The Government of Saskatchewan has proclaimed October as Disability Employment Awareness Month.
Every year, this month is set aside to promote the individual, economic and societal benefits of diversifying Saskatchewan’s workforce by employing people experiencing disability.
“We all benefit from an inclusive, accessible and welcoming province where everyone can realize their full potential and contribute their strengths to growing Saskatchewan,” Immigration and Career Training Minister Jeremy Harrison said. “To help make this a reality, the provincial government is committed to reducing barriers to employment and to enhancing social and economic inclusion for people experiencing disability, through a sound Disability Strategy.”
Saskatchewan’s Disability Strategy, released in 2015, was crafted following extensive research and public consultation between government, people experiencing disability, direct support professionals, service providers and other stakeholders. The strategies focus is on transforming the experience of disability in Saskatchewan and providing recommendations for expanded opportunities and greater inclusion in the province’s labour force.
“Creating truly inclusive communities means everyone has economic opportunity,” Social Services Minister Paul Merriman said. “This can’t be done without employers who welcome people with disabilities into their workplaces. Disability Employment Awareness Month provides an opportunity to highlight this work and create awareness around the benefits of a diverse workforce.”
“This year, SARC is celebrating 50 years by reflecting on the important progress that people experiencing disability have made over the last five decades, including in achieving meaningful and competitive employment,” SARC Executive Director Amy McNeil said. “Looking ahead to the next 50 years, SARC envisions a workplace environment where employing people experiencing disability is the norm in all workplaces. As more and more companies evolve their hiring practices to include hiring people experiencing disability, they begin to realize that profitability increases, employee and customer loyalty rises and innovation is sparked.”
Through the Supported Employment Transition Initiative administered by SARC, the Government of Saskatchewan provides community-based organizations across the province with seed funding to develop employment programs to help people experiencing disability find work.