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National AccessAbility Week (NAAW)
May 28 - June 3
National AccessAbility Week, held from May 28 to June 3, 2023, is a time to celebrate the contributions of Canadians with disabilities and promote efforts to increase accessibility and inclusion in Canada. This year’s theme is “Disability Inclusion: From Possibilities to Practice.”
We know that employment plays a key role in the recovery of individuals living with a mental illness. It improves their mental health, reduces their need for health services, increases their financial well-being, and creates positive social networks. Yet, the unemployment rates for people living with a severe mental illness can be as high as 70% to 90%.
Research shows that individuals living with a disability (including those living with a mental illness) are as, if not more, qualified, reliable, loyal, and productive than their colleagues who do not have a disability.
A Clear Business Case for Hiring Aspiring Workers examined 5 Canadian businesses from 3 different provinces where the employers took active steps to hire and accommodate workers living with mental illness. There was a significant return on investment for providing accommodations to workers with mental illness, meaning there were financial gains associated with the accommodation measures for both workers and employers.
Building on this work, we developed A Practical Toolkit to Help Employers Build an Inclusive Workforce. This toolkit helps human resources (HR) professionals and those with HR, wellness and diversity responsibilities increase accessibility and inclusiveness and address the needs of workers living with mental illness.
Remember to use the hashtags #NAAW2023 and #FromPossibilitiesToPractice when referencing the week in social media posts!