Six Ways to Tap Into the Multi-Billion-Dollar MarketMay 11, 2019
In Canada, there is a largely untapped market representing a purchasing power worth billions of dollars annually. And if you are not accessing this segment of the market, your competition is.
What is this market? People with disabilities.
People living with disabilities are not just a niche market, in fact: one in five Canadians has a disability. And they represent purchasing power worth a whopping $55 billion annually.
So what can you do to tap into this market? Here are six ways to get started:
- Expand your definition of inclusivity
Hiring from a few “diverse” demographics (e.g. women, the LGBT community) doesn’t translate to full inclusivity. Companies that don’t include people with disabilities in their recruiting universe are losing out on an educated, talented and motivated group of potential employees.
- Take advantage of your power
Business owners have the power to effect change. As leaders in the community, your commitment to being an inclusive employer goes a long way in your relationships with customers and suppliers.
- Act, don’t just donate
When corporations are recognized for donating money to inclusivity causes, they often feel they’ve done their part. Writing a cheque is a good thing; being an inclusive employer is better for your bottom line and better for our economy.
- Go beyond legislation
Government legislation isn’t designed to ensure inclusivity; it simply appeals to the lowest common denominator. Attitudes cannot be changed with legislation. Only hiring people with disabilities solves the problem of inclusion.
- Appeal to a huge market
53% of Canadians have a disability or are related to someone with a disability. That’s more than half the population. Companies who ignore this important employee and consumer demographic are foregoing a competitive advantage.
- Think outside the elevator
Corporations often believe that accessible entrances, ramps and elevators determine inclusivity. But only 6% of the disability community actually uses a wheelchair or scooter. Did you know that most disabilities are non-visible?.
Ready to make your business more inclusive and accessible? For more information, visit: Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA).
The AODA aims to identify, remove and prevent barriers for Ontarians with disabilities, with a goal of making Ontario fully accessible by 2025. The Standards under the Act contain the rules businesses and organizations must follow to identify, prevent and remove barriers for people with disabilities. The report can be accessed at: www.ontario.ca/accessibility.
And other provinces are following suit. Manitoba and Nova Scotia have or are in the process of developing legislation to improve accessibility for people with disabilities (Accessibility for Manitobans Act, Nova Scotia: Accessibility Legislation, 2016), and British Columbia and Saskatchewan have established action plans (Accessibility 2024, BC, Saskatchewan Disability Strategy).
If you are interested in hiring persons with disabilities, check out: discoverability.network.