The Ontario government is investing in businesses in an effort to make them more accessible.
Recently the provincial government announced they are investing $100,000 in an inclusive hiring project with the Retail Council of Canada (RCC), through the EnAbling Change Program.
The funding will go towards accessible recruitment and retention for retail businesses, as well as educating retailers on the benefits of hiring people with disabilities.
Despite the fact 50 per cent of Canadians with disabilities have post-secondary education credentials, in Ontario, the employment rate for people with disabilities is only 58 per cent, compared to 81 per cent for people without disabilities.
“Our government knows the value of hiring people with disabilities, and the talent they bring to all workplaces,” Daisy Wai, parliamentary assistant to the Minister for Seniors and Accessibility, said in a news release.
“This funding will go a long way in helping all retail businesses be more inclusive and accessible for everyone. It is especially exciting at this time, during National Disability Employment Awareness Month, to highlight the importance of hiring people with disabilities, which enables them to reach their full potential, and helps businesses reach their economic goals,” she continued.
The RCC will use the funding to create webinars that will highlight the importance of hiring people with disabilities, as well as provide tips on how to make businesses more accessible, and provide information on how to remove the stigma related to mental health and illness in retail settings.
Additionally, the RCC will be developing a guidebook that will help businesses across the province become more accessible.
“For almost a decade, Retail Council of Canada has had the privilege of working closely with the Minister’s Office in helping to educate retailers of all sizes on accessibility, hiring people with disabilities and ensuring that all persons receive the kind of service at retail that is respectful and inclusive,” Sonny Brar, vice president of Member Relations and Education at Retail Council of Canada, said.