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Better workplace accessibility for Canadians with disabilities would boost economic growth: study

New research suggests that failing to make accessibility for people with disabilities a higher priority for Canadian businesses would cost the country billions of dollars in lost economic growth.

The findings from the Conference Board of Canada focused on people with physical disabilities, a population group comprising an estimated 2.9 million Canadians that’s expected to grow to 3.6 million by 2030.

The Conference Board says consumer spending from that demographic currently contributes about 14 per cent to Canada’s Gross Domestic Product, but adds that figure could be much higher if people with disabilities faced fewer barriers to participating in the workforce.

They say if businesses were to make a concerted effort to become more inclusive, both by making physical environments accessible and adjusting their attitudes towards the disabled, the economic impact for the country would be significant.

The research estimates the number of people with physical disabilities in the workforce could climb by 15 per cent, which could add $16.8-billion to Canada’s GDP by 2030.


The Conference Board said it arrived at its findings by combining its own original research with the Statistics Canada survey on disability, last released in 2012.

To supplement Statistics Canada’s work, the board had polling firm Leger survey 497 Canadians with disabilities in an online questionnaire conducted between Feb. 15 and 24, 2017. The polling industry’s professional body, the Marketing Research and Intelligence Association, says online surveys cannot be assigned a margin of error as they are not a random sample and therefore are not necessarily representative of the whole population. Leger is an accredited member of the association.

Here is the link to the rest of the article The Globe and Mail

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