qIM Pilot Project evolved out of a need to create employment opportunities for people with disabilities who are left out of the labour market, especially people with developmental disabilities. The manufacturing process and facility of OneLight is designed for people with intellectual disability, but it has been made inclusive by also employing people WITHOUT disabilities. The result is people with and without disabilities work side-by-side to manufacture a fire starter product that diverts materials from the landfill, makes lighting a fire easier and celebrates inclusive design.
The project is applying 5 inclusive employment strategies to make it a success:
Equitable pay and duties
Task modification (individuals can innovate how things are done)
Our hope is that the research we collect during this project will help inform new labour policy, support the development of inclusive workplace strategies, and encourage other manufacturers to adopt inclusive employment practices.
Our inclusive employment methods are rooted in the belief that most often barriers to employment are not the complexity of the individuals' needs but rather a lack of accommodation for diversity in the workplace.
We acknowledge with respect and gratitude that this work takes place on the traditional and treaty territory of the Tla’amin people, who are a self-governing Nation.
The name qathet was gifted to the Regional District of Powell River in 2018; the word qathet means “people working together” in ʔayajuθəm (Ay-A-Ju-Thum), the language of the Tla’amin people.