People with disabilities

Discover job options and services designed to support people with disabilities and build your career here:

  • Pursue post-secondary education.
  • Get funding or assistive adaptations for your education.
  • Gain the work experience, job skills and technologies you need to do the job.
  • Create or expand your own business.

Career Exploration

Explore career options, day-to-day working conditions and the kinds of skills you’ll need for many B.C. jobs.

  • Blueprint Builder – Build your own career plan and find B.C. resources to choose a career, access education and funding, and get a job.
  • Career Compass – Take a career quiz, visit B.C. regions online or browse careers to explore your options.
  • Career Trek – Discover inspiring careers with 95 original videos highlighting jobs throughout B.C.
  • WorkBC Career Profiles – Find details on jobs that could be perfect for you, including salary, duties, education and expected demand.
  • WorkBC Parents`Guide – Help your teen explore career and educational options and make decisions, with the practical ideas and resources in this guide.

Education / Skills

Education opens doors to build your career. Find out how to gain skills that are in demand in the job market:

Find a Job

The Employment Program of BC (EPBC) provides support for people looking for jobs, including specialized services for people with disabilities. Learn about the program and services on WorkBC.ca. Then call or visit your local WorkBC Employment Services Centre. Use our interactive map to find a WorkBC Centre in your area. You may also be able to access EPBC services online.

To make the most of your first visit to a WorkBC Centre, let us know in advance if you’re connected with Community Living BC. If you are, consider bringing a family member or support person to your first meeting, as well as documents such as assessments, service and education plans, and your resume.

You can also use WorkBC Job Search to search thousands of job postings throughout B.C. by industry, salary, region and more.

Check out programs that are available to expand your work experience and skills:

Start a Business

Are you interested in starting or running a business? Grow your business skills with these programs:

Success Stories

Dan Spelt

Software Developer, CanAssist

Dan Spelt approached CanAssist in 2005 to get assistance building himself a keyboard stand. Now he works for CanAssist – he’s a paid member of the software team that develops customized technologies to increase the independence and well-being of people with disabilities.

CanAssist is an organization of engineers, software developers and program coordinators at the University of Victoria that helps people with disabilities improve their quality of life. Initially a small volunteer venture, it has become a team of about 20 professionals who offer their help to people across the disability spectrum.

After his first contact with CanAssist, Dan, who has cerebral palsy, became a volunteer technology tester. In 2009, he applied for and won a job with the organization. He now tests and programs software and carries out other computer-related projects. He also attends Camosun College with the goal of achieving a certificate in computer science.

CanAssist worked with Dan to accommodate his specific needs. Many of the changes were easy to adopt, such as improving access to his workstation by rearranging the area around it; ensuring that the workplace building and facilities within it are accessible to him; adjusting his work schedule to accommodate his college studies; and modifying his technology and equipment as needed. In fact, Dan used his knowledge to design some of his own technology modifications.

As CanAssist found, employing people with disabilities brings loyal and committed employees who support its goals and objectives. It also represents an opportunity to develop new and valuable perspectives, increase an organization’s expertise, and create a more welcoming, diverse and inclusive workplace.      

Find out how WorkBC’s supports and resources for people with disabilities can help you find and keep a job.


Jillian Carruthers

Director, Information Management/ Information Technology, Capital Investments, Ministry of Technology, Innovations and Citizens’ Services

Two factors resulted in the hiring of Jillian Carruthers in her current position as director, Information Management/Information Technology, Capital Investments with the Ministry of Technology, Innovation and Citizens’ Services (MTICS): solid qualifications for the job and an open attitude on the part of her employer.

Jillian, who holds a Bachelor of Science and is now completing an MBA, had considerable experience in IT project management, business case development, stakeholder relationships and other management areas. She heard about a job with MTICS through her network of contacts and applied through the B.C. public service. “The hiring process was long but thorough, and it provided a clear understanding of the requirements and expectations of the position,” she says.

Philip Twyford, Jillian’s employer, says that his branch was looking for qualified candidates and that Jillian fit the bill. “We support diversity in the workplace and focus on inclusivity. In Jillian’s case we proceeded through the standard hiring process to ensure that she had the right skills to meet our needs in a fair, merit-based competition.”

Because Jillian uses a wheelchair, some accommodations were necessary in her working environment, such as automatic door openers, accessible washrooms, and alternate transportation methods when needed. Jillian’s colleagues were very supportive and proactive in providing a supportive and inclusive environment for her.

Jillian finds both her job and her work environment fulfilling. “The ability and trust my supervisor provides to work from flexible locations and times greatly support my disability. I enjoy meeting new people across government and building strong relationships. The diversity in the people I meet and interact with each day is empowering.”

For Philip, having Jillian on the team is a bonus. “Our branch is able to break boundaries and be a leader in the way in which we support employees with different abilities. By supporting Jillian, we not only bring awareness to the value of employees with different abilities, but also highlight the many critical skills they bring to the public service.”

Find out how the Government of British Columbia is working to build a diverse, inclusive public service.


Amanda Arnet

Administrative Assistant, Ministry of Social Development and Social Innovation

After completing high school, Amanda Arnet obtained a Food and Customer Service Certificate from Camosun College in Victoria and found a job at Thrifty Foods. Two years later, she was ready for a job change, and submitted her resume for a temporary position as an administrative assistant with the Government of B.C. After two interviews, she was offered a position in the (then) Ministry of Social Development.

Amanda’s new employer worked with an employment agency for people with disabilities to assist staff with the employment process. Although Odette Dantzer, Amanda’s supervisor, had no concerns about hiring her, she wanted to ensure that Amanda’s co-workers would treat her like any other employee. The employment agency gave a presentation and answered questions from other staff. The only accommodation Amanda needed was some flexibility in scheduling, and care to ensure that instructions were clear, with step-by-step details.
“I have been working with the government for four years now,” Amanda says. “I love my job because we all work as a team. Getting a job might be scary for someone, but if you put your mind to it you can do it.” Amanda says she has “diversability,” not a disability. “We can do the same stuff as other people without diversability,” she says.
Odette Dantzer agrees that an employee with a disability is no different than one without a disability. “As a supervisor, it is about aligning the job tasks to the strengths of the employee,” she says. “You hire for skills, qualifications and education, then accommodate the disability secondarily.”

Find out how the Government of British Columbia is working to build a diverse, inclusive public service.


Leo

Flyer Distributor, Costa Verde Landscaping

When he started work as a flyer distributor, Leo worked a few hours a week. After growing in confidence and independence over four years at Costa Verde Landscaping in Victoria, B.C., he has become so fast and reliable that even the University of Victoria soccer players can’t keep up with him.

Costa Verde was not happy with its previous flyer delivery, and hired Leo through CanAssist’s TeenWork program. TeenWork helps youth with disabilities find and retain meaningful, part-time paid employment while attending high school. Leo's customized position started with basic supports such as job coaching and a checklist.

Leo quickly picked up what he had to do, says company owner Dan Milbrath. “Once you give Leo a task and teach him how it should be done, he really puts his head down and gets it done as fast as possible.” Now, Dan says, Leo delivers more flyers than anyone else. Using a map to orient himself, he flyers almost every home in Victoria twice per year. Leo also records his hours, the roads he has covered and the approximate number of flyers he has delivered, so he can report by email after each shift.

Within Leo’s first year, he expressed an interest in gardening and landscaping, so Costa Verde trained him to work a day a week on landscaping projects, where he helps the crew moving materials and doing other jobs.

Leo was Costa Verde’s first teen employee with special needs, but the support that TeenWork provided ensured a smooth development in the customized role. The position was so successful that Costa Verde hired over 10 others from TeenWork, as well as participants from similar organizations.

Dan also finds that the connections Costa Verde has made and the positive atmosphere have been good for business.

Find out how WorkBC’s supports and resources for people with disabilities can help you find and keep a job.


Vancity

Vancity is a values-based community credit union that is striving to be a leader in advancing workplace diversity. Since 2014, the credit union has created permanent part-time jobs for individuals with a neurodevelopmental disability, such as autism or Down syndrome, in its human resources department and branches.

The jobs provide administrative support, such as time stamping and filing statements; organizing payments for community partners; shredding and distributing mail; refilling ATM envelopes; greeting people; refilling coffee for the customer area; and organizing reimbursement documents.

With support from the BC Centre for Ability, each manager provided coaching for their team to welcome and support the new employees. Colleagues learned about social cues and how to communicate clearly and directly with their new coworkers. The coaching session allowed employees to bond, learn as a team and ask questions, such as, “Should I communicate differently with this person?” and “What if someone makes a disparaging remark?

To begin, the onboarding process was adapted and new employees spent time in the work environment with a coach from the hiring agency, doing some of the tasks and getting comfortable with the surroundings.

The only accommodation needed was individualized training. Vancity recognizes that each of the three employees they hired has a unique personality. Not everyone with a neurodevelopmental disability has the same needs, nor will they learn in the same way. Adaptability with customized training and planning helps ensure that the jobs are a success.

For example, one of the new employees, Paddy, works best when his workflow is broken down to specific tasks at specific times. One of his tasks is to assemble employee recognition packages for two hours every second Wednesday, allowing him to focus without distraction.

Initially, Vancity managers were not sure they had enough meaningful work to provide to the new employees. But when Paddy began mastering tasks, he approached his teammates and his manager to tell them he could do more. Paddy’s manager, John, consulted with the work team, then added tasks to Paddy’s workload and added more hours to his schedule. It proved to be a chance for Paddy to expand his working role, and also a way for the team to work more openly together.

Paddy has found that he’s capable of more than even he had thought. He is frequently called on to support his team on last minute assignments, when he has no time to prepare, and he’s completed his tasks well. One of Paddy’s personal goals is to become a solid presenter, and he has taken on announcements and a presentation at staff meetings.

More branches and departments are now looking at similar permanent part-time jobs for other work areas.