Capitalizing on CapABILITIES Blog
Business is discovering the business advantage of accessibility. Accessible tourism, accessible technology, accessible housing, accessible transportation...the list goes on.
This area within our website is populated with industry news, articles and reports that prove accessible businesses not only increase their bottom-line but have a competitive advantage in attracting a diverse workforce.
Businesses in Durham Region get it!
Accessibility - There’s an app for that
People with vision loss often know which restaurants serve good food and are in buildings that are accessible. They know where the wait staff is efficient and friendly and know how to serve customers with disabilities. These are the places that get their business.
But technology has made dining out even better for people with vision loss. A writer who posts on accessibility for people with visual impairments tells an interesting story about dining out with his blind friends. He, himself, is now legally blind because of a debilitating retina condition.
Planat.com provides patrons the ability to rate business accessibility features
The Toronto 2015 Pan Am/Parapan Am Games hosted a one-day conference to explore the Games as a catalyst for advancing accessible tourism in May 2015. This blog you are reading now is an outcome of a similar conference we, the Durham Region Employment Network, hosted on accessible tourism in preparation for the Games in 2012. Along with hosting the conference, the Durham Region Employment Network surveyed 160 businesses that were located close to TO 2015 Games venues.
One of the recommendations from our report was for business to advertise their accessibility features. We wanted to incorporate a section of our website for a listing of accessible businesses but then we found the Rick Hansen Foundation’s www.planat.com website. It has established a global reach and best of all, patrons rate the accessibility features of a business.
Just as businesses invested in the Internet to attract customers, businesses need to invest in accessibility to increase their bottom line.
Globe & Mail Article: Working wisdom: How workers with disabilities give companies an edge
"Many companies are discovering the business advantages of hiring people with physical and mental disabilities. Often, these employers have found that disabled employees have unique abilities and tend to work harder to prove themselves. Turnover rates and absenteeism are also often lower. And as the population ages, and the portion of people with various disabilities grows, more inclusive hiring practices can help companies develop better goods and services for the market." To read more: http://www.theglobeandmail.com/report-on-business/working-wisdom-how-workers-with-disabilities-give-companies-an-edge/article23236023/
The conference mentioned in the article is the Rethinking Disabilities Conference hosted by ODEN: http://odenetwork.com/events/rethinking-disabilities/
Federal Budget 2014 – Employment and Persons with Disabilities
In case you missed this in the Federal Budget here are some excerpts that refer to three key investments through the Labour Market Agreements for Persons with Disabilities:
Canadian Business SenseAbility
...supporting the creation of a Canadian Employers Disability Forum, announced in Economic Action Plan 2013. In order to help drive employment for persons with disabilities, the forum, established by Canadian business leaders under the name Canadian Business SenseAbility, will facilitate education, training and the sharing of resources and best practices among Canadian businesses. Over the last year, the Canadian Business SenseAbility has formed its Board of Directors, chaired by Kathy Martin, former Senior Vice President of Human Resources at Loblaw Companies, hired an Executive Director, and begun developing its strategic plan with the objective of increasing the labour market participation of Canadians with disabilities." The Executive Director hired is Joan Turner.
BMO Study: “Misunderstandings about Ability”
As reported by Marketwire Canada, a recent BMO (Bank of Montreal) study suggests that many small business owners continue to ignore the talent of persons with disabilities. In fact the study indicates that in 2013 less than a third of small business owners hired a person with a disability. In addition, 69% of the employers surveyed have never hired a person with a visible or non-visible disability. The report and article question this slow growth despite evidence that “people with disabilities are more engaged, more productive, and more loyal to their employers than the general workforce” (Marketwire).