Government of Canada supports employment opportunities for persons with disabilities
May 28, 2019 Gatineau, Québec Employment and Social Development Canada
Video: Ready, Willing and Able Announcement 2019
The Minister of Public Services and Procurement and Accessibility, the Honourable Carla Qualtrough, today highlighted additional support under the Opportunities Fund that will help improve employment outcomes for persons with intellectual disabilities and autism spectrum disorder (ASD).
Budget 2019 proposes $12 million over three years, starting in 2019-20, for the Canadian Association for Community Living, in partnership with the Canadian Autism Spectrum Disorder Alliance, to support the Ready, Willing and Able program, a national employment initiative that engages employers to increase the labour force participation of persons with intellectual disabilities and ASD.
The Government of Canada values a diverse and inclusive workforce that can bring new skills and ideas to employers. This will help employers compete and succeed as they support people in their communities by providing employment opportunities that improve income security and overall quality of life.
Investing in programs benefiting persons with autism spectrum disorder and intellectual disabilities
means investing in our communities. It means building an inclusive Canada, with opportunities for everyone to achieve their full potential without barriers.
The proposed Accessible Canada Act, adopted by the Senate on May 13, 2019, is another concrete step that the Government of Canada is taking towards accessibility and inclusion for everyone. Once the Bill becomes law, the Act will promote broad organizational and cultural change on accessibility, while proactively identifying, removing and preventing barriers to support the realization of a truly accessible Canada.
“Recognizing persons with disabilities and acknowledging their valuable participation in society will advance inclusion, and reduce ongoing discrimination. By providing support to employers and programs such as Ready, Willing and Able, we are helping businesses find a source of talent that was previously overlooked. Supporting employment of persons with a disability isn’t just the right thing to do, it’s good for business.”
– The Honourable Carla Qualtrough, Minister of Public Services and Procurement and Accessibility
“This signals the government’s commitment to an inclusive and accessible Canada. This investment allows Ready, Willing and Able to continue working toward the vision of an inclusive and effective labour market with an employment rate for people with intellectual disabilities and ASD on par with the national average.”
– Cynthia Carroll, Spokesperson of Canadian Autism Spectrum Disorder Alliance (CASDA)
“We are so grateful for this investment from the Federal government, which will allow us to continue to demonstrate that with targeted support, community involvement and employer leadership, job seekers with an intellectual disability or autism can gain and retain employment within the labour market. Employment for persons with a disability is a key pillar of an inclusive and accessible Canada.”
– Krista Carr, Executive Vice President of Canadian Association for Community Living (CACL)
In addition to the $12 million provided for the Ready, Willing and Able program, the Opportunities Fund has an annual budget of $40 million to assist persons with disabilities to prepare for, obtain and maintain employment. In June 2018, the Government of Canada announced a new investment of $18.4 million over six years to the fund that will enhance existing programming by supporting the development of job matching services to connect employers with persons with disabilities, and help employers establish inclusive and effective recruitment and retention strategies.
The Opportunities Fund supports a wide range of programs and services, including pre-employability services, job placements, hands-on work experience, access to assistive devices, and wrap-around services to help persons with disabilities increase their labour market participation and independence.
Budget 2019 introduced a number of new measures for persons with disabilities, including better access to student loans for vulnerable students; improving the employment outcomes for persons with intellectual disabilities and autism; identification, removal and prevention of technological barriers in federal government workplaces; and support in the production of accessible materials for persons with print disabilities.
Director of Communications
Office of the Honourable Carla Qualtrough
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