Partnership Council Recommendations and Ontario's Actions to Date
The Partnership Council's Initial Report will help us go further to increase employment opportunities for people with disabilities. We are pleased to receive the Council's seven recommendations and are already moving forward on many of them.
1. Create Strong Strategic Leadership -- Designate a Cabinet Minister and appoint a Deputy Minister to develop a pan-ministry strategic plan for people with disabilities
- The government moved responsibility for accessibility to the Ministry of Economic Development, Employment and Infrastructure to increase employment opportunities for people with disabilities in the Ontario workforce.
- Ontario's Accessibility Action Plan identifies a strong government-wide and collaborative approach to achieving an accessible Ontario by 2025.
2. Government as a Role Model -- Lead by example in the Ontario Public Service and broader public sector
- The Ontario Public Service requires inclusion and accessibility to be embedded in all Human Resource policies and guidelines.
- It has also developed a Disability Support Strategy and the OPS Inclusion Lens -- a web-based tool to make inclusion part of daily work.
3. Engage Youth with Disabilities -- Develop strategies to help more youth with disabilities enter the labour market
- A number of Youth Jobs Strategy programs provide job opportunities and skills training specifically to young people facing barriers.
- The new Youth Job Connection program will provide job placements and mentorship to young people who experience multiple barriers to employment.
4. Work to Effecting Cultural Change -- Heighten business awareness of the value of employing those with disabilities
- A new marketing campaign will raise awareness of the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act and the upcoming Employment Standard, building off the momentum of the Parapan Am Games.
- The new $5-million Partnership for Accessible Employment will engage and support small- and medium-sized businesses.
- We are consulting with industry, disability advocates, municipalities, and not-for-profits to develop a voluntary, third-party certification model -- inspired by the LEED designation -- that encourages businesses to be accessibility leaders.
- We are also exploring digital and social media platforms to raise awareness and extend the conversation on accessibility for businesses.
5. Proactively Involve Employers in Planning -- Engage employers directly to address challenges in hiring candidates with disabilities
- Our plan to integrate employment and training services includes a business engagement strategy for accommodating people with disabilities.
- We are funding two programs run by the Ontario Chamber of Commerce that focus on employers' needs to support workers with disabilities and to purchase assistive devices.
6. Eliminate Policy Barriers -- Help more people with disabilities move permanently into the labour market by continuing to review the Ontario Disability Support Program
- We have made changes to the Ontario Disability Support Program to help clients enter the workforce.
- We continue to fund training and employment pilot programs that give people with disabilities hands-on vocational training.
7. Set Goals and Ensure Accountability -- Monitor the performance of the private and public sectors in increasing the number of employed people with disabilities
- We have launched a data analytics and evaluation strategy for the Ontario Disability Support Program.
- We are exploring new metrics to measure the impact of including more people with disabilities in the labour force.