happy wheelchair user celebrating a success.

A new publication aims to help persons with disabilities achieve their full employment potential and serves as a resource for business owners interested in making their operation more inclusive.

The Workforce Development Board / Local Employment Planning Council (WDB/LEPC) – a non-profit organization funded by the federal and provincial governments – worked with more than a dozen agencies and groups serving Peterborough, Northumberland, Kawartha Lakes and Haliburton for the publication, titled ‘Building Bridges, Breaking Barriers.’

Participants in the project included the Canadian National Institute for the Blind, the Canadian Mental Health Association, the Brain Injury Association Peterborough Region, Peterborough Communication and Support Services, Fleming College (Accessible Education Services), the Council for Persons with Disabilities, the area chapter of Community Living, Literacy Ontario Central South, JobQuest, VCCS Employment Services, Watton Employment Services and EPC Peterborough, along with the accessibility coordinators for the cities of Peterborough and Kawartha Lakes.

“We were absolutely thrilled with the participation from local groups and sincerely hope that the passion and commitment that was on display during the consultation process is evident in the report,” said project lead Scott Howard.

In light of the broad subject matter, consultations covered an array of related topics. Everything from education and vocational training for students with disabilities to on-the-job supports for employees who acquire a condition later in life.

The guide, which was funded in part by the Government of Canada and the Government of Ontario, features information on four key themes – the barriers facing persons with a disability as they enter or re-enter the workforce, the business case for hiring someone with a disability, the Employment First philosophy and Access Talent, the provincial employment strategy.

It also contains a summary of requirements under the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act.

To download the report in English, click HERE.

To download the report in French, click HERE.