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Everybody Can Make a Difference

Circle 21 will help create groundbreaking advancements in the world of employment for persons with Down syndrome. This is a bit of a sweet-spot for Circle 21 because co-founder Karen Blott worked for 20 years in an executive position with a global leader in the field of Recruitment and HR consulting.

We think it is fair to say that employment opportunities for people with Down syndrome are lacking. In most cases it is because employers are operating under many myths, false perceptions and inaccurate assumptions about people with Down syndrome. Circle 21 will address this proactively with employers through strong, focused communication campaigns. Circle 21 recognizes the opportunity to meet employers’ workplace needs using employees who happen to have Down syndrome and who are capable, reliable, hardworking and trustworthy.

Employers are often not aware of the flexibility of people with Down syndrome, their ability and willingness, their loyalty and potential longevity on the job, and the real value and often unique contributions they could add to a company. Encouragingly, research also identified a number of employers who, tired of constantly training replacements for job-hopping ‘Gen X type’ younger workers, are actually turning specifically to a special needs workforce. What these employers have discovered is that, in addition to bringing their unique skills, the special needs workforce tend to stay on the job significantly longer.

Through the development of a bank of job opportunities, persons will Down syndrome will be able to give back to society and engage in meaningful employment opportunities that may be co-op, part time and/or permanent full time within all types and sizes of companies. Circle 21 will ultimately work with government, employment agencies, and corporations to source job opportunities and effectively ‘match’ them with people who have Down syndrome.

Circle 21 will work to understand and communicate the existing private and government employment programs, and available financial support and incentives available to businesses and to individuals, in order to maximize participation and extend the benefits to our community.

Our Community Economy

Circle 21 has launched ideas such as the ‘Community Economy’ which encourage people to recognize and report where there are employers who have hired people with Down syndrome and then will publish those results with a suggestion that our community re-directs their spend in support of those employers. This is just one simple, but powerful way of driving value for our community.

Our Goal

By 2021, Circle21 aims to have 210 organizations have people with Down syndrome at work across Canada. Click here to view some thoughtful videos regarding employment for those with disabilities.