REHAB MATTERS - Spring 2019 - Job Placement

Spring 2019 ➤ Rehab Matters ➤ 3 FROM THE PRESIDENT W elcome to this edition of Rehab Matters, focusing on job development and place- ment, which is one of the nine core competencies and domains of learn- ing for vocational rehabilitation prac- titioners. Employment is a key social determinant of health. People who are unemployed typically have worse health than those who are employed. Illness and disability can result in un- employment and can be a barrier to regaining employment. Currently, al- most 16% of Canadians identify them- selves as having a disability. That’s equal to the combined populations of Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba. Globally, there are 1.3 million people who report having a disability. When combined with family and loved ones, they control over $8 trillion US in dis- posable income. It is projected that over 20% of the population in Canada will have a dis- ability by 2020. Combined with this, the Conference Board of Canada pre- dicts there will be a shortfall of one mil- lion workers. It has become increasing- ly obvious that business will need to enhance its understanding of disability to increase market share and meet fu- ture labour needs. The Ontario Disability Employ- ment Network (ODEN) has developed a compelling business case for hiring people with disabilities that I would encourage you to review; it is available here. The research behind the business case demonstrates that people with a disability are often more productive, have higher performance ratings on average, have better work attendance records and can help increase brand and customer loyalty. ODEN’s re- search also shows that businesses who hire people with disabilities experience lower turnover and increased morale. The work that vocational rehabilita- tion (VR) professionals do in working with employers to place people with disabilities into employment is critical, and is what sets VR apart from dis- ability management. It is an extra skill set that VR professionals bring to the table. VR professionals often provide multiple job placement services, such as networking and establishing rela- tionships with employers and assem- bling information about employment opportunities for the clients they work with. The VR practitioner often locates jobs and helps to address potential bar- riers to employment that result from biases and discrimination. VR counsel- ors also conduct outreach to employers to publicize the availability of individ- uals with the requisite skills for the job. This work is important, not only for the clients we work with, but also for employers competing for skilled work- ers as well as our Canadian economy as a whole. I hope that you enjoy this edition of Rehab Matters and as always, VRA Canada is interested in your questions and comments. Please feel free to reach out to us! SUMMER ISSUE SPECIAL FEATURE A different drummer: AUTISM in the workplace CALL FOR SUBMISSIONS Send submissions of up to 2,000 words to Email your proposed title and a brief summary by Friday, March 30