Increasing employment for persons with an intellectual disability

Did you know that 70% of adults with an intellectual disability in New Brunswick are either unemployed or underemployed, while many are ready, willing and able to work?

While the statistics seem grim, there is a great effort to change attitudes and increase the employment rate. Thanks to Ready, Willing and Able (RWA), a national initiative by the Canadian Association for Community Living and the Canadian Autism Spectrum Disorders Alliance, engaging employers and raising awareness about the value of hiring people with disabilities has helped to change the hiring practices of Canadian employers.

How does Ready Willing and Able work?

NBACL and other partners throughout Canada are working with businesses to solve their labour needs through leveraging the unique abilities and strengths of people with an intellectual disability and people with autism spectrum disorder. Through this partnership we can assist you to recruit, hire, train, and support job-seekers that match a business’s specific needs. Generally, it works by:

  1. Identifying the particular need(s) of the employer,
  2. Facilitating a connection to job-seekers to fill those particular need(s), and
  3. Ensuring successful employment outcomes are achieved by providing support to both the employer and employee.

Ready, Willing and Able recognizes that there are several “pillars” that need to be in place to produce and sustain an inclusive and effective labour market. These key elements include:

  • Employer Capacity and Confidence
  • Employer-to-Employer Networks
  • Entrepreneurship and Small Business Development
  • Inclusive Post-secondary Education
  • Service System Modernization
  • Youth Transitions to Employment

All of these components work simultaneously to increase the capacity for employment success.

I am a job seeker. How do I find employment?

Once we work with an employer and find a new job opportunity, we look for people who are interested in and qualified for that job. We connect the job leads we find with our many local employment agency partners who have a lot of experience helping people with an intellectual disability or Autism Spectrum Disorder prepare for work and transition successfully into the work force.

With the help of Ready, Willing and Able, our partner agencies can offer various on-the-job supports for potential employees (if necessary). Job supports might include everything from job coaches, to workplace modifications, assistive technologies and more.

To be considered for job leads, you need to connect to one of our partner employment agencies in your area. They will work with you to match the right job opportunities to your interests and skills, and make sure you have all the supports you need to go to work. Here is a list of our partner agencies in New Brunswick:


Jobs Unlimited
Phone: 506-458-9380

Saint John

Saint John Association for Community Living
Phone: 506-652-1544

Partners for Workplace Inclusion Program
Phone: 506-635-2272

Key Industries
Phone: 506-634-6888

Options Employment Outreach Inc.
Phone: 506-652-3977

Helpful Links to Other Websites

Frequently Asked Questions (Ready, Willing and Able)

Is your business ready, willing and able to hire a person with an intellectual disability or ASD? Here’s what you need to know to build an inclusive labour force.

Interview Tips (Ready, Willing and Able)

Interviews can be daunting for everyone, no matter what side of the table you are sitting on. Here are some tips to make the experience easy for both employers and job seekers.

Ready, Willing and Able (Official Website)

Are you ready, willing and able to go to work? Are you currently looking for a job? Do you have an intellectual disability or Autism Spectrum Disorder? If so, Ready Willing and Able may be able to help you.

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