By far, the biggest barrier to people with disabilities obtaining employment are attitudes, beliefs, and misconceptions of employers.
Myth: Only a few people with disabilities are in the labour market, so it’s not an issue for our company.
People with disabilities in Canada represent a large untapped labour pool. There are 443,900 people with disabilities ready and able to work but who are unable to find employment, and almost half of them have a post-secondary education. If you are not accessing this talent pool, your competition is!
Myth: Hiring people with disabilities will increase safety incidents and cause my insurance premiums to increase.
Employees with disabilities have a 40% lower safety incident rate and 78% lower overall costs associated with accidents. Tim Hortons franchisee Megleen Inc. has never made an insurance claim for a work-related injury to an employee with a disability despite employing almost 100 people with disabilities over 19 years. Safety insurance premiums are based on your safety record, and the type and size of your business.
Myth: Employees with disabilities have higher turnover and absenteeism rates.
Studies show that people with disabilities have lower absenteeism and stay with employers longer than their non-disabled counterparts.
Myth: People with disabilities have poorer job performance and require additional support
90% of people with disabilities rated average or better on job performance- a good indicator of their independence in the workplace.
Myth: People with disabilities are brave, courageous and inspirational.
Adjusting to a disability requires adapting to a lifestyle, not bravery and courage.
Myth: People with disabilities deserve our pity and charity.
Having a disability does not mean having a poor quality of life.
Myth: Most people with disabilities use wheelchairs.
While the wheelchair icon has prompted this belief, they are only used by 6% of people with disabilities - that’s about 1% of the general population.
Myth: The cost of accommodating a person with disabilities is prohibitive.
Almost 60% of employers spend nothing at all. Among employers that do spend, the typical one-time cost is $500.
Myth: I cannot discipline or fire an employee with a disability.
Employees with disabilities should be hired based on their ability to do the job. There are no special processes or procedures for disciplining or firing employees with disabilities who are not meeting performance expectations.