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The Case for Hiring People with Disabilities in the Workplace – What are the Myths and What Does the Research Show?

Free 1 Hour
Despite legislation, people living with disabilities still do not experience the same access to work opportunities as do their counterparts without disabilities. This is because many employers still believe in unfounded myths about how people living with disabilities are likely to perform in the workplace.

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This webinar will offer evidence-based responses to many of the common concerns and questions that employers have about workers with disabilities. Participants will also receive recommendations for organizations committed to creating more effective, equitable, and inclusive workplaces for all individuals.

Take-home messages:

  • Workers with disabilities continue to be the most under-represented equity-seeking group in Canadian organizations. This is despite the fact that close to 650,000 Canadians living with disabilities with the potential to work are currently unemployed according to Statistics Canada.
  • Employers underestimate how many workers live with a disability. In Canada, 20% of working-age Canadians report living with a disability.
  • One of the most common concerns employers have is about accommodation costs. Employers continue to believe that accommodations are expensive; however, most accommodations cost very little, often well-below a one-time cost of $500.

Learning Outcomes

What are the most common employer questions about workers living with disabilities—and what does the research say about these questions?
What are the barriers that continue to slow the participation of people with disabilities in the workplace?
What kind of practical resources are available to employers who seek to hire more inclusively?


Silvia Bonaccio
Dr. Silvia Bonaccio is the Ian Telfer Professor of Workplace Psychology at the Telfer School of Management, University of Ottawa. Dr. Bonaccio earned a Ph.D. in Industrial/Organizational Psychology from Purdue University. She also holds a M.Sc. from Concordia University's John Molson School of Business and a B.A. in Psychology from McGill University. Dr. Bonaccio conducts partnered research with people living with disabilities, employment service providers and workplaces. Her other stream of research focuses on the influence of anxiety and emotions in the personnel assessment and selection process. Dr. Bonaccio’s research is funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council. Her work has been published in journals such as the Journal of Management, Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Journal of Organizational Behavior, Journal of Vocational Behavior, and Journal of Business Ethics. She is associated editor at Personnel Assessment and Decisions, and she is on the editorial board at the Journal of Business and Psychology and the Journal of Behavioral Decision Making. Dr. Bonaccio is the founding director of Telfer’s PhD in Management program. This program is pre-approved by VRA Canada for a 1 hour training session.

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