“Finding housing and employment are two of the biggest challenges people with SCI or related physical disabilities face in British Columbia. That’s why SCI BC created these two new websites. We wanted to help people meet these challenges head on, with the support and resources they need at their fingertips,” says SCI BC executive director Chris McBride.
Each month, SCI BC is inundated with requests related to accessible housing; in fact this was the number one question asked of our InfoLine staff in 2011.
For the past 10 years, SCI BC has met this demand by connecting accessible housing providers and people with disabilities seeking accessible or subsidized housing via our Housing List of Vacancies.
Building upon the success and demand for our Housing List of Vacancies, SCI BC created Accessible Housing BC.
Accessible Housing BC is the first online resource in B.C. dedicated exclusively to connecting accessible housing seekers with accessible housing providers who wish to rent or sell properties.
This resource is entirely free to use and people only have to create an account and sign in if they wish to post a listing.
Housing providers can post accessible properties they wish to sell or rent, and housing seekers can search for properties by region or they can refine their search by choosing specific accessibility features, certain types of properties or by selecting only subsidized or coop housing.
SCI BC will also use the website as a resource portal. All the relevant information and resources people may need to find or provide accessible housing will be available on the site.
Unemployment is a major problem for people living with a spinal cord injury (SCI).
In 2006, Stats B.C. found that the employment rate for those with a disability was less than 60 per cent, compared to 74 per cent for the general population. Amongst those with severe disabilities the findings were even worse: only 47 per cent were employed. 
With 2.8 million British Columbians living with a disability in 2006—more than one in ten people—high rates of unemployment can affect the whole province’s economy. 
It doesn’t have to be this way. SCI BC frequently receives calls from employers at various businesses and organizations who want us to share their job postings with our membership.
To facilitate a link between job providers reaching out to the untapped workforce of people with disabilities and job seekers with disabilities looking for these employment opportunities, SCI BC created the Accessible Employment Board.
This is the first online resource in B.C. dedicated exclusively to helping people with disabilities find employment opportunities.
The Accessible Employment Board is entirely free to use. Job seekers with disabilities can post their resumes on the site to market their particular skills directly to employers who are committed to employment equity and developing a diversified work place.
Job providers, meanwhile, can target their job openings directly to people with disabilities. In the long-term, this can save employers time and money: people with disabilities tend to have a 72 per cent higher retention rate than people without disabilities.
The site is also a resource portal. Job seekers can access information to help them with resume, cover letter and interview skills and employers can find resources relevant to them, like “Myths and Facts about Hiring and Working with people with Disabilities”.
“This four-evening workshop is targeted toward individuals with a disability or recovering from a disability. Learn job search strategies with resumé and cover letter writing, where to look for jobs and interview skills. We will run through the full job search and application process with practice interviews and how to handle disclosure about your disability.”
The class if free but spots fill up fast! Register now before it’s too late!
Check out these sites today and spread the word! The more people know about these new resources, the more effective they will be. If you have any suggestions for improvements, we’d love to hear from you! Give us your feedback on the comments section of this blog or via Facebook or Twitter.
Candice Vallantin is SCI BC's communication specialist. She likes dark chocolate, whiskey and yoga. Usually not in that order.
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