network (WAEN), a joint project between the CCRW and Human Resources Development Canada, is an online meeting place for job seekers with disabilities and employers. It provides a databank of resumés from qualified job candidates, which employers can look to when filling positions.
- The Job Accommodation Service (JAS) is comprised of two services. The first, Job Accommodation Information Services, offers a toll-free number that both employees with disabilities and employers can use to find information on questions of workplace accommodations. Job Accommodation Assessment Services is a fee-based consultation service for workplaces or individuals. The service provides assessments of individuals and workplaces, to determine what accommodations are needed for an employee with disabilities to do his or her job effectively.
- The Skills Training Partnership (STP) aims to provide individuals with disabilities with the skills and experience needed to fill positions with partnering employers. The program is a partnership between employers, trainers, service providers and job seekers with disabilities. The STP prepares partner organizations’ management and employees with sensitivity training in preparation for job placements, and secures guaranteed employment for people with disabilities who have completed training with their host employers.
- Fit-to-Work offers specialized training sessions for employers and employees, concerning the return to work of injured workers, or to address issues of hiring people with disabilities. Sessions include group discussions with employees, and case studies examining employment situations and experiences. The program is designed and delivered by experts in disability, and diversity management.
Canadian National Institute for the Blind (CNIB)
The CNIB is a national organization providing services to Canadians with vision impairments. The Institute’s Employment Accommodation Service recruits and refers job-ready clients to employers, and aims to demonstrate the benefits of hiring people who are blind. Through a partnership with Workopolis, an online database of qualified job candidates with visual impairments is accessible online at cnib.workopolis.com.
In addition to the services offered by the national office, the CNIB’s branch offices across Canada offer their own programs and information services. Consult the Institute’s Web site for your local office.
Canadian National Institute for the Blind
1929 Bayview Ave.
Toronto, ON M4G 3E8
Tel: (416) 486-2500
Fax: (416) 480-7677
Web site: www.cnib.ca
Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA)
The CMHA is a national organization promoting the mental health of all Canadians, and serving the needs of all mental health consumers, their families and friends. The association provides general information on mental health, helps those with mental illnesses secure meaningful employment, and assists employers in accommodating employees with psychiatric disabilities. A wealth of information, including guidebooks for employers seeking hiring and accommodations information, is available on the CMHA’s Web site, or can be ordered through the site.
Canadian Paraplegic Association (CPA)
The Canadian Paraplegic Association is a national organization, comprised of individual, not-for- profit provincial divisions, dedicated to delivering programs to individuals with spinal cord injuries and other physical disabilities. Among the services the CPA offers are those aimed at helping people with physical disabilities find employment opportunities, and services to assist employers in assessing workplace accessibility and job accommodation needs. Each provincial division of the CPA offers its own programming, details of which can be found on provincial Web sites. Visit the CPA’s national Web site to link to your provincial office.
Neil Squire Foundation
The Neil Squire Foundation is a national non-profit organization aimed at providing education, technological and career development for people with physical disabilities. The Foundation offers programs and services that can help employers find trained people with disabilities for employment opportunities.
The EASE (Employment Access Skills Enhancement) Program is designed to enhance the employability of people with physical disabilities. The program works to improve the vocational, technical and personal skills needed for employment. Among the EASE Program’s modular steps are those that examine workstation technical needs, explore and guide career choices, and improve job search skills. Finally, the program offers ongoing employment-related support to those who secure work opportunities through involvement in EASE.
The Foundation’s Consultation and Assessment Services assess client needs and recommend assistive technologies for office, home and school. The organization’s team of occupational therapists, kinesiologists, technologists and research engineers provide computer technology adaptations, ergonomic assessments, technical training, and educational workshops on assistive technologies.
The Neil Squire Foundation has offices in Vancouver, Victoria, Regina, Fredericton, Moncton, and Ottawa. Information on the foundation’s programs and contact information for their various offices can be found on the Web site.