Guiding Principles

The Employment Accessibility Resource Network (EARN) supports best practices for the hiring of people with disabilities in the Ottawa area labour market.  EARN promotes meaningful work for meaningful pay through our Steering Committee, our two working groups:  the Employer Leadership Group and the Service Provider Resource Group; the Business Leadership Network (BLN) and the Community Partners Network (CPN)

Guiding Principles of EARN

EARN seeks to increase the capacity of employers, service providers and partners to effectively include people with disabilities in the workforce.  Activities include education about the benefits of inclusive hiring practices and a healthy work environment that benefits all employees (with or without a disability). As well, EARN facilitates direct and indirect connections between employers, service providers and job seekers.

Members of EARN adhere to the following guiding principles in their workplaces, their service provision, and their internal and external messaging:

  • Work environments that are both accessible and inclusive so that employees with disabilities work alongside others employees, including those with and without disabilities
  • Employment practices that meet all standards of the Ontario Human Rights Code, Ontario Employment Standards Act, Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms and any other applicable standards as they would be applied to any worker, with or without a disability
  • Employment practices that provide appropriate and reasonable accommodations, including the use of natural workplace supports so that employees with disabilities are fully included in the work environment
  • Employment wages for employees with disabilities that are at the Ontario minimum wage or better, and are equitable with respect to the compensation of other employees (with or without disabilities) performing comparable work
  • Recruitment, hiring and on boarding practices that are both inclusive and accessible
  • Employees with disabilities are included in workplace investments that support advancement and retention, be they related to skills and training, job responsibilities, or financial compensation
  • Inclusion and accessibility extends to the social, cultural and recreational life of the workplace

Service providers or employers that have not yet implemented these principles within their organization but who are interested in working with EARN to learn more about inclusionary practices and how to incorporate them into your strategic diversity and inclusion plan(s) are welcome to attend formal and informal education events, may have access to mentoring relationships with existing EARN members and would be considered for future membership.

Our Mission:

To increase meaningful employment opportunities for people with disabilities in Ottawa and the National Capital Region.

Our Mandate:

We bring together people with disabilities, service providers, employers, funders and other stakeholders in partnership to improve employment supports and resources aimed at reducing barriers to employment. We provide a coordinated point of access for successful job matching, education, and expertise on employment and workplace accommodation issues impacting the disability community.

Our Vision:

That more workplaces in our community are inclusive and accessible for people with disabilities as a result of the proactive impact of EARN.

Our Values:

  • Embracing diversity and inclusivity
  • Promoting partnerships
  • Demonstrating trust, integrity, respect and transparency
  • Fostering innovation

EARN’s Core Activities

Monthly Job Match Conference Calls

  • The purpose of the call is to provide employers and service providers with an opportunity to share information regarding current and/or upcoming available jobs and for service providers to highlight potential candidates.  The goal is to match job seekers to current and/or upcoming opportunities.  In addition, the call will provide both parties the opportunity to ask questions related to employment and to follow up on any outstanding potential matches.

Quarterly Learning and Networking Events

  • These events help to provide awareness, information and a forum to connect employers with talented job seekers with disabilities.  Simultaneously, employers participate in a workshop that focuses on the topic of disability, while job seekers participate in a workshop focused on pre-employment tips and tactics.  The two groups then come together for a networking event with a goal of sharing information and making connections.

Annual Conference

  • The annual conferences provide opportunities for employers, service providers and community stakeholders to learn, share knowledge and network. The goal of the conference is to create a greater community awareness of the talents and availability of people with disabilities as potential employees and to assist employers in seeing the value of extending their talent pool to include people with disabilities.  Conferences are held in the spring.