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Career & Employment Opportunities

Employable Me Canada: Carla Qualtrough challenges job seekers


An Employable Me Digital Exclusive. [MUSIC transition…] My name is Carla Qualtrough, and I’m the Member of Parliament for Delta,
B.C., and the Minister of Public Services and Procurement and Accessibility. -Hi George! I’m Carla. -Hi Carla, nice to
meet you. Nice to meet you. I graduated high school in 1989. My first Paralympic Games was the year before
1988. I went to World Championships in 1990, and then again to Paralympics in 1992. I’ve practiced human rights law at the provincial level, at the federal level for the Human Rights
Commission, and for the BC Human Rights Tribunal. I feel, especially when you walk in to a workplace with a cane, when you can’t see very well, at first I feel people think is how we gonna get him oriented. -That’s the assumption. -Exactly. They see you, and they assume you can do something, you can’t do other things, when they don’t even give you a chance to show what you can do. I think job seekers who have disabilities should be unapologetic about bragging. I think that they be should confident in the perspective that comes with having
a disability, what that brings to the table for them in terms of all the things I’ve talked about before. Innovation, creativity, problem-solving capacity. I think that we should go into job interviews confident that we have something to offer, not looking for the handout that traditionally people have wanted us to see. We were both born into a world that wasn’t built for us. It wasn’t built with our needs in mind. It wasn’t built to get the best out of us. What we now know as of 2017 is that only 59% of Canadians with disabilities are employed as compared to Canadians who don’t have disabilities, which the rates upwards of 80%. That’s quite significant ’cause we hear all the time businesses talking about labour shortages and ‘I can’t find people that work for me,’ when we have right here in Canada this massively talented untapped labour pool that we could access tomorrow, if we chose. You have probably been innovating your entire
life. You’re creative. You’re a problem-solver. You’re an innovator because you’ve had to
be. Because you’ve had to navigate the world differently than the world was built. If you will hire someone with disability, you will better serve a customer with a disability. If your business is accessible to a customer with a disability, you could hire someone with a disability. So, it kinda works both ways. The reality is that as much as there is a massively underemployed and unemployed group of citizens out there who want to work and contribute, there’s also money out there to be made and spent around accessibility and inclusion. So there’s a really strong business case for hiring people with disabilities. Fortunately, I think we’re still at a point in where we are as a society, where it’s on us to show people what we can do. -For sure. -Right? If I was asked by a parent of a child who’s trying to get into the workforce, who has a disability, what advice I would give them, I guess I would advise them to help their child learn to self-advocate. To brag, basically. It’s not a very Canadian trait, but it’s something that will serve them very
well. I would say, be relentless. Be unapologetic about asserting your rights. Teach their kids to assert their own rights. Certainly, that served me well. My parents spent a lot of time asserting my
rights and gradually handing that responsibility
over to me. I am confident that we can find in this country employment for everyone. [MUSIC FADES…] Stream episodes of Employable Me, Season three
at AMI.ca or the AMI-tv App.

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