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Disability employment in spotlight

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October is Disability Employment Awareness Month and Community Living Fort Frances and District is taking this time it to bring it to the attention of residents, especially local employers.

The month is about celebrating the many contributions of people who have a disability, as well as putting a focus on those who provide resources to promote hiring people who have a disability in local businesses.

It also is a chance to raise awareness among employers about engaging this talent pool.

CLFFD, an organization of about 100 employees helping local people with disabilities, has a number of employment programs to help its clients such as the JobStart Program and supported employment.

These help individuals look at their goals and figure out what kind of employment they would succeed in.

They also can teach skills for those seeking employment, such as how to prepare for a job interview, how to apply, and, in some cases, job-specific training.

Then CLFFD can help with the application process, getting started at a new job, and offer support as needed during the employment.

CLFFD wants everyone to know there are people with disabilities at a number of local businesses who can be seen out working every day.

They also are asking employers to not disregard this pool of people and look around to other business owners who have hired people with a disability.

Throughout October, CLFFD has had a window display up at its offices on Scott Street with information about Disability Employment Awareness Month.

There also are a few photos up of CLFFD clients working at their local jobs.

Some statistics from the Ontario Disability Employment Network show that:

  • 16 percent of Canadians have a disability;
  • people with disabilities, along with their families, comprise 53 percent of the marketplace;
  • 78 percent of Canadians are more likely to buy a product or service from businesses that employ people with disabilities;
  • 97 percent of workers with a disability scored average to above average in terms of safety on the job;
  • retention rates are 72 percent higher among people who have a disability; and
  • 46 percent of employers say that workers who have a disability work harder than other employees.
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