close the employment gap

Closing the employment gap means ensuring all post-secondary students and graduates with disabilities are able to start satisfying careers.

Ontario is home to nearly 50,000 post-secondary students with visible and non-visible disabilities—more than 10,000 in Ottawa alone. When these students graduate, they are often overshadowed by myth and overlooked by employers and hiring managers. This problem persists even though students and graduates with disabilities are educated, skilled and qualified—just like their peers without disabilities.

#AbleTo thrive in a talent crisis

The business case for hiring students with disabilities is clear.

  • Skilled labour is in short supply: Sixty-three percent of Ottawa employers are struggling to find and retain the workers they need.
  • Customers are more socially minded than ever before: Eighty percent of Canadians say they are more likely to do business with a company that has a policy of hiring people with disabilities.
  • Students and graduates with disabilities are our family, friends and neighbours: Forty percent of consumers will be people with disabilities by 2035.
  • Making workplaces accessible is not just necessary but affordable: Accommodating employees with disabilities often costs less than $500.

Thrive in a talent crisis. You are #AbleTo.

Closing the employment gap also means strengthening local businesses that are currently struggling to find and retain the talent they need. While diversity and inclusion are imperatives for many businesses, their messages, policies and practices often stop with gender and visible minorities. Employees with visible and non-visible disabilities must be included so Ottawa employers can thrive.

Join us as we work to close the employment gap. Start by taking your individual #AbleTo pledge. Choose and share your commitment to weave disability awareness and inclusiveness into the fabric of employment in Ottawa. Anyone can—whether you are an employer, post-secondary student or graduate, family member of a student or graduate with a disability, or member of the community. Take the pledge below, spread the word, support the movement.

take the pledge

Choose and share your commitment to help close the employment gap that separates students and graduates with disabilities from their peers.