Ottawa launches campaign to promote inclusive workplaces for persons with disabilities

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The Canadian government is stepping up efforts to boost workforce diversity and inclusion with a new advertising campaign aimed at encouraging the hiring of persons with disabilities.

Announced by Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Official Languages Randy Boissonnault, the “Inclusive Workplaces” campaign, running until March 2024, focuses on highlighting the value and talent that disabled individuals can bring to the workplace.

This initiative seeks to enlighten employers, especially those running small and medium-sized businesses, about the benefits of tapping into the talents of persons with disabilities.

By doing so, businesses can address their employment needs and enrich their work environment with a wider range of experiences and skills. The campaign will spread its message through various channels, including social media, web platforms, podcasts, and radio, directing attention to Canada.ca/right-here. This online resource provides valuable information, tools, and resources on hiring persons with disabilities and fostering an inclusive work environment.

Among the highlighted resources are the Enabling Accessibility Fund, which finances projects aimed at making Canadian communities and workplaces more accessible, and the Student Work Placement Program, designed to help employers hire post-secondary students and create work-integrated learning experiences.

Other programs being promoted include the Sectoral Workforce Solutions Program, the Canada Summer Jobs program, the Canadian Apprenticeship Strategy, and the Opportunities Fund for Persons with Disabilities, all intended to support the inclusion of disabled individuals in the workforce.

Minister Boissonnault emphasized that workers with disabilities are integral to Canada’s economic growth and community resilience, advocating for a barrier-free Canada.

“Workers with disabilities make innovative and unique contributions to workplaces across Canada,” he stated, underscoring the government’s commitment to building fair and accessible workplaces for all.

Echoing this sentiment, Minister of Diversity, Inclusion and Persons with Disabilities Kamal Khera highlighted the win-win nature of accessible workplaces and encouraged Canadians to support accessibility and disability inclusion in their communities and workplaces.

The “Inclusive Workplaces” campaign is part of the Canadian government’s broader Disability Inclusion Action Plan, aiming to create a more inclusive workforce. With the 2022 Canada Survey on Disability revealing that 27% of Canadians aged 15 and over have a disability that limits their daily activities, and an estimated 30.4% of persons with disabilities not in the labor force, this campaign represents a crucial step toward reducing employment barriers and fostering an economy that works for everyone.

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