Labour Panel for People with Disabilities Shows Leadership: CHRC

OTTAWA, July 30, 2012 /CNW/ - The Canadian Human Rights Commission (CHRC) welcomes the federal government's creation of the Panel on Labour Market Opportunities for Persons with Disabilities. The panel, composed of a cross section of senior corporate leaders as well as Dr. Gary Birch, a distinguished Paralympian and disabled rights advocate, was announced earlier today by the Honourable Diane Finley, Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development. The panel is tasked with identifying barriers to employment of people with disabilities in the private sector, as well as best practices.

"The evidence is overwhelming that people with disabilities want to participate as fully as possible in the Canadian workforce," David Langtry, Acting Chief Commissioner of the CHRC said. "But discrimination remains a barrier. This is the kind of leadership that we need to drive cultural change across Canadian society," he said.

A recently published CHRC study shows significant gaps in education, employment and economic well-being between people with disabilities and the general population. According to the Report on Equality Rights of People with Disabilities, when compared to other adults, adults with disabilities are half as likely to complete a university degree, are more likely to settle for part-time instead of full time employment, and have lower annual incomes.

The CHRC is responsible for ensuring compliance with the Employment Equity Act (EEA) and conducts audits to determine if federally regulated employers are meeting their obligations. The EEA affects approximately 550 federally regulated private sector companies in industries such as banking, transportation and telecommunications, as well as approximately 100 public sector departments and agencies.

SOURCE: Canadian Human Rights Commission

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