People living with disabilities often face many barriers when trying to enter the workforce. The World Health Organization (WHO) describes these barriers to employment as “Factors in a person’s environment that, through their absence or presence, limit functioning and create disability.”
According to the CDC, common barriers that people with disabilities face when trying to enter the workforce include:
- Attitudinal Barriers (prejudice, stigma & stereotyping).
- Communication Barriers (lack of communication procedures for people who experience difficulties with hearing, speaking, reading, writing, etc.).
- Physical Barriers (structural obstacles that prevent or block mobility).
- Policy Barriers (lack of awareness or enforcement of existing laws and regulations).
- Social Barriers (barriers related to the conditions in which people are born, grow, live, learn, work and age).
- Transportation Barriers (lack of access to accessible or convenient transportation).
The COVID-19 pandemic demonstrates that it is possible for companies to adjust working conditions/environments, to suit unique needs, quickly and effectively. We urge all employers to #ReimagineEmployability and to continue to adjust working conditions/environment to meet the needs of employees, of ALL abilities, past the pandemic.
“Improvements to workplace access would allow 550,000 Canadians with disabilities to work more, increasing GDP by $16.8 billion by 2030.”
(Conference Board of Canada6)