With a passion for accessibility and pride in their craft, BuildAble is a unique company of health care and construction professionals who make accessible home and business spaces to meet their clients’ needs.
1. Tell us about your organization. What’s the one thing you are known for?
- BuildAble is a company of health care & construction professionals working together to make accessible spaces to meet clients’ needs;
- Vision and Core Values: passion for accessibility for every age and ability, pride in their craft, compassion for their community and understanding each client’s unique needs, a collaborative approach, and valuing the contributions of a diverse workforce and the impact that strong inclusive practices can have on the greater community;
- Niche: accessible home, business and retirement renovations, bridging the gap between a client’s health care team and environmental modifications;
- Types of projects: from installing grab bars to larger bathroom threshold modifications, modifying homes, and accessible additions onto an existing home to create an independent living space so a child with disabilities grows up in their own home and has a sense of normality;
- Finding accessible housing is difficult for those with severe disabilities and wait lists for accessible rental accommodation are long;
- Therefore a lack of accessible housing brings 2 kinds of clients: someone acquiring a disability later in life who wants to remain in their own home and parents of a child with disabilities preferring to renovate an existing home to meet their child’s unique accessibility needs.
2. What types of positions do you recruit for on a regular basis?
- Construction: client facilitator / sales, project management, administration, trades such as carpentry and fabrication;
- Health: recruit employees with a background in fields such as nursing, occupational therapy, and physiotherapy, those who are able to use their health knowledge, e.g., an understanding of the progression of various conditions and disabilities, to do activities such as creating environmental plans that address the long term needs of clients;
- To note: BuildAble focuses on the environment. They do not do treatment. Other agencies e.g., community care access centres, focus on treatment;
- This makes BuildAble an ideal employer for someone with a health background and a disability for whom working in a traditional setting, like a hospital, is not or no longer possible.
3. How do job seekers apply for positions within your organization?
- Positions are advertised on Indeed.ca and increasingly on the BuildAble website;
- BuildAble also shares their job postings with EARN;
- Health and office positions are salaried and construction roles in the trades are paid an hourly rate;
- Positions can be full-time or part-time, usually health and administration roles start on a part-time basis and can then evolve into full-time positions based on individual circumstances.
4. Who is your ideal candidate? (Specifically: what skills/competencies are important to your organization; do you build some of these on the job?)
- The most important quality is a passion for this type of work and embracing the vision / values of the company;
- Hire people who are highly driven, highly motivated, are compassionate, with good interpersonal skills, those who can work with other people as a member of a team.
5. What’s your best advice for someone who wants to build a career in your organization?
- A passion and commitment to the core values and vision of BuildAble;
- Consider your ideal career path and be open minded about the possibilities available to reach your goals.
6. How are you committed to providing employment that includes professional development and progression for persons with disabilities?
- Many positions at the company give career opportunities for people with disabilities, especially those with training in health care (e.g., nursing, OT & related fields) who can no longer work in a traditional setting like a hospital but who can bring their skills to work at BuildAble;
- Professional development most evident in health care roles: there is opportunity to ‘cross-train’, to research and learn about best practices in construction as it relates to environmental modifications. BuildAble facilitates this learning process.
7. More broadly, what policies and practices has your organization developed to create and champion an accessible and inclusive workplace for persons with disabilities?
- Having an inclusive workplace is a core value at BuildAble;
- Constantly working to improve accessibility in the workplace to meet employee needs with features such as door openers, bathroom modifications, and company goal is to accommodate employees so they can do their jobs effectively;
- BuildAble is passionate about having employees with disabilities in their workplace and is willing to support other organizations to do the same;
- Value the opportunity to participate in EARN. Thanks are extended to Sean MacGinnis, President of BuildAble, for giving of his time to conduct this interview. To find out more about careers with BuildAble visit https://www.buildable.ca/careers