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Learning Portal - Career: Job Seekers with Disabilities

Job Seekers Guide for Students and Graduates with Disabilities

Are you a job seeker with a disability who is finding it challenging to find work, a placement or a co-op work term? Are you unsure about the process and how to talk about your disability? Perhaps you yourself don’t have a disability but you have a family member, classmate, colleague or friend who does. 

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Did you know?

"In 2011, the employment rate of Canadians aged 25 to 64 with disabilities was 49%, compared with 79% for Canadians without a disability...The difference in employment rates between persons with disabilities and those without a disability was lower among university graduates. This difference was non-significant in the case of university graduates who had a mild or moderate disability"

Statistics Canada Persons with disabilities and employment

About this module

Understanding how disability intersects with employment is important in navigating your future relationships, work search, and career.

For anyone searching for work in today’s competitive job market, finding a job can be a difficult and demanding task. For a student or graduate with a disability, the job search process may bring about other distinctive challenges.

We also know that persons with disabilities are uniquely valuable to employers. When an employer hires a person with a disability, they tap into underutilized talent, generate more diverse perspectives, create a workforce reflective of society, increase accessibility for all, and support the elimination of barriers.

Everyone should have an equal opportunity to fully participate in the workforce. This module is intended to broaden your awareness and provide you with the information and resources you need to be more successful throughout your employment journey.

In this module, you will learn about the following aspects of finding a job and working with a disability:

  • Different types of disabilities and how they can affect people’s work
  • The difference between essential duties you must be able to do and non-essential duties
  • When and how to disclose your disability
  • Job search and interview strategies
  • Types of accommodation and what you and employers are responsible for in the process
  • Your rights and responsibilities according to employment legislation
  • Information about resources and supports


This hub was created by The David C. Onley Initiative for Employment and Enterprise Development - a partnership between the University of Ottawa, Algonquin College, La Cité and Carleton University.

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Unless otherwise stated, the material in this guide is from the Learning Portal created by College Libraries Ontario. Content has been adapted for the GPRC Learning Commons in June 2021. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons BY NC SA 4.0 International License.

All icons on these pages are from The Noun Project. See individual icons for creator attribution. 

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