What is We Belong – How We Do It

We Belong is the pursuit and support in communities for meaningful, paid work opportunities for people with disabilities. It is the name of Gateway Association’s inclusive employment initiative.

Gateway is an Edmonton-based, grassroots, non-profit organization that supports people with intellectual disabilities and their families to live meaningful, authentic lives. We do that through mentorship, advocacy, education, awareness, and inclusive employment. We are both a family resource centre and an employment resource centre.
Our We Belong initiative has received praise and attention from the province, as well as the City of Edmonton and the City of St. Albert.

There are many forward-thinking business leaders in the Edmonton area who can benefit from a largely untapped workforce: people living with disabilities.
With the right approach, your business has the opportunity to become an innovative leader in the area of inclusive employment, while benefiting financially and culturally.

Our Approach

Traditional methods of placing job seekers with disabilities employ a one-size-fits-all approach: filling an opening with a candidate, regardless of aptitude or interest in the employment role, and trusting a job coach to monitor the new employee.
This tactic doesn’t work, and leads to dissatisfaction on the part of both the employer and the employee, and often termination of employment. Just slotting people into positions isn’t meaningful for anyone.

Gateway Association takes a unique, wholistic approach to inclusive employment. Our business model is cutting edge. We don’t place people with disabilities. We carve positions with employers by unbundling job descriptions and bundling tasks that match the job seeker’s natural abilities and the needs of each employers. We do extensive discovery with both the employer and the job seeker. Support is ongoing for both, for as long as that employment relationship lasts. We are always just a phone call away.

We know many employers are willing to hire individuals with disabilities. They just don’t know where to start. Gateway’s We Belong initiative bridges that gap. The results are tangible and meaningful for employers and job seekers.

As with all employment, success is achieved when you find the right fit.