Engaging B.C. businesses on the benefits of becoming “disability confident”, sharing best practices and encouraging inclusive employment were on the agenda during a visit this week from an internationally recognized expert.
Susan Scott-Parker, founder and chief executive officer of Business Disability International, a U.K.-based organization dedicated to harnessing the potential of inclusive business practices worldwide, has been in B.C. following the release of Accessibility 2024 - government’s 10-year plan to improve accessibility for people with disabilities.
During her week-long visit, Scott-Parker met with Minister of Social Development and Social Innovation Don McRae to discuss opportunities for the provincial government and the business sector to provide support for employers and employees to get under-employed people with disabilities into the workforce.
The visit focused on learning opportunities, tapping into Scott-Parker’s international business expertise, while supporting government’s goal of having the highest labour participation rate for people with disabilities in Canada by the year 2024.
Stops included meeting with WorkBC Employment Services Centre staff, members of the Minister’s Council on Employment and Accessibility, and the Presidents Group. The Presidents Group is a new network of B.C. CEOs established by the provincial government to move the employment agenda forward, modelling a similar group in the United Kingdom.
Known internationally for her ability to mobilize employers to the mutual benefit of business and people with disabilities, Scott-Parker is encouraging Presidents Group members to lead the charge in B.C. using an accessible, inclusive model for employing and creating consumer opportunities for people with disabilities.
Don McRae, Minister of Social Development and Social Innovation -
“Meeting Susan Scott-Parker and listening to the global knowledge and success stories she brings to the table, reinforces the important employment goals of Accessibility 2024, our 10-year plan for B.C. We need to recognize the important role people with disabilities can make in the workforce and in the greater community.”
Susan Scott-Parker, CEO and founder of Business Disability International -
"The Presidents Group provides an excellent opportunity for B.C. business to learn from and collaborate with the growing number of global companies improving their disability performance as a business priority. What we learned over 20 years is that this is a win-win for businesses and people with disabilities."
Tamara Vrooman, CEO, Vancity and co-chair of the Presidents Group - “Susan Scott-Parker is pioneering a new conversation between business, people with disabilities and communities throughout the world. The message for B.C. is simple - if we can continue to build diverse, inclusive workplaces everyone wins. As employers, we can connect to the communities we serve, while at the same time creating a sense of fulfilment for all employees.”
Sir Andrew Witty, CEO of GlaxoSmithKline and Ashok Vaswani, CEO of Barclays Retail Banking introduce Business Disability International at: www.businessdisabilityinternational.org/Page/Why-now/2
Review a copy of Accessibility 2024, government’s 10-year action plan for reducing barriers and increasing accessibility in B.C. at: www.engage.gov.bc.ca/disabilitywhitepaper
Explore a list of cross-government services for people with disabilities in B.C. at: www.gov.bc.ca/disabilityservices
For information about the Presidents Group visit: www.hsd.gov.bc.ca/pwd/presidents-group/index.htm
For information about the Minister’s Council visit: www.hsd.gov.bc.ca/pwd/ministers-council/index.htm
Ministry of Social Development and Social Innovation