October 30, 2013                                                                                   Community Living BC

Funding Helps Promote Inclusive Hiring 

KELOWNA - Community Living BC (CLBC) today announced a contribution of $30,000 to support collaboration with the BC Self Advocacy Foundation to support adults with developmental disabilities, autism and fetal alcohol syndrome disorder to become leaders in promoting inclusive employment in their local communities. 

Social Development and Social Inclusion Minister Don McRae made the announcement during a visit to Kelowna and a tour of businesses and community organizations that are creating job opportunities for people CLBC serves. This includes Kelowna’s school district #23 which is assisting youth who are transitioning to adulthood to develop employment and business development skills.

The BC Self Advocacy Foundation is an organization led by adults with developmental disabilities whose purpose is to help individuals participate more fully in their communities.  With the funding announced today, the foundation will raise awareness of the benefits of employing adults with developmental disabilities who want and are able to work, specifically by:

  • Supporting the capacity of self advocates to make presentations to employers and develop relationships with business leaders.
     
  • Organizing a series of local presentations by self-advocates to business leaders in association with International Day of Persons with Disabilities on December 3.
     
  • Establishing a provincial roster of self-advocates who are interested in public speaking and making presentations to local employers.  
     
  • Founding a mentorship initiative that includes self-advocates mentoring other self-advocates becoming involved in efforts to increase employment opportunities.

Research has shown that people with disabilities and their families comprise 25 per cent of the marketplace. Recent studies indicate that when businesses hire employees with a disability:

  • 82 per cent are average to above average in performance.
     
  • 86 per cent have average to above average attendance records.
     
  • 97 per cent are average to above average in safety on the job.
     
  • Five times more likely to stay on the job than other workers.

Quotes:
 
Minister of Social Development and Social Innovation Don McRae

“As I travel around the province for Community Living Month, I’ve had the privilege of meeting dozens of self-advocates who are speaking up, asking for inclusion and doing amazing things in their communities. This funding will help the BC Self Advocacy Foundation continue the great work it’s doing to increase community inclusion and employment for adults with developmental disabilities.” 
 
CLBC interim CEO Doug Woollard

 â€œIn addition to helping secure more job opportunities for adults with diverse abilities in the Okanagan and across British Columbia,  the collaboration we are announcing today promotes our commitment to delivering person-centred programs that respond to the real needs of the people we serve who want to work and can work.  We look forward to advancing this partnership with the BC Self Advocacy Foundation in the coming months - along with other elements of our Community Action Employment Plan.”
 
Michelle Goos, BC Self Advocacy Foundation Representative

“Finding my dream job hasn’t been easy.  But I believe my voice can be the change of what I know is possible for me and other people who have diverse abilities. By sharing our story and speaking for ourselves we can be the leaders of change.” 
 
Learn more:
 
Today’s announcement supports recommendations of CLBC’s three year Community Action Employment Plan, which establishes an employment target of 1,200 more job opportunities for the people CLBC serves by 2016.  Since the plan was released in March 2013, CLBC has been meeting with individuals, family members, service providers, and employers to determine how self advocates can take part in achieving this target.  The funding announced today will help implement the results and conclusions from that consultation process.  For the full plan, click here.
 
For more information on the BC Self Advocacy Foundation, click here
  
Media contact:

Community Living BC, Communications
604.664.0156

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