Skip to main content

'I want to work': New hub connects people with Down syndrome to jobs


Canada has roughly one million jobs unfulfilled, and a new tool is looking to connect employers with candidates they may not have expected to hire—which is part of the problem, according to disability advocates.

Inployable is the first-ever employment network created in Canada on LinkedIn, an initiative of the Canadian Down Syndrome Society (CDSS).

“[These candidates] are reliable, they have low absenteeism,” said Executive Director Laura LaChance.

“These are all business cases—where there is data to support this—that people with down syndrome contribute as much or more than other team members.”

LaChance cited figures from a 2018 Accenture study for the American Association of People with Disabilities, which investigated the financial performance of 140 companies, finding those which hired and supported workers with disabilities saw 28 per cent higher revenue and twice the net income.

Yet in Canada, according to CDSS, over half of those living with Down Syndrome in Canada are either not employed or volunteering their time and labour.

Jessica Rotolo says she was surprised and elated to discover she was being paid at her most recent job.

She works three days a week as a classroom assistant at Centennial Infant and Child Centre, where she herself went to preschool.

“I was so happy it was a paid job because I need money to move out of my house and live on my own,” she told CTV News Toronto, standing with her mother Dorlean who smiled at the answer.

Executive Director of Centennial Shemina Ladak says the centre has been hiring people living with Down Syndrome and other conditions for several years.

“Nobody’s called in sick, they’re always on time, they stay until the end, and they do the tasks that are assigned to them really, really well,” Ladak said.

Dorlean Rotolo says Jessica is like many young people living with Down Syndrome, who can succeed if given the opportunity and support along the way.

“Everything she’s accomplished in her life at 24—I was not even close to doing the things that she has done, so we’re just so proud,” she said.

As for Jessica, she herself best summed up her qualifications.

“I am smart I am resourceful, I’m always on time,” she said.

“I want people to know that I am a confident young woman who is rocking life.” Top Stories

Stay Connected