Ontario partners with BTA to break down barriers for people with disabilities

Ontario is partnering with the Business Takes Action project to create opportunities for people with disabilities and help employers make their workplaces more accessible. More than 1.85 million Ontarians have a disability, representing 15.5 per cent of the population.

The Business Takes Action (BTA) project supports businesses by delivering information and training to help them remove physical and social barriers associated with hiring people with disabilities.  Ontario's partnership with the project partners will give employers more tailored resources to recruit, accommodate and keep good talent, including a website that highlights job postings specifically geared towards those with disabilities.  

"In Ontario many employers still face a skills shortage and there are many talented people who want to work but face barriers. It just makes good business sense to break down those barriers and make it easier for people with disabilities to participate in the workforce,"  says Madeleine Meilleur, minister of community and social services.

The province is introducing standards that will break down barriers in key areas of everyday life, including customer service, employment, information and communications, transportation and the built environment.

The BTA project was developed by the Canadian Manufacturers and Exporters (CME), one of the country's largest business networks. It was established in 2007 and currently has 275 member firms, including small, medium and large enterprises in the public, private and not-for-profit sectors.

"CME in partnership with MCSS has made significant strides in promoting awareness with employers and the broader business communities regarding accommodating, hiring, training and retaining people with disabilities. By removing barriers, we foster an inclusive and open environment for all employers and encourage them to hire persons with disabilities," says Ian Howcroft, vice president, Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters Ontario Division.

In 2008, more than 257 jobs were posted on the Business Takes Action website