City buildings being illuminated to throw light on disability employment

(Photo from PxFuel)

Sarnia City Hall and the Bluewater Power building will be lit purple and blue the night of October 22.

It’s part of a national movement called “Light It Up” in recognition of National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM).

Manager of Employment Options at Community Living Laura Stokley said hiring someone with a disability is exactly the same as hiring anyone else.

“There are quality candidates who may have barriers but when you look at the statistics of someone who has a disability and employment, you often see things like longer retention for businesses, they often stay at jobs longer than people who don’t have a disability. They work very safely, and follow the rules.”

Stokley said they typically work with about 50 people with disabilities each year and help find them employment opportunities.

She said their summer employment program went virtual this year due to COVID-19.

They hired college and university students to conduct ZOOM sessions surrounding mental health, yoga, and establishing employment goals.

Stokley said they’ve had very positive feedback from businesses, and some have even asked for more workers.

Residents are encouraged to post pictures of themselves in purple and blue on social media, using the hashtag #LightItUp2020.