Leaders of National Disability Groups Pen Letter to MPs

The Canadian Association for Community Living’s Executive Vice President, Krista Carr, and the Canadian Autism Spectrum Disorders Alliance’s Chair, Cynthia D. Carroll, have written to members of parliament from coast to coast, asking for their support in workforce participation for people who have a disability.

In their letter dated October 23rd, they ask Federal politicians to back Ready, Willing and Able, an initiative that supports “Canadian businesses to build an inclusive workplace that capitalizes on the skills and qualifications of people with an intellectual disability or Autism Spectrum Disorder.”

Ready, Willing and Able, of which Community Living Ontario is a part, has connected with over 7,900 Canadian businesses since its inception in 2014. Over that time, more than 2,100 positions have been filled by people who have an intellectual disability or Autism Spectrum Disorder. Ready, Willing and Able continues to work with over 2,700 businesses.

Project funding for Phase 1 ended on August 31st, 2018 and due to changes since then, Ready, Willing, and Able is now active in only six provinces.

“The RWA partnership remains committed to advancing inclusion in the workplace and building on achievements within Phase 1,” states the letter.

“To that end, we currently have a proposal submitted to the Federal Government (as a component of the 2019-20 Federal budget) that, if funded, would see the program once again fully active in select communities in all provinces and territories.”

The letter goes on to say the initiative has hit a bureaucratic wall with the government, and that disability programs face continued marginalization by having access to only the Opportunities Fund for Persons with Disabilities.

“There is more needed than what the Fund allows, and it’s time to create realistic, long-term funding for these chronic workplace challenges.”

“It’s time for the government to find ways to expand not limit workplace participation for persons with disabilities and broaden the scope of investment, and we are asking for all-party support to make this important investment happen.”

Click here to read the letter in its entirety.