I am writing in response to the Comox Valley Record Sept. 25 cover story McRae addresses disability hiring at community resource fair’.
Don definitely has the right idea about “real jobs for real people” but I disagree with language used to declare September as “Disability Employment Month”. I ask, “What about the employment is disabled?”
I believe in the power of positive language to create change and unfortunately the language choice used here is a step backwards in the field of supported employment. I am a job developer in the Comox Valley working hard to support adults with varied abilities to obtain meaningful employment.
As a supported employment specialist I am trying to market DIVERSITY in the work place because we know this adds meaning and a richness to all our human experiences.
If we want to do better and move towards the highest national labour participation rate for persons with varied abilities then we need to stop referring to things as disabled as this creates pity and sympathy. Instead we need to look to the future with bright positive language that encourages empathy and a meaningful, diverse, empowered work force in British Columbia.
I look forward to a future where September can be referred to as ‘Diverse Ability Employment Month’.