During Quebec’s Disability Awareness Week, from June 1 to 7, the Chamber wants to emphasize the importance of raising public awareness of the situation of people with disabilities in the labour market.
An overview of people with disabilities in the Canadian labour market
According to the 2017 Canadian Survey on Disability, one in five Canadians aged 15 and older (22% or about 6.2 million people) live with at least one disability.
Among those aged 25 to 64, 59% are employed, compared to 80% of people without a disability. Most of them work full time. However, workers with disabilities still have a lower median income than those without disabilities. The median after-tax personal income of a worker with a less severe disability is $47,290, compared to a median income of $49,380 for those without disabilities. Workers with a more severe disability have a lower average income of $41,640 per year.
The case of Marc-André Thibault and Savoura
Marc-André Thibault, who suffers from cerebral palsy, became known in the media after publicly denouncing the difficulties faced by people with disabilities. He is now Director of Public and Government Affairs at Savoura, a greenhouse tomato producer. He continues to spread his message on the importance of including people with disabilities in the labour market.
“It’s essential that the business community mobilize to promote the social and professional inclusion of people with disabilities. Diversity is a great asset for organizations that implement concrete actions to facilitate the hiring of different people.” – Marc-André Thibault, Director of Public and Government Affairs at Savoura.
Hiring Marc-André is part of Savoura’s clear desire to move toward diversity. The company wishes to integrate more employees with disabilities as well as people from diverse cultural backgrounds who have recently settled in Quebec. Six people with culturally diverse backgrounds already hold full-time positions in the Sainte-Sophie company, which hopes to double this number in the coming year.
“With Quebec’s labour shortage, it’s unthinkable not to consider people with disabilities. They are an invaluable resource. We have to recognize the true value of these workers’ expertise and hard work.” – Stéphane Roy, President and CEO of Savoura.
Discover adapted companies
The Conseil québécois des entreprises adaptées promotes the maintenance and creation of jobs adapted for people with disabilities. On the organization’s website, you can find companies adapted to people with disabilities in all regions of Quebec.
Quebec’s Disability Awareness Week 2019
To help build a more inclusive society, Quebecers are invited to support Quebec’s 23rd Disability Awareness Week from June 1 to 7. Everyone is encouraged to take simple actions to reduce the barriers that people with disabilities may face.
Visit the website of the Office des personnes handicapées du Québec for ideas on supporting the Week in your organization as well as educational materials.