Employer Series Steve Sharpe Video Transcript

Steve Sharpe speaking in video:

Steve Sharpe, the Sharpe’s Food Market, Campbellford, Ontario. We’re an independent grocer, who’s been in business for 53 years on this site. Over the years we’ve hired a number of people with disabilities.

We became proactive in the last three years with a hire of a young lady from Community Living. I attended a workshop that they put on and they did an excellent program on dispelling the myths around hiring people with disabilities: that somebody with a disability would be more prone to injury, or they would have poor attendance, or there would be a high turnover.

And with the statistics they mentioned they dispelled all of those myths, and as a result of that we hired a young lady named Jennifer, who turned out to be a model employee. She’s become a very loyal, hardworking, punctual, she has a contagious smile, and she is very good for moral for the entire store.

Since then we’ve hired a number of other people with disabilities and had a similar experience.
Our experience with Jennifer gave us the confidence to be more inclusive. So we have a culture here of being inclusive and as a result of that hire, my department managers are quite comfortable with and have hired a number of people with disabilities.
My safest employees currently are my people with disabilities.
Fifty-three percent of all Ontarians know somebody or have somebody in their family with a disability. So they see it as a very positive thing and the feedback we get from our customers is wonderful.
The business case for hiring people with disabilities is very strong. This is not a benevolent gesture, this is good business.
Do it for your bottom line.

For more Disability Employment Awareness Month resources, visit the DEAM section of the ODEN website.