Guide to a Working Holiday in Canada (free illustrated PDF guide)

Chapter 4: The WHP experience with a disability

Published: 02-03-2020



The WHP experience with a disability

If you’re using a wheelchair or a cane, don’t think for a second you can’t enjoy a WHP experience in Canada!

You’re probably already used to some accessibility barriers. In Canada, one of the biggest issues is winter conditions. Whether you’re walking or rolling, navigating a snowy or an icy city is never easy. Even though there are accessibility rules for public spaces, older apartment buildings may have stairs (newer condos tend to be more accessible).

If you’re in a small city or in a rural setting, you could buy a vehicle adapted to your needs.
Good to know: most cars in Canada have automatic gearboxes (i.e. no stick shifts), which could be easier to drive depending on your abilities. You will also notice power chairs and mobility scooters are more common than in Europe, as well as walkers.

There are various incentives offered to businesses hiring workers with disabilities and companies often mention they support disability inclusion.

This is Alexandre’s experience:

“I’m a young man with a physical disability—I was born with my lower right arm paralyzed. I landed in Montreal on May 1, 2018.

My profile was drawn from the pool of candidates in May 2017. I faced a few roadblocks after submitting my application and I was sent to take a medical exam in Paris.

Good to know—the panel physician can advocate for you. I was stubborn and determined and eventually, my application was approved! Right now, I’m going through the hiring process for a counsellor position working with young kids.

Despite the fact that, technically, a WHP holder should be able to work in any position and in any field, it seems that you have to be a Canadian citizen or a permanent resident to be considered for ‘better’ skilled jobs. And as a candidate with a disability, I can’t exactly apply for back-of-the-house positions in a restaurant. Let’s be honest, finding a job in Montreal isn’t easy. Everybody warned me and they were right!

If you have a disability, be stubborn and confident. Your dream can come true.”

Chapter 4 of 34


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