Canadian Down Syndrome Society has a suggestion for tackling the labour shortage

Who: The Canadian Down Syndrome Society (CDSS), with FCB Canada for strategy and creative, production by Suneeva (directed by Jason Van Bruggen), post-production by Married to Giants, Wingman VFX, and Grayson, media by Initiative, and PR by Glossy.

What: “Inployable,” a LinkedIn-based employment network for people with Down syndrome and employers in search of good (ie. reliable, punctual, loyal) staff.

When & Where: The campaign is live now, based on the popular workplace-focused social network, with online video to raise awareness.

Why: FCB has been working with CDSS since 2016, producing a series of ground-breaking campaigns to dispel myths about Down syndrome and address specific problems facing the community. This year, it’s the mistaken idea that people with Down syndrome are less valuable in the workforce, and the hook is the North American labour shortage: employers across the continent are looking for workers, and many people living with Down syndrome are looking for work. FCB and CDSS are playing matchmaker, with a little help from LinkedIn.

“Although many people with Down syndrome have demonstrated abilities and aspirations to engage in meaningful work in the community, a large percentage of the Canadian population with Down syndrome remains unemployed, are under-employed, or may not be working to their full potential,” said Laura LaChance, CDSS’s executive director in a release introducing the program. “This initiative addresses that disparity. People with Down syndrome have a right to be employed in the community, where they can work alongside people of all abilities and earn competitive compensation.”

How: FCB developed “Inployable” on LinkedIn not just to make the point that people with Down syndrome are ready and willing to work, but to actually connect employers with potential hires, and provide resources to create inclusive hiring and training processes.

A video to launch the program features people with Down syndrome sharing their frustrations about being undervalued in the job market. They want to work and contribute, but their resumes are overlooked and “not worth the paper they’re written on,” says one as she tears a resume in two.

Others similarly destroy stacks of resumes in wood chippers, with chain saws, and by dipping one in liquid nitrogen and smashing it with a bat. “They don’t even know where to find me… until now,” says another, as she dumps a stack of resumes into a burning garbage can. The rest of the spot is used to introduce and explain “Inployable,” with job-seekers listing their very appealing employment qualities—loyal, organized, punctual—and ending with a call to action: “Join us. Add your profile at”

Along with the anthemic launch spot, there are hyper-targeted videos featuring people with Down syndrome community speaking directly to employers in sectors most in need of staff, as well as paid media to amplify awareness amongst business owners and HR personnel.

And we quote: “This year we wanted to portray the Down syndrome community in a different light, to let companies know that there is an untapped community ready to get to work… The Inployable campaign is about providing the community with independence through equal access to jobs and employers.” — Andrew MacPhee, executive creative director, FCB Canada.

David Brown