Job fair for people with disabilities held in Tracadie

The Acadian Peninsula held its first-ever job fair for people with disabilities in Tracadie. The advocacy group, Independent Living, organized the event.

Tracadie hosts a job fair, trying to pair people with disabilities with potential employers

Luca Patuelli may not be able to walk, but that doesn't stop him from dancing. He was at a job fair for people with disabilities, encouraging people that there is no limit to what someone can do, whether they have a disability or not. (CBC News)

The Acadian Peninsula held its first-ever job fair for people with disabilities in Tracadie.

Independent Living,  an advocacy group that organized the event, brought together a dozen employers as well as potential employees from across the northeast.

Annie Chiasson-Doiron, an organizer with the job fair, said this fair was important to bring together the different groups.

For those who don't have a job to go to everyday, she said, job hunting can take a toll on self esteem, says 

"If the job fair can help two or three people to say, 'Hey I'm better now, I know, I learn, and I talk with the employer and I know I can do that job, I can apply. for the self esteem to go up.' Perfect. My job is done," said Doiron.

This wasn't exactly a traditional job fair, however.

But instead of buttoned-up introductions and interviews, this job fair started on the dance floor, with B-boy Lazylegz making his Tracadie debut.

He also goes by Luca Patuelli, a dancer born without the ability to walk. His message today was no limits and no excuses.

He said that extends past the world of dance. He said it's just important for employers and their workers to co-operate and communicate.

"I think that it's extremely important that the employer is clear with their expectations of the employee," said Patuelli

Roger Comeau works as a foreman at a Tracadie recycling centre, despite having lost a leg to cancer. He thinks employers need to look past people's disabilities, and see their potential. (CBC News)
"I think that it's important for the employee to be honest with the employer to let them know what some limitations are that you might have, and how you can work around them and communicate and work as a team to accomplish this."

There are still hurdles in the way. It's estimated that more than 12 per cent of New Brunswick's population lives with a disability, whether it's physical or mental,

For some employers, that may be a turnoff when hiring an employee.

But Roger Comeau said he thinks people should look past the disabilities and see the employee.

"Employers, they're looking for people with no disabilities. But where we work, we hire people with disabilities, whether it's mental or physical, it doesn't matter," Comeau said.

"We're just going to give everybody a chance."

Comeau works at the Tracadie recycling centre. He lost his leg to cancer and now works as a foreman, supervising others with varying levels of ability.

"They're great. They're always there everyday. We've got people with no disabilities, physical or mental. But the ones with disabilities, they're there every day," said Comeau.

Doiron said she heard of at least one job offer but she would not predict how many more will come.

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