The Ready, Willing & Able team has gathered questions that they frequently hear from employers across the country.
Q: What should I expect from an employee with an intellectual disability or ASD?
A: Like people without a disability, individuals with an intellectual disability or ASD are all different, with unique strengths, weaknesses, skills and talents. RWA assists employers with placing candidates in positions that align with their skills and strengths. As such, the employees will likely have exactly what you are looking for, including experience and interest in your field of work and a strong dedication to their role. Remember, performance comes in different packages!
Q: How will inclusive hiring benefit my business?
A: Many employers find it difficult to find long-term, motivated and reliable employees. Employees with intellectual disabilities or ASD are an underutilized labour source that will enhance the creativity of your workforce, provide a broader base of experience and help shift the emphasis to individual strengths and talents.
Q: Do I have to offer full-time hours to participate?
A: Full-time hours are not necessary. Part-time, seasonal or summer employment may be exactly what a potential employee with an intellectual disability or ASD is looking for.
Q: Will I have support?
A: RWA is dedicated to providing support to employers and their employees. If needed, necessary supports (i.e. job coaches, on-the-job accommodations or workplace modifications) can be made available; either initially or on an on-going basis.
Q: What accommodations do I need to make?
A: Every employee is different, with unique abilities and needs. As such, all employees, with or without disabilities, require accommodations of some sort. Most of the time, accommodations for employees with an intellectual disability or ASD do not cost your business anything at all. If necessary, RWA will provide disability awareness training, workplace modifications or assistive technologies.
Q: How will inclusive hiring affect my other employees?
A: Many employers have reported that hiring individuals with an intellectual disability or ASD has enhanced their teamwork and improved the dynamic of their workplace. However, if issues do arise, RWA will provide the needed support to help you.
Q: What compensation do I offer?
A: It is expected that employees with intellectual disabilities or ASD will be paid at the same rate as your other employees in similar roles.
Q: What about liability?
A: As a responsible employer, you already provide a safe workplace, Workers’ Compensation and general insurance coverage. Hiring someone with an intellectual disability or ASD does not increase your liability.