Employment for people with disabilities report

This initial report contains recommendations to the government on how to enhance employment opportunities for Ontarians with disabilities. Read it to learn more about the recommendations of the Partnership Council on Employment Opportunities for People with Disabilities.

Partnership Council on Employment Opportunities for People with Disabilities

Initial Report

Executive summary

The Government of Ontario has the opportunity to help reduce impending labour shortages while decreasing the need for social assistance costs by effectively engaging a greater number of people with disabilities in the workforce. To succeed, the government must face the challenges of helping to create cultural change in our society, particularly among employers, and to commit to restructuring many of the approaches used to help people with disabilities enter and remain in the workforce.

Let us be clear: it is an unacceptable failure of our commitment to human rights for people with disabilities to be so underrepresented in our Ontario labour markets. The members are not backing away from this or suggesting that the underrepresentation of people with disabilities is anything but an unacceptable failure. Rather, we are recommending collaboration with business and government and approaching the challenge as a matter of culture change because previous strategies have not worked and there is ample evidence to suggest that this approach will be more successful.

In its initial report to the Minister, the Council recommends the following actions:

1. Create Strong Strategic Leadership
Appoint a Cabinet Minister and dedicated Deputy Minister with the responsibility to develop a pan-ministry strategic plan for people with disabilities.

2. Government as a Role Model
Lead by example through employment of people with disabilities in the Ontario Public Service (OPS) and the broader public sector and procuring services, providing grants or financing to organizations with a strong orientation towards supporting employment of people with disabilities.

3. Engage Youth with Disabilities
Develop enhanced strategies to ensure youth with disabilities gain labour market attachment at an early age.

4. Work to Effecting Cultural Change – Heighten business awareness of the value of employing those with disabilities Develop awareness campaigns focused on benefits of hiring people with disabilities and importance of complying with Ontario’s regulations. Improve tools to make it easier for small business to comply with the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA).

5. Proactively Involve Employers in Planning
Engage employers directly in addressing barriers and challenges they face in hiring candidates with disabilities.

6. Eliminate Barriers
To get more people permanently into the workforce, Ministry of Community and Social Services (MCSS) will continue reviewing the Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP) to ensure funding of employment services is connected to performance in meeting labour market demand thereby helping to place more candidates with disabilities in the workforce. Employment will help raise people out of poverty, reduce their dependency on social assistance and ensure they are contributing to the tax base

7. Set Goals and Ensure Accountability
Monitor the performance of public and private sectors in increasing the number of employed with disabilities.

Download Employment for people with disabilities report


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