Celebrating the diverse abilities of Langley employees in the workplace

WorkBC hosted a breakfast, Thursday morning, to celebrate and support inclusive employers

At the home stretch of September, disability awareness month, WorkBC has kick-started an inclusive employer campaign to continue the conversation of diversity in the workplace.

October is inclusion month, an initiative WorkBC, Inclusion Langley, and the Canadian Association for Supported Employment (CASE) are marking with bright blue balloons.

If a local employer wishes to signify to the public and potential employees that they have or are open to hiring someone with a disability, these balloons are available to decorate businesses.

WorkBC held a breakfast Thursday morning, where 22 employers came to hear about different ways they could make their business more inclusive.

Questions periods, networking opportunities, and blue balloons were all made available as several speakers discussed ways employers can help foster inclusion.

Annette Borrows, president of CASE, spoke to the crowd about the stigmas many employers let stop them from hiring someone with a disability.

“What happens is one employer may hire fifty percent of their staff with people who has disabilities and another employer will see that and think ‘I don’t have the time’ or they feel that the problem of inclusivity has been taken care of,” Borrows said.

She discussed many different types of disabilities from mental health to physical handicaps, using her own brother who required the use of a wheel chair as an example. No matter the obstacle, Borrows illustrated that people’s hopes and goals are universal.

“Now, we are on a brink of a revelation to find meaning in our life,” Borrows continued. “We all want to have meaning and purpose in our job. The idea that people with a disability want to work in one industry is a fallacy; they want to be everything from welders to retirement facility care-workers – people with disabilities want to work everywhere and have that purpose too. They want to become service providers instead of only service users.”

Borrows noted that even smaller acts like installing an automatic door or providing clear and understandable information on products can go along way, pointing to a previous owner of the Mad Butcher in Abbotsford as an example.

Borrows said these adjustments, along with an inclusive hiring practise that led larger profits and a healthier environment.

Read More: VIDEO: Try this on for size…free suits!

Patricia Elgersma, an HSBC project manager, was also one of the speakers at the breakfast who touched on finding work with a visual impairment.

“I know it sounds cliche, but don’t ever give up,” Elgersma said to anyone with a disability looking for work. “Don’t be afraid to advocate and develop those advocacy skills for yourself.”

Borrows estimates thousands of balloons – environmentally friendly she stressed – will float in front of businesses throughout October, acting evidence that people’s attitudes and views on differing abilities are changing.

“You will be left behind as a business in this wave of purpose,” Borrows warned. “We need to bring equal employment opportunities to everyone.”

Ines Montoya, business and community liaison at WorkBC, said their doors are always open at the Langley branch, 110-19925 Willowbrook Drive.

People can walk in without an appointment to seek help finding work or to have any questions about diversity and inclusivity answered.

Of course, Montoya added that the balloons will be there for employers to take anytime throughout October.

_________________________________

Is there more to this story?

Email: ryan.uytdewilligen@langleyadvancetimes.com

Like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter

_________________________________

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

Just Posted

TRAFFIC: Roadwork, stalled semi causing major delays on Highway 1 in Langley

Westbound commuters should try the Fraser Highway or 56th Ave

VIDEO: House fire on Old Yale Road draws multiple fire units

No immediate reports of serious injuries

Party bus door faulty for years ahead of Langley woman’s death: Coroner

Tuesday report classifed Chelsea James’ death accidental, but was critical of bus inspection process

‘Exciting’ Aldergrove Town Centre proposal clears first hurdle

Township council passes first and second readings of Janda Group’s plans for the old mall downtown

VIDEO: Feds look to help 126 Canadians quarantined in China for coronavirus

China has confirmed more than 4,500 cases of the new virus, with more than 100 deaths

Sap thief taps Saanich park maple trees, faces hefty fine

One tree found with four taps in Mount Doug Park

B.C. reports first coronavirus in Vancouver region

First patient visited Wuhan, China, reported symptoms

Uber threatens legal action to ‘defend its right’ to operate in Surrey

‘I have no concerns,’ Mayor Doug McCallum replies

Victoria resident says WestJet employee uttered racist comment, refused to let her on plane

Customer claims she was told ‘You guys can’t handle your alcohol’ by WestJet employee

Bystander who tried to help dog being attacked not liable for its death: B.C. tribunal

Owner of dog killed tried to get $5,000 in damages from man who tried to save it

INFOGRAPHIC: See how fast your B.C. city grew in 2019

The province’s fastest-growing municipalities were located on Vancouver Island

Landowner hearings begin for Trans Mountain expansion in Alberta

Detailed route talks start in Spruce Grove, in B.C. communities soon

Alessia Cara to host and perform at 2020 Juno Awards

Multi-platinum Canadian singer-songwriter also up for six awards, including Artist of the Year

Most Read