15116463341_ce81249ebc_nTuesday, September 2, 2014 9:38 AM

VICTORIA – B.C. has declared September Disability Employment Month to celebrate people with disabilities in the workforce and the employers and communities throughout the province who pave the way to support them.

Social Development and Social Innovation Minister Don McRae, along with recently appointed Parliamentary Secretary for Accessibility Linda Larson, will spend the month encouraging employers to make disability hiring a priority.

Disability Employment Month follows the recent release of Accessibility 2024, a 10-year action plan to make B.C. the most progressive place for people with disabilities in Canada by 2024.

Working with the business community, represented by the Presidents Group, and the disability community, represented by the Minister’s Council on Employment and Accessibility, B.C. aims to have the highest labour participation rate for people with disabilities by 2024.

Quotes:

Don McRae, Minister of Social Development and Social Innovation

“One of the things we heard loud and clear during our recent disability consultation is that many people with disabilities are able to work and want to work. It is time to raise the profile of people with disabilities as employees through education and leadership using examples of success to lead the way.”

Linda Larson, Parliamentary Secretary for Accessibility −

“This September, as we recognize Disability Employment Month, it is important to reflect on what we, as consumers, employers and community members can do to support employment for people with disabilities. This is an opportunity to raise the employment bar for business in B.C.”

Tamara Vrooman, president and CEO, Vancity −

“Disability Employment Month is an opportunity to inform B.C. businesses that the hiring of people with disabilities is core to our business objectives and an important part of building a healthy community where all succeed.”

Quick Facts:

  • There are more than 546,000 people in B.C. over the age of 15, who identify as having a disability—that’s almost 15%.
  • The employment rate for people with disabilities (aged 15 to 64 years) is 18 percentage points lower than for people without disabilities.
  • On average, the total cost to accommodate an employee with a disability is under $500.
  • Consumers with disabilities in Canada spend $25 billion a year and growing.
  • Since April 2012, the Employment Program of BC and associated local WorkBC Employment Service Centres have helped nearly 8,000 people with disabilities reach their employment goals.
  • Since 2012, more than $1.34 million has been spent assessing technology needs and providing assistive technology to almost 600 job seekers with disabilities through the Employment Program of BC.

Learn More:

View the proclamation at: http://ow.ly/ASDWU

For a text-only version of the proclamation, visit: http://ow.ly/B02om

For more information about WorkBC services and supports for people with disabilities, visit: http://ow.ly/ASEbX

For more information about Accessibility 2024, visit: http://ow.ly/ASEha

For more information about the Minister’s Council on Employment and Accessibility, visit: http://ow.ly/ASEla

For more information about the Presidents Group, visit: http://ow.ly/ASEpT

http://www.newsroom.gov.bc.ca/2014/09/creating-opportunities-disability-employment-month.html

Media Contacts:

Joanne Whittier
Communications Manager
Ministry of Social Development and Social Innovation