New employment opportunities created as part of Disability Employment Awareness Month

October 3, 2018

Inclusion Alberta is ready to create new employment and post-secondary opportunities for people with developmental disabilities, thanks to investments from the Government of Alberta. The $150,000 in funding was announced as part of recognizing October as Disability Employment Awareness Month (DEAM).

People with developmental disabilities in Alberta are far more likely to be unemployed and underemployed, with unemployment rates close to 80%. This new funding will further enable Inclusion Alberta to work with the business community to secure more employment for individuals with developmental disabilities and increase access to post-secondary education.

Inclusion Alberta’s successful partnership with Rotary Clubs will continue to grow with this investment. The internationally-recognized program brings business and community leaders together to help create meaningful job opportunities for people with developmental disabilities. Nearly 500 jobs have been created in Alberta through this partnership, the success of which has since seen it expand to other provinces and countries.  

“Parents of young adults with developmental disabilities want the same things for their children as any other parent, including seeing them find work and have a chance at a career,” said Trish Bowman, CEO of Inclusion Alberta.

“A good job can give purpose to life, expand your social networks and enhance your financial security. Everyone who wants to work deserves a chance to earn an income and make a contribution to their community.”

Post-secondary education can be a major boost to someone’s career opportunities, and it’s no different for a student with developmental disabilities.

Half of the new funding will go to creating supports for three more students at Alberta post-secondary institutions. Inclusion Alberta currently supports nearly 70 students at 14 universities and colleges. Eighty percent of graduates go on to find work, flipping the statistic for employment possibilities from just twenty percent for someone without a post-secondary education.

Inclusion Alberta president Barb MacIntyre, who is herself a parent of a son with developmental disabilities who completed post-secondary education and is currently working, said “We’re very pleased the Ministry of Community and Social Services is funding Inclusion Alberta to expand inclusive post-secondary education and employment opportunities. I know the amazing difference these new opportunities offer young adults with developmental disabilities in realizing their future aspirations.”

Inclusion Alberta is appreciative of the funding from the Ministry of Community and Social Services to help our work in supporting Albertans with developmental disabilities to be fully included in community.  

Inclusion Alberta’s Trina Steed, Provincial Director, Employment Partnerships (left) and Billie Jack, Provincial Director, Advocacy and Community Development (right) meet with Irfan Sabir, Minister of Community and Social Services at the Alberta Legislature.