World: Disability employment strategies must be business focused
Mark Wafer wears two hats when he discusses disability employment.
As a businessman himself as well as a person with a disability, he knows the nature of both worlds.
Thanks to the Humboldt and District Community Services and Sagehill Community Future, Wafer was able to discuss these worlds in Humboldt on Oct. 26 during his community presentation on inclusive employment.
Business persons do not realize how big a demographic are living with a disability, says Wafer, with 20 per cent of the Canadian population living with a disability.
Many of these disabilities are invisible, with only eight per cent of people using scooters and wheelchairs and seven per cent having intellectual disabilities.
The biggest focus of Wafer’s talk was about how employing people with disability needs to work for the employer.
In the past, the disability employment model was focused on the individual. Making the model business focused is creating better opportunities for both employers and employees.
Businesses have to understand how this would benefit them in a language they would understand, says Wafer.
“They’re driven by profits, not because they’re greedy, but because they have to. If you stagnate in business, you’re dead.”
Tapping into that mind-set is important, says Wafer, as there are many benefits to hiring people with disabilities.
The big one for Wafer was a low turnover rate for people with disabilities.
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