Welcome to the last installment of Disability Employment Awareness Month’s edition of Professional Perspective, where industry professionals share their insights regarding various employment-related topics.
To tackle the complex topic of accommodations, this 3-part series features professional perspectives from a community agency project coordinator, a post secondary institution counsellor, and a Manitoba employer.
Manitoba leads the way by declaring October as Disability Employment Awareness Month (DEAM). DEAM is an annual opportunity for Manitoba businesses, industry associations, community organizations, educational institutions, government bodies, and other groups to take proactive steps to increase employment success for Manitobans with disabilities.
In this last installment, Sam Grande, Manager – Diversity and Inclusion Unit with the Government of Manitoba’s Civil Service Commission, shares her professional perspective on best practices in advancing the inclusion of individuals with disabilities in the workforce.
Sam leads a team of program coordinators who are responsible for the development, delivery and administration of initiatives, programs and services that advance the government’s overall renewal, diversity and inclusion objectives.
Today’s Disability Employment Awareness Month question is:
What are some of the best practices in advancing the inclusion of individuals with disabilities in the workforce?
Sam’s Professional Perspective
The Manitoba government has been an employer of choice and identified as one of Canada’s Best Diversity Employers for the past six years. We are excited to recommend some best practices that our organization follows, such as:
- Develop and implement policies to help build an organization that values diversity and formalize your organization’s commitment to persons with disabilities.
- Create a formal diversity and inclusion strategy and communicate this to the whole organization.
- Implement a student summer employment program that is specific to persons with disabilities.
- Invite persons with disabilities to participate in work experience programs in your organization to gain related experience.
- Introduce the concept of an ‘active offer’ to candidates when inviting them to assessments and/or interviews, asking if they require any accommodations.
- Implement learning and development programs for employees with disabilities, to support the achievement of their learning goals.
- Provide support to employees to secure appropriate workplace accommodations and provide appropriate supports to those employees experiencing injury, illness or disability.
- Engage in consistent outreach to the community, including agencies serving persons with disabilities and educational institutions to seek candidates who meet your job requirements and request that they distribute information to their consumers and/or students.
- Promote your opportunities at as many career fairs as possible, including those that are aimed at persons with disabilities, such as the annual EmployABILITY Expo and the Visually Impaired Resource Network (VIRN) trade show.
- Identify champions of diversity within the senior levels of your organization to act as ambassadors and to prepare diversity audits of the areas they are responsible for.
- Identify an Accessibility Coordinator and working group in various parts of your organization to identify and remove employment barriers.
- Support the development of an employee resource group of employees with disabilities.
- Deliver education and awareness learning events on disability-related topics to employees on a regular basis, particularly in celebration of International Day of Persons with Disabilities and Disability Employment Awareness Month.
- Collaborate with the community by offering to provide representation from your organization on committees whose mandate is to advance the inclusion of persons with disabilities in the workforce.
There are many best practices that could be identified and implemented by organizations. The Manitoba government recognizes that a diverse civil service allows us to better represent and serve the citizens of our province.
Diversity is, and will continue to be, an important component of our civil service renewal efforts.
To read past editions, click here:
Professional Perspective – What employers are really thinking
For additional job searching tips, visit Student Employment Services’ Online Employment Resources or book an appointment with an RRC Employment Advisor at 204.632.3966 or JobCentre@rrc.ca.