Valley supports Disability Employment Month

The screening process for being hired as an employee with a disability can be challenging for some.

The screening process for being hired as an employee with a disability can be challenging for some.

The Columbia Basin Alliance for Literacy (CBAL) has partnered with EK Employment in the Columbia Valley to offer workshops on Disclosing Disabilities and Disability Management for Employment Readiness/Physical and Mental Health Issues at 1:30 p.m. on September 9th and 23rd.

“Each EK Employment Centre is celebrating the month through events at their offices and we will be posting related links, articles and videos to our Facebook pages,” said Amy Boeckner, who is the business services co-ordinator for EK Employment Elk Valley-Work BC Employment Services Centre.

The B.C. government has proclaimed September 2015 as the second annual Disability Employment Month to help raise awareness about the importance of inclusive hiring for people with disability.

Its goal is to have the highest labour market participation rate for people with disabilities provincially compared to any province in Canada by 2024 — which falls into one of the Accessibility 2024 goals of the government’s 10-year action plan to make B.C. the most progressive place for people with disabilities in Canada.

“We’ve heard from businesses across B.C. there is a growing business case for hiring people with disabilities,” said Michelle Stilwell, Minister of Social Development and Social Innovation in a recent press release. “Diverse employees bring new skills and perspective to a business — and can make it more welcoming to a broader range of customers. Hiring people with disabilities is good for business.”

There are approximately 334,000 British Columbians between the ages of 15 to 64 years old who self-identify as someone with a disability. However, B.C. is the first province to introduce the Annual Earnings Exemption so people receiving disability assistance can calculate their earnings up to $9,600 on an annual basis instead of monthly. This allows workers with a disability to keep more of the money they earn.

Throughout the month of September, to help meet this goal, Stilwell will be working with Parliamentary Secretary for Accessibility Linda Larsen and partners from government, business and non-profit sectors to help promote inclusive hiring throughout the province.

“Disability Employment Month is a chance to highlight the resources available to help people with disabilities find employment — and for employers to hire a more diverse workforce,” said Larson in the release.

WorkBC Employment Services Centres will be hosting open houses and job fairs to highlight the range of resources available to support disability employment.

For more information on what EK Employment Services is offering, visit or call 250-341-6889.

To view a list of services for people with disabilities in B.C., visit