Let's Talk About Abilities

 

Ian Grant

Let’s Talk About Abilities 

Woohoo! Our first blog! Performance Plus Rehabilitative Care (PPRC) has decided to reach out to both our clients and employers to help provide information, anecdotes, stories, education and most of all, connections to the worlds of disability and employment.  

 

PPRC has been in business for 24 years working with persons with disabilities who are seeking to reenter the labour market and find meaningful work.  I can tell you from experience that many people let alone employers have a misconception of what a person with a disability can do.  People see inability when you say the word disabled; they expect low intellectual ability, poor motor skills, and an overall inability to do the job whatever it is.  Well-intentioned folks speak louder, speak slower and treat people with a disability as a child in need of assistance or protection.

 

Employers envision wheel chairs, service dogs, long training times, excessive commitments to time they don’t have.  They expect multiple barriers to work performance.  The very things that are meant to provide access and assistance are viewed as a negative to be feared.

 

The Reality is way off the expected.  I work with persons with disabilities who have multiple degrees and are way smarter than I.  People with PHD’s, people with life experiences and work histories that the non-disabled would envy.   People with life stories that make you both cry or wince in empathy and then be inspired because they haven’t quit, they overcome, they try.  People who possess qualities of resilience, flexibility, tenacity and a “no quit” attitude that is amazing.  People who face challenges every day that would stop a non-disabled person. 

 

People with disabilities have massive abilities to adapt, they have to.  Put a blindfold on and try walking the streets of Ottawa and see how far you go before it scares you.  Okay don’t really do that because you don’t know how to adapt yet, but you would learn if you lost your sight.  All of this is to say the very qualities that any employer would want in an employee are embodied in people with disabilities, yet misconceptions prevent them from being recognized.

 

This blog will endeavor to provide insight into the world of the job seeker with the disability. It will try to help that same person understand the needs and business decisions of employers.  Education, understanding and conversation are the only way for the barriers to dissipate.  So let’s join the conversation, I do not purport to be the subject matter expert however, I am a person willing to join the conversation. 

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