Guide for Jobseekers with Learning Disabilities by Jackie Edwards

Promoting positive change for jobseekers with learning disabilities is an ongoing battle but advocacy groups have worked hard so that 49% of Canadians with learning and physical disabilities have found work. With approximately 11% of the population in the Canadian labor market identified as persons under said category, advocacy groups are campaigning to ensure that everyone has a job that can support daily needs. Active participation in the labor market for all persons with learning disabilities is the dream.

Although there are a lot of challenges, different industries across the country have opened up to hiring more people with learning disabilities. The future looks bright and finding a job is now easier than most think. In fact, all you need to do is to focus on your strengths so that you can find a career path that is both rewarding and lucrative.

Jobseekers and the Importance of a Good Resume

For jobseekers with learning disabilities, a resume that showcases competencies and experience is needed. Having this information is a great way for hiring managers to get to know you and to determine your potential contribution to the workplace. Listing your responsibilities in your previous jobs is also recommended, according to experts. If you feel that you do not have enough work experience, you can add your volunteer experiences.

This is a great way to show a potential employer that you have been actively seeking skills and that you are an active member of the community. These experiences also show employers that you are always willing to lend a hand and lend your time to people for a worthy cause. If you have done some job shadowing in the past, include this as well because it shows that you took the time to explore different career paths to see which one suits you best.

Different Job Options 

Based on the Canadian Survey on Disability in 2012, around 2% of Canadians who have learning-related disabilities believe that their situation hinders them from doing daily activities. However, this shouldn’t stop you from looking at your options. Many individuals with learning disabilities are good at or even better at understanding complex systems, according to experts. Because of this gift, they thrive as automotive technicians or chemists. Based on recent salary reports, chemists have a median salary of $68,578 while automotive technicians make an average of $56,538 a year. Becoming a veterinary technician is also a good career path because this job is predicted to experience a labor shortage between 2018 and 2024. Veterinary technicians make an average of $37,440 annually. If you are great with children, you can also opt to become an early childhood educator and make an average of $37,782 per year.

Tips for Finding Work

Finding a job has its challenges but if you know the kind of job you want, the rest will follow. However, experts note that persons with learning disabilities need to find the right employer first.

It is advisable for you to do your research on which companies actively comply with the country’s employment equity laws so that you can increase your chances of getting hired. You can search for vacancies in their websites but if they are not currently advertising open positions, it won’t hurt to send them an email.

If you have been having a hard time looking for a job even if your resume showcases your skills and work-related experience, making your case to potential employers is a good route to take. You can consider adding potential advantages to your resume. This can be competitive advantage, problem solving skills, or the fact that your presence can enhance the public image of an employer.

Special Thanks to Jackie Edwards, author and regular contributor at LDAH