REPORT - SOCIAL MARKETING RESEARCH by elfphabet2

VIEWS: 0 PAGES: 30

									PEI   C OUNCIL O F THE D ISABLED

  S OCIAL M ARKETING S TUDY




                               MacArthur Group Inc.
                               276 North River Road
                         Charlottetown, PE C1A 3L8
                                     March 18, 2004
                                                                      276 North River Road
                                                      Charlottetown, PE C1A 3L8 CANADA
                                                       T: (902) 628-1841 F: (902) 569-2874
                                                             doug@macarthurgroupinc.com
                                                               www.macarthurgroupinc.com




March 18, 2004

Judith Bayliss
Project Coordinator
Social Marketing Project
PEI Council of the Disabled
25 University Avenue
Charlottetown, PE C1A 7N7

Dear Ms Bayliss:

RE:    Final Report – PEI Council of the Disabled Social Marketing Study

On behalf of MacArthur Group Inc., I am pleased to provide our Final Report for the
captioned study.

It has been a pleasure to work with the PEI Council of the Disabled on this project.
We particularly wish to thank Marcia Carroll and you for the assistance and
management you provided during the course of the project.

Yours truly,




Douglas MacArthur
PRESIDENT
SOCIAL MARKETING RESEARCH PROJECT




                          TABLE OF CONTENTS



1.0     Background............................................................................1

2.0     Secondary Research ...............................................................3

        2.1 Overview ........................................................................3
        2.2 The Business Case for Hiring
            People with Disabilities ....................................................4
        2.3 The Role of Technology....................................................6
        2.4 Physical Space Considerations..........................................6
        2.4 Summary........................................................................7

3.0     Primary Research ...................................................................9

        3.1 Survey Questionnaire ......................................................9
        3.2 Other Stakeholder Interviews.........................................12

4.0     Recommendations ................................................................16

        4.1 Overview ......................................................................16
        4.2 Recommendations .........................................................16

5.0     Implementation Plan.............................................................21


APPENDIX: Survey Results ..............................................................23




PEI Council of the Disabled
SOCIAL MARKETING RESEARCH PROJECT



1.0 Background
In January 2004, the Prince Edward Island Council of the
Disabled (PEICOD) Social Marketing Project issued Terms of
Reference for an Island-wide research study on the needs and
opportunities related to employment of Islanders with physical
disabilities. In February 2004, Mac Arthur Group Inc. was
awarded the research contract.

PEICOD promotes the full participation and inclusion of people
with disabilities in all aspects of Island life. It is a voluntary,
non-profit and non-government organization, which is
incorporated as a registered charity. Governance is provided by
a 16-member Board of Directors, at least nine of whom must
have a disability. There are currently about 2,000 individual
members of PEICOD Island-wide.

The Council has offices in Charlottetown, Summerside, and
Montague and has nine permanent staff working in its various
programs. Others are employed to work on special projects
when funds are available.

The Employment Counselling and Services Program of PEICOD
assists people with physical disabilities to find and retain
employment and educational opportunities. Under the Program,
encouragement and assistance is provided to employers to hire
qualified persons with disabilities. Public awareness sessions are
conducted about employment of people with disabilities,
including appropriate language, etiquette, human rights, and
employment equity.

The Employment Counselling and Services Program has been in
operation since 1982. Services for job seekers include: career
decision-making, skills enhancement, job search, direct
marketing, and employment maintenance. Services for
employers include marketing qualified individuals to available
positions; performing work site assessments; providing
information and materials on hiring and working with persons
with disabilities; arranging work placements and making
referrals for wage subsidies; providing on-the-job support,
assisting employers to increase workplace accessibility. The
Program is funded by The Canada-PEI Labour Market
Development Agreement.


PEI Council of the Disabled                                      1
SOCIAL MARKETING RESEARCH PROJECT


In order to complete the requirements for this Social Marketing
Project, MacArthur Group Inc. undertook the following activities:

   Obtained initial orientation and ongoing direction from a two-
   person PEIC OD Steering Committee for the study consisting
   of the Manager, Employment Counselling and Services
   Program and the Co-ordinator of the PEICOD Social
   Marketing Project.

   Acquired and reviewed relevant secondary research relating
   to PEI, Canada and worldwide.

   Prepared,     pre-tested,  and    administered      a   survey
   questionnaire directed to individual Islanders with physical
   disabilities who were each first contacted by PEICOD to
   explain the purpose of the questionnaire and to determine
   the interest of each person to participate in the survey.

   Interviewed a cross section of Island employers and
   providers of services to people with disabilities.

   Placed newspaper announcement of the Social Marketing
   Project research, invited readers to make their views known
   to the Consultant, and incorporated responses into the
   findings.

   Analyzed findings from the research to develop a set of
   recommendations and an implementation plan, which is
   responsive to the RFP requirements.

   Prepared DRAFT and Final Report.




PEI Council of the Disabled                                    2
SOCIAL MARKETING RESEARCH PROJECT



2.0 Secondary Research
There is a wealth of information available from around the world
relating to employment of people with disabilities. This section
provides a summary of the most relevant information.

2.1 Overview
In Canada, approximately
                               “Who knows what I could have been?” This
10.4% of the working age       disturbing comment came from one of the
population (aged 15-64)        3,200 persons with disabilities who
                               responded to recent vocational needs
have      disabilities. While  studies conducted by the Ontario March of
69.9% of the able-bodied       Dimes. These studies reveal that 80 percent
                               of adults with disabilities in Ontario are
population are actively        unemployed, caught in a vicious cycle
employed, only 40.3% of        preventing them from finding permanent
                               work.”
the people who have a
disability are employed.              The Employment Equity Report
Women          who      have       For Unemployed Disabled Adults by
                                              Deborah Pal
disabilities are less likely
to be employed than men
with disabilities. Almost 29% of working age people with
disabilities have only grade eight education or less, compared
with 11% of able-bodied adults. Sixty-seven percent of people
with disabilities have an annual income from all sources of under
$15,000. Eighteen percent of people who are unemployed
(active job seekers) or are not active in the labour force have
disabilities.

Nearly one out of every five Americans (total population) has a
disability, according to the 2000 Census. And, of the
approximately 70% of people with disabilities who are
unemployed in the USA, two-thirds of them would like to work,
according to the National Organization on Disability, and market
research from Harris Interactive. In the USA, the number of
companies taking an interest in disability-friendly practices has
been steadily increasing since the Americans with Disabilities
Act was passed in 1990, giving people with disabilities the right
to equal employment opportunities.




PEI Council of the Disabled                                             3
SOCIAL MARKETING RESEARCH PROJECT


2.2 The Business Case for Hiring
    People with Disabilities
Katherine McCary, Vice President, Human Resources, Sun Trust
Bank, and Chair, The Virginia Business Leadership Network,
makes the following case for hiring people with disabilities:

   A diverse workforce is vital to business success. Employing a
   workforce that reflects the diversity of the marketplace is a
   key for successful employers.

   By employing people with disabilities, an employer can more
   effectively position itself to develop products and services
   that are more likely to sell to a diverse customer base,
   resulting in significant increases in long-term profits.
   Statistics indicate that people with disabilities in the USA
   have an annual aggregate spending of $1 trillion with $220
   billion in discretionary spending.

   According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the USA is facing
   a 10 million-worker shortage by 2010. Yet there are more
   than 14 million Americans with disabilities who are under
   employed or unemployed. Tapping into this talent pool will
   help to alleviate this worker shortage and reduce the need to
   send jobs overseas.

   A recent study by the         “…The most daunting obstacle facing
   Virginia Commonwealth         people with disabilities is unemployment.
                                 Canada’s Employment Equity Act strives
   University Rehabilitation     to remove that obstacle, and offers the
   Research and Training         members of our disability community
                                 opportunities to contribute fully to the
   Center on Workplace           society that they want – and deserve – so
   Supports (VCU RRTC)           much to be a part of.”
   included interviews with            The Employment Equity Report
   50 HR managers and 200            “ The Report Yields Mixed Results”
   first   line    supervisors         by Michelle Falardeau-Ramsay

   across the US who have
   hired individuals with disabilities. The study concludes that
   employees with disabilities are as capable and productive as
   non-disabled      workers   (timeliness,         punctuality,        task
   consistency and work speed). In addition, employers
   reported that the cost of employing a worker was not a
   significant issue. Anecdotally, employers report an increase




PEI Council of the Disabled                                               4
SOCIAL MARKETING RESEARCH PROJECT


   in morale and a decrease in turnover when including people
   with disabilities in their workforce.

A recent Employer Incentives Strategy investigated how
Australian employers can provide jobs for people with disabilities
today and into the future. The project included a national
consultative process that provided the basis for a Model of
Employment Decision Making. The model identified six key
decision points for employers when they are recruiting a person
with a disability:

1. They think it is reasonable.
                                  “… the basic attitude towards a person with
2. Someone asks them to           a disability will only change when society
   do it and they recruit the     meets the people they are uncomfortable
                                  with and understands that they have the
   right people efficiently.      same skills and rights as everyone else.”

3. They can try to see if it       - David Hingsburger, Author, lecturer and
                                     advocate for people with an intellectual
   will work.                                      disability

4. They pay a fair day’s
   wage for a fair day’s work.

5. The person with a disability can be integrated into the
   workplace.

6. It worked and they have someone to go for help if things go
   wrong.

The Australian model provides a framework for action to
encourage the employment of people with disabilities. The areas
of action suggested in the report are designed as an integrated
package to influence and motivate employer action at each
critical point in the decision-making cycle.

The Illinois Employment and Training Centre points out that:

   Most workers with disabilities require no special
   accommodations and the cost for those who do is minimal or
   much lower than many employers believe.

   91% of workers with disabilities displayed average to higher
   than average performance on the job.




PEI Council of the Disabled                                                 5
SOCIAL MARKETING RESEARCH PROJECT


   Individuals with disabilities have a diversity of skills and
   abilities and can meet many employer needs.

   Individuals with disabilities want to work and contribute to
   society.

2.3 The Role of Technology

Technology is increasingly accessible because of special tools
and inventive features, such as high-contrast colour schemes
that make computer screens more readable. As a result, millions
of people with disabilities can now pursue diverse careers and
participate fully in their communities.

More than 500 million people
worldwide have some kind of             “Nothing is more important than
                                        having a job. Stable employment
permanent        disability, including  will do more for an individual’s
several million Canadians who find      self-esteem and independence
                                        than almost any other measure.”
it difficult to perform one or more
everyday activities. This is an          - Mary Glenn, Director-General,
                                        Social Development Directorate,
enormous resource of talent and         Human Resources Development
expertise that employers cannot                     Canada
afford to overlook. In addition,
every year millions of workers suffer injury or illness that causes
a temporary impairment. And the workforce of industrialized
countries is greying. Gradual loss of some vision, hearing and
dexterity is a natural part of aging that will make the value of
accessible technology increasingly significant for people and
business. Technology can enable many of these people with
disabilities to become or continue as productive workers in our
society.

IBM is a leader in Canada in providing accessibility through
technology with their “independence series” products, which
address four areas: mobility, speech and hearing, attention and
memory, and vision. IBM points out that technology can now
make it possible for some people with disabilities to achieve
their full potential.

2.4 Physical Space Considerations
Barrier-free design strives to make the built environment
accessible to and usable by all persons. It promotes integration



PEI Council of the Disabled                                           6
SOCIAL MARKETING RESEARCH PROJECT


and independence through design that is safe, functional, and
dignified for everyone.

                                                    The          Barrier-Free
  “Canadian Abilities Foundation (CAF) has          Design       Centre    of
  undertaken a major study that aims to resolve a
  long standing dilemma – why employers say they    Ontario was primarily
                                                    initiated in the early
  can’t find qualified people with disabilities to fill job
  vacancies when tens of thousands of people with
  disabilities say they are unable to find work.”   1990s by consumer
                                                    groups of people with
   - Alar L. Prost, Canadian Abilities Foundation –
                     January 2003
                                                    disabilities, such as
                                                    Muscular       Dystrophy
                                                    Association of Canada.
Over time, the Centre has developed from a government
supported pilot home construction project, to its current status
as an independent, not for profit centre of design consultation,
education, and information. It is a leader in recognizing and
removing attitudinal barriers that can lead to architectural
barriers. Its activities range from awareness activities, to
architectural plan guidelines, to college credit courses in barrier-
free design.

There has also been progress on many other fronts relating to
more accessible physical environments. Rights-based legislation
has been one of the most important factors. Employment equity
requirements and legislation, at both federal and provincial
levels, are starting to underscore the common sense of
providing safe, functional, and barrier-free environments. The
point is made that – how can an organization plan to employ a
segment of the population if their facilities are inaccessible to
this very population?

2.5 Summary

The current opportunity to more fully integrate people with
disabilities into our work force is effectively summed up by the
U.S. National Governors Association:

         “Today, individuals with disabilities are increasingly
         viewed as both willing and able to work and, in
         many cases, as being more employable than some
         non-disabled employees. Heightened expectations
         on the part of consumers, increased use of modern
         service technologies, and newly emerging business



PEI Council of the Disabled                                                7
SOCIAL MARKETING RESEARCH PROJECT


      trends that value workforce diversity are enabling
      many people with disabilities to overcome what
      were once considered more significant barriers to
      entering the workplace. Additionally, many
      employers are recognizing several benefits to hiring
      individuals with disabilities, citing such positives as
      a strong work ethic, punctuality, interest in career
      advancement opportunities, and agreeability and
      cooperation with colleagues and supervisors.”

There are many key factors in successful initiatives to provide
employment for people with disabilities. Effective strategies
common among successful projects include:
   involving as many partners as possible, including employers
   and other socio -economic agencies;
   recognizing regional and local differences;
   ensuring personal and professional skills are acquired and
   these are transferable to real work situations;
   encouraging the autonomy of individuals while providing
   them with the supports they require;
   dealing with each person as an individual and seeing his or
   her abilities rather than disabilities;
   actively   involving    the     “Equality no longer means treating everyone
   education sector;               the same and, in fact, identical treatment
                                   may simply perpetuate inequality. For
   trying new ideas        and     example, equity in the workplace refers to
                                   reducing or eliminating barriers by providing
   approaches; and                 accommodations so that individuals have
                                   the   same      access    to    employment
   sensitizing employers and       opportunities.”
   staff in the workplace to
                                              - OHRC, 2002, Online
   issues for people with
   disabilities.




PEI Council of the Disabled                                                 8
SOCIAL MARKETING RESEARCH PROJECT



3.0 Primary Research
The primary research for this study consisted of:

   survey questionnaire of people with disabilities across PEI;

   one-on-one interviews with a cross section of PEI employers
   and providers of services to people with disabilities, and
                                                   n
   feedback from the newspaper announcement i viting input
   from Islanders.

3.1 Survey Questionnaire
Although 85 Islanders with disabilities initially indicated to
PEICOD that they would participate in the survey, a total of 46
actually did participate. For the others, some did not respond to
multiple e-mails or telephone calls, while a few indicated they
were not able to participate. It should be pointed out that the
total number of people with disabilities contacted (85) was
limited because of confidentiality issues. These confidentiality
issues involved HRDC, and their full resolution would have
extended the timeframe for completion of the study. However,
the consultant is pleased with the number of responses and the
quality of feedback received. In fact, the survey results provide
clear directions on priorities and approaches, in terms of
enhancing the employability of Islanders with physical
disabilities.

The summarized survey results are presented as an Appendix to
this report.

Question #1: What is your present employment status?

      20% of respondents are working full time, 13% part-
      time, and 54% not working but seeking work. It is
      encouraging that no one among the 46 respondents has
      given up looking for work.

Question #2: What is the nature of your disability?

      Although there is a wide range of disabilities among
      respondents, a considerable number relate to back/spine,
      arthritis/rheumatism, while less common disabilities



PEI Council of the Disabled                                       9
SOCIAL MARKETING RESEARCH PROJECT


      among respondents including muscular dystrophy,
      cerebral palsy, Graves disease, paraplegic, visual or
      hearing disabilities.

Question #3: How does your disability create barriers to
employment? and

Question #4: What would you need to overcome these barriers?

      In the occasional case, the disability is so great that any
      type of employment would present major difficulties, but
      in almost all cases, adaptations could be made, ranging
      from barrier free access, to specialized technology in the
      workplace, to understanding and support from the
      employer and co-workers. Some respondents would also
      be more comfortable and happy to work out of their
      homes.

Question #5: Do you have other needs that should be
addressed in terms of employment?

      32% cited transportation needs, while 39% cited
      education. Childcare was only a need in 7% of cases.
      39% had no particular needs. It should also be noted that
      to some extent transportation is a “Catch 22” situation, in
      that some respondents would need to purchase a vehicle
      or make other transportation arrangements if they were
      to commute to a job site.

Question #6: What types of work do you feel you are qualified
to do?

      A full 48% listed office/clerical, followed by child/elderly
      care at 14%. It is interesting that a substantial
      percentage indicate child/elderly care (14%) and
      counselling (11%). Some respondents obviously are
      interested in working with others who also may have
      special needs.

      It should be noted that if the results of this question are
      compared to the educational levels of respondents in
      Question #9, it would appear that some respondents may
      not realize that their education levels (and skill sets) may
      be inadequate to undertake the office/clerical or some



PEI Council of the Disabled                                    10
SOCIAL MARKETING RESEARCH PROJECT


      other desired occupations. Nevertheless, most of the
      occupational interests of respondents are in career fields
      that are experiencing growth and which are encountering
      some difficulty in attracting sufficient numbers of
      workers.

Question #7: What special kinds of skills/aptitudes do you have
that would qualify you for the types of work listed in #6?

      41% of respondents believe they have relevant training,
      while34% have experience, and 27% feel they would
      need training.

Question #8: For the kinds of work you listed in #6, what
amount of pay per hour or per week would you expect to
receive?

      34% indicated $7-$9 per hour; 32% listed $10+ per
      hour; 25% expected $12 or more, while one respondent
      would be prepared to work on commission. It is obvious
      that wage expectations of respondents are relatively
      modest and within the normal ranges for the types of
      employment they are seeking.

Question #9: What is your educational level?

      48% of respondents have Grade 11-12 or GED, while 8%
      have some university or a degree and 39% have post-
      secondary technical. Only 7% have Grade 8 or less, while
      9% have Grade 9-10.

      It is obvious that the respondent group is relatively better
      educated than most people with disabilities in Canada.

Question #10: What is your age?

      While 36% are in the 40-49 age group, a further 23% are
      in the 50-59 age group, and a similar percentage are 20-
      29 years of age. Only 5% are age 20 or less and only 7%
      are age 60 or over.

Question #11: Have you had occasion to use the services of any
organization(s) to help you find work and how would you rate
each?



PEI Council of the Disabled                                    11
SOCIAL MARKETING RESEARCH PROJECT


      Although respondents are generally positive about each of
      the listed organizations (except the small number who
      commented on Workers Compensation), it is obvious that
      the employment efforts of PEICOD are held in very high
      regard. Of those who had an opinion of PEICOD’s
      services, 50% of respondents rated PEICOD as
      “Excellent” and a further 23% rated PEICOD as “Good”.
      This is an outstanding result for PEICOD. A number of
      respondents also cited good experiences with HRDC.

Question #12: What do you feel needs to happen so people with
your type of disability can reach their full potential in terms of
employment?

      57% cited educating employers and the public regarding
      disabilities, while 25% feel government initiatives are
      needed; 11% don’t know what should be done, and 7%
      state that there should be a job list available first to
      persons with disabilities.

      The responses to this question strongly support a social
      marketing initiative directed at employers and the general
      public. It is particularly interesting that respondents
      clearly believe that for them to reach their full potential,
      there needs to be changes in employers’ attitudes, in
      society, and in the support system, rather than changes
      that they as individuals might make. This view is
      supported by secondary research findings around the
      world, which recognize the need for increased awareness
      on the part of employers and the general public.

3.2 Other Stakeholder Interviews

Interviews were held with a cross section of PEI employers,
industry organizations, and providers of services to people with
disabilities.

Service Providers

Issues identified by service providers relating to employers
include:

   Many employers are not aware of people with disabilities as a
   source of good employees.



PEI Council of the Disabled                                    12
SOCIAL MARKETING RESEARCH PROJECT


   Most employers do not really understand the nature of a
   disability and are afraid of becoming involved in a situation
   that they may not understand or know how to deal with in a
   “politically correct” fashion.

   Many employers cannot afford the cost of making their
   workplace barrier free or paying for other potentially costly
   adaptations for people with disabilities, so they avoid getting
   involved.

   Some employers are afraid of workplace liability issues
   involving people who may have back or other disabilities.

   At the employer level, there needs to be much more
   emphasis on developing awareness (i.e. social marketing) of
   the potential of people with disabilities as an asset in the
   workplace, and that the accommodations/adaptations
   needed are manageable, and that there may be program
   support available to assist the employer. Awareness can take
   the form of media initiatives, workshops for employers,
   liaison with industry associations, etc.

Among service providers, there was consensus that most people
with disabilities are keen to work and that work can provide
fulfillment in their lives. Several respondents felt that in some
instances opportunities could be enhanced, as per the following
comments:

   People with disabilities are not always fully motivated to find
   work and sometimes just don’t give 100% during the job
   search process.

   People with disabilities sometimes put up barriers, e.g., if a
   person has back or certain other physical limitations, it may
   be possible for the person to use an appropriate chair or
   appropriate technology for themselves, so they actually can
   identify some of the “accommodation” themselves. If, for
   example, one wants a job in the service industry, then ways
   may need to be found for the person with a back problem to
   be able to stand or otherwise move around (e.g. standing
   stools) for much of the workday. It should be pointed out
   that PEICOD, utilizing HRDC funding, can acquire such
   equipment at no cost to the employer or the employee with a
   disability.


PEI Council of the Disabled                                    13
SOCIAL MARKETING RESEARCH PROJECT


   A person with a disability should address this in an initial
   meeting with the employer so that the employer knows from
   the outset what is expected of him.

Employers

Discussions with employers and industry associations provide
further evidence that employers on PEI often have a lack of
awareness of people with disabilities as a source of good
workers. In most cases, people with disabilities are not on the
radar screen of employers. There do not seem to be negative
implications of hiring people with disabilities among Island
employers interviewed, just a common lack of awareness that
people with disabilities are in the labour market.

According to the Greater Charlottetown Area Chamber of
Commerce (at least during the tenure of the current General
Manager), that organization has never done any promotions,
studies, or other activities related to people with disabilities as
workers. However, the Chamber has recently served on panels
looking at labour shortages in the province, and is aware that
there are definite shortages in some industry sectors, such as
tourism. The only program known by the Chamber to promote
employers hiring people with disabilities is an HRDC program
that would contribute to employers who need to upgrade their
facilities to make them accessible to people with physical
disabilities.

Although the response from the Chamber is helpful, it also
points out the need for social marketing to take an intensive,
long-term approach to developing awareness. For example,
PEICOD itself is an active member of the Chamber, has a booth
focusing on employment of people with disabilities at some
Chamber events, and has had direct discussions with the
Chamber on promoting employment of people with disabilities in
the business community. Yet, it is obvious from the Chamber
response to our survey that employment of people with
disabilities is still not fully on the Chamber’s radar screen.

The Tourism Industry Association of PEI (TIAPEI) has never
been involved as an organization in promoting the hiring of
people with disabilities. TIAPEI acknowledges that there is a
labour shortage in the tourism industry and perhaps people with
disabilities could fill a gap.


PEI Council of the Disabled                                     14
SOCIAL MARKETING RESEARCH PROJECT


Finally, there is a consensus among stakeholders included in the
primary research that the PEI Council of the Disabled has a
major role to play in improving the employment futures of
Islanders with physical disabilities. This view was expressed by
all stakeholder groups and was reinforced in stakeholder
response to the newspaper announcement soliciting feedback.




PEI Council of the Disabled                                  15
SOCIAL MARKETING RESEARCH PROJECT



4.0 Recommendations
4.1 Overview
It should first be stated that budget, time, and privacy/access
considerations have limited our research to a set of snapshots
relating to employment of Islanders with physical disabilities.
We have only consulted with a sample of Islanders with
disabilities, employers, and service providers. Nevertheless, the
information received is rich, useful, and highly consistent. We
are confident that the recommendations that follow are
objective/unbiased, based on sound data/research, and, if
implemented, can have a major positive impact on the
employment of Islanders with disabilities.

It should also be noted that although there is much to be done,
there is also much that is being done, and being done well. In
an age of cynicism and scarce social/human development
resources, it is encouraging to receive such positive feedback
from clients with disabilities about the good work being done by
service providers such as the PEI Council of the Disabled and
HRDC here in the province.

Finally, there is ample evidence that Islanders with disabilities
are keen to be gainfully employed, have realistic and in-demand
work goals, and have the skills and interests that employers
need. On the employer’s side, the biggest issue seems to be a
lack of awareness on their part. So, matching employment
supply and demand for Islanders with disabilities appears to be
doable and can provide great benefits to the economy and the
social/community fabric of Prince Edward Island.

4.2 Recommendations

Recommendation #1:

      PEI Council of the Disabled should build on its credibility
      and experience in the employment of Islanders with
      disabilities to play the lead “front-line” role in an
      expanded, collaborative initiative to increase the
      employment of people with disabilities. There will be
      essential collaborative roles for HRDC, PEI Health and
      Social Services and other service providers/stakeholders.


PEI Council of the Disabled                                   16
SOCIAL MARKETING RESEARCH PROJECT


      Rationale: PEI COD is highly regarded by its clients with
      disabilities and is regarded by the clients as the obvious
      organization to lead an enhanced employment initiative
      on their behalf. HRDC, the Province, and other service
      providers (e.g. training institutions) have essential
      support roles to play in this initiative. The effort must be
      highly collaborative in order to address the range of
      issues/needs.

Recommendation #2:

      The centrepiece of an expanded, collaborative initiative
      should be a sustained and major social marketing
      campaign across PEI.

      Rationale: Evidence from the research here in PEI and
      elsewhere attests to the fact that the general public and
      employers are often unaware of the existing and potential
      role people with disabilities can play in the workforce. In
      fact, in many instances, it may be this lack of awareness,
      rather than accommodation issues, which is limiting
      employment opportunities for some people with
      disabilities.

      The need to more fully address awareness issues is
      commonly recognized by people with disabilities who took
      part in the survey. Additionally, employers, and even
      major Island industry organizations, acknowledge that
      this has not been “on their radar screen”.

Recommendation #3:

      In addition to a social marketing campaign creating
      heightened awareness among the general public and
      employers, there is a need for the campaign to also focus
      on a number of targeted, priority areas, including certain
      high profile physical facilities and certain specific industry
      sectors.

      Rationale: There can be great benefits if certain high
      profile physical facilities across PEI, for example, the new
      Atlantic Technology Centre in Charlottetown can become
      a barrier free, technology supportive model workplace for
      people with disabilities, such as Access Place in Toronto


PEI Council of the Disabled                                      17
SOCIAL MARKETING RESEARCH PROJECT


      has become. Similarly, can the CARI facility at UPEI and
      the proposed Summerside Wellness Centre become not
      only facilities that can provide physical activity for people
      with disabilities but also become centres for recreation
      workers and their clients who have physical disabilities?

      As to employment sectors of interest/opportunity, the
      survey questionnaire results identify office/computer,
      child/elderly worker, and counselling as particular
      skills/interests of respondents. With the skills shortages in
      tourism and other service sectors, there may be an
      opportunity to match the office/computer interests with
      such service sectors. Similarly, the child/elderly worker
      and counsellor interests may be highly relevant given
      shortages in healthcare and family services. There is a
      need and an opportunity to direct part of the social
      marketing campaign to these targeted areas.

Recommendation #4:

      There is a need to go beyond general awareness
      initiatives (although that is important) to address specific
      issues/opportunities relating to employers in the social
      marketing campaign and to provide services that go
      beyond the social marketing campaign.

      Rationale: Although part of the awareness message must
      result in capturing the attention and interest of employers
      in hiring people with disabilities, there is also a need to
      provide more detailed assistance to employers, including:

         Targeted information advice, and support about
         employing people with disabilities. This could take the
         form of seminars, employer lunches in each county,
         and speaker presentations to targeted employers
         (e.g., high tech, tourism, aerospace).

         Mechanisms to recognize employer’s performance and
         encourage ongoing improvement in employer’s efforts
         to recruit people with disabilities.

         Improve job-matching/job development services to
         increase mainstream recruitment of people with
         disabilities.


PEI Council of the Disabled                                     18
SOCIAL MARKETING RESEARCH PROJECT


         Develop and fine-tune productivity based wage
         assessment to measure performance from the
         employer’s perspective. It is important to be able to
         measure and cite specific examples of the value and
         productivity that is being achieved by employing
         people with disabilities.

         Put in place a set of “test” work sites to develop best
         practices in a PEI setting.

Recommendation #5:

      In addition to salaried employment, there is a need to
      encourage     home-based       businesses    and     other
      entrepreneurial opportunities for people with disabilities.
      This will also      require   assistance   to   would-be
      entrepreneurs to develop the skill sets and resources
      necessary to develop their business ideas.

      Rationale: For those people with disabilities who have an
      aptitude and desire to operate their own business, this
      can be an excellent avenue for employment while
      controlling the fashion in which they deal with their
      disability. For example, for some disabilities a home-
      based business can provide flexible hours, opportunity on
      site for needed rest breaks, and other in the home
      adaptations that can assist in dealing effectively with
      even severe disabilities.

Recommendation #6:

      To recognize the contribution of employers who are
      leaders in employing Islanders with disabilities and to
      recognize      leading   self-employed    Islanders    with
      disabilities. Although PEICOD is active in this area, such
      recognition needs to be given a higher profile across PEI.

      Rationale: Recognition is important in all facets of life and
      is particularly important in raising the awareness of best
      practices and leaders in employing people with
      disabilities. For example, the Alberta Business Awards of
      Distinction has an award entitled “Employer of the People
      with Disabilities Award of Distinction”, given to a business




PEI Council of the Disabled                                     19
SOCIAL MARKETING RESEARCH PROJECT


      demonstrating creative, leading-edge practices in hiring,
      training, and developing employees with disabilities.

Recommendation #7:

      To continue the work now being done in many other
      important areas which contribute to employment
      opportunities for people with disabilities. These range
      from developing and maintaining strong relationships with
      clients with disabilities, to addressing infrastructural (e.g.
      transportation, daycare) needs related to employment of
      people with disabilities.

      Rationale: Although a major new focus on social
      marketing is essential, so is continuation of the many
      other important services and initiatives being undertaken
      to assist people with disabilities meet their employment
      needs.

Recommendation #8:

      The Employment and Counselling Services Program of
      PEICOD should include sites that provide a life skills
      component, develop self-esteem, and act as showplaces
      for best practices in employment and inclusion of people
      with disabilities.




PEI Council of the Disabled                                      20
SOCIAL MARKETING RESEARCH PROJECT



5.0 Implementation Plan
It will require an appropriate Implementation Plan to act on the
Recommendations in Section 4.0. Following are proposed
implementation plan steps:

STEP 1:     PEICOD should seek consensus from key PEI
            stakeholders that this study provides an
            appropriate way to proceed in increasing the
            employability of Islanders with disabilities.

STEP 2:     Ensure that necessary funding can be put in place
            for continuation/expansion of the Social Marketing
            Project, for a new full-time job developer position
            within PEICOD, and for implementation on project
            specific initiatives in the Recommendations, such
            as self-employment/home-based business and
            workplace best practice sites.

STEP 3:     PEICOD should play the lead role (as per
            Recommendation #1) in implementing a sustained
            social marketing program (Recommendation #2)
            for an initial two to three year duration.

STEP 4:     At an early stage in the social marketing program,
            PEICOD and its key stakeholders should solicit the
            ongoing      participation   of   additional   new
            stakeholders (e.g. Technology PEI re Atlantic
            Technology Centre, CARI re UPEI sports centre,
            City of Summerside re proposed Summerside
            Wellness Centre, Slemon Park Corporation re
            aerospace industry), who can offer leading, site
            specific locations for greater employment inclusion
            of Islanders with physical disabilities, as per
            Recommendation #3.

STEP 5:     After new, strategic specific stakeholders are in
            place, as stated in Recommendation #4, then a full
            range of employer services and supports should be
            introduced and implemented by PEICOD. Some of
            these strategic sites can serve as trial and best
            practice sites to develop pre-employment job



PEI Council of the Disabled                                  21
SOCIAL MARKETING RESEARCH PROJECT


            readiness   for   particular   occupations     (e.g.
            technology, aerospace, trades).

STEP 6:     Concurrent (or at an earlier point) with strategic
            site development, PEICOD should play a lead role
            in developing and implementing a strategy that
            makes self-employment and/or home-based
            business (Recommendatio n #5) an option for those
            Islanders with a disability who have an interest,
            and who can acquire the skill sets necessary to be
            self employed. Self-employment can be an
            excellent option in some cases and can enable the
            self employed person to have a high level of control
            related to responding to his/her disability needs in
            a work environment, because he/she can in large
            measure control that environment. This self-
            employment/home-based business option was of
            considerable interest in the survey for this study
            but needs to be the focus of an in-depth study as
            to its merit, focus, support requirement, costs, and
            benefits.

STEP 7:     This activity would include Recommendations #6
            and #7 and would take place throughout the
            implementation phase. It requires that the kind of
            employment support functions provided by PEICOD
            continue in a highly responsive fashion, and that
            the social marketing program ensure a strong
            public recognition element for work well done and
            for employers who rise to the need and
            opportunity.




PEI Council of the Disabled                                  22
SOCIAL MARKETING RESEARCH PROJECT




                        APPENDIX

                   SURVEY RESULTS




PEI Council of the Disabled         23
            SOCIAL MARKETING RESEARCH PROJECT



                                                     SOCIAL MARKETING QUESTIONNAIRE
                                                      PEI Council of the Disabled Project
                                                                  March 2004
                                                           Total of 46 Respondents:




                                                                                                                                       Student*(2
1.What is your present employment                                    Working Part-         Not Working but Have given up Not able to students work
                                               Working Full-time
status?                                                                  time               seeking work looking for work work          part-time)


                                                                9                     8                     25                  0             2               4
                                                              20%                17%                     54%               0%               4%               9%
2. What is the nature of your disability?                                                       See Attachment


3. How does your disability create barriers                                                     See Attachment
to employment?


4.What would y ou need to overcome these                                                        See Attachment
barriers?




5. Do you have other needs that should be
                                          Transportation             Education            Childcare              Other              None
addressed in terms of employment?


                                                                14                17                         3                  3           17
                                                              32%                39%                        7%             7%              39%



6. What types of work do you feel you are
                                          Child/Elderly Care Office/Computer                 Retail/Sales         Counselling              Driving/Outdoor
qualified to do?



                                                                6                 21                         4                  5             5
                                                              14%                48%                        9%            11%              11%


7. What special kinds of skills/aptitudes do
you have that would qualify you for the         Need training         Have training               Have experience
types of work listed in #6?


                                                                12                18                        15
                                                              27%                41%                     34%


8. For the kinds of work you listed in #6,
what amount of pay/hour or per week                $7-$9/hr             $10/hr+                $12/hr+            Commission
would you expect to receive?

                                                                15                14                        11                  1
                                                              34%                32%                     25%               2%




            PEI Council of the Disabled                                                                                                           24
            SOCIAL MARKETING RESEARCH PROJECT



                                                                                                                 Some
                                                                                                                              Post
                                                                                                               University/
9. What is your educational level?            Grade 8 or less         Grade 9-10 Grade 11-12 (GEDs)                        secondary/
                                                                                                               University
                                                                                                                            technical
                                                                                                                degree


                                                                3                   4                   21                   8           17
                                                             7%                  9%                    48%                18%          39%


10. What is your age?                              60 +                  50-59             40-49                  30-39             20-29       20 or less


                                                                3                 10                    16                   3           10                   2
                                                             7%                  23%                   36%                 7%          23%                   5%

11. Have you had occasion to use the
services of any organization(s) to help you      Excellent               Good            Average                   Poor           Very Poor     No Opinion
find work and how would you rate each?

a. Human Resources Development                                  3                   8                    7                   2              1
Canada
                                                             7%                  18%                   16%                 5%           2%                   0%


b. PEI Health & Social Services                                 1                   4                    4                   2              1                 1
                                                             2%                  9%                    9%                  5%           2%                   2%
c. PEI Council of the Disabled                                22                  10                                         2                                3
                                                             50%                 23%                   0%                  5%           0%                   7%
d. Workers Comp                                                                                                              3
                                                             0%                  0%                    0%                  7%           0%                   0%
e. CompuCollege                                                                     1
                                                             0%                  2%                    0%                  0%           0%                   0%



                                                                                                              Should be job
12. What do you feel needs to happen so                                                 Educating
                                                                                                                   list
people with your type of disability can                                                 employers
                                                Don't Know          Gov't Initiatives                        available first to
reach your full potential in terms of                                                   & public re
                                                                                                                 persons
employment?                                                                             disabilities
                                                                                                             with disabilities


                                                                5                 11                    25                   3
                                                             11%                 25%                   57%                 7%           0%                   0%


13. Other comments.                                                                       See attachment




            PEI Council of the Disabled                                                                                                         25
SOCIAL MARKETING RESEARCH PROJECT


SURVEY RESULTS:

Summary of Question #2:

   Spinal injuries
   Arthritis/rheumatism
   Scoliosis
   Prosthetics
   Graves Disease
   Heart/Stroke victims
   Neck injuries
   Fibromyalgia
   Epileptic
   Cerebral Palsy
   Disc Fusion
   Seizures
   Spina Bifida
   Gunshot wounds
   Narcolepsy
   Asperts Syndrome
   Dyslexia
   Muscular Dystrophy
   Vision/hearing impaired
   T12 Paraplegic
   Asperger’s Syndrome
   Learning Disabilities (ADHD)

Summary of Question #3:

How does your disability create barriers to employment?

   ***Unable to stand or sit for any length of time
   **Unable to lift heavy items or reach
   Reading disability
   Physical deformity
   Embarrassing to tell employer about disability
   Visual and hearing impairments
   Occasional severe pain
   Accessibility
   Can only work part-time
   Needs regular rest periods
   Other employees uncomfortable
   Sleep disorder


PEI Council of the Disabled                               26
SOCIAL MARKETING RESEARCH PROJECT


   Needs hands-on training – no reading

*** Most often cited response.

Summary of Question #4:

What would you need to overcome these barriers?

   Accessibility (only about 5% of respondents cited this as
   a barrier)
   Flexibility in terms of time off and hours
   Equipment/software (only three respondents cited this
   as a barrier i.e. persons with hearing/visual disabilities)
   Furniture – small number of respondents cited that
   proper chairs, stools, desks etc. would be required.

Almost all participants feel that the primary barriers to
finding employment are lack of understanding by the
employers, and the community at large, of the nature of
specific disabilities. They feel that an effort must be made
to educate the public. There is a need to provide a service
to employers in PEI who want to hire and accommodate a
person with a disability, which provides workplace training,
discussion forums, access to information on assistive
devices and job accommodation for all employers.

Summary of Question #13 Other comments:

   should be an effort to promote job sharing;
   should promote working from home;
   persons with disabilities must realize that they need to
   get an education;
   government should subsidize employers until the
   employee has proven him/herself;
   should be more effort made to help to increase the
   confidence in persons with disabilities;
   employers need to show more compassion;
   people with disabilities need to be appreciated and
   validated.




PEI Council of the Disabled                                      27

								
To top