Federal government helps create opportunities for people with disabilities in Halifax

Funding to support improving accessibility and bettering quality of life through greater inclusion in the labour force

HALIFAX, Sept. 3, 2014 /CNW/ - The Government of Canada is helping Canadians with disabilities develop the skills and experience they need to find jobs. The Honourable Peter MacKay, Regional Minister for Nova Scotia, Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada and Member of Parliament for Central Nova, made the announcement today on behalf of the Honourable Candice Bergen, Minister of State (Social Development).

TEAM Work Cooperative is receiving a total of more than $455,000 from the Opportunities Fund for Persons with Disabilities and the Enabling Accessibility Fund to help people with varying abilities get jobs and to increase accessibility of its facility and equipment.

With this funding, TEAM Work will help 64 people with disabilities overcome barriers to employment. Based on individual needs and goals, participants may attend training courses, gain work experience with local employers or develop skills and knowledge for self-employment. Assistive devices that enable participants to work will be provided either to employers or directly to the participants. TEAM Work will also undertake renovations to improve its accommodations for people with disabilities, such as lowering sinks and counters, and purchase adaptive computer equipment.

This is part of the Government of Canada's overall strategy to equip all Canadians with the skills and training they need to connect with available jobs.

Quick Facts

  • To provide more training related to in-demand jobs for Canadians with disabilities, Economic Action Plan 2013 announced an increase in funding to $40 million annually for the Opportunities Fund, starting in 2015–2016. The Enabling Accessibility Fund was also extended on an ongoing basis at $15 million per year to improve accessibility in facilities across Canada, including workplaces.
  • Since 2006, the Opportunities Fund has helped over 34,600 Canadians with disabilities. Since its creation in 2007, over 1,400 Enabling Accessibility Fund projects have helped thousands of Canadians gain better access to their communities' facilities, programs and services.
  • The Government of Canada is inviting organizations to apply for funding through the Enabling Accessibility Fund for projects that will increase workplace accessibility for Canadians with disabilities. The call for proposals, which opened on August 6, gives eligible organizations in all provinces and territories the opportunity to submit proposals until October 1, 2014. For more information, visit http://www.esdc.gc.ca/eng/disability/eaf/index.shtml

Quotes

"To support Canada's long-term prosperity, Canadian employers must tap into all available talent. The Government of Canada is proud to support organizations such as TEAM Work Cooperative to help ensure that Canadians of all abilities can have access to, and connect with, available jobs."
– The Honourable Candice Bergen, Minister of State (Social Development)

"Ensuring the prosperity and growth of our economy goes hand in hand with providing Canadians with the skills to enter and remain in the labour force.  Our government has taken unprecedented action to support Canadians with disabilities and improve their quality of life by providing tools so they can participate more fully in their communities. Our goal is to ensure all Canadians can participate in and contribute their many skills and talents to our workforce. TEAM Work Cooperative has proven to be a great partner in meeting that goal. Our government is pleased to support Canadians with disabilities in Halifax, enabling them to connect with jobs and new opportunities for personal and professional growth, and to support the economic sustainability of Nova Scotia."
– The Honourable Peter MacKay, Regional Minister for Nova Scotia, Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada and Member of Parliament for Central Nova

"The Opportunities Fund has been an essential support to help link people with disabilities to employment. Since 1997, literally thousands of people with disabilities have overcome barriers to employment. Witnessing how lives have been transformed is very moving. Additionally, the Enabling Accessibility Grant has allowed TEAM Work to provide up-to-date assistive technologies to level the communications playing field for our clients.  People with disabilities can now visit our office and be assured that we have the current technology to meet their unique needs."
Janice Ainsworth, Executive Director, TEAM Work Cooperative Ltd.

Associated Links

Funding: Enabling Accessibility  
Canada's Economic Action Plan

 

Backgrounder

The Opportunities Fund for Persons with Disabilities provides $30 million annually to help people with disabilities prepare for, obtain and keep employment or become self-employed.

Economic Action Plan 2013 announced a $10 million increase in ongoing Opportunities Fund funding, to $40 million annually, starting in 2015–16. Employers and community organizations will be involved in designing and delivering training projects. 

In addition, through Economic Action Plan 2014, the Government of Canada is:

  • providing $15 million over three years to the Ready, Willing & Able initiative of the Canadian Association for Community Living, to help connect people with developmental disabilities with jobs; and
  • providing $11.4 million over four years to support the expansion of vocational training programs for people with Autism Spectrum Disorders.

To further help Canadians with disabilities in the workforce, the Federal Government:

  • introduced a new generation of Labour Market Agreements for Persons with Disabilities, with an investment of $222 million per year to better meet the employment needs of Canadian businesses and improve employment prospects for people with disabilities;
  • extended the Enabling Accessibility Fund on an ongoing basis at $15 million per year to improve accessibility in facilities across Canada, including workplaces; and
  • provided funding of $7 million per year to the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, some of which will support research related to the labour market participation of people with disabilities.

Other measures to connect Canadians with available jobs and equip them with the skills and training they need include introducing the Canada Job Grant; creating opportunities for apprentices; and providing support to under-represented groups, including people with disabilities, Aboriginal people, newcomers and youth.

The Enabling Accessibility Fund was originally announced in 2007 as a three-year, $45-million program to support community-based projects across Canada. It was renewed in 2010 with the creation of a new mid-sized project component. Since the first call for proposals in 2008, over 1,400 projects have been awarded funding to improve accessibility in Canadian communities.

Through Economic Action Plan 2013, the Government extended the Enabling Accessibility Fund on an ongoing basis at $15 million per year to continue to help improve accessibility for Canadians with disabilities in their communities as well as in their workplaces.  

A new Workplace Accessibility Call for Proposals was launched on August 6, 2014 and closes on October 1, 2014. Projects receiving funding under the workplace accessibility stream must create or enhance accessibility in workplaces and create or maintain job opportunities for Canadians with disabilities. Project costs will be shared between the recipient and government. Small businesses with fewer than 50 employees and less than $5 million in gross revenue per year are eligible to apply through this year's call for proposals.

For more information about how to submit proposals, please visit: http://www.esdc.gc.ca/eng/disability/eaf/index.shtml

 

SOURCE: Employment and Social Development Canada

For further information: Media Relations Office, Employment and Social Development Canada, 819-994-5559, media@hrsdc-rhdcc.gc.ca, Follow us on Twitter; Clarissa Lamb, Press Secretary, Office of the Minister of Justice , 613-992-4621


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