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Northern Lights College was lit for Disabled Workers

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Did you notice the purple glow on the Dawson Creek Campus last night? It was in support of disabled Canadian workers and the many challenges they face.

Light It Up for NDEAM! (National Disability Employment Awareness Month), was started in 2020 by the Ontario Disability Employment Network (ODEN), and has since gone national through collaboration between ODEN, the Canadian Association for Supported Employment (CASE), Mentor Ability Canada and Jobs Ability Canada, as well as many supportive businesses and communities.

This is the third year of bringing awareness across Canada to highlight the struggle that disabled workers face, and support continues to grow. According to ODEN’s website, “Light It Up! For NDEAM® spotlights the many ways people who have a disability contribute to businesses and their communities, helping companies be successful and competitive.”

There is more work to do in Canada and the world to achieve true inclusion, but in 2022, Employment and Social Development Canada produced the (first ever) Canada’s Disability Inclusion Action Plan. “. . .the Action Plan aims to improve the lives of persons with disabilities in Canada. The work required to achieve this — to make Canada inclusive, fair, and free of physical, societal, and attitudinal barriers — will be extensive.”

This goal is a large one, but workers with disabilities forge ahead, day to day, making their way in life. Doing so without barriers and denigration is truly a hopeful vision.

Check out the video of last year’s event and images from across Canada!

A few fast facts from ODEN’s website

  • Only three in five Canadians experiencing disability (59%) were employed.
  • People who have disabilities represent over 1.8 billion people globally.
  • The disability market controls over $13 trillion U.S. dollars in annual disposable income. This market is large and unrealized.

You can read Canada’s Disability Inclusion Action Plan, 2022, and find out more about the annual event here.