Holland Bloorview partners with Magnet to help youth with disabilities find work

Youth with disabilities in Canada face significant barriers in finding their first job. A 2012 Statistics Canada survey found that only 36 per cent of 18- to 23-year-olds with disabilities were employed, compared to 54 per cent of youth without disabilities.1

In effort to further support youth with disabilities in finding employment in early adulthood and beyond, Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital has partnered with Magnet – a not-for-profit social innovation founded by Ryerson University. Magnet offers an online tool through which Holland Bloorview clients – past and present – looking for a job can search for opportunities that best reflect their skills, preferences, and talent via a blind recruitment model.

"We know how important it is for all youth to start to participate in extracurricular, volunteer, and employment activities during high school," says Diane Savage, vice-president, programs and services, Holland Bloorview. "Youth with disabilities are eager and capable to work but often face physical and social barriers in getting started. We are thrilled to collaborate with Magnet to offer youth an innovative, new channel through which to find work and be a part of their community. Working together with other employers and community organizations, we are changing lives for our youth of today and tomorrow."

Magnet has also partnered with post-secondary institutions and other not-for-profit organizations to address unemployment and underemployment of the broader population of Canadian youth and adults.

"I am delighted to be a project lead for Magnet as we enter an exciting partnership with Holland Bloorview,” says Tim Rose, diversity project lead, Magnet. “Our partnership represents a commitment to supporting youth with disabilities in employment and career building. I believe that, together, we can make a huge difference for the next generation of young adults with disabilities in connecting them to the opportunities that they deserve."

Holland Bloorview will celebrate the partnership with Magnet at Ryerson University on January 17.

Visit to get started!

Youth who want to start by building their work experience and skills can also check out Holland Bloorview’s Youth@Work and other life skills programs.



1 A Profile of the Labour Market Experiences of Adults with Disabilities among Canadians aged 15 years and older, 2012. Canadian Survey on Disability, 2012, page 6. Statistics Canada. December 3, 2012.