Employers in B.C are receiving support to create inclusive work environments for people with disabilities through a $4.8 million grant from the province.
“Many people with disabilities are interested in securing a good job but have experienced additional barriers due to the pandemic,” said Nicholas Simons, minister of social development and poverty reduction. “This new funding will support employers and businesses committed to building more inclusive and accessible workplaces in hiring staff that reflect the diversity of our province.”
Most of the funding will support small businesses. Small businesses can apply for workplace accessibility grants of up to $1,000 to remove physical, communication and other barriers, the province said.
“Small Business BC strives for itself and its small business clients to create open, accessible, inclusive and equitable environments in which every individual has the opportunity to flourish,” said Tom Conway, CEO, Small Business BC.
Over the next two years, Small Business BC will work with the Presidents Group on the Employer Supports for Persons with Disabilities project. The goal of the project is to support employers to hire, rehire and retain people with disabilities for long-term employment. The Presidents Group is a network of 25 change-driven B.C. business leaders who advocate for more accessible, inclusive workplaces.
The province said the funds will also support awareness campaigns and learning and development resources offered by the Presidents Group and Small Business BC.
Each September, which the province proclaims as Disability Employment Month, Small Business BC hosts a series of webinars on the benefits of inclusive hiring practices.