Government of Canada Supports Participation of People With Disabilities in All Aspects of Life

June 3, 2013

Winnipeg, Manitoba, May 24, 2013 — People with disabilities will benefit from increased support, tools and resources to help address social issues they are facing in their communities. The announcement was made today by the Honourable Vic Toews, Minister of Public Safety and Member of Parliament for Provencher, on behalf of the Honourable Diane Finley, Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development.

“Our government recognizes the abilities of all Canadians and is committed to supporting innovative solutions to remove barriers to social and economic inclusion of people with disabilities,” said Minister Toews. “By partnering with People First of Canada, we are improving the participation of people with disabilities in our society.”

People First of Canada is receiving $1,500,000 over three years in federal government funding, which will be used to operate a national information resource centre in Winnipeg to help support people with disabilities. The organization will host forums and information sessions and use social media to educate the Canadian public on issues and barriers faced by people with disabilities. In addition, training opportunities will be available to help people with disabilities develop their social integration, leadership and public presentation skills.

“The support we receive from the Government of Canada allows us to advance inclusion for people with intellectual disabilities in our country. This funding will impact the lives of Canadians with intellectual disabilities in many areas. In work, in education, in living and in the community, this funding will help us work towards policies and practices to ensure the full citizenship rights of people with intellectual disabilities,” said Shane Haddad, President, People First of Canada.

People First of Canada is a national organization led and operated by people with intellectual disabilities. Its members across the country are involved in self-advocacy, conferences, workshops and engaging in various activities that contribute to local communities.

Through the Social Development Partnerships Program – Disability Component (SDPP-D), the Government provides $11 million annually in support of a wide range of projects designed to improve social inclusion and tackle barriers faced by people with disabilities.

Economic Action Plan 2013 introduced an investment of $222 million per year to better meet the employment needs of Canadian businesses and improve the employment prospects for people with disabilities. Furthermore, the Government proposes to maintain ongoing funding at $40 million per year for the Opportunities Fund for Persons with Disabilities, starting in 2015–16, to help more people with disabilities train for in-demand jobs.

The Government also proposes to extend the Enabling Accessibility Fund at a level of $15 million per year to support the capital costs of construction and renovations to improve physical accessibility for people with disabilities, including workplace accommodation.

For more information on the SDPP-D, visit www.hrsdc.gc.ca/disability