By Corinne Arseneau
The New Brunswick Association for Community Living (NBACL/ANBIC) is a provincial, non-profit organization that works with and on behalf of children and adults with an intellectual or developmental disability and their families. We are a proud member of the Fredericton Chamber of Commerce.
Persons with disabilities require the means to maximize their independence, make their own decisions and enhance their well-being. They require full access to the social, cultural, educational, legal, economic and physical infrastructure that support our society, so they can participate fully and equally in their communities.
NBACL has long recognized the important role employment plays in developing self-esteem, building connections to community, fostering independence, and contributing to the economy. This is no different for persons with intellectual or developmental disabilities.
Ready, Willing and Able (RWA) is a federally funded national partnership of the Canadian Association for Community Living (CACL), the Canadian Autism Spectrum Disorders Alliance (CASDA) and their member organizations. RWA is designed to increase the labour force participation of people with an intellectual disability or autism spectrum disorder (ASD) across Canada.
Corinne Arseneau works as the RWA Labour Market Facilitator for New Brunswick. She works with the NBACL to maximize employment opportunities. In her role she provides relevant information around the benefits of hiring persons with an intellectual or developmental disability, emphasizing their capabilities, and clearly demonstrating how this will benefit the employer and the business or organization.
Across the country, many jobs go unfilled because individuals with an intellectual disability or ASD are not considered as potential candidates. Their strengths and talents are often overlooked due to outdated and false perceptions that do not focus on the reality of skill sets offered.
Both RWA and NBACL are committed to opening the doors to employment for persons in New Brunswick who are currently unemployed or under-employed. The benefits of hiring through RWA are many, including:
- 76% of businesses rated employees hired through RWA as well or better than average on productivity
- 97% of businesses rated employees hired through RWA as well or better than average on turnover
- Employees hired by businesses working with RWA demonstrated a 93% retention rate
Persons with an intellectual or developmental disability have access to supports (at no cost to employers) such as work readiness training, job coaching, and social skills development – which are invaluable especially in the training phase of employment.
With the proper supports and accommodations in place, persons with an intellectual and developmental disability contribute significantly to the productivity of an organization. The cost of accommodation to the employer in NB is minimal to none, the supports offered in the hiring, training, and retention of RWA candidates are many. Hiring inclusively just makes good business sense!
We welcome collaborating with Fredericton Chamber of Commerce members in building and retaining a diverse and inclusive work team. For more benefits of hiring through the Ready, Willing & Able program, and to access Canadian employer success stories visit readywillingable.ca. Contact Corinne Arseneau via email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 506-453-4475 to speak about your hiring needs.