Innovative Practices 2013 on Employment

Rotary employment partnership

Engaging the business community to create employment for individuals with developmental disabilities.

About the practice at a glance
Name of Innovative Practice:Rotary employment partnership
Organisation:Alberta Association for Community Living
of origin


The partnership began in Edmonton in 2000. In the last 11 years the partnership has expanded throughout Alberta. There are currently over 30 clubs in Alberta involved. Over 200 jobs have been created. The average wage is substantially above the minimum wage. The income of individuals with developmental disabilities increases by 50% on average upon the individual’s joining the program. The vast majority of individuals are naturally supported by colleagues and co-workers. The cost of the partnership to government is “neutral”, as the cost is offset by the reduction in income support. The average length of employment is approximately four years and increasing. Success has been achieved with individuals previously identified as unemployable. There has also been success in rural and urban communities. Employment ranges from single person offices to multi-national corporations.


Alberta Association for Community Living (AACL) works in partnership with Rotary clubs and Rotarians to create meaningful, fully inclusive employment opportunities for individuals with developmental disabilities. Rotary is a worldwide service organisation consisting of business leaders, owners, professionals and managers who are committed to making a difference locally and globally. By capitalising on the substantive networking capacity of Rotarians to create jobs, this initiative has proven to be the most cost-effective employment strategy in Alberta over the last 10 years. AACL connects individuals with developmental disabilities to the jobs created by Rotarians and assists the employers to sustain employment by maximally utilising natural supports.

Individuals work in roles (office administration, front desk, assembly teams) and organisations that are highly valued and not commonly seen through more traditional supported employment practices (architectural & engineering firms, banks, manufacturing, charted accountancy firms, energy, etc). Most striking is the resultant public advocacy of major Alberta business leaders and companies in promoting the employment of individuals with developmental disabilities.


Originating in Alberta, this partnership has expanded to other regions in Canada (Ontario, Newfoundland and British Columbia). Partnerships now exist in Washington, USA, as well as Australia and New Zealand.



Wendy McDonald
Chair, Rotary Employment Partnership
Alberta Association for Community Living
11724 Kingsway, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada T5G 0X5
Phone: +1 780 974 1310

Bruce Uditsky
CEO, Alberta Association for Community Living
11724 Kingsway, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada T5G 0X5
Phone: +1 780 940 4269
Email: buditsky@aacl.orgt

Click here to add your own text