Tim Rose.

Photo courtesy: Nick Churchill

Ryerson job-networking program helps Canadians with disabilities get employed

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By Karoun Chahinian

Magnet, a job-networking program that started at Ryerson’s Digital Media Zone in September 2014, launched a project last Wednesday that will connect Canadians with disabilities with employers.

Tim Rose, joined the Magnet team two months ago and is currently leading the Disability Discovery Project (DDP), where he said his aim is to raise awareness of the issues people with disabilities face in the workplace.

“When I came on the team, one of the areas I really wanted to work on, having a disability myself, was really raising awareness around issues facing students and individuals with disabilities when it comes to employment,” Rose said.

According to statistics Canada, approximately 50 per cent of Canadians with disabilities are unemployed. Through the DDP, Rose said he is hoping to raise public awareness of this issue and potentially improve it.

Through Magnet technology, individuals with disabilities can put together a profile, disclose their disability and employers can set filters to be matched with users that fall into their job requirements. Rose said the inspiration for this system was drawn from his personal struggles of finding a job due to his own disability.

Even with a masters degree in human rights and law, Rose experience four-and-a-half years of unemployment. He wants to help people that are currently in the same situation.

“A lot of people with disabilities in this province, in this city and across the country deal with this on a daily basis,” Rose said. “When I got the opportunity to to come on the team at Magnet and it was one of the first things I wanted to address trough the DDP.”

Since launching last week, Rose said the public response has been positive and he is hoping the number of users will continue to grow.

“We’ve had a lot of support from the disabilities community who have said that this is a really great initiative. We have also seen the number of people who have a disability using the Magnet platform gone up quite significantly,” Rose said.

With over 6,000 employers using the Magnet platform to narrow down job candidates, Rose is hoping this project will spark positive social change.

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