Difficulty Finding Work…
Life can be hard if you have a disability, especially when you want to find work. With the right help, you can still succeed, even with all of the difficulties you may face. You are just as valuable and essential as anyone else, disability or not.
According to a government survey, about 22% of Canadians said in 2017 that they had a disability of some kind. Of the working-age people with disabilities, about 59% were employed, compared with about 80% of the people without disabilities. People with disabilities are more likely than others to live in poverty since they generally earn much less each month. This is unfair, unbalanced and needs to change.
Parents can work with you to try to find a type of work that is rewarding but still possible to do. Teachers can also help by working with you to find careers that are within your capabilities. For example, teachers or parents could urge a person with social anxiety to get into a job like writing, which involves a lot of time spent alone.
Sometimes, finding the right job just means looking for special equipment or tools. A magnifying glass and a large-screen computer, for example, could help a person with limited vision to work in an office. A voice-activated computer could help the person with a stiff wrist, and special lifting equipment could help someone with back or leg trouble.
Ongoing support is important for everyone, but especially for people with disabilities. This could be financial support, but it could also be emotional support or help with daily tasks. Friends and family can make themselves available to drive you to job interviews, help seek opportunities, or do anything else that might make it easier to find meaningful work. If possible, they could even help train the you in a skill that might make job-hunting easier.
One thing that needs to be pushed is the advocacy for equal inclusion from employers. Everyone has a right to a job, and fairness is key. We need to encourage companies to make accommodations and consider the needs of others- human rights are for all.
Governments have a variety of programs to help people with disabilities find work or to provide an income for students in training programs. It is a good idea to check government websites or to visit employment offices to see what kind of help is available.
Finding work with a disability can be difficult, but planning can make it easier. If you have a disability, you can already start on your strategies for getting the kind of job you want.
Alberta Human Services. “Employment Services for Persons with Disabilities.” http://www.humanservices.alberta.ca/documents/Edmonton-etcs-Disability-services.pdf.
Government of Canada. “Making an Accessible Canada for Persons with Disabilities.” https://www.canada.ca/en/employment-social-development/programs/accessible-people-disabilities.html.
Government of Ontario. “Access Talent: Ontario’s Employment Strategy for People with Disabilities.” https://www.ontario.ca/page/access-talent-ontarios-employment-strategy-people-disabilities.
Morse, Alison. “Employment Strategies for Youth with Disabilities.” https://education.easterseals.org/employment-strategies-for-youth-with-disabilities/.