Recruit Ability

People with disabilities represent untapped potential!

Among those aged 25 to 64 years, persons with disabilities were less likely to be employed (59%) than those without disabilities (80%).

You can help change the narrative through inclusive recruitment by improving the accessibility of your recruitment processes.

More than half of Ontario businesses report labour shortage as a barrier to growth.

Hiring for Ability = Competitive Advantage

Maximized profitability
Organizations that include people with disabilities have higher staff retention rates, and people with disabilities have an average or better productivity.

Return on investment
Every dollar invested in accommodations has an average rate of return of $28 and the majority of accommodations cost $0 and 86% of employees with disabilities rate average or better on attendance.

Strong talent
Canadians with disabilities are well-educated: 56% have completed post-secondary education. Organizations that recognize students and new grads with disabilities will have an edge in recruitment and retention.

Accessible Job Postings

One of the first steps of inclusive hiring is the job posting itself. Ensure to include details like a description of the accessible features of the job location, physical job requirements, and essential duties. It is also helpful to include any flexible features of working conditions available. Consider how you word requirements carefully--is a car really required, or would an employee be able to travel between sites using a different mode of transportation? Remember to invite applicants to request accommodations if needed.

Tips for more inclusive job postings

  • Use plain language
  • Avoid slang/figures of speech
  • Optimize accessible text format and contrast
  • Provide alternative text for images
  • Review postings for unnecessary barriers
  • Include a method for an interviewee to requests accommodations
  • State supports available to all an interviewee maximal success
  • Include facility accessibility information
  • Provide essential skills and physical requirements in job descriptions
  • Avoid "grocery list" job descriptions
  • Post accommodations information on your company website
  • Celebrate your EDI commitment

More great suggestions for accessible job postings can be found at Discover Ability Network


You are looking for the BEST candidate for the job, not necessarily the one who interviews the best. Taking these steps will allow a candidate to best show their strengths and abilities.

Accessible interviews include:

  • Asking if accommodations are needed
  • Offering alternative formats
  • Letting people know ahead of time what to expect in the interview
  • Asking what they need from you to maximize success
  • Allowing job coaches to attend if requested as an accommodation

Invite applicants to identify accommodation needs in the interview process which might include access to technology, additional time for testing, or alternative transportation requirements. Universally, inclusive employers provide detailed information about the process to all candidates. This includes directions, arrival instructions, interview timetable, names and positions of the interview panel. Some companies now offer all candidates interview questions ahead of time and/or alternate formats for interviews.

Ensuring interviews take place in an accessible location and if virtual, ensuring captioning is on. Planning ahead increases universal accessibility of the interview process. Consider alternate formats as well.

These are just some of the ways that employers can increase accessibility in the interview process.

Check out additional accessible interview tips from ODEN!

There are many ways to recruit from Western

Connect with potential candidates by hosting an information session. We can help you host your event on-campus in an accessible space or in virtual or hybrid format. Accessibility supports are available for students and employers.

Post your opportunities on Western Connect, our free self-serve job portal. For positions with supported recruitment, let applicants know your preferred process. If the position is supported through a community partner, indicate this in the posting details and additional application instructions.

Our interview spaces are accessible, quiet, and centrally located on campus; an easy and convenient solution for both recruiters and students.

Want to create an opportunity for a student with a disability but need some help to fund the position? Consider these funding opportunities. SWPP funding for underrepresented groups, such as persons with disabilities, may cover up to 70% of student wages.


Ontario Chamber of Commerce Ontario Economic Report 2022

Accenture: Getting to Equal (2018)

Graffam, J., Shinkfield, A.J., Smith, K., & Polzin, U. (2002). Factors that influence employer decisions in hiring and retaining an employee with a disability. Journal of Vocational Rehabilitation, 17, 175-181.

Statistic Canada (2018). Canadian Survey on Disability Reports: A demographic, employment and income profile of Canadians with disabilities aged 15 years and over, 2017 (No. 89-654-X). Ottawa, ON. 

Discover Ability Network Roadmap

eRecruiting Tip Sheet (ODEN)