Canada Employment and Immigration Union -
December 2, 2016

International Day for Disabled Persons – December 3rd

“You don’t look disabled to me.” To the large percentage of Canadians suffering from hidden disabilities, that is a common refrain. When we hear the term “disability”, people think about the obvious, sensory disabilities such as blindness or mobility impairments. However disabilities include sleep disorders, chronic pain, chemical sensitivities, learning disabilities, or hearing loss, to name a few.

All of these conditions can have a serious impact on every day activities. Not disclosing and requesting accommodations can be detrimental to performance evaluations in the workplace. The burden of concealing a disability creates strain in work situations that can negatively affect health and well-being. Employers and others should be aware of the unique challenges related to hidden disabilities. The decision to disclose is not an easy one because of the potential stigma. There is also the risk of the additional stigma of being viewed as someone seeking personal gain.

Over two million Canadian adults with disabilities lack one or more of the educational workplace aids or modifications needed to participate fully in their workplace or communities.

Let’s take a moment to reflect on the nearly four million Canadians who are disabled on this International Day of Persons with Disabilities.

Genie McDougall & PJ Finczak
Representatives for Members with Disabilities
Human Rights/Race Relations Committee

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