BioTalent Canada to Assist Ontario Biotech Companies with Accessibility-Compliance Reporting
Americas, September 22 2016
OTTAWA: OntarioBioTalent Canada announced the launch of an employer-awareness campaign. In support of the Government of Ontario’s EnAbling Change Program, BioTalent Canada’s EnAbling Change campaign aims to educate and prepare biotechnology companies in Ontario for the province’s 2017 accessibility-compliance reporting deadline.
Funded in part by the Government of Ontario, the EnAbling Change Program aims to reach and educate employers to comply with the regulations of the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA). Through this project, BioTalent Canada will also help biotech companies in Ontario understand and comply with the requirements of the Government of Ontario’s Accessible Employment Standard.
In 2017, businesses and non-profits with 20 or more employees, and public sector organizations must file an accessibility compliance report with the Government of Ontario. Through the EnAbling Change campaign, BioTalent Canada will promote and distribute existing tools and resources to help obligated organizations within Ontario’s bio-economy comply with accessibility standards.
The AODA is designed with the aim to improve the lives of persons with disabilities in Ontario by establishing standards in key areas of daily life, including customer service, employment, information and communications, transportation and the design of public spaces.
As a national non-profit HR association for the Canadian biotech industry, BioTalent Canada periodically conducts labour market research. The organization’s report, Sequencing the Data, stated that only 7.6% of bio-economy companies had persons with disabilities on staff, a figure well below other industries.
For BioTalent Canada, the EnAbling Change Program is a timely initiative that complements its ongoing project, the Opportunities Fund for Persons with Disabilities, a federally-funded initiative meant to address the low employment of persons with disabilities in biotech by introducing a wage subsidy to off-set the start-up costs of orientation, integration and skills development.
“Canadians with disabilities represent a strategically valuable labour market, one which is under-represented in Ontario’s bio-economy,” said Rob Henderson, BioTalent Canada’s President and CEO. “We are pleased to support this progressive legislation that will help biotech companies improve their own HR programs so that they can tap into this rich source of talent.”
Along with providing tools and resources to help companies comply with Ontario’s accessibility standards, BioTalent Canada is partnering with provincial industry-associations, Life Sciences Ontario and the Ontario Bioscience Innovation Organization, to host events across the province to educate and train employers.
For more information about EnAbling Change, bio-economy companies are encouraged to visit BioTalent Canada’s website, biotalent.ca/EnAblingChange