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Top 10 myths about disability and employment

1 in 5 people in Canada have a disability. Yet disability is often misunderstood.

There are many misconceptions about people with disabilities and work. Here we present the top 10 myths.
Top 10 myths about disability and employment
Myth 1: People with disabilities don’t want to work.

Fact: People with disabilities have goals, dreams and needs like everyone else. This includes finding long-term work that brings not only financial independence and security, but a sense of purpose, self-esteem and social connectedness to their lives.

Myth 2: People with disabilities have a low level of skills - they won’t be able to do the job.

Fact: People with disabilities can offer a lot of value to your business. They bring high potential and a diverse range of skills and abilities. Many have completed tertiary education and one-third are managers and professionals.

Myth 3: Other employees won’t be comfortable working with a person with a disability.

Fact: Some disabilities are invisible and have little or no impact on how people go about their daily lives. A disability can also be temporary. There are many benefits of hiring a person with a disability and your other employees will only benefit from this diversity in the team.

Myth 4: It costs more to employ a person with a disability - and we’ll have more OHS issues.

Fact: Hiring a person with a disability is extremely cost effective. People with disabilities have fewer compensation incidents and accidents at work compared to other employees and lower levels of absenteeism.

Myth 5: People with disabilities use wheelchairs, they can’t do the job.

Fact: Less than 5% of people with disabilities use a wheelchair. If modifications are required for a person with a physical disability, financial assistance is often available to cover the cost of this.

Myth 6: My customers/clients will be impacted.

Fact: Disability is part of human diversity. A diverse workforce is part of a diverse society. People with disabilities build relationships with customers across a wide cross-section of the community which is beneficial for business.

Myth 7: An employee with a disability will have more sick days.

Fact: Research shows that people with disabilities have less sick days and absences from work than their colleagues without disabilities. 83% of people with disabilities do not need time off work because of their condition.

Myth 8: Workplace adjustments or modifications will be expensive.

Fact: Many people with disabilities need little to no adjustments in the workplace. The most common arrangements for employees with disabilities are casual, part time or flexible hours. When workplace modifications are required, there is often financial assistance available.

Myth 9: It’s difficult to know how to interact with an employee with a disability.

Fact: 1 in 5 Canadian’s have a recognized disability. So, chances are you’ve already worked with a person with a disability. Connecting with a person with a disability is no different to another employee - it’s a matter of common courtesy, respect and clear communication.

Myth 10: There’s no support available for employers who hire staff with disabilities.
Fact: The Canadian Government provides support for the recruitment and employment of people with disabilities through the Opportunities Fund for Persons with Disabilities program. This includes no-cost recruitment, wage subsidies and financial support for workplace modifications.

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