Unleash Employment Potential

Manitobans with disabilities continue to face extensive barriers when seeking a job and, once employed, keeping their jobs and advancing in their careers. As a result, persons with disabilities have among the lowest employment rates and highest unemployment rates.

Yet research shows both employees and employers benefit from hiring persons with disabilities. Employees benefit from a better quality of life with improved confidence, a source of income, and participation in their community. Employers experience improved profits with better retention and lower turnover, punctual and dependable staff providing quality work, and an improved organizational culture when their workforce includes persons with disabilities.

The fact that more than 57,000 (40%) Manitobans with disabilities in their prime working ages (25 to 64) are not employed and/or are not seeking work represents an enormous waste of human and economic potential.

The Accessible Employment Standard (AES) in force under the Accessibility for Manitobans Act can help remove barriers, but this standard is not enough because:

  • Current government systems and services struggle to support peoples’ successful transitions from high school to work life;
  • Many employers hold misconceptions about the capabilities and potential of people with disabilities;
  • Many systems still perpetuate low expectations of people with disabilities, which limit access to opportunities and resources;

Many community-based organizations that provide employment supports for persons with disabilities are struggling due to having had only two modest operational funding increases over the last 16 years.

Much greater leadership is needed from government. This will include significantly increasing its own equity goal of representation of persons with disabilities in the public service workforce. The government’s current benchmark goal only stands at 9%, while Manitobans with disabilities make up more than 21% of Manitobans between the ages of 25 and 64.

Questions for the Parties: If elected to form the next government...

  • How will your party work toward ensuring equity in employment opportunities and outcomes for Manitobans with disabilities within the government and the broader economy?
  • How will your party ensure that Manitobans with disabilities are actively and effectively promoted to the business community as valuable contributors to the workforce and economy?
  • How will your party work to improve transitions from high school to best prepare students with disabilities for future employment?