Mohawk College in Hamilton helps advance employment of deaf and hard-of-hearing Ontarians
Published February 9, 2022 at 1:25 pm
Mohawk College in Hamilton is leading the way in helping to address barriers to employment for deaf and hard-of-hearing Ontarians.
The provincial government is investing over $750,000 to support a new initiative, which is led by Mohawk in partnership with George Brown College and the Canadian Hard of Hearing Association (CHHA). They will collect and analyze data while providing employers with opportunities to further support deaf and hard-of-hearing individuals in the workplace.
“With the support of the Ministry, Mohawk College is pleased to collaborate with George Brown College and the Canadian Hard of Hearing Association to address critical workforce priorities for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing,” said Ron J. McKerlie, Mohawk College president and CEO. “This partnership will establish some best practices that will help advance the economic and social well-being of this community.”
Data collection for employers and community members will include surveys, questionnaires, interviews, and focus groups.
The province believes the initiative will help strengthen employment pathways and fill current job vacancies.
“We need all hands on deck to fill the generational labour shortage Ontario currently faces,” said provincial minister of labour, Monte McNaughton. “I am proud to support a project that will connect deaf and hard of hearing people with pathways to meaningful careers and help local businesses find the skilled workers they need.”
More than 5,000 deaf and hard-of-hearing individuals receive disability payments through the province, which totals more than $90 million. It’s believed only 20 per cent of deaf Canadians are fully employed, while 42 per cent are under-employed and 38 per cent are unemployed.
“This project will allow the partners to create a gateway that would enable employers to see the value of hiring Deaf and Hard of Hearing Ontarians to strengthen their workforce,” said Bruce Belcher, employment pathway lead for the Deaf Empowerment program at Mohawk College. “We are resilient and possess the necessary skills to meet the demands of today’s economy.”
The Ontario Deaf and Hard of Hearing Community and Employment Access Project will conclude on Oct. 14, 2022.insauga's Editorial Standards and Policies advertising