Discover Ability Network showcases the business advantages of employing persons with disabilities

Magnet, The Ontario Chamber of Commerce and 10 other national and Ontario association, community and government partners gathered at Ryreson’s DMZ to launch a new program and online portal that will connect persons with disabilities seeking employment directly with Ontario businesses looking to meet their talent requirements.

Many of Magnet’s business users, OCC members, start ups, were in attendance and among the first to learn about the program and use the portal.  Funded by the Government of Ontario and powered by Magnet, a data-rich, job-matching technology platform, the Discover Ability Network showcases the business advantages of employing persons with disabilities and provides a roadmap for businesses to hire persons with disabilities. Companies can also sign up, register and begin connecting to and recruiting talent.

“Today’s successful companies build diversity into all aspects of their workplace. This innovative online platform will help increase employment opportunities for people with disabilities,” said the Honourable Tracy MacCharles, Minister Responsible for Accessibility. “One of the pillars of Access Talent: Ontario’s Employment Strategy for People with Disabilities is focused on supporting and encouraging employers as accessibility champions and partners. As a key element of the strategy, I’m thrilled this platform is launching to engage and educate employers on a valuable talent pool.”

The web portal, found here includes the below ‘how to’ steps on how businesses can hire persons with disabilities:

  1. Learn about accommodation needs: When in doubt, businesses should ask what people need to be successful. It can be simpler than you think. People with disabilities know what tools and accommodations they need to benefit your company.
  2. Find talent: There are a lot of people with disabilities ready and willing to work. Businesses can let people with disabilities know they are hiring through inclusive jobs postings and using platforms like Magnet’s for free and convenient online matching tool.
  3. Interview and hire: Businesses should select the candidate with the ability to do the job by holding inclusive interviews and job carving.
  4. Onboarding: Businesses should confirm with a new hire any accommodations needed, have each new employee complete an individual accommodation plan (IAP) and pair the new hire with a current employee to make the transition easier.
  5. Accommodations: Businesses must be willing to modify the work environment and job for a new hire with a disability.
  6. Promote your success: Share your story when you get it right. Your customers will show their appreciation.

Magnet already provides an accurate, fast and innovative platform to connect employers and community organizations to persons with disabilities ready to take the next steps in their career and beyond. “When it comes to hiring people with disabilities the business opportunity is irrefutable, said Mark Patterson, Executive Director, Magnet. “Seventy-five per cent of employers who have employees with disabilities say they meet or exceed their expectations. The Discover Ability Network adds more resources for Ontario companies recruiting talent and is another program we will use to meet our commitment of improving labour-force participation by people with disabilities and advocates the business advantages of employing persons with disabilities.”

Richard Koroscil, Interim President and CEO of the OCC opened the event and said,  “employers are finding it more and more difficult to fill positions with the right talent, yet people with disabilities are an untapped resource with skill sets many businesses need. Business will see improvements in productivity, increased engagement with employees, less turnover and reduced costs to training when hiring employees with disabilities.”

The Discover Ability Network will be hosting webinars and educational events around the province in the coming months to help businesses better understand the benefits of hiring people with disabilities.

For more information about the Discover Ability Network, please visit www.discoverability.network