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Labour market realities for people with developmental disabilities How are we doing in BC? Michael J. Prince BCACL Employment Forum Vancouver, March 7,

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Presentation on theme: "Labour market realities for people with developmental disabilities How are we doing in BC? Michael J. Prince BCACL Employment Forum Vancouver, March 7,"— Presentation transcript:

1 Labour market realities for people with developmental disabilities How are we doing in BC? Michael J. Prince BCACL Employment Forum Vancouver, March 7, 2008

2 2 Canadian context People with developmental disabilities have been making inroads into the labour market for some years - success stories can be told Yet, the rates of participation in the labour market and the rates of employment for persons with disabilities still remain well below the rates for people without disabilities In 2000, only 27 per cent of people with developmental disabilities aged 16 to 64 were employed, and 40 per cent have never worked

3 3 Canadian context Adults with disabilities are: considerably less likely than their non-disabled counterparts to have post-secondary education, full-time work status, and high hourly wages And, are far less likely to have extended medical, life insurance and disability insurance coverage from their place of work

4 4 Policy developments in BC Canada-BC Labour Market Development Agreement, & Labour Market Agreement 2010 Legacies Now, Access Works - one time grant to increase work and volunteer opportunities for people with disabilities Customized Employment Demonstration Project between CLBC & MEIA, for adults with developmental disabilities

5 5 BC realities: I Despite BCs booming economy, people with disabilities continue to face significant barriers to employment Just over 50 per cent of people with disabilities (between ages 25 to 54) are in the workforce compared to more than 80 per cent of people without disabilities Of those people with disabilities that work, two-thirds work part-time and/or part-year

6 6 BC realities: II Less than 16 per cent of people receiving disability benefits report any earnings at all The percentage of people with disabilities (PWD) claiming earnings exemption increased from 11 per cent in 2000 to 15 per cent in 2006 The average monthly PWD caseload has increased by 70 per cent since 2000.

7 7 BC realities: III Placement rate for Employment Programs for People with Disabilities (EPPD) is about 14 per cent (includes full-time, part-time, self-employment, and volunteer work) Some people with developmental disabilities have trouble accessing any employment at all College programs and emerging social enterprise sector provide employment supports to people with disabilities

8 8 What we know Some people with disabilities need a combination of income assistance and employment to function to their full capacity Program restrictions often discourage this population from participating in the labour market If they become employed, many fear forfeiting disability benefits, and if they cannot maintain employment, they may find themselves without income from work or disability benefits

9 9 Issues & opportunities How can we take advantage of an aging labour force and the need for workers in a variety of occupations? Under the new Canada-BC labour market agreements, how can we move the goal of meaningful employment for persons with a disability to another level? What processes should be in place to enable stakeholders a genuine voice in the accountability for these agreements?

10 10 Where action is needed 1. Policy reform 2. Training and education 3. Employer involvement 4. Better transitions 5. Better services


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