Organizations Helping with the Job Hunt for the Developmentally Disabled
Finding a job is a daunting challenge for every student. Your resume is short, experience limited, and skillset not yet honed to its full potential. This challenge takes on another element for those with developmental disabilities. There are additional factors for you to consider, which can lead to unhealthy levels of stress, anxiety, and depression. Fortunately, more and more organizations have been formed across Canada to help. There are many places for developmentally disabled students to turn to in order to receive aid in landing a job.
Different provinces offer such organizations; in particular, Ontario’s vast size and population allow for many opportunities. Community Living Ontario is located in Toronto and has strived to ensure that those with intellectual disabilities are included in communities in every way possible since 1953. Their “Ready, Willing & Able” initiative is a partnership with similar associations focused on getting more people with developmental disabilities into the workforce. “Student Links” is another initiative that provides mentors to secondary students in order to help them figure out their plans beyond high school. Community Living Ontario also offers numerous conferences and workshops throughout the year on a variety of topics, which can help connect students to more people and opportunities and make it easier to find a job.
LinkUp Employment Services can be found in Vaughan, just outside of Toronto. They act as an employment services agency for people with disabilities. If you are looking for a job, they will meet with them to conduct an assessment of your needs, skills, education, and experience. From there, they help in the development of an Employment Action Plan to create a clear goal to guide your job search. LinkUp is able to arrange for workplace modifications such as assistive devices and job coaches. The organization makes itself available to the employer while the new employee is being trained. Their employer partners also offer unpaid work trials to help gain crucial work experience.
For those outside of Ontario or looking for a broader area to search for jobs, there are many organizations working to help developmentally disabled students and youth across Canada. Workink is a job listings site dedicated solely to inclusive employment. Those seeking a job can set up alerts for postings, as well as find resources for matters such as preparing one’s resume and general rules for disclosure. Easter Seals Canada is located in Toronto but strives to help youth and adults with disabilities across the nation. The organization provides job training and employment services. They also offer scholarships and bursaries to help make post-secondary education more attainable, which can reduce stress and allow students to focus more on their job search.
Finding a job is never an easy task, particularly for students already dealing with the stress of their studies. There are more opportunities than ever for those with development disabilities to seek help in finding jobs and achieve their full potential. Barriers to employment are being shattered as more and more employers discover the strengths and abilities that all students can bring to the workforce. There are many more organizations within Ontario and across the country working hard to make this possible.
Community Living Ontario. https://communitylivingontario.ca/en/about-us/
Easter Seals Canada. https://easterseals.ca/english/
LinkUp Employment Services. http://www.linkup.ca/