On LinkedIn, world's first employment network for people with Down syndrome

There are 1 million open jobs in Canada. Yet more than half of people with Down syndrome can't find paid employment. Aiming to match supply and demand, the Canadian Down Syndrome Society just launched the world's first employment resource on LinkedIn for people with Down syndrome.

The society partnered with LinkedIn to develop Inployable. People with Down syndrome in search of a job can fill out a brief form on inployable.com, including their LinkedIn profile. If they don't have a profile, a LinkedIn coach will help build one. Next, job seekers are added to Inployable's network — basically a company page on LinkedIn — where potential employers can find them.

Inployable will be building out the community with resources for employers on subjects like training processes and how to implement inclusive hiring. Crucially, the goal is to provide long-term support, not just share a meaningful but fleeting campaign. The concept and 'I'm inployable' launch film were developed with FCB Canada.

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People with Down syndrome want jobs for the same reasons anyone else does: to earn an income, feel valued, learn skills, contribute to their community and reach their full potential. Employment is also a key element to living independently. Basic human needs!

But they face barriers and misconceptions, and employers aren't aware of their capabilities. As the cast of Inployable's promo video explains, their résumés are overlooked and underrepresented: "Employers aren't looking for people like me."

As ever, it's the tension between what people want and what they're currently offered that creates an opportunity for meaningful innovation. Throw in a massive labor shortage, and there's the sweet spot the Canadian Down Syndrome Society is targeting with Inployable.

Innovation of the day

Spotted by: Liesbeth den Toom

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