Tuesday, January 3, 2012

One Voice

So today I start out a new year with a blog series called "Tools of Hope". I begin my first post with One Voice Network. (get it? first, One..... ok, awkward silence) This place touches my heart in a couple of ways. The first is the fact that I work for this wonderful organization as Administrative Coordinator; so I guess you could say that the "wonderful" is biased, but it is not, it is true..... you'll see. The second is that this entire network relates to people who have disabilities; I have a learning disability. The third I'll wait on and list below.

One Voice Network is a non-profit organization that collaborates with Employment Service Providers in the York Region and Bradford, West Gwillimbury area of Ontario, Canada. This organization works with these Providers and tries to connect them with various employers in an effort to assist jobseekers with disabilities in finding and obtaining gainful employment. It is about helping someone land that interview and getting that successful hire; it is about creating an awareness; it is about inclusion.
*"Approximately 15.5 percent of Ontario’s population live with a disability."
Or from a worldly perspective:

*"Around 10 percent of the total world's population, or roughly 650 million people, live with a disability. This is the world's largest minority."
There are quite a few obstacles out there when it comes to a person with a disability getting a job...... discrimination, myths..... the idea that someone with a disability cannot do the task(s) required. That is SO NOT true. People with disabilities are capable of a lot.
*"A DuPont survey found that 90% of employees with a disability rated average or better on job performance and 86% had an average or better attendance record. Workers with a disability are also 5 times more likely to stay on the job (reducing turnover and training costs) than those without a disability."
An individual who happens to have a disability may have certain barriers and need certain accommodations, but can most usually get the job done just like anyone else. I myself only require a little bit of extra time and space, time to process and record information, time to make reminder notes that are easily accessible..... is it really so hard to make those accommodations?
Educating people to this fact can be a tiring job, but definitely one that is well worth it. If someone, anyone, wants to work, wants to make a good life for him or herself, and possesses that right attitude, why should they be denied? Equality is something we should all be entitled to receive.

I had mentioned a third way in which this organization touches my heart. That way is this: that at the core of it all, the idea of assisting those that find difficulties in life achieve something, anything that is a basic human right, is, like I said at the beginning, wonderful. This kind of idea should be, and in many hearts and minds is, a universal thing. So go on over and visit the website, www.onevoicenetwork.ca , take a look around, spread the word, and share the wonders of what One Voice Network has to offer. 
There are similar organizations in Ontario, spread over Canada and around the landscape of the world. It all starts with like minded individuals coming together and sharing that one wonderful idea.

* Facts from: Disabled World - Disability News for all the Family; Toronto District School Board; One Voice Network: The Untapped Labour Pool Employer Guide

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