KAWARTHA LAKES-The Ontario government and the City of Kawartha Lakes are recognizing National Disability Employment Awareness Month throughout October by promoting the benefits of hiring people with disabilities and creating inclusive workplaces.
“The late David Onley, Ontario’s former Lieutenant Governor said to me, the best thing we can do for people with disabilities is to provide good paying jobs and meaningful training,” said Raymond Cho, Minister for Seniors and Accessibility. “Our government is working hard to ensure businesses are more accessible and inclusive for people of all abilities.”
The City of Kawartha Lakes is focusing on invisible disabilities this year. The Kawartha Lakes Accessibility Advisory Committee is proud to release a powerful and informative video to educate the public about invisible disabilities. It is important to acknowledge and support individuals with invisible disabilities who often face unique challenges in the workplace.
Open external page https://www.youtube.com/embed/
Officials say an invisible disability, also known as a hidden disability, is a disability that is not obvious to onlookers and may go unnoticed in most conditions or situations. A person with an invisible disability might not disclose their disability, as it may not be obvious in their speech, behaviour or mobility. Due to the concealed nature of an invisible disability, individuals who have them are less likely to be accommodated, even though they experience barriers. Barriers come in many forms- some are visible like objects, structures, and visible designs, and others can be hidden like attitudes and systems.
Invisible disabilities span physical, mental and neurological conditions. They affect how an individual interacts with the world. According to Statistics Canada, some of the most common invisible disabilities are pain, mental or psychological, vision, dexterity, memory, and flexibility conditions. Researchers estimate that 40% of all people with disabilities have invisible disabilities.
With this video, the Kawartha Lakes Accessibility Advisory Committee is asking residents “not to judge a book by its cover” and, to remember that, “just because someone doesn’t look like they have a disability, doesn’t mean that there isn’t one there”.
We hope that this video reminds people not to make snap judgements, and to remember that “everybody is just doing the very best they can, with the situation that they are faced with”.
Ontario says hiring employees of all abilities helps employers meet their goals and boosts productivity and innovation. During October and throughout the year, Ontario is making workplaces more accessible and inclusive for everyone by funding and promoting inclusive employment opportunities, including:
- Giving businesses the resources to hire and create more inclusive workplaces through the Discover Ability Roadmap.
- Investing in the EnAbling Change Program to help make sectors more inclusive through projects including:
- the Ontario Tourism Education Corporation’s employer awareness campaign
- Retail Council of Canada’s “EnAbling Change for Retailers – Creating an Inclusive Culture within the Retail Store” project
- Peel Career Assessment Services Inc.’s “Ability Works” project to support equitable employment opportunities and inclusive employment
- Creating awareness about how employers can access fresh talent and reach new customers by hiring people with disabilities.
- Helping organizations ensure their hiring process is accessible with our Accessible Recruitment Process Checklist.
- Delivering helpful information for employees about receiving accommodations in the workplace and for businesses and organizations about accommodation requirements.
Once again this year, the Ontario government will proudly participate in the Ontario Disability Employment Network’s Light It Up! For NDEAM event. On October 19, buildings across Ontario, including several provincial government buildings, will be lit in blue and purple to promote National Disability Employment Awareness Month and highlight inclusive employment.