SRDC Releases New Research in Advancing Career Mobility for People with Disabilities - SRDC

SRDC Releases New Research in Advancing Career Mobility for People with Disabilities

April 29, 2024


[OTTAWA/VANCOUVER – April 29, 2024] – The Social Research and Demonstration Corporation (SRDC) has uncovered new research exploring the challenges that individuals with disabilities face in career advancement and career mobility; and identified ways that policies, programs, and services can support them in their employment journey.

People with disabilities experience greater social, economic and health disparities compared to those without a disability. Many experience barriers to meaningful employment, and once employed, face challenges in the work environment due to social stigma, lack of accommodation, and limited opportunities for advancement.

Career Mobility of People with Disabilities sheds light on the disparities that exist in career advancement and mobility opportunities between people with disabilities and people without disabilities, as well as steps employers can take to support career mobility for individuals with disabilities.

“SRDC’s research highlights the challenges that individuals with disabilities encounter in advancing professionally, emphasizing the urgent need for comprehensive measures in policies, programs, and services to support their employment journeys.” – David Gyarmati, President and CEO.

Some key findings from the research include:

  • Discrimination against people with disabilities is a primary barrier to career mobility; in particular, discrimination stems from negative stereotypes and a lack of knowledge about accommodations.
  • Intersectional challenges, particularly for marginalized groups such as racialized individuals and older workers with disabilities, compound these barriers.
  • Professional development and personal fulfillment are significant factors in defining career mobility and should be considered beyond mere employment.

SRDC’s research concludes that systemic changes to the workplaces are critical to fostering inclusive workplace environments that benefit individuals with disabilities, while also enriching the entire organization, such as:

  • Standardizing HR practices;
  • Recruiting diverse talent;
  • Offering enhanced employment support programs, and
  • Educating employees about disabilities and accommodations

While SRDC’s research has revealed many challenges and barriers that people with disabilities face, gaps in the existing research remain. Further exploration into these gaps is critical to uncover new and effective interventions that support career mobility for individuals with disabilities.

“According to the 2017 Canadian Survey on Disability, over six million Canadians aged 15 years or over live with at least one disability that impacts their ability to carry out activities in their day-to-day lives. By normalizing diversity, reviewing policies, and providing education, employers can create an environment where all employees, including those with disabilities, can thrive and advance in their careers.” – Shawn de Raaf, Research Director.

To learn more about Career Mobility of People with Disabilities and access the full report, please visit SRDC’s project page.

About the Social Research and Demonstration Corporation (SRDC)

The Social Research and Demonstration Corporation (SRDC) is a non-profit research organization created specifically to develop, field test, and rigorously evaluate new programs. Our two-part mission is to help policymakers and practitioners identify policies and programs that improve the well-being of all Canadians, with a special concern for the effects on the disadvantaged, and to raise the standards of evidence that are used in assessing these policies.

Since our establishment in December 1991, our SRDC team has conducted over 450 projects and studies for various federal and provincial departments, municipalities, as well as other public and non-profit organizations. We have offices located in Ottawa and Vancouver and satellite offices in Calgary, Hamilton, Montreal, Regina, St. John’s, Toronto, and Winnipeg.

For media inquiries, please contact:
Dianna Chepita: Corporate Communications Specialist, SRDC

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