FAQs / Quick Facts

The disability market touches 53% of consumers and represents a huge opportunity for business.

Among Canadians, 78% are more likely to buy a product or service from a business that hires people who have a disability.

I’m not familiar with ODEN. What do you do?

The Ontario Disability Employment Network (ODEN), created in 2008, is the largest professional network of employment service providers in the province, united to increase employment opportunities for people who have a disability.

ODEN’s work can be categorized into five pillars of engagement supporting our mission; to increase employment opportunities for people who have a disability:

  1. Delivering education, consulting and coaching services to businesses for their recruitment and retention processes
  2. Building capacity and creating links to employment service providers
  3. Promoting innovation and promising practices through research and special projects
  4. Working with provincial and federal governments on policy and funding mandates and programs
  5. Engaging with other stakeholders that have an impact on employment for people who have a disability, such as educators and advocacy groups

For more information, please visit our Business Services page

Why should I hire a person who has a disability?

People who have a disability make up the world’s largest minority in Canada – 15% of the global population. Disability crosses all boundaries, race, religion, culture & socio-economic status. It impacts all of us.

In Canada 22%, or almost 1 in 4, people identify as having a disability. That is equal to the combined populations of Alberta, Saskatchewan & Manitoba. In Ontario 3.1 million people have a disability.

This is a huge niche market of talented, skilled potential employees ready to fill your workforce needs.

As a business, you want to reflect your community and your customers.  Consider this –  when you combine the number of people who have a disability with their friends and family, the percentage of people affected grows to 53% of the population and the disability population controls over $13 trillion in disposable annual income.

Is there a Business Case for hiring?

We have curated a list of readings that you can review to learn more:

  1. Increased Innovation & Consumer Loyalty: Accenture research in 2018 – “Getting to Equal, the Disability Inclusion Advantage” identifies that people who have a disability increased a business innovation. That is because people who have a disability have to be creative to adapt to the world around them. Also noted is that 78% of consumers will purchase goods and services from a business that hires people who have a disability –that is a business reputation enhancement – to know that you are a business that reflects the community in which you operate.
  2. Increased Profits: The corporate Leadership Council notes that engaged companies grow profits as much as 3 times faster than their competitors – research has also shown that inclusive companies, including those who hire people who have a disability, have more employee engagement.
  3. Better Business Outcomes: Deloitte’s “Diversity & Inclusion Revolution” research in 2018 notes that organizations with inclusive cultures are 8 times more likely to achieve better business outcomes – and when we talk about OUTCOMES, we are referring to profit and productivity.
  4. Prepared Workforce: the Conference Board of Canada in their research “Business Benefits of Accessible Workplaces” – has noted that people who have a disability are as well educated as people without a disability with 50% holding a post-secondary degree in comparison to 58% for people without a disability.  Businesses would be accessing talent that has the education needed to adapt to the changing nature of work.

For additional resources visit our D & I Resources page.

How can ODEN help build my business case for hiring people who have a disability?

ODEN supports businesses in their journey to become more inclusive by offering a Business Presentation to HR and Senior Management Teams to start the conversations on why hiring people who have a disability is a good business proposition, and why your Diversity and Inclusion programs need to include a focus on disability.

Contact us at info@odenetwork.com to have a discussion with one of ODEN’s Diversity & Inclusion Specialists.

Can ODEN support my business during the Recruitment process?

ODEN supports businesses before and during the recruitment process by providing services that include:

  1. Presentations for HR, Leadership, and Management teams on the benefits of inclusive hiring
  2. Talent Acquisition Services to link your business to local employment service providers
  3. Disability Awareness and Confidence training for all your team members
  4. Consulting Services to support your planning, visioning, and strategy needs

For more information about these services please visit our Business Services page.

Where do I find Resources to share with my management team?

If you are business looking for resources, please visit our Business Resources page.

If you are an employment service provider, please visit our ESP Resources page.