Key Messages

Re:  Employment and Persons with Disabilities
Prepared by CCD Social Policy Committee
HRSDC Stakeholder Engagement Meeting
On Employment Barriers for Canadians with Disabilities
February 8th, 2012

  1. Government of Canada must develop a 5 year Strategic Plan to address employment needs of persons with disabilities.  Minister Finley should create a small Technical Advisory Committee to provide community input into development of a Strategic Plan.
  2. First priority for new investments should be given to youth (18-30) in transition – moving from school to work.
  3. A range of initiatives and supports must be provided which include longer term supports for those with more complex needs (multiple disabilities, greater experience of discrimination, Aboriginal People, women etc.).  Current accountability regimes penalize those with complex needs.
  4. Research must be undertaken on the changed nature of work and whether new barriers are being created for persons with disabilities.
  5. The Labour Market Agreement for Persons with Disabilities and the Opportunities Fund must be maintained and expanded until designated resources and targets for the employment of persons with disabilities are established within Labour Market Agreements with the provinces and territories.  Performance indicators must be established within LMA reporting mechanisms to highlight the employment initiatives regarding persons with disabilities.
  6. Current barriers to employment have been well documented over the years and HRSDC should create a user friendly report highlighting current barriers and where possible best practices to overcome these barriers.
  7. From 2005 – 2010 there has been a 38% increase in the participation rate of persons with disabilities in social assistance programs.  Research should be supported to determine why this is occurring.
  8. Indicators for measuring success must be developed that take into account those with more complex needs and experiencing multiple barriers.
  9. Research must identify labour market participation by disability group, age and gender.
  10. A Strategic Plan requires a unified action plan to support people with disabilities.
  11. Appropriate accommodation is critical to success, but beyond accommodation we require affirmative action programs that create incentives to work.  Current Employment Equity initiatives have not improved labour force participation for persons with disabilities.
  12. Government must lead by example and be a model employer.
  13. Accommodation and support funding must be more flexible.
  14. Initiatives to address employment of persons with disabilities must be more “career-oriented.”