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Ontario Helping Students with Disabilities Reach Employment Goals

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Ontario Helping Students with Disabilities Reach Employment Goals

Province Connecting Students with Professional Development

Ministry of Colleges and Universities

Ontario is supporting postsecondary students with disabilities through a new initiative led by Carleton University in Ottawa. 

Yasir Naqvi, MPP for Ottawa Centre, was in Ottawa today to make the announcement.

The Honourable David C. Onley Initiative for Employment and Enterprise Development will advance employment opportunities for students with disabilities on campus and across the province.

The initiative will develop accessible, innovative resources for students with disabilities, including:

  • Support and mentorship for entrepreneurial development
  • Employment support, including connecting students to employers
  • One-on-one coaching and mentoring for students.

Increasing employment opportunities for people with disabilities is part of the government's plan to support care, create opportunity and make life more affordable during this period of rapid economic change. The plan includes free prescription drugs for everyone under 25, and 65 or over, through the biggest expansion of medicare in a generation, free tuition for hundreds of thousands of students, a higher minimum wage and better working conditions, and free preschool child care from ages 2.5 to kindergarten.

Quick Facts

  • Ontario intends to invest $5 million over two years for the David C. Onley Initiative for Employment and Enterprise Development at Carleton University.
  • In 2016-17, approximately 74,000 learners with accessibility needs were registered with Disability Services Offices at Ontario colleges and universities full-time or part-time.
  • Nearly 1.9 million people in Ontario have a disability.

Additional Resources


“Ontario’s economy is growing, and in the process it’s creating good, well-paying jobs. We want those jobs be accessible to everyone, and an initiative like this will connect so many students with the kinds of opportunities and professional development that will help them land those jobs.”

Mitzie Hunter

Minister of Advanced Education and Skills Development

“True accessibility means equal opportunity for all students. Carleton University is a leader in the province in supporting students with disabilities to develop their skills to succeed in learning and in life beyond the classroom.”

Yasir Naqvi

MPP, Ottawa Centre

“Carleton University is world renowned for its commitment to and action for supporting students with disabilities. This superb investment by the provincial government paves the way for greater support with a focus on developing employability and entrepreneurial skills: key initiatives to support the government’s agenda of training the next generation of business and entrepreneurial leaders in Ontario.”

Dr. Alastair Summerlee

Interim President and Vice-Chancellor, Carleton University

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