Don Gallant

National Director, Ready, Willing & Able

Hub 1 - Workplace Systems and Partnerships

Don Gallant is National Director of Ready, Willing & Able — an initiative of Inclusion Canada and the Autism Alliance of Canada that aims to increase the labour force participation of persons with intellectual disabilities and on the autism spectrum. He is also Principal Consultant with Don Gallant and Associates, an agency providing support and consultation to advance and promote social well-being and inclusion, especially for persons with disabilities. Gallant co-leads IDEA’s Hub 1, Workplace Systems and Partnerships.

Prior to entering the private sector in 1998, Gallant held senior management positions with the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador (NL). During his tenure as Director, Division of Family and Rehabilitative Services in NL, he was involved in the development of a comprehensive array of community-based programs and supports for persons with disabilities and their families, including the introduction of a supported-employment model within the province.

"Employment is a key element to full inclusion in community. Employment is more than just earning a wage – it positively impacts one’s self-image, well-being and sense of personal value and self-worth, and provides expanded social relationships, heightened control of decisions and activities, and a life of meaning and belonging. People with a disability still encounter discrimination in their attempts to enter and remain within the work force. They are often viewed as “not fit to work” or “unemployable” by employers. All too often they are unable to access the supports needed to obtain and retain employment. Our work as related to employment must therefore try to change this current reality to address those factors that prevent many people from becoming employed, and work toward creating a labour force in which persons with a disability are employed at the same rate as that of persons without disabilities."