What is EARN?
The Employment Accessibility Resource Network (EARN) is a community wide initiative led by United Way East Ontario including Ottawa, Lanark County, Renfrew County, and the United Counties of Prescott Russell, that brings together in partnership employers, service providers and other stakeholders with the goal of increasing employment opportunities for people with disabilities and promoting inclusive and accessible workplaces.
Learn more about the Guiding Principles of EARN.
The labour force in Canada continues to shrink and employers are challenged to recruit and retain talent. At the same time, only approximately 62.8% of people with disabilities in Ottawa participate in the labour market – compared with 81.4% of the general population. Additionally, 1 in 6 people with disabilities live below the poverty line. By providing employment opportunities to people with disabilities, not only are we giving them a pathway out of poverty, we are helping employers access a virtually untapped talent pool to increase their likelihood of getting the right person for the job.
How will EARN Help?
EARN has four strategies:
- Help employers to ensure that their workplaces and practices are inclusive and accessible
- Support service providers to create sustainable employment opportunities
- Promote an “Employment First” philosophy
- Engage with the community of people/youth with disabilities to gain their perspective about the barriers to participating in the labour market