Employment and the nature of Canadian workplaces are changing. Jobs are now requiring different skills as more people are drawn into a technology driven labour force. Jobs in a variety of service industries continue to expand and place demands on the labour market. In the coming years, an aging population will have a large impact on our workplaces and on the labour market. There are expectations that we will be facing labour shortages as large numbers of people from the “baby boomer” generation are expected to retire over the next ten years.
Our workplaces are also becoming more diverse. People from many different cultural backgrounds and people with disabilities have been entering the labour market. Employers have realized that they must tap into the skills of all potential workers, and learn to train and supervise employees with different characteristics.
For the most part, persons with disabilities still represent a largely untapped source of labour. Employers are realizing that they need to tap into the assets of people with disabilities can offer. Employers need to create the conditions and environments that will make the workplaces more diverse and inclusive.
This module is about how employers can include workers with intellectual disabilities in their workplaces. It is meant to provide employers and their employees with practical information and strategies on ways to successfully hire, train and support workers with intellectual disabilities. We believe that most employers can use their own resources to provide job training and assistance to workers with intellectual disabilities.
While this module offers strategies and practical information, it is not meant to be a “how to” manual. The use of the information and strategies contained in this module will depend on the individual’s circumstances and the requirements of the job. Not every person with an intellectual disability will require accommodations or need the types of assistance outlined in this module. As you learn to use this information, decisions about the kind of assistance people that need will become easier to make. You may need to call upon an employment specialist in your area who can help with these decisions.
This module is based on the resource Employ Ability: An Employer Guide to Hiring and Training Workers with Intellectual Disabilities published by the New Brunswick Association for Community Living. This guide contains more detailed information on many of the topics that are discussed in this module. In addition, a list of suggested resources with links to Internet sites is also provided to advance your knowledge and understanding of this topic.