OTTAWA, April 2, 2014 /CNW/ - The Honourable Candice Bergen, Minister of
State (Social Development), today recognized World Autism Awareness
Day, addressing the crowd gathered on Parliament Hill for the second
annual Autism on the Hill event.
Minister Bergen highlighted measures in Economic Action Plan 2014 that
help Canadians with disabilities, specifically those with Autism
Spectrum Disorders, get vocational training and access to new
employment opportunities. By supporting the development of a skilled
workforce, the Government is ensuring that Canadians, including those
with disabilities, have the opportunity to reach their full potential
in the job market.
The Ready, Willing & Able initiative will support up to 1,200 new jobs
for people with developmental disabilities and people with Autism
Spectrum Disorder, expand existing activities in 20 communities, and
enable the Canadian Association for Community Living to host 40
The CommunityWorks initiative will expand a network of vocational
training programs in centres across Canada to create employment
opportunities for individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorders. It is
estimated that approximately 1,200 youth with Autism Spectrum Disorders
will benefit from this initiative each year.
Through Economic Action Plan 2013, the Government:
increased ongoing funding for the Opportunities Fund for Canadians with
Disabilities to $40 million per year so even more Canadians with
disabilities can get training for in-demand jobs;
provided $222 million annually over the next four years, matched by the
provinces and territories, through a new generation of Labour Market
Agreements for Canadians with Disabilities.
"Autism Spectrum Disorders impact many families and individuals from all
walks of life. Under the leadership of Prime Minister Harper, we have
made it a priority to ensure that individuals with these disorders are
not marginalized, but instead given the opportunity to thrive."
-The Honourable Candice Bergen, Minister of State (Social Development)
Through Economic Action Plan 2014, the Government of Canada will support
two complementary initiatives that align with the findings and
recommendations of the Panel on Labour Market Opportunities for Persons
with Disabilities—a panel created by the Government to identify
successes and best practices, as well as the barriers that employers
face, in the employment of Canadians with disabilities.
The Ready, Willing & Able initiative, coordinated by the Canadian Association for Community
Living (CACL), engages employers to hire and support youth and
working-age adults with developmental disabilities, including those
with intellectual disabilities and Autism Spectrum Disorders.
The Government encourages the inclusion of all working-age Canadians in
the workforce. Canadians with disabilities face unique barriers to
employment despite being willing and able to participate in the job
Economic Action Plan 2014 proposes to invest $15 million over three
years to expand the Ready, Willing & Able initiative to help support up
to 1,200 new jobs for Canadians with developmental disabilities. With
additional funding, CACL can expand existing activities to 20
community-based locations across Canada and host 40 employer forums.
The CommunityWorks initiative is a vocational training program for individuals with Autism
Economic Action Plan 2014 proposes to invest $11.4 million over four
years to support the Sinneave Family Foundation and Autism Speaks
Canada as they move to expand a network of vocational training programs
in urban centres across Canada that will help to create employment
opportunities for individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorders. The
Sinneave Family Foundation estimates that once fully implemented,
approximately 1,200 youth with Autism Spectrum Disorder will benefit
each year. The centres will also offer regionally tailored programming
for youth with Autism Spectrum Disorder.
The Government recognizes the importance of supporting the economic and
social inclusion of Canadians with disabilities. To further help
Canadians with disabilities in the workforce, the Government is also:
introducing 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 the
employment prospects for Canadians with disabilities;
extending the Enabling Accessibility Fund on an ongoing basis at $15
million per year to improve accessibility in facilities across Canada,
including workplaces; and
providing funding of $7 million per year for the Social Sciences and
Humanities Research Council of Canada, some of which will support
research related to the labour market participation of Canadians with
Other measures to connect Canadians with available jobs and equip them
with the skills and training they need include the Canada Job Grant,
creating opportunities for apprentices and providing support to
under-represented groups, including Canadians with disabilities,
Aboriginal people, newcomers and youth.
SOURCE: Employment and Social Development Canada
For further information:
Media Relations Office
Employment and Social Development Canada
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