by Stella Shepard
The PEI Council of People with Disabilities (PEICOD) promotes the full participation and inclusion of people with disabilities in Island society. They have office locations in Summerside, Charlottetown, and Montague.
“PEICOD assists clients with career decision making, skills enhancement, job search, job readiness identification, resumé preparation, interview techniques, and job coaching,” says Canda MacNeill, PEICOD Employment Specialist in Kings County.
“PEICOD offers clients employment maintenance, employer supports/engagement, and a wage subsidy program.”
“We work with a variety of job seekers,” says Canda. “Some individuals may have recently developed a disability and are interested to learn how to transfer their skills into a new work situation.
“Often, individuals who have done physical work for many years need to find an accommodating fit due to injury. We also assist clients who are receiving their Canada Disability pension with finding employment, as they can make additional income.”
COVID-19 employment challenges and opportunity
“COVID-19 has been difficult for some clients who are immune compromised and unsure of the how to safeguard themselves in certain work situations,” says Canda. “Other workers had trouble wearing the required masks, as it made breathing difficult.
“One of the highlights we have seen is the new acceptance and sometimes even preference for staff working from home. In the past, this was not an accommodation favored by many employers.
“Working from home has opened the door to talking with employers about the concept of accommodations in the workplace and has helped remove fears and myths around that concept.”
What employers are looking for when hiring persons with a disability
“When touching base with employers since COVID-19, there has been a heightened sense of stress. PEICOD has an important role in helping them simplify their hiring decisions,” says Canda.
“Though employers have specific needs, the common link is that they are looking to hire people who bring value to their business, whether that is through increased knowledge and skills, public perception, or profitability.”
Hiring persons with disabilities often makes an immediate and direct impact on workplace culture. Canda points out some of the successes they are seeing with employers:
- Inclusive culture is attractive to other talent pools
- Motivated, engaged employees and improved morale
- Lower staff turnover
- Enhanced brand as customers view the company more positively
- Increased productivity, profit, innovation, and safety
Help with the employment search
“If you have barriers or limitations related to physical health or learning, whether diagnosed or self-disclosed, reach out to staff at PEICOD,” says Canda.
“The staff have a vast amount of experience and training, and we are committed to helping with career goals.”
Charlottetown – Head Office 902-892-9149 or 888-473-4263 [email protected]
For more information about PEI Council of People with Disabilities, visit www.peicod.pe.ca