BDO Canada is partnering with two non-governmental organizations to address accessibility gaps within the workplace.

The consultancy is working with the Institute for Research and Development on Inclusion and Society to develop a dedicated accessibility engagement audit tool, which will allow employers to answer questions related to their accessibility initiatives and see where they need to improve, says Max Brault, vice-president of people and change and national lead for accessibility at BDO.

“The No. 1 problem that affects people with disabilities right now in the workplace is perception. Some employers have a perception that hiring people with disabilities comes with a lot of baggage . . . so that leads to a lot of myth-busting requirements for people like me.”

Read: Most U.S. employers haven’t embedded DEI, accessibility initiatives into daily processes: survey

BDO is also partnering with the CNIB Foundation to create an accessible and inclusive procurement and supply chain model, which will be used by the federal public service and all federally regulated industries.

“We’re coming up with some principles on procurement and how to ensure that whatever policies or directives you create within your workplace [take accessibility elements into consideration],” says Brault. “As an example, if you want to buy some software, you want to make sure the software is fully accessible for your employees with disabilities or clients with disabilities.”

Both the audit tool and the procurement and supply chain model are expected to be completed in 2024. “These partnerships demonstrate our investment in helping to fill critical gaps in the procurement cycle and remove barriers to accessibility in the workplace,” he says. “We want to work with government agencies and corporations to help them understand how to be what I call ‘accessibility confident.’ This allows them to see what they need to put in place to hire people with disabilities and keep them.”

Read: KPMG’s new daily living benefit providing support for employees with disabilities