Hiring Someone with a disability is good business. And that's the bottom line

Janet H.

Janet feared she would have to leave the job she loves when she began losing her sight due to complications from diabetes. There’s no doubt that her life changed with her blindness but, with the help of her guide dog, Sally, and a supportive work environment, Janet continues to make a positive contribution to the Casualty and Rehabilitation Claim Centre at Manitoba Public Insurance.

A clerk-typist, Janet’s employer worked to accommodate her changing needs. Once her vision loss was complete, MPI provided a screen-reader program so Janet could continue to use her computer without relying on the traditional monitor for information.

“It’s very satisfying just to be in a working environment with a group of terrific people who know they don’t have to treat me as though I were fragile,” says Janet. “Having a disability can feel very isolating, so working makes me feel useful again and connected to the community.”

Janet loves the social aspect of her job, especially the camaraderie of “being part of something.” She says hiring persons with disabilities is probably not the complicated process some employers might imagine.

“A lot of people have a hard time imagining what it’s like to live with a disability,” says Janet. “They may not give someone a chance because they just can’t fathom how it would work. Ask job candidates how things would work on the job, because they know their disabilities best. We have to come up with creative solutions to challenges all the time in our everyday lives.”