Connecting More People with Disabilities to Job Opportunities
Province Releases Employment Strategy for People with Disabilities
Ontario is taking action to break down employment barriers for people with disabilities by launching a new strategy to connect more people with disabilities to rewarding jobs and more employers to new talent to help grow their businesses.
Tracy MacCharles, Minister Responsible for Accessibility, along with Deb Matthews, Minister of Advanced Education and Skills Development, and Dr. Helena Jaczek, Minister of Community and Social Services, were in Toronto today to make the announcement.
Access Talent: Ontario's Employment Strategy for People with Disabilities will help increase employment for people with disabilities and connect businesses to talent by:
- Supporting the development and employment goals of students and young people, including the launch of a new pilot through the Ontario Disability Support Program to provide individualized and coordinated services and supports.
- Engaging employers as partners and champions through an online platform that will connect businesses, people with disabilities, and the public to share advice and lessons learned.
- Streamlining employment and training services to better meet the needs of job seekers and employers through the introduction of a new Supported Employment program at Employment Ontario.
- Establishing the government as an accessibility leader by raising awareness and changing attitudes through public education.
Increasing employment opportunities for people with disabilities and connecting businesses to new talent are part of our plan to create jobs, grow our economy and help people in their everyday lives.
- If every Ontario employer with 20 or more employees hired at least one more person with a disability, about 56,000 people would have jobs — and more than 30 per cent of the people with disabilities looking for work could apply their talents to our businesses and economy.
- With the passage of the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, Ontario became an accessibility leader, establishing standards in key areas of daily life and implementing them within clear timeframes.
- As part of Ontario’s new BIG IDeA accessibility innovation program, major tech companies—including IBM, Microsoft, Google, Amazon, and Apple—are helping to break down accessibility barriers in machine learning models.
“People with disabilities are underrepresented in Ontario’s labour market and that needs to change. By accessing the diverse talents of people with disabilities, businesses and our economy as a whole will become more competitive. That’s why this strategy is so important.”
“This strategy will help remove the barriers to employment for Ontarians with disabilities and create the conditions for them to reach their full potential in the workplace. This is great news for workers and employers who will be able to capitalize on the incredible talent and diversity in Ontario.”
“With an employment strategy for people with disabilities in place, we will continue to move forward on the goal of ensuring people with disabilities live and participate to the fullest extent possible in their communities. The ODSP youth pilot project will support youth with disabilities by assisting them in identifying goals and actions that can lead to employment and in ultimately reaching their full potential.”
Dr. Helena Jaczek
“People in Ontario with disabilities are a skilled and educated group of individuals. Unfortunately, they are too often unemployed as a result of employer misperceptions. I congratulate Premier Wynne and the Government of Ontario for exceptional leadership in the area of inclusion. The employment strategy is a vital step to changing mindsets in the private sector.”