Disability Supports and Employment Policy 2016

Summary: 

The objective of this study, carried out in partnership with the Centre for Research on Work Disability Policy, was to explore access to disability supports and links to paid employment.  For the purposes of this study, disability supports consist of two components.  The first stream involves technical aids and equipment, which may be used at home, at work or in the community.  They also involve work-related aids and equipment required for the performance of a job or paid employment.  The second component comprises personal services, such as attendant care and home care.

The many problems identified through interviews with key informants and highlighted in the relevant literature can be grouped into three categories related to the availability, affordability and responsiveness of disability supports.  Each of these areas is discussed in the report.

Key policy strategies that will improve access to disability supports and enable participation in the paid labour market include the following actions:

  • formulate a national disability employment strategy
  • change the conceptualization of disability
  • implement person-centred approaches
  • improve access to disability supports
  • assist employers
  • detach supports from income programs
  • reduce the cost of disability supports.

Canada needs to pay special attention to investment in and provision of disability supports.  The need is great and will only grow in future with an aging population and rising incidence of chronic disease.

Publication date: 
Oct 2016
Author: 
Sherri Torjman and Anne Makhoul
Publisher: 
Caledon Institute of Social Policy
Download: 
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