September is BC Disability Employment month, and was recently embraced by City Council in an approved proclamation at Monday’s meeting.
Today, Minister of Social Development and Social Innovation Michelle Stilwell spoke at a luncheon, urging more employers to consider hiring people with disabilities.
She also visited work places that already practice inclusive hiring, including Safeway, Homesteader Health Food Store, and Pacific Western Transit.
Local wheelchair advocate Lori Slater was the MC of the event, and introduced Stilwell to the crowd. Stilwell also met with members the Spinal Cord Society today, with whom Slater is a Peer Program Coordinator.
Stilwell is also the MLA for the Parksville-Qualicum riding, and a former paralympic athlete – having competed in the London 2012 Paralympic games.
By 2024, Stilwell wants BC to lead the country in the number of people with disabilities it has employed.
To help reach this vision, the BC government is a partner with the Neil Squire Society, with programs such as [email protected], which provides people with disabilities with the technology they need to work.
“I certainly know that, for many people with disabilities, assistant technology is really what makes the greatest impact in their day to day life,” she said. “I’m speaking the truth because I’m one of those individuals with a disability.”
Government is providing $9 million over the next three years to the Neil Squire Society to help fund more assisted technology for employees who need them.