Performance Plus Rehabilitative Care Inc. (PPRC) is one of the founding members of the Employment Accessibility Resource Network (EARN). EARN is a United Way community lead initiative. It was designed to assist persons who self-identify as having a disability get access to the labour market. The goal is to bring employers, both from business and government together with service providers to increase employment opportunities for persons who self-identify as having a disability.
Tania Magloire, Manager of Human Resources for Accessibility Standards Canada, has been a member of the EARN network for several years. She met PPRC and Joel Daze, an employment specialist, through EARN. In her previous job, Tania experienced first-hand the successful match between a PPRC job candidate and the employer. When she moved to her current role, the fit with PPRC was natural. Accessibility Standards Canada creates accessibility standards, including standards for employment. They practice what they teach and embody the “Nothing without us” philosophy. They aim for a diverse workforce, including a higher representation of persons with disabilities than the job market share.
Accessibility Standards Canada hired a job candidate from PPRC. Graziella Forbes, PPRC Rehabilitation Consultant, initiated this match. Jasmine found employment as a Coordinator within the Governance and Reporting Team.
Jasmine is celebrating her one-year anniversary. Although she was already working when she found PPRC, she received a list of service providers to assist her with career advancement. She found the atmosphere at PPRC refreshing, and the people welcoming and knowledgeable. “PPRC helped me to update my resume; they assisted me in completing courses to upgrade my skills. They helped me expand my knowledge and to explore different possibilities of employment. Through their connections I attended the EARN job fair and met the different government departments.”
Tania reviewed the candidates that had applied through the job fair. A colleague from Employment and Social Development Canada also forwarded applicant resumes that they had on record. Tania notes: “Assumptions are that a person who lives with a disability has more challenges for onboarding, but this is not the case. Often the process is the same for whomever is hired.”
Maggie Saunders is the Manager of the Governance and Reporting Team at Accessibility Standards Canada. She is Jasmine’s direct supervisor. Maggie emphasized that they believe in inclusive practices. “Nothing without us” is the principle across the organization. Having lived experiences only benefits the team; it is one of our biggest strengths. Maggie says when they interviewed Jasmine, her professionalism and her desire to work and be part of the organization was obvious. “You can’t teach that, it is priceless.”
Jasmine enjoys her work, her colleagues and the atmosphere around the organization. Her advice for others is simple: persevere and improve your skills. “It is best to explore different employment opportunities and to be part of the community. By being connected with other people or groups, with time confidence builds up and the right job will come along. Don’t take it personal when you are not successful, sometimes it is just logistics.”
Tania acknowledges that there is a long way to go. As more education is taking place, preconceived ideas are challenged. There is more opportunity to have that discussion on inclusive practices.
“You hire a life coach to help you with a work/life balance”, says Jasmine,” why not a job coach?”