Inclusive Employer Resources

Offering Inclusive Employment

Employers desire a workforce that leads to success. Common myths, barriers, and biases often hinder businesses from considering people with disabilities to join their team. Inclusion Foothills works with employers to build and sustain inclusive, productive workplaces. In doing so, recruiting can attract the best individuals to achieve their goals.

Why People With Disabilities Are Overlooked

  • Employers make assumptions about what a person can or cannot do on the job or how the person with a disability will fit in.

  • Employers believe hiring someone with a disability requires making expensive alterations to the worksite.

  • Employers are concerned that Human Rights legislation will make it hard to fire someone with a disability whose performance does not measure up.

  • Conventional recruitment methods do not always reach people with disabilities.

  • Job ads ask for inflated qualifications, rather than the basic knowledge or skill needed to perform the job.

  • People with disabilities assume they won't be considered for a job, so do not apply.

Teen in food establishment

DR from High River

H.I.R.E. Participant

"I take pride on working on being the best employee I can be every time I go to work."

Realities Of Inclusive Hiring

  • People with disabilities are represented in every sector or industry in our economy. They are simply people looking for real jobs.

  • People with disabilities may have been rejected so often, they have given up looking for work.

  • The skills that many people with disabilities have perfected - such as perseverance or the ability to overcome obstacles - are not usually job requirements, although they may be necessary in getting the work done.

  • The same standards of job performance should apply to all employees. However, a person with a disability may need specific accommodations in order to perform all job-related tasks to the required standard. These needs must be taken into account at hiring and as changes occur over time either in the disability or the job requirement.

  • Any employee may become disabled during their term of employment and require specific accommodations. Being an inclusive-minded employer means you are prepared for such situations and can make adjustments with less business interruption.

Diversity is the mix.

Inclusion is making the mix work.

Andrés Tapia

Inclusive Workplace Programs

Inclusion Foothills recognizes the importance of supporting employers in their desire to create open and inclusive workplaces. We are here to assist with needs requirements, candidate pre-screening as well as implementing necessary accommodations and training.


The Having Inclusive Rewarding Employment (H.I.R.E.) program is not exclusive to those seeking employment. Employers wishing to create a diverse workforce are welcome to work with Inclusion Foothills as well.

The process begins with an employer consultation to identify business needs, opportunities that may have been overlooked, and what they look for in an employee. 

With that information in hand, we use our H.I.R.E. participant database to find the person with the best skills match for the position. By posting positions with us, employers save time by receiving only qualified candidates.

H.I.R.E. does not stop there. Where a barrier to employment exists, we assist the employer with the necessary accommodation. Usually these are very minor but can seem much larger when you don't know what should be done.

Inclusion Foothills Career Advisors continue to work with both the employer and employee throughout the work engagement. Support and re-training are given as required to ensure a productive and positive workplace. 

Partially funded by Government of Canada
Teens on workshop break
Three women at tradeshow IEP booth

Inclusive Employment Partnerships (I.E.P.) Project

For some time now businesses have been asked to hire people with disabilities, they were told it’s the right thing to do, it’s good for business. What was missing for the business community is the genuine partnerships and information you needed to make this happen.

The Inclusive Employment Partnerships (I.E.P.) Project raises awareness of the benefits of hiring persons with disabilities, helping you become an inclusive business. I.E.P. can work with your business to provide the information you need to make this happen. Your business may already have inclusive practices; but what if you can raise the bar and in turn benefit from an incredible partnership that is invested in your business.

Inclusive Employment Partnerships is here to educate, help and open a whole new world of possibilities.

With the proper resources and information strategies, I.E.P. strives to create effective and sustainable partnerships with businesses in the Foothills.

I.E.P. can provide information and resources on inclusive practices through “Let’s Break to Educate” sessions and presentations.

The I.E.P. team is at networking events, and offering events to highlight resources you may need for your business to be inclusive, up to date and informed about hiring people with disabilities. This collaboration with fellow businesses, industries, employers, and the community will identify solutions and empower you to be confident in your human resource practices.

By taking advantage of the information, resources, and opportunities to network with like minded businesses who are also striving to include person with disabilities in their workplace, you position yourself as a community leader and leader among your peers.

Inclusive Employment Partnerships with businesses works!

The Province of Alberta is working in partnership with the Government of Canada to provide employment support programs and services.

Partially funded by Governments of Canada and Alberta
Woman receiving certificate of inclusive employment
Sheena Small outside store


Do you like the idea of being your own boss? Being an entrepreneur has its own rewards and challenges to work through. Our H.I.R.E. advisors can help you explore the possibilities and assist you with putting together a business plan.

Inclusion Foothills is very proud of the individuals who work with H.I.R.E. on the journey of self-employment. Our programs and events support these business owners because their efforts contribute to their families and building an inclusive local community. We ask you to consider supporting them as well by using their services, buying their products and sharing their story.

Every individual matters.

Every individual has a role to play.

Every individual makes a difference.

Jane Goodall

Inclusive Employer Toolkit

Employers wanting to hire someone with a barrier may be unsure about the process. These resources were selected specifically to help your business throughout the entire process of working with employees with barriers.

Bizz Buzz Newsletter

  • Bizz Buzz newsletter on inclusion readiness

    Issue 12: Inclusion Readiness

    PDF: Issue 12 highlights questions to evaluate your place of business for inclusion readiness. Information, resources, and workshops can help to remove unseen barriers in every workplace. 

  • Bizz Buzz newsletter on Ubuntu Pies and Interviewing Persons with Disabilities

    Issue 1: Feature - Ubuntu Pies

    PDF: Issue 1 highlights insights from Ubuntu Pies on how inclusive hiring improves processes and systems. Bizz Bytes covers interviewing people with disabilities.

  • Bizz Buzz newsletter on Sprung Structures and Mental Health

    Issue 2: Feature - Sprung Structures

    PDF: Issue 2 highlights insights from Sprung Structures on how everyone brings something to the table. Bizz Bytes covers mental health in the workplace. 

  • Bizz Buzz newsletter on Mamie's Treats and Gen Z

    Issue 3: Feature - Mamie's Treats

    PDF: Issue 3 highlights insights from Mamie's Treats on the positive outcomes of workplace accommodations Bizz Bytes covers working with Gen Z.

  • Bizz Buzz newsletter on benefits of collaboration

    Issue 6: Feature - Collaboration

    PDF: Issue 6 highlights insights into the connection between collaboration and inclusion and tips for hiring women in non-traditional roles.

  • Bizz Buzz newsletter on benefits of female employees

    Issue 7: Feature - Female Employees

    PDF: Issue 7 highlights actions your business can take in your recruiting process and organization to help attract more women and benefit from a diverse workforce.

  • Bizz Buzz newsletter on what inclusion means

    Issue 9: Not Having To Ask

    PDF: Issue 9 highlights the 7 Pillars of Choice and Attitude along with suggestions for making your job postings attract more candidates and the impact on revenue by having an accessible business.

  • Bizz Buzz newsletter on DEAM

    Issue 10: DEAM

    PDF: Issue 10 highlights Disability Employment Awareness Month (DEAM) which celebrates and recognizes people with barriers actively employed in Alberta and the businesses who embrace the benefits of a diverse workforce.

  • Bizz Buzz newsletter on collaborating roles

    Issue 11: Behind The Scenes

    PDF: Issue 11 highlights all the roles including participants, coaches, support, and businesses that come together to help a person find and keep a job. 


  • Working In Alberta

    Working in Alberta

    PDF: This guide will help immigrants with international education and training identify realistic employment opportunities to make a successful transition into Alberta's workforce.

  • Employing A Diverse Workforce

    Employing a Diverse Workforce

    PDF: This guide explores the strengths of a diverse, inclusive business and a basic model for workplace inclusion. 

  • Succession Planning

    Succession Planning

    PDF: This guide discusses how Alberta employers reduced the risk of skill and knowledge loss through succession planning, knowledge transfer and retention strategies.

  • Retraining Your Staff

    Retaining Your Staff

    PDF: This guide looks at retention strategies to reduce turnover costs and position your business as an employer of choice to keep and attract employees. 

  • Your Rights and Responsibilities at Work

    Your Rights and Responsibilities at Work

    PDF: This guide answers common questions about employment rules in Alberta covering rights and responsibilities before starting, during and leaving a job.

  • Equity And Inclusion Lens Handbook

    Equity & Inclusion Lens Handbook

    PDF: This guide helps organizations create a positive work environment by applying an inclusive, equitable lens to incorporating diverse perspectives, removing systemic barriers, and customer relations.

  • Labour Market Information

    Labour Market Information for Your Business

    PDF: This guide is designed to increase awareness of labour market information for decision makers who are looking to increase productivity and competitiveness of their business.

  • Let's Talk

    Let's Talk

    PDF: This guide will help businesses to identify and address conflict among co-workers demonstrating effective techniques, skills and attitudes. 

  • Finders Keepers

    Finders & Keepers

    PDF: This guide discusses strategies to help employers attract, select and retain skilled employees to reduce turnover, especially in a tight labour market.

  • Thinking About Layoffs?

    Thinking About Layoffs?

    PDF: This guide provides general information for employers considering layoffs to explore other possible options and navigate the process of letting go of employees. 

  • An Employer's Guide to Employment Rules

    An Employer's Guide to Employment Rules

    PDF: This guide is for those within a business with payroll responsibilities and discusses the laws governing what must be done for employees before hiring, during employment, and when leaving.

Websites & Checklists

  • Ready Willing Able

    Ready Willing & Able

    Website: RWA is a hub of free resources that supports businesses in growing their inclusive workforce. They provide information, assistance, connections and on-the-job support for employees.

  • Hiring Persons With Disabilities

    Hiring Persons with Disabilities

    Website: The Government of Canada has curated information, tools and resources on inclusive workplaces. Topics covered are why inclusion is good for business, support for hiring, workplace tools, and financial support.

  • Alis


    Website: Alis website provides career, learning, and employment information that helps Albertans achieve success. Their employer resources address a range of concerns or situations employers will encounter in operating their business.

  • Alberta Human Rights

    Alberta Human Rights Commission

    Website: The Alberta Human Rights Commission's offers a range of info sheets, guides, and training about Albertan's rights, and specifically addresses human rights in the workplace. 

  • Inclusive Business Checklist

    Inclusive Business Checklist

    PDF: Assess your inclusive employment readiness with this short set of questions covering six key areas to consider.

Karen Wilke, Assistant Manager

Okotoks Mission Thrift Store

"Persons with disabilities are so valuable to our volunteer base ... They bring a diversity, perspective, and sense of humor that we otherwise would miss out on! They do a considerable amount of work processing & merchandising donations, and we truly rely on their support."

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