Passage of the Canadian Human Rights Act in 1977 was done in order to protect people from discrimination in the workplace and throughout society as a whole. There continues to be a problem for disabled individuals to secure and retain employment for a variety of reasons. Below are five of the areas that need a closer inspection to enact changes for an increased chance in employment success for the disabled.
The optimal situation is to have a disabled person living with family that can offer them safe transport where they need to go. Not everyone has the ability to have a vehicle that is adjusted to accommodate a disabled driver, or passenger. The sad truth is that many disabled people live alone. Getting out and about can be a real hindrance. It is difficult to get hired for a job if you are not viewed as dependable due to transportation issues.
Most buildings that are for public entrance and use have accessible features for wheelchairs and special parking slots. There are a few that do not go above and beyond what is required by law for the disabled. There are areas that can only be accessed by climbing stairs. This leaves the disabled members of society out of touch with gaining employment in that environment. Whether meaning to, or not, the businesses have made it impossible for a disabled person to get equal and fair opportunities.
Community and Workplace Inclusion
You may see a few disabled people at community events, but it is hardly a representative figure of the actual number within any given populated area. Practices of inclusion within the community and workplace need to be stronger in order to eliminate the invisible borders that lack of inclusion builds. Work areas should be designed to fit both disabled and non-disabled employees so that friendships and bonds can be formed.
Training and Education
Although some progress has been made towards making training programs and educational opportunities available for disabled, there is still a long way to go. Providing better opportunities to grow in knowledge and skill are essential for every member of the workforce, but even more so for the segments that are already limited due to inescapable disabilities. It can provide a needed boost to their importance to any field they choose to enter.
Scheduling and Location Flexibility
Recent figures show that disabled men spend at least 15 weeks less in the workforce each year than able-bodied men. Women are out there on an average of 13 weeks less than able-bodied females. This can be for a number of factors, but many times are a direct reflection of lack of transportation and ongoing health issues. Increased flexibility in where work is done would prove helpful. Offering employment that can be done from a home office part of the time could prove helpful in many instances.
Contact a disability lawyer if you feel you have been discriminated against in regards to disability laws in Ontario. More information can be found on the Disabled Law website.