Advancing the Inclusion of People with Disabilities (2006)

Advancing  the  Inclusion  of People with Disabilities (2006)
People • Partnerships • Knowledge
Advancing the Inclusion
of People with Disabilities
(2006)
SDDP-042-12-06E
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© Her Majesty the Queen in Right of Canada 2006
Cat. No.: HS4-27/2006E
ISBN: 0-662-44582-1
Table of Contents
MESSAGE FROM THE MINISTER.......................................................................... 5
INTRODUCTION ...................................................................................................... 6
CHAPTER ONE: HUMAN RIGHTS AND CULTURE............................................... 9
1. Protecting the Rights of People with Disabilities ............................................ 9
2. Promoting Human Rights and a Culture of Inclusiveness............................. 10
CHAPTER TWO: ACCESSIBILITY AND DISABILITY SUPPORTS ..................... 13
1.
Accessibility .................................................................................................... 14
a. Transportation ..................................................................................... 14
b. Housing ............................................................................................... 18
c. Government benefits and services ...................................................... 23
d. Sport ................................................................................................... 26
e. Electoral system .................................................................................. 27
f. Library system ..................................................................................... 27
g. Internet and computer technology ....................................................... 28
h. Telecommunications ............................................................................ 30
2.
Disability Supports ......................................................................................... 34
a. Assistive devices ................................................................................. 34
b. Computer technology .......................................................................... 35
3.
Support for Communities............................................................................... 36
a. Support for Canadian communities ..................................................... 36
b. Assistance for international development ............................................ 41
CHAPTER THREE: LEARNING, SKILLS, AND EMPLOYMENT ......................... 43
1.
Learning and Skills ......................................................................................... 44
a. Financial aid for students .................................................................... 44
b. Promoting learning .............................................................................. 46
c. First Nations and Inuit.......................................................................... 46
2.
Employment .................................................................................................... 48
a. Overview of the employment situation of people with disabilities ....... 48
b. Support for general employment programs ......................................... 48
c. Rehabilitation and Vocational Assistance Services ............................. 52
d. Self-employment ................................................................................. 53
e. Aboriginal people with disabilities ........................................................ 54
f. Employment within the Public Service ................................................ 55
g. The National Council of Federal Employees with Disabilities ............. 60
3
CHAPTER FOUR: INCOME, INCOME SUPPORT, AND TAX MEASURES ......... 66
1.
2.
3.
Tax Measures for People with Disabilities .................................................... 68
Registered Charities ....................................................................................... 70
Other Programs that Provide Income Support to
People with Disabilities .................................................................................. 71
4.
First Nations .................................................................................................... 72
CHAPTER FIVE: HEALTH AND WELL-BEING .................................................... 74
1.
2.
Disability and Health....................................................................................... 74
Health Care Programs .................................................................................... 75
a. First Nations and Inuit Health .............................................................. 76
b. Workplace Health and Public Safety ................................................... 77
c. Home and Continuing Care ................................................................. 77
d. Seniors ................................................................................................ 78
e. Children ............................................................................................... 78
f. Seniors ................................................................................................ 79
g. HIV/AIDS ............................................................................................. 79
h. Veterans ............................................................................................. 81
APPENDIX A – Profile of Disability in Canada: An Overview (2001) ................ 86
APPENDIX B – Government of Canada – Principal DisabilityRelated Benefits and Programs 2005-2006 ........................... 104
APPENDIX C – Further examples of supporting employees
with disabilities within the federal public service ................. 106
APPENDIX D – Abbreviations used in this report ........................................... 107
APPENDIX E – Contributing Departments and Agencies ............................... 109
4
Message from the Minister
Advancing the Inclusion of People with Disabilities is the
annual report on the Government’s progress on disability
issues. It covers more than 50 programs and initiatives that
some 30 federal departments and agencies deliver in order to
facilitate the participation of people with disabilities in major
dimensions of Canadian society.
The participation of people with disabilities can no
longer continue to be a matter of rhetoric. In the context of
increasing global competition, a predominantly knowledgebased economy, emerging labour shortages, and an aging
population, it is becoming evident that the participation of all
people with different abilities is increasingly essential for the individual and collective well-being of
our society.
This annual report is a testament to the Government of Canada’s commitment to making
Canada a truly accessible society for all; a Canada where people with and without disabilities can
live to their fullest potential.
As you read through this report, you will notice that our understanding of disability is no longer
dictated by a single discipline or conceptual perspective. We all have a responsibility to remove
the barriers that prevent the full participation of people with disabilities in Canadian society, and to
create a more accessible Canada.
This is the reason why, as a Government and as a society, we invest in ensuring that the
needs of people with disabilities are being met through a variety of programs and initiatives in
areas affecting many facets of people’s lives. As a Government, we will continue to work with our
partners at the provincial and territorial levels, as well as in the private and not-for-profit sectors,
and with all citizens, to remove barriers and ensure accessibility for Canadians with disabilities.
By working together to build a more inclusive society, we make it possible for all Canadians to
contribute, and, in so doing, help to ensure that Canadian society reaches its highest potential.
The Honourable Diane Finley, P.C., M.P.
Minister of Human Resources and Social Development
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Advancing the Inclusion of People with Disabilities (2006)
INTRODUCTION
As is the case for many social policy areas, policies concerning people with disabilities fall
under federal, provincial, and municipal jurisdictions. The three orders of government, working
together and in collaboration with the non-profit and the private sectors, assume important and
complementary roles in promoting and supporting the full participation of people with disabilities in
all dimensions of Canadian society.
Through a vast array of policies and integrated programs, the federal government seeks to
contribute to the improved well-being of people with disabilities and the organizations that support
them, and to promote the principles of citizenship. Whether accomplished by means of service
delivery or through tax policies, the federal government’s aim is to reduce, if not eliminate, the
barriers that people with disabilities face at various stages of life. Thus, tax measures for children
with disabilities, grants intended for students with permanent disabilities, various employment
programs for working-age adults, and income support programs and services for seniors with
disabilities are all part of an increasingly coherent and integrated policy at the federal level.
As observers of federal disability policy pointed out, a number of programs—in the fields of
education, vocational rehabilitation, and employment—that were formerly offered separately
are in various stages of consolidation. Together, these programs increase autonomy and selfdetermination.1
The Government of Canada’s efforts at integrating services for people with disabilities have,
for a number of years, been guided by the understanding that disability is not defined merely
as being the direct result of a health problem or any physical or mental limitation. Instead, it is
seen as the result of complex interactions between a health problem or functional limitation and
the social, political, cultural, economic, and physical environment. These, in combination with
personal factors such as age, gender, and level of education, can result in a disadvantage—that
is, a disability. This link between a functional limitation and the disadvantage is what courts try to
determine in investigating disability-based human rights complaints.
This concept of disability is also what guides an increasing number of national surveys that
collect information on people with disabilities in Canada. For example, the 2001 Census, the 2001
Participation and Active Living Survey (PALS), and, since 1999, the Survey of Labour Income
Dynamics (SLID) all use the same filter questions based on this concept to identify people who
have a disability.
It is also this common understanding that shapes the ongoing collaboration across federal
departments and agencies, and between the Government of Canada and other orders of
government and national organizations of people with disabilities. Regardless of the means
chosen to address disability issues, it is now a generally established principle that functional
limitations or health problems alone do not prevent people from participating. Obstacles in the
socio-economic and built environment do.
1
6
Rioux, Marcia and Prince, Michael (2002). The Canadian Political Landscape of Disability: Policy Perspectives,
Social Status, Interest Groups, and Human Rights Movement. In Allan Puttee (ed.) Federalism, Democracy and
Disability Policy in Canada. Montreal & Kingston: McGill-Queen’s University Press, pp. 11-28.
In this context, the Government of Canada will be seeking to develop a National Disability
Act to improve accessibility and inclusion for all Canadians with disabilities.2 The Government of
Canada will engage concerned stakeholders, including Canadians with disabilities, in gathering
information and eventually developing a proposal for this Act. Canada was one of the first
countries in the world to enshrine disability protection in its constitution. Since its enactment,
the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms has governed all case law and legislation related
to disability.
Following in the footsteps of the two previous federal reports—the 2002, 2004 and 2005
Advancing the Inclusion of People with Disabilities3—this report provides an overview of key
initiatives that different federal departments and agencies have implemented, individually or in
collaboration, or are in the course of implementing in 2005-06 and beyond. This report uses
the same accountability framework as that of the earlier reports to describe progress made and
initiatives taken with the goal of achieving full citizenship for all Canadians, including people
with disabilities. The information is divided into the major life areas: accessibility and disability
supports, health and well-being, skills and learning, employment and income.
This report does not try to give an exhaustive account, but instead provides an overview of
the major federal programs and initiatives that directly or indirectly benefit people with disabilities.
Except for references to program-specific indicators (used for monitoring and evaluation
purposes), survey data presented in this report are used only occasionally and only to illustrate
the broader context of the overall progress and gaps that remain to be addressed.
For example, data based on the Survey of Labour and Income Dynamics results for the period
1999-2004 indicate that working-age people with disabilities have made noticeable progress in
the area of employment and income (e.g., relying on wages and salaries as the main source of
income and relying less on government transfer payments).4 The data also show that people
with disabilities have better access to higher education and are increasingly less likely to have
low levels of education. It is not possible to use national survey findings to establish a direct link
between those findings and particular programs. Therefore, progress cannot be directly attributed
to a specific program or initiative. Nonetheless, given their explicit objectives, it is possible that
these programs and initiatives could, when combined with other factors such as increased
awareness or an improvement in the overall economy, be key factors in this change.
The 2006 federal disability report provides information on over 50 federal programs and
initiatives, their level of expenditure,5 the key findings of any available internal or external
evaluations or audits, and any research studies or client surveys of which these programs and
initiatives were the subject matter. All these programs and initiatives reflect the Government of
Canada’s commitment to address disability issues and reduce the effects of the socio-economic
and physical environments.
2
3
4
5
The objectives of this legislation were stated as a commitment the Conservative Party of Canada’s 2005-06
electoral platform.
In addition to the 2002 and 2004 reports, there was a 2005 report which differed from the other reports in its
focus on seniors.
Chapters 3 and 4 discuss the progress made in the areas of employment and income.
Appendix B outlines the principal disability-related benefits and programs 2005-06.
7
Advancing the Inclusion of People with Disabilities (2006)
The report is organized along the following lines:
CHAPTER ONE: HUMAN RIGHTS AND CULTURE
As human rights are fundamental to the full participation of people with disabilities, this report
begins with a general description of the Government of Canada’s efforts to protect and promote
the principles of full citizenship. This chapter describes the role the Canadian Human Rights
Commission and Canadian Heritage assume in this area.
CHAPTER TWO: ACCESSIBILITY AND DISABILITY SUPPORTS
Accessibility and disability supports are fundamental requirements for full participation. Without
them, people with disabilities risk being excluded. This chapter focuses on government actions in
the following areas: transportation, housing, information, assistive devices, adaptive technology,
and support for communities.
CHAPTER THREE: LEARNING, SKILLS, AND EMPLOYMENT
Learning and developing skills are key instruments for increasing the potential of people with
disabilities to participate in all dimensions of Canadian society and to seize available employment
opportunities, and to gain autonomy and self-reliance. This chapter focuses on government
initiatives in the area of students’ loans, vocational rehabilitation, and employment programs.
CHAPTER FOUR: INCOME, INCOME SUPPORT, AND TAX MEASURES
In addition to providing services to people with disabilities, the Government of Canada provides
them with some income support to reduce the impact of market forces and the threat of poverty
and exclusion. The Government also provides tax measures to people with disabilities and their
caregivers to recognize that these individuals face extra disability-related expenses that reduce
their ability to pay tax. This chapter describes income support programs and tax measures.
CHAPTER FIVE: HEALTH AND WELL-BEING
The ultimate goal of all disability-related programs and policies is to maintain and promote the
overall well-being of people with disabilities. Health promotion and services are key instruments
for achieving this goal. This chapter provides some data on how people with and without
disabilities assess their own health status and on other health related issues (e.g., correlation of
poor health and work incapacity). But the focus is on the key disability-related initiatives by Health
Canada and the Public Health Agency of Canada.
8
Chapter One: Human Rights and Culture
1. Protecting the Rights of People with Disabilities
The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms provides an equality guarantee under Section
15 that prohibits discrimination based on mental or physical disability across all jurisdictions
in Canada. The Charter limits the ability of governments to pass laws or take actions that
discriminate or infringe on human rights. Individuals must be treated equally, regardless of their
race, national or ethnic origin, colour, religion, sex, age, or mental or physical capacities. The
Charter has been the basis for many cases related to disability, and can be credited with helping
to make Canada a more accessible society.
In addition to the Charter, the Canadian Human Rights Act promotes and protects the rights of
people who face discrimination on a number of grounds, including a physical or mental condition.
The Canadian Human Rights Act requires employers and service providers under federal
jurisdiction to accommodate special needs, including those of people with disabilities, short of
undue hardship. While the duty to accommodate has long been recognized by the courts, specific
reference to accommodation in the Act clarifies both the rights of employees and the obligations of
employers.
The Canadian Human Rights Commission (CHRC) administers the Canadian Human Rights
Act and is responsible for ensuring compliance with the Employment Equity Act. Both laws
ensure that all areas of federal jurisdiction adhere to the principles of equal opportunity and nondiscrimination.
The CHRC tries to resolve complaints of discrimination filed against federally regulated
employers, unions, and service providers. If a complaint cannot be resolved, the Commission may
investigate the case further, and may ultimately request that the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal
hear the case.
In 2005, the Commission received 429 complaints citing disability as the grounds of
discrimination, representing half of all the complaints the Commission received that year.
Table 1: Complaints to CHRC that cited disability as the grounds for
discrimination – Number and percentage of all complaints, 2002-05
2002
2003
2004
2005
Number
438
495
389
429
Percentage
44%
37%
39%
50%
Source: Canadian Human Rights Commission Annual Report, 2005.6
6
A copy of the report is available at www.chrc-ccdp.ca/pdf/AR_2005_RA_en.pdf
9
Advancing the Inclusion of People with Disabilities (2006)
To reduce the impact of the adversarial nature of a complaint-driven system, the CHRC offers
mediation as an alternative to resolving complaints at an early stage. This is an informal process
that gives the parties the opportunity to resolve a dispute before a formal complaint is filed. If
the matter is resolved between the parties through preventive mediation, the file is closed; if the
matter is not resolved, the complainant can file a formal complaint.
Complaint Process
Preliminary Assessment: This process provides the parties with an opportunity to
clarify the issues and establish realistic expectations.
Mediation: If the preliminary assessment did not resolve the dispute, the complaint may
be referred to mediation. Mediation is offered at any stage of the complaint process.
Investigation: If mediation fails, the complaint is sent for investigation. An Investigation
Report is prepared that contains an analysis of the evidence and a recommendation on
the disposition of the complaint.
Disclosure: The report is disclosed to the parties and they are given an opportunity
to present written submissions to the Commission.
Decision: The members of the Commission decide how to deal with the complaints
put before them:
• the complaint is referred to the Tribunal for further inquiry;
• the complaint is dismissed if members of the Commission determine that further
inquiry by a tribunal is not warranted;
• settlements reached by the parties through the mediation process are approved; or
• the complaint is referred to conciliation where parties are given an opportunity
to resolve the complaint with the assistance of a conciliator appointed by the
Commission.
2. Promoting Human Rights and a Culture of Inclusiveness
In addition to the CHRC, the Department of Canadian Heritage also plays an important role
in ensuring human rights are promoted and enjoyed in Canada.7 The Human Rights Program
undertakes educational and promotional activities, including maintaining a website that contains
a theme page on Human Rights and Disabilities. It also provides a select number of grants
and contributions to eligible organizations. The program is responsible for coordinating, with
provincial and territorial governments, the domestic implementation of international human rights
instruments and preparing Canada’s reports to the United Nations.8 During the past year, Canada
7
8
10
More information on the Department of Canadian Heritage is available at www.canadianheritage.gc.ca/progs/
pdp-hrp/index_e.cfm
More information is available from the UN website at www.un.org/disabilities/convention/index.shtml
participated in the successful negotiation of a draft United Nations convention for the protection of
the rights of people with disabilities. A revised draft of the Convention was introduced by the UN
Ad Hoc Committee on the Convention on October 30, 2006. The General Assembly adopted the
Convention December 13, 2006. Canada will undertake a comprehensive analysis before ratifying
it. This will include a legal review and consultations with provinces and territories.
Canadian Heritage also administers a number of programs and initiatives aimed at promoting
the full participation of people with disabilities in different domains, including culture, community,
and sports.
For example, through the Canadian Culture Online Program, the Department implements its
Culture Online Strategy, which strives to create a uniquely Canadian presence on the Internet.9
The Strategy anticipates a future where the majority of Canadians spend time in the digital
interactive “space” being entertained, engaged, and informed. In this context, the Canadian
Culture Online Program aims to encourage Canadians to access and participate in interactive
digital resources that reflect our diverse heritage, cultures, languages, and history, and to ensure
that the program contributes to a supportive environment for the new media sector in Canada.
Although these programs do not focus specifically on people with disabilities, some of the
Canadian cultural Internet sites that Canadian Culture Online has funded since 2001 are directed
at people with disabilities. For example, the National Film Board (Canadian Memory Fund,
2005-06) digitized and made available a total of 287 films, 76 of which included video description,
and 62 of which were subtitled. All sites funded by Canadian Culture Online are required to
conform to international standards, ensuring full access to site content for people with disabilities.
Through its Youth Participation Directorate, Canadian Heritage also supports youth
exchange and youth forum programs within Canada. Through the Exchanges Canada program,
the Directorate funds the return transportation costs and any special measures that may be
required (e.g., sign language interpreters, attendants, medical personnel, and specially adapted
transportation) to ensure that youth with disabilities can participate fully. About 640 young people
with disabilities participated in Exchange Canada 2005-06.
The Active Living Alliance Youth Exchange brings youth from all provinces and territories to
Ottawa every year for five days around Canada Day.10 This exchange exposes participants to a
wide variety of active living opportunities, provides a cultural experience through interaction with
people from across Canada, and inspires and enhances personal leadership qualities. Participants
in the exchange have the opportunity to learn about community involvement and the advocacy
process, and to try new physical activities. Forty-nine youth and 33 leaders, chaperones, and
organizers participated in the program in 2005-06.
Canadian Heritage also administers the Community Participation Program, which involves
collaboration with other federal departments and the voluntary sector to promote citizen
participation and engagement in Canadian society.11 More specifically, the program aims to
raise awareness of the contributions of volunteers and the voluntary sector to Canadian society,
promote citizens’ participation and engagement in Canadian society, and strengthen the capacity
9
10
11
Visit Canadian Culture Online at www.pch.gc.ca/ccop-pcce/index_e.cfm
The Active Living Alliance website can be found at www.ala.ca/content/home.asp
The Community Participation Program website can be found at www.pch.gc.ca/progs/pc-cp/cvi_e.cfm
11
Advancing the Inclusion of People with Disabilities (2006)
of voluntary organizations to provide programs and services for the benefit of Canadians. The
program provided funding in 2004-05 to the Prince Edward Island Council of the Disabled, which
produced Simple Solutions. This manual identifies 21 barriers to volunteering and helps managers
of volunteer resources and other practitioners in the non-profit sector to better understand the
barriers that people with disabilities face and how to reduce or eliminate them.12
Promotional material for the inclusion of people with disabilities
E-Inclusion – Centre de recherche en informatique de Montréal (New Media Research
Networks Fund, 2005-07) – aims at developing audio-visual content processing tools and
sensory-specific content creation methods for multimedia producers. The goal is to provide
creators with powerful audio-video tools that will allow them to centre their attention on the
creative aspects and thus improve the richness of the multimedia experience for people with
sensory disabilities.
CulturAll – University of Toronto – Adaptive Technology Resource Centre (New Media Research
Networks Fund, 2005-07) – aims to make inclusive design a naturally integrated component of
Canadian cultural productions and act as a catalyst for innovation and creativity. The CulturAll
Network continues its work developing innovative approaches, tools, and strategies to ensure
that everyone in Canada can participate in the Canadian cultural exchange.
Stretch – University of Toronto (Partnerships Fund, 2005-06) – focuses on the realities of
people living with disabilities in Aboriginal communities. As an adjunct to the popular online
broadcast show “Zed,” the project will collect video, animation, visual artwork, and music that
express perspectives on inclusion. Youth and students, with the help of media artists, will
showcase their work and their ideas related to the subjects explored by the site in a popular
online forum. It is anticipated that at least 30 videos, 55 visual art pieces, and 15 other works
in various media will be presented.
ASLpah.ca – Canadian Hearing Society (Gateway Fund, 2004-05) – showcases content
by and about people who are hard of hearing, deaf, or deafened. Content such as personal
stories and e-zine materials in sign language (ASL or LSQ) can be found on the site, which
also includes video stories on themes of humour, employment, education and other subjects.
Participants, particularly deaf youth, are encouraged to create and share their stories and
perspectives using their own language.
Rick Hansen: Man In Motion (Canadian Memory Fund, 2003-04) – showcases Rick Hansen
defying all odds as he circled the world in his wheelchair for over two years to raise awareness
and money for spinal cord research. Even when the tour was over, he kept going, a man in
perpetual motion.
Canadian Network for Inclusive Cultural Exchange – University of Toronto – Adaptive
Technology Resource Centre (New Media Research Networks Fund, 2002-04) – developed
free guidelines, tools, and learning materials aimed at including people with disabilities in
cultural creation, exchanges, and experiences.
12
12
The manual is available at www.kdc-cdc.ca/attachments/manual_pei_council_eng.pdf
Chapter Two: Accessibility and Disability Supports
Without accessibility and disability supports, many people with various functional limitations
continue to face socio-economic exclusion and personal isolation. In everyday language, the
terms accessibility and disability supports may be used interchangeably. However, these two
concepts cover distinct, albeit related, issues.
Accessibility is about creating an environment in which systemic barriers to the full participation
of people with disabilities are reduced or eliminated so that these people have equal access. To
be sure, accessibility is an umbrella concept that refers to issues related to services, systems and
policies. Such services may be provided by the public, private, or voluntary sectors, and could
be established at the local, community, regional, or national levels. Systems are administrative
arrangements and organizational mechanisms that are established by governments at the local,
regional, or national levels. These systems are designed to organize, control, and monitor services
that provide benefits and programs in different areas of society. Policies are the rules, regulations,
conventions, and standards established by governments at local, regional, or national levels.
Policies govern and regulate the systems that organize, control, and monitor services, programs,
and operations in various sectors of society. Based on this definition, accessibility describes the
relationships between individuals and their environments.13
On the other hand, disability supports are sub-elements of accessibility. As stated in the
In Unison 2000 report, disability supports “refer to a range of goods, services and supports
tailored to the individual requirements for daily living.” They include technical aids and devices;
special equipment; homemaker, attendant or interpreter services; life skills; physiotherapy and
occupational therapy; and respite care that respond to individual needs. These goods, services,
and supports facilitate active participation at home, at school, and in the community and help
people maximize their personal and economic independence.14
While accessibility is about ensuring the participation of people with disabilities in all
dimensions of society, disability supports are the instruments and means that facilitate their
participation in daily living activities and in achieving their personal and economic potential.
Without assistance with daily living, people with disabilities may be isolated at home, others may
have trouble holding a job, getting to their jobs, managing a monthly budget, or making medical
appointments.
The Government of Canada has a number of programs and initiatives that help address
both accessibility and disability support needs through a variety of means. These include
creating and administering regulatory provisions, codes, and accountability processes (such
as regular consultation with the community); regular reporting on activities, complaints, and
conflict resolution, through institutions such as the Human Rights Commission and the Canadian
Transportation Agency; and proactive measures to prevent new barriers from being erected and
13
14
This is based on the World Health Organization’s 2001 definition. Detailed information on the WHO definition
can be found at www3.who.int/icf/onlinebrowser/icf.cfm?parentlevel=1&childlevel=2&itemslevel=1&ourdimension
=e&ourchapter=0&ourblock=0&our2nd=0&our3rd=0&our4th=0
The report, In Unison 2000: Persons with Disabilities in Canada, can be found at www.socialunion.ca/In_
Unison2000/iu00300e.html
13
Advancing the Inclusion of People with Disabilities (2006)
mitigate or eliminate the effects of existing ones through legislated and non-legislated programs
such as the Employment Equity Act, health and safety programs and awareness initiatives.
Through programs such as the Social Development Partnerships Program-Disability component,
the Government of Canada also supports the disability community in its effort to identify and
address accessibility issues from its own perspective and lived experience. And with funding from
the Canadian International Development Agency, the federal government helps many developing
nations design and implement programs aimed at improving accessibility of health services,
education and employment for people with disabilities.
The following section describes the key federal initiatives and programs aimed at addressing
accessibility issues and disability supports.
1. Accessibility
a. Transportation
“It is hereby declared that a safe, economic, efficient and adequate network of viable
and effective transportation services accessible to persons with disabilities and that
makes the best use of all available modes of transportation at the lowest total cost
is essential to serve the transportation needs of shippers and travellers, including
persons with disabilities, and to maintain the economic well-being and growth of
Canada and its regions...”
Canada Transportation Act
CHAPTER C-10.4 (1996, c. 10)
People with disabilities in Canada, even where they have the means to travel, cannot
always do so. According to the 2001 Participation and Activity Limitation Survey, 27% of adults
with disabilities are completely prevented from travelling long distances and many cannot
use local transit. As Figure 1 shows, difficulties with long distance travel result from various
factors, including ticket costs, a ride that aggravates a health condition, trouble moving about in
terminals, procedures and equipment for boarding and disembarking, and seating arrangements
(PALS 2001).
Transport Canada
Transport Canada provides policy leadership to improve accessibility and remove undue obstacles
from the federal transportation system. The Department consults with seniors, people with disabilities,
government bodies, and the transportation industry, and facilitates solutions to problems and
improvements to the system. The Department also conducts research and development to improve
accessibility through its Transportation Development Centre.
In February 2006, the Department coordinated and conducted two workshops—an airline workshop
and an intercity bus workshop—to gather input from consumers with disabilities and the transportation
industry on initiatives to address various accessibility issues encountered in the respective modes of
transportation. The Department is evaluating the input received from these consultations to determine
the next steps to take to enhance the accessibility of these modes of transportation.
14
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Transport Canada is in the final stages of developing a disability awareness training program,
entitled Getting on Board, intended for employees of small transportation service providers
operating within the national transportation system. The disability awareness training kit is
composed of a video and is complemented by a disability awareness training manual, a workshop
guide, and a guide to physically assisting people with mobility disabilities.
Transport Canada’s Access to Travel website provides information on accessible transportation
and travel across Canada with the aim
of making travelling an easier and more
Figure 1: Types of difficulties mentioned by adults with
disabilities reporting difficulty in travelling long distances by
enjoyable experience for Canadians with
bus, train or airplane. (%)
disabilities.15 In 2006 the Department
66
continued to maintain and update the website
with new data on local transportation service
operators who provide accessible ground
56
transportation services within cities and
towns across Canada. In addition, Transport
Canada recently developed a new section
entitled Accessibility of Airport Terminals,
which provides up-to-date information on the
34
accessibility features of 13 of Canada’s 26
airports in the National Airports System.
28
Transport Canada is currently preparing
to host the 11th International Conference
19
on Mobility and Transport for Elderly and
14
Disabled Persons from June 18-21, 2007,
11
11
10
in Montréal.16 The theme of the conference
5
5
is “Benchmarking, Evaluation and Vision for
3
the Future.” This event, which is expected to
attract over 500 participants from 38 countries,
will allow international experts to exchange
ideas as well as showcase innovative and
technological solutions for the transportation
needs of an aging population and of people
with disabilities and special needs.
TYPE OF DIFFICULTY
Source:
PALS
2001
Furthermore, Transport Canada’s
Note: Respondents could mention
more than one difficulty. The people reporting
Transportation Development Centre
difficulties, reported an average of 2.6 difficulties in travelling
manages a multi-modal Research and
long distances.
Development program aimed at improving
the safety, security, energy efficiency, and accessibility of the Canadian transportation system,
while protecting the environment.17 The Centre’s ongoing and recently completed research and
15
16
17
The Access to Travel website is located at www.accesstotravel.gc.ca/main-e.asp
Information on this conference is available at www.tc.gc.ca/pol/en/transed2007/home.htm
The website for the Research and Development program can be found at www.transport-canada.org/pol/en/
randd/menu.htm
15
Advancing the Inclusion of People with Disabilities (2006)
development initiatives include a study of automated dispensing machines and automated kiosks
in the transportation system, a study of the audibility of public address systems in airports, and an
assessment of the gravitational forces exerted on rear-facing wheelchair restraint systems on
low-floor transit buses.
Canadian Transportation Agency
The Canadian Transportation Agency’s mission is to administer transportation legislation
and federal government policies to help achieve an efficient and accessible transportation
system through education, consultation, and essential regulation. The Agency has a mandate
to administer the economic regulatory provisions affecting all modes of transport under federal
jurisdiction found in various Acts of Parliament. The Agency removes undue obstacles for people
with disabilities who travel via the air, rail, and marine networks.
The Agency examines concerns raised by people with disabilities if they encounter barriers in
using a part of the federally regulated transportation system. The Agency addresses accessibility
issues on a case-by-case basis through facilitation, mediation, or by adjudicating complaints.
It also addresses these issues by developing regulations, codes of practice, and standards
concerning the level of accessibility in modes of transportation under federal jurisdiction.
Under the Terms and Conditions of Carriage of Persons with Disabilities regulations, air
carriers are required to provide services to make travelling easier for people with disabilities. For
example, mobility devices such as canes, walking sticks, wheelchairs, scooters, and walkers must
be carried free of charge as priority baggage and, if space permits, in the cabin of passenger
aircraft. The Agency’s Personnel Training regulations require that personnel in the federal air,
rail, and marine transportation network have the knowledge, skills, and attitudes necessary to
help people with disabilities effectively and sensitively. For example, these transportation service
providers must train their personnel on guiding and communication techniques and on how to
provide assistance such as moving through a transportation terminal, boarding, and exiting a
vehicle. The Agency has also issued four codes of practice:
• Code of Practice – Aircraft Accessibility for Persons with Disabilities
• Code of Practice – Ferry Accessibility for Persons with Disabilities
• Code of Practice – Passenger Rail Car Accessibility and Terms and Conditions of Carriage
by Rail of Persons with Disabilities
• Code of Practice – Removing Communication Barriers for Travellers with Disabilities
Besides its share of the overhead costs, the Agency spends, on an average, about $2.1 million
per year on programs for people with disabilities.
In 2005, the Agency began drafting a new code dealing with accessibility in terminals for
people who travel in Canada by air, rail, or ferry. The purpose of the code is to provide a minimum
level of accessibility for passenger terminals across Canada and to improve the accessibility of
terminal amenities such as parking, passenger drop-off and pick-up areas, transportation within
and between terminals, public security screening, and baggage claim areas for people with
disabilities. The code is being produced in consultation with the Agency's Accessibility Advisory
Committee, which is made up of representatives of disability organizations, the transportation
industry, and other government departments.
16
The Agency is considering including many important provisions in the code to ensure, for
example, that new facilities and those being renovated comply with the Canadian Standards
Association’s Accessible Design for the Built Environment Standard; that boarding bridges,
platforms, or gangways be accessible to people with disabilities; that terminal operators have
areas for service animals to relieve themselves; and that all modes of transportation within and
between passenger terminals (such as shuttle buses and light rail) be accessible. The code also
provides for terminal operators to consult with representatives of a variety of groups of and for
people with disabilities about the accessibility of their terminals.18
When Canadian travellers with disabilities face barriers in using the transportation system, they
have the right to file complaints with the Agency.
During 2005, 51 accessibility-related applications were received by the Agency. Forty-three
decisions were issued, some dealing with applications received before January 1, 2005, and
others dealing with applications received during 2005. Some of the complaints addressed by
the Agency dealt with on-board medical oxygen, a major airline’s online reservation system,
TTY service provided by foreign carriers and ferry operators, and carrying mobility aids on small
regional jets.
In 2005, the Agency continued to promote mediation and facilitation to make it easier and
faster to resolve accessibility disputes.
In terms of facilitation, the Agency has become more proactive in recent years in averting or
alleviating situations that might cause obstacles to the mobility of people with disabilities and in
remedying situations before a formal complaint is filed.
18
In 2006, a draft of this Code was released for public comment. The projected release date of the Code of
Practice is June 18-21, 2007, during the 11th International Conference on Mobility and Transport for Elderly and
Disabled Persons (TRANSED), at the Palais des congrès de Montréal. A copy of the draft Code of Practice is
available at www.cta-otc.gc.ca/access/codes/index_e.html
17
Advancing the Inclusion of People with Disabilities (2006)
Complaint withdrawn
A married couple in their late 80s who have difficulty walking booked an Air Canada
executive-class flight from Toronto to Fort Lauderdale. Wheelchair transfer assistance
was requested for the wife and wheelchair assistance for the husband. They were unable
to check in at the Executive Class counter. Wheelchair assistance was also problematic,
and the couple filed a complaint.
As a result of the Canadian Transportation Agency’s intervention, Air Canada issued a
bulletin to customer service employees at Toronto’s Pearson Airport and gave a briefing
at the beginning of each shift for five consecutive days. The briefing reminded customer
service employees that any passenger who has purchased an executive-class ticket
and who requires wheelchair assistance has the choice to check in at the Executive
Class counter or the Special Assistance Desk. The bulletin and briefing referred to this
particular experience. The couple withdrew their complaint when Agency staff confirmed
receipt of the bulletin and relayed its contents.
Mediation continues to be offered as an option for settling accessible transportation disputes.
In 2005, issues brought to mediation related to air and rail travel for people with mobility, vision,
hearing, and intellectual disabilities, and those requiring the use of continuous oxygen service.
Parties who have opted for mediation have included several major air and rail carriers, two major
Canadian airport authorities, and private citizens.
There were 18 cases in progress at the beginning of 2005 and 10 new requests for mediation
were received during the course of the year. Of these 28 cases, eight were resolved during premediation discussions, one case was withdrawn by the complainant, and 14 resulted in mediation
sessions. Five cases remained outstanding at the end of 2005. Ten sessions resulted in full
settlement and, subsequently, formal complaints were withdrawn and the files were closed. Four
cases were partially settled through mediation and unresolved matters were returned to the
Agency’s formal process.
Interest in mediation as a method of solving disputes continues to grow among users and
providers of transportation services. The Agency found that an increasing number of service
providers demonstrated a positive, cooperative, and collaborative approach toward the program.
The Agency will continue to encourage mediation for accessibility disputes.
b. Housing
Having adequate, accessible, and affordable housing contributes to quality of life and general
well-being. Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) works to enhance Canada’s
housing finance options, assists Canadians who cannot afford housing in the private market,
improves building standards and housing construction, and provides policymakers with the
information and analysis they need to sustain a vibrant housing market in Canada.19
CMHC administers five initiatives that contribute to accessible housing for people with
disabilities: the Residential Rehabilitation Assistance Program for Persons with Disabilities
19
18
More information on all of CMHC’s programs is available on its website at www.cmhc.ca
(RRAP-D), the Home Adaptations for Seniors’ Independence Program (HASI), the Residential
Rehabilitation Assistance Program – Secondary/Garden Suite, the Shelter Enhancement Program
(SEP), and FlexHousingTM. The details of each program are given below. In general, assistance is
in the form of a fully forgivable loan that does not have to be repaid, provided the owner adheres
to the conditions of the program.
In November 2005, the Government of Canada announced a one-year extension of CMHC’s
renovation programs to 2006-07 with funding of $128.1 million.
In some areas of Canada, funding for these programs is provided jointly by the Government
of Canada and the provincial or territorial government. In these areas, the provincial or territorial
housing agency may be responsible for delivering the program. Program variations may also exist
in these areas.
Residential Rehabilitation Assistance Program for Persons with Disabilities (RRAP-D)
CMHC offers financial assistance under the RRAP-D to homeowners and landlords to
undertake accessibility work to modify dwellings occupied or intended for occupancy by lowincome people with disabilities. The RRAP-D is available across Canada, including on-reserve
communities.20
Assistance is provided in the form of a forgivable loan. For homeowners, assistance covers
100% of the total cost of the modifications to the maximum loan amount for the area (ranging from
$16,000 to $24,000 in southern and northern areas, respectively).
For landlords, 100% forgiveness is available for accessibility modifications up to the
maximum loan amount for the area (ranging from $24,000 to $36,000 in southern and northern
areas, respectively). Assistance is also available to landlords of rooming houses.21 The types of
modifications include, for example, building an exterior ramp, installing a visual fire alarm, and
installing task lighting.
Based on a recent program evaluation (Residential Rehabilitation Assistance Program
Evaluation, May 2003) of CMHC’s renovation programs, the RRAP-D has encouraged
homeowners and landlords to undertake accessibility modifications.
The RRAP-D is having a significant positive impact on the accessibility of units modified
under the program and on the resulting ability of people with disabilities to carry out daily living
activities. Eighty-seven percent of RRAP-D homeowners reported that the modifications had
improved the overall quality of their housing. Also important, 92% of RRAP-D beneficiaries
reported that the modifications had improved or significantly improved their ability to participate
in daily living activities.
20
21
Over the years, changes to the RRAP-D were introduced, increasing the available housing stock suitable for
low-income people with disabilities. The program was important in situations where a recently disabled individual
wished to remain in his or her home, as well as in rural areas where few alternative living arrangements existed.
Properties must meet minimum health and safety standards.
19
Advancing the Inclusion of People with Disabilities (2006)
Homeowners qualify for RRAP-D assistance if their house value is below a certain
figure, and their household income is at or below established limits based on household
size and area. The homeowner or a member of the household must have a disability.
Landlords may receive assistance to modify units if rents are at or below established
levels, and the units are occupied by tenants with a disability with incomes at or below
the income ceilings. Assistance is also available to landlords who own rooming houses
with rents below established levels.
Forgiveness and number of beneficiaries
In 2005, an estimated 1,450 households received some $15.5 million in federal/provincial/
territorial forgivable assistance.
Home Adaptations for Seniors’ Independence Program
Launched in 1992 as a two-year pilot program, the Home Adaptations for Seniors’
Independence Program (HASI) helps homeowners and landlords pay for minor home adaptations
to extend the time low-income seniors can live in their homes independently.
Assistance is in the form of a forgivable loan up to $3,500. The loan does not have to be repaid
as long as the homeowner continues to occupy the unit for the loan forgiveness period of six
months. If the adaptation is being done to a rental unit, the landlord must agree that rents will not
increase as a result.
The adaptations are for relatively minor items that meet the needs of seniors with an agerelated disability. The adaptations must also be permanent and fixed to the dwelling, and include
items such as handrails, easy-to-reach work and storage areas in the kitchen, lever handles on
doors, walk-in showers with grab bars, and bathtub grab bars and seats.
In a recent public consultation on CMHC’s Housing Renovation Programs, a large number
of respondents emphasized that HASI was a flexible, responsive program that allowed needs,
including urgent needs, to be addressed quickly. Moreover, many seniors’ homes needed only
minor modifications, at relatively low cost, to be able to remain in their home as they age, which
the program allowed for (Renovation Consultation Report, Public Consultation on Housing
Renovation Programs, CMHC, December 2002).
The majority of HASI clients (80%) found that the adaptations to their homes made their lives
more comfortable and safer, increasing their ability to live independently. The majority also felt
that if they had not made the adaptation to their home they would have had to move. Also, many
HASI clients (40%) would not have made the adaptations without the HASI program (Evaluation
of Housing Initiatives under the National Strategy for the Integration of Persons with Disabilities,
March 1998).
Homeowners and landlords may qualify for assistance as long as the occupant of the dwelling
where the adaptations will be made meets the following eligibility criteria: is 65 years of age or
over; has difficulty with daily living activities brought on by aging; total household income is at
or below a specified limit for the specified area; and, the dwelling unit is a permanent residence.
HASI is also available to on-reserve Aboriginal people with disabilities.
In 2005, an estimated 2,600 households received some $6.9 million in federal/provincial/
territorial forgivable assistance.
20
Residential Rehabilitation Assistance Program – Secondary/Garden Suite
The objective of the Residential Rehabilitation Assistance Program – Secondary/Garden Suite
is to help create affordable housing for low-income seniors and adults with a disability by providing
financial assistance to convert or develop existing residential properties that can reasonably
accommodate a secondary self-contained unit.22
Eligible clients are homeowners, private entrepreneurs, and First Nations individuals who
own residential properties that could create a bona fide, affordable, self-contained, rental
accommodation. Eligibility is limited to existing family housing residential properties where a
self-contained secondary or garden suite is being created. The property must also meet the
requirements of the authority that has jurisdiction, including zoning and building requirements.
Selected clients must enter into an operating agreement that establishes the rent that can be
charged during the term of the agreement. A ceiling is also placed on the income of households
that will occupy the newly created self-contained unit.
The assistance is in the form of a fully forgivable loan, with the maximum of $24,000 for
southern areas, $28,000 for northern areas, and $36,000 for far northern areas. The loan does not
have to be repaid provided the owner adheres to the conditions of the program. Supplementary
assistance of 25% is available in remote areas.
In 2005, an estimated 55 households received some $1.3 million in federal/provincial/territorial
forgivable assistance.
Shelter Enhancement Program
The objective of the Shelter Enhancement Program (SEP) is to help repair, rehabilitate, and
improve existing shelters for women and their children, youth, and men who are victims of family
violence, and to acquire or build new shelters and second-stage housing where needed. The SEP
also helps to improve the accessibility of shelters for clients with disabilities.
For new developments, CMHC may contribute up to 100% of the project’s capital cost. This
assistance must be secured by a forgivable 15-year mortgage. For renovation, the maximum loan
varies with the number of existing units/bed-units within the project and its location (ranging from
$24,000 to $36,000 for southern and far northern areas of Canada, respectively).
The Shelter Enhancement Program was initiated in 1995-96 with $1.9 million in annual
funding under the federal Family Violence Initiative. The scope of SEP was broadened in 1999 to
include youth, and in 2003 to include men who are victims of family violence.
Based on a 2002 evaluation of SEP, shelter repairs and enhancements had positive impacts
with respect to women feeling more secure, meeting the needs of children, client self-esteem and
well-being, and access for people with disabilities.23
22
23
The initiative, announced in the February 2004 Speech from the Throne, has enriched and renewed existing
programs and measures including RRAP-D, HASI, and FlexHousingTM and will continue to work with provinces
and territories on these initiatives. As a result, CMHC created and announced the RRAP – Secondary/Garden
Suite Program in May 2005.
Eligible repairs and work are those required to bring existing emergency shelters and second-stage housing up
to health and safety standards, permit accessibility for disabled occupants, provide adequate and safe program
and play areas for children, and ensure appropriate security for occupants.
21
Advancing the Inclusion of People with Disabilities (2006)
Clients indicated that the physical condition of shelters was a significant factor contributing to
client satisfaction. In this regard, repeat clients observed improvements in shelter conditions since
the SEP was introduced.
In terms of access, the evaluation concluded that the SEP contributed to improvements in
accessibility for people with disabilities. Close to 40% of SEP-funded shelters reported making
improvements in the accessibility of their buildings for clients with physical disabilities. Over twothirds of family violence shelters are currently wheelchair accessible.
According to data from Statistics Canada’s Transition House Surveys, the percentage
of shelters that were wheelchair accessible increased from 44% in 1993-94 to 64% in
1997-98, and to 68% in 1999-2000 (Statistics Canada, Juristat, Canada’s Shelters for
Abused Women 1997-98, 1999-2000).
Since the number of shelters has increased over this period, and new shelters are
generally designed for wheelchair accessibility, the number of accessible shelters has
doubled since 1994 (from 146 to 305).
Eligible clients include non-profit corporations and charities that, as a principal objective,
house women and children, youth, or men who are victims of family violence. As funding is
limited to capital assistance, sponsor groups must obtain the assurance of operating assistance
for emergency shelters.24 For second-stage housing, occupants are expected to make modest
contributions to offset the project’s operating costs.
In 2005, about 170 shelters (representing 1,175 shelter spaces), received $16.7 million in
federal/provincial/territorial forgivable assistance.
FlexHousingTM
FlexHousing is a practical approach to designing and building housing that allows residents
to more economically convert space to meet their changing needs. Based on the principles of
adaptability, accessibility, affordability, and Healthy HousingTM, FlexHousing responds to the needs
of today’s families and supports independent living for people with disabilities and seniors.25
FlexHousing appeals to people with disabilities, industry, builders, renovators, and architects
because it is a practical and flexible approach to designing and building housing. For example,
FlexHousing is designed to be fully wheelchair accessible, has wide corridors that make it easier
to circulate with a walker, and contains special features for people who are deaf, hard of hearing,
blind, or have low vision.
In 1999, a review was undertaken to gauge the extent to which FlexHousing principles
(e.g., on-grade access, straight-run stairs, main level living containing kitchen, living room,
washroom, and space suitable for bedroom or home office) were adopted in the design of houses
as standard features.
24
25
22
Provinces, territories, and Indian and Northern Affairs Canada may also provide regular operating funds to family
violence shelters in their jurisdictions.
Housing professionals (e.g., builders, renovators, designers, architects) are key to successfully implementing the
FlexHousing standard.
Overall, the review suggested that FlexHousing principles are increasingly evident in the new
home construction industry.
CMHC spent more than $72,000 in 2004-05 and $40,300 in 2005-06 to promote FlexHousing
to the housing industry and the public through information products and dissemination activities.
CMHC is also responsible for housing research and disseminating information to the public
and housing industry. Its research role is described in the Research and Knowledge Development
section of this report.
In June 2006 the Canadian Human Rights Commission (CHRC) published a report on
international best practices in universal design. Intended primarily for technical experts,
the report gives insight into the latest trends in universal design. On a very practical level,
it provides architects and designers with the tools and options to design buildings that are
accessible to all users. The report also documents accessibility criteria in building codes
and standards in Canada and around the world. It outlines the space requirements to
accommodate power wheelchairs and scooters as well as the requirement for warning
systems to alert people who are blind or have a visual impairment to their environment.
It also provides insight into how to design a building that utilizes colour contrasts and
changes in textures to make it function better for everyone.26
c. Government benefits and services
Service Canada was officially created within HRSDC on September 14, 2005, as the institution
responsible for creating better outcomes for Canadians through service excellence. While HRSDC
continues to be responsible for benefits to Canadians, including those with disabilities, Service
Canada provides easy, one-stop access to Government of Canada benefits and services through
the person’s channel of choice, whether in person, by phone, or through the Internet.
Service Canada represents a move away from organizing government services and benefits
around departments and programs to instead organizing around the needs of Canadians,
individually and in their communities. Driven by a focus on people, Service Canada will align
existing programs and services to better meet the needs of Canadians.
Service Canada’s Service Charter commits it to providing people with:
• choice in how to make contact;
• information that is easy to understand; and
• service in the official language of their choice.
People with disabilities face numerous challenges in carrying out their daily activities. Service
Canada wants to ensure that it addresses these challenges when people with disabilities use
its services. In response to research that revealed that people with disabilities have not been
satisfied with levels of accessibility, Service Canada committed to making its Charter a reality for
26
Copies of the report, International Best Practices in Universal Design: A Global Review, are available on CD or
in print, on request. Requests can be made at www.chrc-ccdp.ca/whats_new/default-en.asp?id=376
23
Advancing the Inclusion of People with Disabilities (2006)
all by ensuring accessibility for all Canadians no matter what avenue of service they choose. To
this end, Service Canada’s Management Board approved a plan in December 2005 that aims to
make Service Canada’s offices, websites, forms, applications, and telephone and mail services
more accessible. Work to implement the plan began in 2005 and will continue over the next two to
three years. Part of this work includes improvements to service for people who are deaf or have a
hearing impairment. For instance, Employment Insurance TTY services were enhanced during the
year and consolidated into one number: 1-800-678-2785.
Service Canada has also produced the Guide to Government of Canada Services for People
with Disabilities that discusses information, programs and services provided by the Government of
Canada for people with disabilities, their families, and caregivers.27
CPP Disability services
As one step in improving service for people applying for CPP Disability benefits, Service
Canada piloted a new method of completing applications by telephone. The pilots were run in
Alberta and Nova Scotia and showed that the approach was very helpful for a number of people
who would otherwise have difficulty completing the applications themselves. Work is underway to
integrate the best aspects of this pilot in a new application process, to be implemented in 2006-07.
Public opinion research
In 2005, Service Canada commissioned the services of Environics Research Group to conduct
qualitative research. Two studies were conducted in 2005.
The first study was a needs assessment entitled “Service needs of persons with visual and
mobility impairment.” The goal of the study was to find out if people with disabilities encountered
any problems, including physical challenges, when they attempted to obtain services from the
Government of Canada. The study also explored the information needs of people with disabilities.
The research included 72 participants with mobility and visual disability issues.
The conclusions showed that people with vision and mobility impairments seek the same
kinds of information as do other Canadians. The Government of Canada is generally not the
first source of information participants turn to. They tend to rely on doctors, health professionals,
advocacy and community groups, friends, and acquaintances. Despite the variety of Government
of Canada communications channels available, awareness was relatively low. Respondents
drew attention to the fact that print information and forms were often not readily available in large
print or Braille. Many people with vision impairment reported encountering technical difficulties in
scanning various government websites because the design and programming was not sensitive
to their needs.
The second study, entitled “Usability Testing with Persons with Disabilities: PWD Online,”
assessed the usability of PWD Online based on input from 21 people with vision and mobility
impairments. PWD Online provides a one-stop shop where people with disabilities, their
family members, caregivers, and service providers can access a full range of information on
disability-related programs and services in Canada. PWD Online pulls together information
from organizations that share a commitment to strengthening the quality of life of people with
27
24
A copy of this guide can be found at www.pwd-online.ca/pwdcontent.jsp?lang=en&contentid=28
disabilities. The goal of this research was to assess if PWD Online was meeting the needs of
users based on previous research (focus testing and needs analysis) and if PWD Online was
headed in the right direction in the way of look, navigation, and content in the new model.
The research showed that not many people knew about PWD Online. Feedback on the
website has helped the Department improve it to better meet users’ needs.
Studies such as these are invaluable as they make it possible to focus work on what
Canadians need. This information plays an integral role in forming work strategies to serve
Canadians in the most effective ways.
Other accessible services for people with disabilities
Members of the Western Canada Business Service Network, including the Community Futures
Development Corporations and Associations, the Women’s Enterprise Initiative, Francophone
Economic Development Organizations, and the Canada Business Service Centres, were surveyed
in February 2006 to determine how accessible their premises and services are to people with
disabilities.
The results of this survey are summarized in Table 2 below. It shows that 94 establishments
out of 104 surveyed (91%) said their buildings are accessible, but only 26% said their websites
are accessible. Only 38% installed adaptive equipment.
Table 2: Accessible premises, websites, and equipment, by region
Region
Alberta
B.C.
Manitoba
Saskatchewan
TOTAL
Responses
32
35
20
17
104
Premises
Alternative web
formats
Adaptive
equipment
YES
NO
YES
NO
YES
NO
31
31
18
14
94
1
4
2
3
10
8
11
5
2
26
24
24
15
15
78
9
16
10
3
38
23
19
10
14
66
91%
10%
25%
76%
37%
64%
25
Advancing the Inclusion of People with Disabilities (2006)
d. Sport
Sport Canada is a branch of the International and Intergovernmental Affairs and Sport Sector
within Canadian Heritage. Sport is a widespread cultural phenomenon that unites Canadians
through grassroots initiatives and the search for excellence. Within this context, the mission of
Sport Canada is to enhance opportunities for Canadians to participate and excel in sport.
In realizing this mission, Sport Canada is dedicated to helping athletes achieve high levels of
excellence, to enhancing opportunities for sport participation for all Canadians, and to developing
the Canadian sport system.
In 2006-07 Sport Canada is providing $12.5 million for sport programming for people with
disabilities, which represents over 8% of Sport Canada’s grants and contributions budget in
2006-07 (about $140 million).
Of this total, $11 million is provided annually toward programming initiatives that improve
access to sport for people with disabilities (for example, support for Paralympic sport programs
run by national sport organizations; mission support for the Canadian team participating in the
Paralympic Games; Athlete Assistance Program stipends to more than 200 carded Paralympic
athletes; funding for the Canadian Paralympic Committee’s “Ready, Willing and Able” participation
project to recruit participants, coaches and leaders; and base funding for Special Olympics
Canada, the Canadian Paralympic Committee, and the Canadian Deaf Sports Association).
An additional $1.5 million will be provided annually toward increasing participation in sport
for people with disabilities, as stated in the participation objective of the newly released Sport
Canada Policy on Sport for Persons with a Disability. This new policy, announced in June
2006, is consistent with commitments entered into as part of the Canadian Sport Policy and the
Physical Activity and Sport Act, to stimulate the participation of the under-represented groups in
the Canadian sport system. The objectives of the Policy on Sport for Persons with a Disability
are based on the four pillars of the Canadian Sport Policy: to increase participation, to support
excellence, to build to capacity, and to foster interaction. Consistent with these four pillars, the
Policy on Sport for Persons with a Disability supports the following objectives and strategies:
• Increase the number of people with disabilities involved in sport activities at all levels and in
all forms by raising awareness and increasing access.
• Support the achievement of podium results at Paralympic Games and related World
Championships, and increase the number of athletes with disabilities who are pursuing
excellence at the national and international levels by identifying more talent, enhancing
domestic competitive structures, and increasing the number of qualified coaches.
• Strengthen the capacity of the Canadian sport system to address the needs of sport for
people with disabilities through research, human resource development, and by applying
fair and clear systems and procedures of eligibility, classification, and divisioning.
• Enhance efforts within the Canadian sport community to improve communication,
coordination, and collaboration to support the sport participation of people with disabilities
through federal/provincial/territorial bilateral agreements in sport, communication networks
with stakeholders, and support for partners in their efforts to advocate sport for people with
disabilities on the international stage.
26
The Policy will be applied according to an action plan worked out in consultation with partners
and interveners.
e. Electoral system
Elections Canada offers information, education, and accessibility services to Canadians
citizens with disabilities.
The Report of the Chief Electoral Officer of Canada on the 39th General Election of
January 23, 2006 includes information on mobile polling stations, which serve institutions for
seniors or people with physical disabilities. For the 39th general election, returning officers whose
electoral district included two or more such institutions were asked to ensure that residents in
these facilities had the opportunity to vote at a mobile polling station. Returning officers set up
1,311 mobile polls to serve 3,719 individual institutions where more senior electors or those with
disabilities resided. This was a significant increase (17%) from the 3,172 institutions that were
served in 2004.
As well, voter information cards indicated whether an elector’s polling site was accessible. An
elector with a physical disability whose polling station did not provide level access could obtain a
transfer certificate to vote at an accessible polling station.
Elections Canada is also committed to improving its voter education and outreach programs
for people with disabilities. For example, in response to consultations with members of various
associations for people with disabilities, it made its website more accessible for electors with
visual impairments. Elections Canada has identified further improvements to the accessibility of its
website as a priority for the next election.
f. Library system
Library and Archives Canada (LAC) has a mandate to ensure that knowledge is accessible
to all, contributing to the cultural, social, and economic advancement of Canada. In support
of equitable access for people with disabilities, LAC has developed tools and publications to
maximize the use of materials in alternative formats by Canadians with disabilities, and to support
Canadian libraries and archives in serving their clients with disabilities.
• AMICUS, LAC’s free catalogue, lists the holdings of libraries across Canada and includes
items in multiple formats including Braille, audio books, and large print. In addition to
providing access to individuals, AMICUS supports resource-sharing among Canadian
libraries by making the information available to help reduce costly duplicate production.28
• LAC’s public buildings are fully accessible to people with disabilities. Its reference
and consultation rooms include assistive devices for clients with visual or perceptual
impairments.
• LAC provides a telephone service for clients who wish to communicate through a
TTY device.
28
AMICUS can be found at www.collectionscanada.ca/amicus
27
Advancing the Inclusion of People with Disabilities (2006)
• The Accessible Canadian Library II is a resource tool for libraries serving people with
disabilities, enabling them to evaluate their services.
• The Council on Access to Information for Canadians with Print Disabilities, a user-based
group reporting to the Librarian and Archivist of Canada, provides advice, identifies
funding requirements, monitors progress, and makes recommendations regarding access
to information for people with print disabilities.
• LAC has implemented many important accessibility features on its website.
According to PALS 2001, 17% of Canadian adults report having problems seeing. The
likelihood of having a disability, including a visual impairment, increases with age. Age-related
macular degeneration (AMD) is the leading cause of blindness. With Canada’s aging population,
it is expected that the number of people unable to access regular print because of AMD or other
causes will increase, together with an increased demand for alternative formats.
Currently, 80% of students and 75% of businesses surveyed in Canada use the
Internet for information. A study conducted by the Canadian Book and Periodical Council
shows that more than ever before people who are blind are using computers to access
information. In order to thrive in the Information Age, adults and children with print
disabilities need library services that connect them to the new learning culture, support
continuous education and training, and provide timely and pertinent information.
Source: Independence: It’s about choices, CNIB, 1999.29
g. Internet and computer technology
In a knowledge-based economy where access to and exchange of information is almost
essential to participating in society and in the economy, accessibility of information is an
increasingly important subject. Internet technologies have enhanced intellectual and economic
freedom for many Canadians. But for others, gaining access to Web content is more complicated
than clicking a mouse and operating a modem. Some Canadians rely on assistive technologies
such as text readers, audio players, and voice-activated devices to overcome the barriers
presented by standard technologies. Others may be limited by the technology available to them.
But old browsers, non-standard operating systems, slow connections, small screens, or text-only
screens should not stand in the way of obtaining information that is available to others.30
In keeping with the client-centred approach of the Government’s Common Look and Feel
initiative, universal accessibility standards are directed toward ensuring equitable access to all
content on Government of Canada websites. While site design is an important element of the
electronic media, universal accessibility guidelines have been developed to ensure anyone can
29
30
28
This document is available at www.cnib.ca/library/general_information/strategic.htm
This section discusses Internet and computer technologies in terms of accessibility—creating an environment
in which systemic barriers to full participation are reduced or eliminated. Additional information on computer
technology in relation to disability supports is discussed later in this chapter.
obtain content, regardless of the technologies they use. The key to effective implementation of
universal accessibility guidelines lies in designing sites to serve the widest possible audience
and the broadest possible range of hardware and software platforms, from assistive devices to
emerging technologies. The Common Look and Feel standards are aligned with the Web Content
Accessibility Guidelines, developed by the World Wide Web Consortium.31 These guidelines are
continuously tested against a full range of browsers and assistive devices before recommending
widespread implementation. The objective is to ensure an equal and equitable access for all to the
Government of Canada’s Web content.32
In 2006, the Canadian Human Rights Commission released A Review of the Government
of Canada’s Provision of Alternate Text Formats for People who are Blind or Deaf-Blind.
Canadians with print disabilities have special requirements with regard to communication
with government organizations. Although federal departments and agencies have been
instructed to offer text in multiple formats on their websites, including PDF and HTML,
not all blind or deaf-blind people have the necessary skills or equipment to access or
read online information. These people require documents in alternative print or audio
formats. This study evaluates how effective departments and agencies were in providing
quality texts in multiple formats to Canadians with a vision impairment. The study was
conducted by Government Consulting Services. Groups consulted at the inception
phase included: the Canadian National Institute of the Blind, the Alliance for Equality of
Blind Canadians, the Council of Canadians with Disabilities, and the Canadian Council
of the Blind.
A sample of 50 federal institutions was drawn from the list of federal institutions
governed by the Financial Administration Act. A short English or French document was
selected from the online publications list of each test institution. The consultants then
ordered these documents, conducted a comparative analysis of the alternative format
and the print versions, assessed the quality of the alternative format, and commented
on the service provided.
The findings of this review show that the process of ordering a publication in an
alternative format can be frustrating, and that people with print disabilities have less
than a 50/50 chance of obtaining the desired publication quickly. Moreover, the quality of
these alternative format publications was often unsatisfactory.33
31
32
33
The World Wide Web Consortium is an international consortium where member organizations, a full-time staff,
and the public work together to develop Web standards.
For more information, please visit Treasury Board of Canada’s website at www.tbs-sct.gc.ca/cio-dpi/index_e.asp
The review was conducted between January 23 and March 10, 2006. These reports will be available on the
Commission’s website at www.chrc-ccdp.ca
29
Advancing the Inclusion of People with Disabilities (2006)
Natural Resources Canada – Using computer technology to make
information available
Natural Resources Canada (NRCan) plays a pivotal role in helping shape the important
contributions of the natural resources sector to the Canadian economy, society, and
environment. NRCan works to ensure the responsible development of Canada’s natural
resources, including energy, forests, minerals, and metals. It also uses its expertise
in earth sciences to build and maintain an up-to-date knowledge base of Canada’s
landmass and resources.34
The natural resources sector—forests, energy, minerals and metals, geo-science,
and related industries—is one of the most productive, high-tech sectors in the global
economy. NRCan produces tactile maps showing the general geography of Canada and
thematic maps for people who have a visual impairment.35
NRCan’s Technology Accessibility Centre provides computer technology solutions
for people with disabilities. It also enables the Department to cross the boundaries of
accessibility challenges in the workplace by raising awareness through education and
promotion.
NRCan financially supports the Persons with DisAbilities Network within the Department.
This network, open to all NRCan employees, promotes awareness of different types of
disabilities and contributes to building a workplace of choice.
h. Telecommunications
The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) is an
independent public authority in charge of regulating and supervising Canadian broadcasting and
telecommunications. It serves the public interest and is governed by the Broadcasting Act of 1991
and the Telecommunications Act of 1993.
Broadcasting
Section 3(1)p of the Broadcasting Act states:
“programming accessible by disabled persons should be provided within the
Canadian broadcasting system as resources become available for the purpose.”
Access for people who are deaf or hard of hearing
Access for people who are deaf or hard of hearing is provided through closed captioning.36
The Commission’s original (1995) closed captioning policy required large English-language
broadcasters (those earning over $10 million) to caption 90% of all programming by the end
of the licence term, and 100% of local news by September 1998. Recognizing the significant
34
35
36
30
More information on Natural Resources Canada is available at www.nrcan-rncan.gc.ca
Information on the Mapping for the Visually Impaired portal is available at www.tactile.nrcan.gc.ca
Closed captioning provides an on-screen textual representation of the audio component of a program.
challenges of captioning in French (due to technical issues, a smaller market base, and the lack
of trained captionists), the obligations for French-language broadcasters were less onerous.
Nevertheless in the 1999 TV Policy (Public Notice 1999-97), the Commission stated that
French-language broadcasters should be subject to requirements similar to those imposed
on English-language broadcasters. Since 1995, the industry has rapidly moved toward the
objective of 90% closed captioning.
A number of concerns have nonetheless been raised about the quality, accuracy, and reliability
of captioning. The Commission, therefore, recently called for comments on ways to improve the
situation. Broadcasting Notice of Public Hearing 2006-5 asks questions about the appropriateness
of a 100% captioning requirement and the feasibility of captioning in languages other than English
or French, and has solicited proposals to address ongoing concerns about captioning quality.
The issue was discussed as part of a public hearing examining the Commission’s TV Policy in
November 2006.
Access for people who are blind or whose vision is impaired
The Commission ensures broadcasters provide improved access for people who are blind or
whose vision is impaired. The broadcasters use two methods to do this: audio description and
described video.37 All broadcasters are expected to provide audio description and to broadcast
described versions of their programming, wherever available. The Commission also generally
requires the major conventional television stations to describe a minimum amount of Canadian
programming, starting at two hours per week, increasing to four hours per week. Similar
requirements are made in the context of licence renewals or applications for new services for
pay, and specialty channels that are devoted to drama, documentary, and children’s programming
because this programming most lends itself to description. Distributors, including cable operators
and satellite providers, are generally required to pass through all described video programming
being provided to them by programming services.38
National Reading Services
The Commission has also licensed two national reading services to provide programming of
benefit to people who are blind, whose vision is impaired, or who are print-restricted. VoicePrint
and La Magnétothèque provide full-text readings of stories, information, news, and features
published by a variety of newspapers, magazines, and periodicals.
37
38
The CRTC distinguishes between the two kinds of description. Audio description is the voiceover of textual
or graphic information displayed on screens, like sports scores, weather information, stock quotes, telephone
numbers, etc. All broadcasters are generally expected to provide this. Described video (also known as video
description) is the narrative description of a program’s key visual elements, permitting a viewer to create a
mental picture of what is happening on screen. This is generally delivered in a closed format and is accessible
via the secondary audio programming channel. It requires special technology and involves some expenditure;
therefore obligations are established on a case-by-case basis.
Distributors (i.e., cable companies or direct-to-home companies) must take the signal that comes from the
broadcaster (e.g., CBC) and pass it through to the subscriber. They are to carry the signal from one place to
another and pass it along without deleting it or changing it. There are certain exceptions for smaller operators,
as set out in Broadcasting Public Notice 2006-6, which is available at www.crtc.gc.ca/archive/eng/notices/2006/
pb2006-6.htm
31
Advancing the Inclusion of People with Disabilities (2006)
Presence, portrayal, and participation of people with disabilities in broadcasting
The Commission also requires broadcasters to improve the presence and portrayal of all
people with disabilities in programming, and to increase the participation of people with disabilities
in the broadcasting industry. In 2004, the Commission announced that it expects broadcasters to
establish and file with the Commission objectives and specific initiatives designed to meet these
goals.39 Broadcasters are required to report annually on the progress made in implementing their
plans, which are available on the CRTC’s website.40
To help the broadcasting industry develop strategies to include more people with disabilities
in television, the Commission also called upon the Canadian Association of Broadcasters (CAB)
to develop and file an action plan to examine issues surrounding the presence, portrayal, and
participation of people with disabilities.
The CAB implemented that action plan in 2005 and submitted its final report to the
Commission in September 2005. It identified a number of key findings in addition to the extremely
limited inclusion of people with disabilities on screen (presence). The findings showed that people
with disabilities are very concerned about stereotypical portrayals in dramatic programming that
perpetuate misperceptions and reinforce inaccurate and unfair images of disability communities.
With respect to news and information programming, the research showed that in addition to
perpetuating general stereotypes, the language used in dealing with disability issues and people
with disabilities often serves to feed the myth that people with disabilities are suffering, or are
afflicted with conditions that victimize and “medicalize” their status.41 The research further found
that ignorance was the single greatest obstacle to full participation in the broadcasting industry.
A general lack of knowledge of the needs and abilities of people with disabilities fed a perception
that they are a burden to employers, and that accommodation is costly and time-consuming.
The CAB has committed to addressing these findings through initiatives designed to:
• raise awareness among broadcasters and the public;
• help influence public perceptions;
• ensure accurate depiction in programming;
• provide useful information to the industry and the disability community;
• increase dialogue between broadcasters and the disability community; and,
• create an environment that invites participation by people with disabilities in
broadcasting.
39
40
41
32
This requirement was announced in Introduction to Broadcasting Decisions CRTC 2004-6 to 2004-27 renewing
the licences of 22 specialty services, Broadcasting Public Notice CRTC 2004-2, 21 January 2004, available at
www.crtc.gc.ca/archive/eng/notices/2004/pb2004-2.htm
To date, 17 broadcasters are required to file corporate plans and annual reports. They are: CTV, Global, TVA,
TQS, Corus, Vision, Pelmorex, Astral (includes Teletoon), MusiquePlus, Rogers, CHUM, CPAC, TV5, LTA,
Alliance Atlantis, The Score, and Canal Evasion. The corporate plans and annual reports include initiatives
to improve the representation and portrayal of ethnocultural minorities, Aboriginal peoples, and people with
disabilities.
Commission’s response to the Canadian Association of Broadcasters’ final report on the presence, portrayal,
and participation of people with disabilities in television programming, Broadcasting Public Notice CRTC
2006-77, 19 June 2006, available at www.crtc.gc.ca/archive/eng/notices/2006/pb2006-77.htm
The CAB is to report annually to the Commission on its progress in implementing its proposed
initiatives. The CAB is also creating a new self-regulatory Equitable Portrayal Code, to improve
portrayal of people with disabilities, along with visible minorities and Aboriginal peoples, to be
submitted to the Commission for approval in late 2006.
Telecommunications
Section 7 of the Telecommunications Act sets out the objectives for Canadian
telecommunications policy. The objectives that relate to people with disabilities are:
(a) to facilitate the orderly development throughout Canada of a telecommunications system
that serves to safeguard, enrich, and strengthen the social and economic fabric of
Canada and its regions;
(b) to render reliable and affordable telecommunications services of high quality accessible
to Canadians in both urban and rural areas in all regions of Canada;
[...]
(h) to respond to the economic and social requirements of users of telecommunications
services.
In addition, subsection 27(2) of the Act prohibits a Canadian carrier from unjustly discriminating
or giving an unreasonable preference toward anyone or subjecting anyone to an unreasonable
disadvantage in relation to providing a telecommunications service.
Some services for people with disabilities are mandated by the CRTC. These include:
Message Relay Service, which allows callers unable to use a regular phone to place telephone
calls to people who use a regular phone and vice-versa; a 50% discount off Basic Toll Rates for
TDD users; alternative billing formats (e.g., Braille, large print); free directory assistance; and
automatic directory assistance call completion.
There were also a number of decisions and reports during the 2005-06 fiscal year that related
to accessibility.
In Application to review and vary Telecom Decision CRTC 94-19 – Exemption application
for people who are blind, the CRTC commissioned a report entitled “Telephone terminals and
accessibility with special reference to visual disabilities.” 42 This report discusses a framework
for characterizing the needs of people with disabilities, particularly those who are blind, with
regard to telephone sets. It examines how blind people use wired and wireless equipment43, and
identifies legislation, regulatory decisions, and initiatives from other jurisdictions that are relevant
to accessibility of telecommunications equipment and services.
In Regulatory framework for voice communication services using Internet Protocol (IP),
Telecom Decision CRTC 2005-28, May 12, 2005, the Commission examined the great potential of
IP technology to provide innovative communication tools for consumers with disabilities, but also
recognized that barriers arise when new technologies and services are developed without first
taking into consideration the needs of people with disabilities. The Commission was also of the
view that, regardless of the technology being used to provide a service, the needs of subscribers
with hearing impairments must be taken into account and accommodated.
42
43
The report by Acuity Research Group Ltd. was commissioned as part of Application to review and vary Telecom
Decision CRTC 94-19 - Exemption application for people who are blind.
Wireline is the technical term usually used for wired equipment.
33
Advancing the Inclusion of People with Disabilities (2006)
In Disposition of funds in the deferral accounts, Telecom Decision CRTC 2006-9, 16 February
2006, the Commission considered that accessibility to telecommunications services for people with
disabilities is an important public policy objective and that using funds from the deferral accounts
will help provide telecommunications services to these Canadians without discrimination. The
Commission directed the affected telephone companies44 to allocate a minimum of 5% of the
accumulated balance in the deferral accounts to be used to fund programs to improve accessibility
to telecommunications services for people with disabilities. The affected companies were also
directed to consult and work with the appropriate advocacy organizations before submitting their
proposals for approval. A public proceeding to examine the proposals is under way.
2. Disability Supports
a. Assistive devices
Industry Canada’s mission is to foster a growing, competitive, knowledge-based Canadian
economy. The Department works with Canadians throughout the economy and in all parts of
the country to improve conditions for investment, improve Canada’s innovation performance,
increase Canada’s share of global trade, and build a fair, efficient, and competitive marketplace.
Program areas include developing industry and technology capability, fostering scientific research,
setting telecommunications policy, promoting investment and trade, promoting tourism and small
business development, and setting rules and services that support the effective operation of the
marketplace.45
The Assistive Devices Industry Office (ADIO)46 works with Canadian assistive device
developers, producers, vendors, and service providers, giving them advice, support, and market
intelligence. The ADIO also provides its colleagues in other parts of Industry Canada with the
information needed to ensure the rights and needs of consumers who are seniors or who have
disabilities are respected. Despite its small size (it has a staff of three) and budget ($74,000), the
ADIO plays a major role in ensuring the availability of accessible devices.
From February to December 2006, the ADIO contracted with the University of New Brunswick
for a detailed quantitative study of the Canadian assistive devices industry. The Office for Disability
Issues contributed to the funding for this research.
The Advisory Committee of Persons with Disabilities (ACPD) acts as one of the links between
employee needs and the direction of departmental policy. The ACPD reports to the departmental
Management Committee, which is responsible for reviewing ACPD recommendations and deciding
on their implementation. The ACPD also provides advice on implementing the Accommodation
Fund. The Committee has a budget of $10,000 and the Accommodation Fund is $60,000.
44
45
46
34
The affected companies are the incumbent local exchange carriers or ILECs, which are the existing monopoly
telephone companies. www.strategis.ic.gc.ca/epic/internet/insmt-gst.nsf/en/sf05453e.html
More information on Industry Canada can be found at www.ic.gc.ca/cmb/welcomeic.nsf/ICPages/Menu-e
More information on ADIO can be found at www.at-links.gc.ca/as/as001E.asp
b. Computer technology
New computer technologies have created new opportunities and erected new barriers for
people with disabilities. When technologies are harnessed to lessen the disadvantages that
people with disabilities face, they become effective facilitators of participation. When they are
designed with little or no consideration of people with special
needs, they can restrict their participation.
Figure 2: Computer Use by Location,
People with disabilities have less access to computers at
Persons with and without Disabilities,
Canada, 2000 (%)
home than people without disabilities, but among students
78 78
at school and employees at work, computer use is similar for
72
people with and without disabilities, as shown in Figure 2.
69
65
These same studies show more young people (between
the ages of 15 to 34) use computers and the Internet than
do any other group, reflecting the growing importance of
43
technology at home, at work, and at school. It is therefore
critical that this technology be accessible to people
with disabilities. According to one study, close to half of
postsecondary students with disabilities need some type of
adaptation to use a computer effectively (e.g., keyboard and
input device modifications, screen magnification or voice
output, dictation software).47
Residents in Students at Employees
Homes with
Computer
School
on the Job
Persons with disabilities
Persons without disabilities
Source: Calculations by the Canadian Council on
Social Development using Statistics Canada's General
Social Survey (Cycle 14), 2000, Supplemental Tables
and Charts for CCSD's Disability Information Sheet #7
47
Fichten, C.S., Asuncion, J., Barile, M., Fossey, M.E., & Robillard, C. (2001). Computer technologies for
postsecondary students with disabilities I: Comparison of student and service provider perspectives. Journal of
Postsecondary Education and Disability, 15(1), 28-58.
35
Advancing the Inclusion of People with Disabilities (2006)
3. Support for Communities
a. Support for Canadian communities
Figure 3: Internet Use, Persons with and
without Disabilities, Canada, 2000 (%)
76
69
Social Development Partnership Program
59
The Social Development Partnerships Program
(SDPP) is a broad-based and flexible grant and
45
contribution instrument that makes investments to
36
improve life outcomes for children, families, and people
with disabilities and other vulnerable populations. The
24
program’s long-term objectives are to:
• contribute to more effective community-based
11
programs and services for children, families, and
6.6
people with disabilities; and,
Age
35-54
55-64
65+
• improve government policies, programs, and
Group 15-34
services.
Persons with disabilities
The program’s immediate objectives (and the areas
Persons without disabilities
in which funding is focused) are to:
Source: Calculations by the Canadian Council
• identify and test best practices and innovative
on Social Development using Statistics Canada's
General Social Survey (Cycle 14), 2000, Supplemental
tools;
Tables and Charts for CCSD's Disability Information Sheet #6
• create knowledge and information on trends and
concerns affecting Canadians;
• build and foster alliances between organizations to work on projects of joint interest; and,
• enable national organizations to support the social development activities of their member
organizations.
SDPP’s flexibility and broad-based nature is demonstrated through its funding components
which were created to address key priorities: people with disabilities, children and families,
early childhood development for official language minority communities, Understanding the
Early Years (UEY), and the community non-profit sector. Funding components can be created
or changed to support new government social initiatives without changing the program at all.
Within each component, funding is delivered through Calls for Proposals that focus on specific
funding priorities. These priorities guide investment decisions and reflect key government and
departmental objectives as they evolve.
There are two funding options: grants and contributions. Grants are delivered to national
non-profit organizations to provide leadership for program and service improvements offered
by their community member organizations. For instance, funding can be used to develop tools
for community outreach, strategic planning, or for more effective financial and administrative
management which are often beyond the means of community-based organizations to
undertake on their own. Contributions are delivered to national and community-based non-profit
organizations to enable them to identify and test innovative programs or services or to create and
share new knowledge and information. Funding can be multi-year up to a maximum of five years.
The Social Development Partnerships Program – Disability Component (SDPP-D) is an
important part of the Government of Canada’s support for people with disabilities. Each year, the
36
SDPP-D provides about $11 million in grants and contributions to organizations within the disability
community and for social development projects. The SDPP-D aims to help the non-profit sector
meet the social development needs and aspirations of people with disabilities and to improve the
quality and responsiveness of governments’ social policies and programs.
Grant funding
Grants may be provided to national non-profit disability organizations to make them more
stable, leading to improved service delivery. The mandates and primary activities of these national
organizations support personal empowerment and independence of people with disabilities, as
well as their full inclusion in one or more aspects of Canadian society. To be eligible for funding, an
organization must:
• be non-profit;
• be legally incorporated;
• have a mandate that encompasses goals related to social development and inclusion;
• actively pursue activities consistent with SDPP objectives;
• be national in reach (operate or have affiliates in a minimum of three of the following five
regions: Pacific, Prairie, Central, Atlantic, North);
• be membership-based (individual or organizational members);
• be democratically constituted and accountable to members;
• publish annual statements of accounts and activities;
• focus on “public good,” as opposed to organizations whose primary function is to benefit or
provide services to their own members (e.g., professional associations, labour unions, self-help
groups); and
• be financially and administratively sound (demonstrated track record, independent audits, etc).
Organizations applying for grants through SDPP-D must also demonstrate that they are
“consumer controlled” or “consumer focused.” These terms have historic meaning for the disability
community and are included as eligibility criteria to ensure that the organizations truly represent the
voice of people with disabilities.
Seventeen organizations currently receive multi-year grant funding through the SDPP-D
component. Each of these organizations must provide semi-annual progress reports about the
agreed-upon objectives.
Contribution funding for projects
Two factors figure prominently in the role of SDPP-D funding for social development projects.
First, the funding aims to foster cooperation and development, rather than competition, across the
disability community. In other words, it seeks to encourage a productive competition of ideas rather
than competition between the voluntary organizations that generate these ideas. Second, the
funding aims to achieve the greatest possible effect. In other words, the program should be able to
show where its resources are having measurable effects in making progress or adding value to the
issues, organizations, programs, or processes in which they are invested. SDPP-D contributions
are allocated through three project streams: Social Development, Accommodation Fund, and
Community Inclusion Initiative.
37
Advancing the Inclusion of People with Disabilities (2006)
Social Development project stream48
Contributions may be provided for a wide range of activities including generating knowledge
on emerging social issues, by exploring and testing innovative solutions, best practices, and
tools and methodologies; and disseminating information and knowledge and increasing public
awareness through publications, newsletters, websites, public education materials, and media;
organizing conferences, workshops, and symposia; and establishing and maintaining sustainable
partnerships, alliances, networks, and collaboration through joint initiatives.
Canadian Council on Rehabilitation and Work – 2003-04
1. The Disability Awareness Series training provides employers and employees with
knowledge about disability issues, accommodation in the workplace, and tools to create
an inclusive workplace in which employees can realize their potential. The Disability
Awareness Series is a set of five modules on the following topics:
a. (Un)stereotyping disability
b. Accessible interviewing and hiring practices
c. The duty to accommodate
d. Accommodation management
e. Inclusive practices in the workplace
2. The Council produced two children’s storybooks, I’m Wendy Blair, Not a Chair! and
Wendy Blair and the Assignment. SDPP-D funded the second storybook. The books will
help children develop a positive understanding and attitude about disability and differences.
The book will also help Canadian educators positively address the subject of disability. The
book is “person-focused” rather than “disability-focused” to give the message to children
that we are all multi-faceted and not defined by a single attribute such as a disability. A
bilingual teaching toolkit is also available that outlines how best to use the storybooks to
convey their message.
Law Courts Education Society of B.C. – 2003-04
Developmental Disabilities and the Justice System – A Training Package
The Law Courts Education Society of B.C. and the Kindale Developmental Association
collaborated to produce the Developmental Disabilities and Justice System educational
training package. It has been introduced across Canada for both new and seasoned staff
such as judges, bylaw officers, and officers of the Court working within the justice system
to understand the unique justice-related needs of people with a developmental disability
and be better able to identify people who have a developmental disability.
48
38
More information on projects, activities, and the Accommodation Fund can be found at www.hrsdc.gc.ca/en/hip/
sd/05_SDPP.shtml
The goal of this project was to develop educational materials that assist justice system
personnel:
• To understand the unique justice-related needs of people with a developmental
disability.
• To be better able to identify people who have a developmental disability.
• To be better able to meet their justice-related needs.
Richmond Committee on Disability – 2004-05
The Richmond Committee on Disability has developed a framework that will help
organizations develop a program and service delivery model to reach people with disabilities
within the multicultural community. In developing the model’s framework, people from
across Canada were brought together to discuss the challenges and share information
about removing barriers that face people with disabilities in Canada, especially those within
the multicultural communities.
The committee’s recommendations are based on the understanding that most non-profit
organizations, including disability and multicultural groups, have very limited physical and
financial resources. Therefore, the use of this model to establish their own program is
intended to have as minimal an impact as possible on these limited resources. Once they
have assessed the overall need in their area and have established their basic multicultural
programs, it will be possible to look at the future funding options, should additional funds
be required.
The Independent Living Resource Centre (Halifax) – 2004-05
The Independent Living Resource Centre in Halifax has completed a research project
that identified and addressed challenges experienced by people with disabilities who want
to be volunteers, and the organizations who want to include people with disabilities in
their volunteer work. The project produced two guides entitled More than My Disability: A
Handbook for Volunteers with Disabilities, and Inclusion Equals Advantage.
Canadian Mental Health Association – 2004-06
1. Mental Health and High School – This project seeks to help high school students with
psychiatric disabilities and mental health problems to maximize their academic achievement
and make successful transitions to post-secondary education and employment.
2. A Learning Experience: A Handbook for Students with Psychiatric Disabilities
in Post Secondary Education – The purpose of this project is to synthesize the key
information developed to date by the Canadian Mental Health Association and the broader
field into a student-friendly guide that is available in print or online.
L’Arche Canada Foundation – 2003-05
L’Arche was funded to create a handbook (print and online) to provide
information on the best values and practices for people with intellectual disabilities.
39
Advancing the Inclusion of People with Disabilities (2006)
Accommodation Fund 49
In 2005-06, SDPP-D provided up to $20,000 to eligible organizations to enable people with
disabilities to participate in key policy, program, and knowledge development events. Eligible
expenses included accommodations such as sign language interpretation, real-time captioning,
readers and scribes, support persons, and interveners.
Community Inclusion Initiative
In 1997, the Government of Canada, through the former Human Resources Development
Canada, joined the Canadian Association for Community Living, provincial and territorial
affiliates, and People First of Canada and its affiliates to launch the Community Inclusion
Initiative. With its annual funding of $3 million, the Initiative undertakes specific activities and
projects at the local level.
The Community Inclusion Initiative is a national community development scheme that aims
to promote including people with intellectual disabilities in the mainstream of Canadian life.
The initiative seeks to develop and implement strategies to enable communities to inclusive
all members while delivering concrete benefits at the local level to individuals and families
with disabilities. The Initiative is supported by 13 provincial and territorial committees with
representation from the federal, provincial, and territorial governments.
Internal departmental evaluation
The SDPP Terms and Conditions expire on March 31, 2008. A summary evaluation of the
SDPP is scheduled to be finalized before December 2007 and is required by Treasury Board to
support Human Resources and Social Development’s submission to renew the existing program
or to seek approval for a new program design.
The evaluation must meet the Treasury Board requirement to address three key issues:
• Relevance – Does the program continue to be consistent with departmental and
government-wide priorities, and does it realistically address an actual need?
• Effectiveness – Is the program effective in meeting its intended outcomes, and is it
making progress toward achieving its ultimate outcomes?
• Efficiency – Are the most appropriate and efficient means being used to achieve
outcomes, relative to alternative design and delivery approaches?
This evaluation will follow up on areas for improvement that were identified in the 2002
evaluation. The evaluation will access data that were not available in 2002, to allow it to measure
results more objectively.
In addition, a formative Evaluation of the Community Inclusion Initiative is under way and key
preliminary findings suggest that the initiative remains relevant to federal government policy, is in
line with challenges faced by communities, and addresses priorities of target group participants.
49
40
More information on projects, activities, and the Accommodation Fund can be found at www.hrsdc.gc.ca/en/hip/
odi/sdppd/funding.shtml
SDPP-D funding since 2003
Grants
SDPP-D has provided over $27 million in grants to 18 non-profit disability organizations
since 2003.
Contributions
Since 2003, SDPP-D has provided over $37.8 million in contribution funding for about
169 projects.
Consultation with disability community
In September 2004, 28 disability organizations met with officials from the Social Development
Partnerships Program – Disability Component to discuss concerns and issues related to the
SDPP-D program design, resources, and operations. The catalyst for these discussions was
the need to ensure that the program delivers positive outcomes with the greatest impacts, while
ensuring effective and equitable access, allocation, and information for social development projects
within the disability community.
b. Assistance for international development
International co-operation
Through international co-operation, the federal government also provides support to people
with disabilities abroad. People with disabilities are among the poorest and most marginalized
in developing countries.50 The Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA), Canada’s
lead agency for development assistance, is committed to supporting sustainable development in
developing countries in order to reduce poverty and to contribute to a more secure, equitable, and
prosperous world. The Agency’s development assistance includes funding to reduce the impact of
poverty on the most vulnerable and disadvantaged groups, such as people with disabilities, and to
promote their active participation in economic, social, cultural, and political life.
CIDA’s development assistance directly and indirectly addresses disability issues, such as
those related to armed conflicts, landmines, natural disasters, and discrimination. Through its
development programming in the health, education, and governance sectors, among others,
CIDA seeks to promote human rights and equal opportunities for people with disabilities by raising
awareness about disability issues, addressing stigma and discrimination, reducing barriers to the
integration of people with disabilities into their societies, and improving the overall health, education,
social, and economic well-being of individuals and communities. The following box gives a few
examples of CIDA disability-related programming and disbursements in the 2005-06 fiscal year.
50
In a press release of April 1, 2005, the World Health Organization states that “Some 600 million people in the
world experience disabilities of various kinds and the vast majority, or 80%, of them live in low-income countries,
according to WHO. More often than not they are among the poorest of the poor, forced to spend their lives
struggling to survive in a world where finding food and shelter is a challenge.” www.who.int/bulletin/volumes/83/4/
news0405/en/print.html
41
Advancing the Inclusion of People with Disabilities (2006)
Examples of disability-related programming funded by CIDA (2005-06)
Mine Risk Education in Angola: CIDA disbursed $264,810 in 2005-06 to support
UNICEF Canada’s mine risk education program in Angola. This program seeks to reduce
mine accidents by building the capacity of national mine action structures within the
government and national non-governmental organizations to develop policy, establish
standards, coordinate and supervise mine risk education activities, and integrate mine
risk education into the school curriculum as part of a national mine action plan.
Canada-Russia Disability Program: In 2005-06, CIDA disbursed $832,670 in funding
to support social and educational reforms in Russia, including the social integration of
people with disabilities. This program aims to develop models for education and the
preparation of faculty, professionals, community leaders, and people with disabilities
working in disability studies, social work, mental health, and community living; to promote
alternative service models to support the further development and implementation of
public policies reflective of the inclusion of people with disabilities on federal, regional,
and local levels.
HIV/AIDS Awareness Training for the Blind: CIDA provides support to the Canadian
National Institute for the Blind for its work with national organizations for blind people in
six African countries to educate blind people about HIV/AIDS. CIDA disbursements for
this initiative in 2005-06 totaled $74,096.
Schizophrenia Awareness and Reintegration in India: In 2005-06, CIDA disbursed
$60,650 in funding to support schizophrenia awareness and reintegration in India. This
project seeks to create awareness about schizophrenia in order to combat stigma and
enable people with this type of condition to seek help more openly. It also aims to help
families cope with issues related to this condition and to help people with schizophrenia
rebuild their self-confidence and self-sufficiency in order to facilitate their social
reintegration into their community.
Disabled Peoples’ International: DPI is a grassroots organization that advocates
for and promotes the human rights of people with disabilities in many countries. DPI
organizes World Summits every two years which provide an opportunity for national
assemblies, disability organizations, NGOs, international development agencies, as well
as goods and services providers in the disability field to discuss and share information.
As part of a two-year core funding agreement, CIDA disbursed $248,850 for this initiative
in 2005-06.
42
Chapter Three: Learning, Skills, and Employment
As a group, people with disabilities have lower levels of education than those without
disabilities. They also have lower levels of employment. The rate of employment is higher for
those with higher levels of education, which suggests that attaining higher levels of education
can improve employment opportunities for people with disabilities as it does for the rest of
the Canadian population. However, education alone does not explain all of the differences in
employment status. Even with education, people with disabilities do not achieve the same general
labour market outcomes as those without. Other serious barriers include negative attitudes,
inaccessible infrastructure, and the lack of various supports.
Post-secondary students with disabilities face an array of compounding barriers, which might
help to explain the relatively low rates of entry into and completion of post-secondary education.
A lack of supports, accommodation, and accessible physical infrastructure can mean that
students are not able to participate in their classes, move around and live on campus, use the
cafeteria and bathrooms, do research, or use the library and computer labs. Even when supports
and accommodations are available, students are not always told how to access them. As well,
students with disabilities sometimes are not able to access adequate career and employment
guidance services, which can lead to weak employment outcomes. Also, student with disabilities
often face financial barriers to attending universities and colleges.
Many people with disabilities have difficulty finding jobs after completing their post-secondary
education. They often do not obtain work experience within their program of study, and may not
feel adequately prepared for the transition to the workplace. Career and employment services
offered in universities and colleges can help students access internships, prepare résumés,
and provide career assessments. However, many students with disabilities do not access these
services, often because the services are inadequate or because the students don’t know they
exist.51
People with disabilities are an untapped resource; many are available to address labour
shortages. Annual labour supply per capita is projected to decline beginning around 2012. New
entrants into the labour market, such as people with disabilities, youth, and immigrants, could help
to offset this situation.
In the Western provinces, where labour shortage is felt more acutely in the context of a
booming economy, people with disabilities have more employment opportunities than their
counterparts in other Canadian provinces. For example, the employment rate of people with
disabilities in Manitoba, Saskatchewan, and Alberta increased from 48.9%, 50.3%, and 49.4%
respectively in 1999 to 56.3%, 55.6%, and 54.4% in 2004. These increases in employment rates
indicate that people with disabilities are increasingly recognized as a valuable labour force.
In the provinces with weaker economies, people with disabilities are less likely to be employed,
despite noticeable improvements in the last six years. For example, the employment rate for
people with disabilities in Newfoundland and Labrador increased from 20.6% in 1999 to 28.3% in
2004, while in Prince Edward Island it increased from 32.6% to 36.3% in the same period.
51
Students with Disabilities: Transitions from Post-Secondary Education to Work, Canadian Centre on Disability
Studies, 2003.
43
Advancing the Inclusion of People with Disabilities (2006)
This also means that improvement in the overall economy can also result in improved
employment opportunities for people with disabilities and other groups.
Based on data from the Participation and Activities Limitation Survey of 2001, we know that
of the 52% of people with disabilities not in the labour market, 28% want to work and indicate
that it is environmental barriers—not their functional limitations—that prevent them from working.
To minimize these types of barriers, the federal government, in collaboration with other levels
of government and with disability organizations and the private sector, put in place a number of
programs and policies that are discussed below.
1. Learning and Skills
Overview of the educational attainment of people with disabilities
Data from the Survey of Labour and Income Dynamics (SLID) shows that between 1999
and 2004, the number of people with a post-secondary education increased. Despite this
improvement, important gaps remain in comparison to people without disabilities.
For example, the number of people with disabilities
Figure 4: Educational Attainment: University
with high school education or less decreased from
certificate, People with disabilities and without,
60.2% in 1999 to 49.1% in 2004 (compared to a
1999-2004 (%)
decrease from 51.9% to 43.6%, in the same period for
21
20
20
those without disabilities).
18
17
17
With respect to post-secondary education, the rate
at which people with disabilities complete university
13
12
12
degrees has increased steadily from about 10% in
11
9.9
9.8
1999 to about 13% in 2004. This increase has come
at the same pace as for those without disabilities for
whom there was an increase from about 17% in 1999
to about 21% in 2004, as shown in Figure 4.
1999
2000
2001
2002
2003
2004
It is against this background that the Government
People with disabilities
of Canada invests its efforts to encourage and help
People without disabilities
people with disabilities enter into and graduate from
All
post-secondary education institutions across Canada.
Source: Statistics Canada, Survey of Labour and Income Dynamics,
Custom Table R225468VT_Table2a
a. Financial aid for students
Canada Student Loans Program
The mission of the Canada Student Loans Program (CSLP) is to promote accessibility to
post-secondary education for students with a demonstrated financial need. The program lowers
financial barriers by providing loans and grants to ensure Canadians have an opportunity to
develop the knowledge and skills necessary to participate in the economy and society.
44
Financial assistance to students with disabilities
The Government of Canada recognizes the financial challenges faced by students with
permanent disabilities in their pursuit of a post-secondary education.
Under the CSLP, post-secondary students with permanent disabilities receive assistance with
relaxed eligibility criteria for full-time education and an extended lifetime limit of 520 weeks of loan
assistance. Students without permanent disabilities are eligible for only 340 weeks.52
The CSLP offers a permanent disability benefit, in the form of loan forgiveness, for students
who as a result of their permanent disability cannot repay their loans without undue hardship.
Before June 29, 2005, this benefit was limited to direct-loan, full-time borrowers whose permanent
disability began before the six months following completion of studies. It is expected in the
2005-06 loan year that about 5,000 students with permanent disabilities will qualify for this
permanent disability forgiveness at an estimated cost of $2.7 million.
On August 1, 2005, a new up-front grant for students with permanent disabilities of up to
$2,000 a year was introduced. The Canada Access Grant for Students with Permanent Disabilities
replaced the former Canada Study Grant for High-Need Students with Permanent Disabilities.
Previously, students had to have the maximum amount of loans, penalizing those with low
assessed needs. It is expected in the 2005-06 loan year that over 9,500 students with permanent
disabilities will benefit from this new grant at an estimated cost of $18 million. This represents a
significant increase from the previous year where only 6,000 students with disabilities benefited
from this grant, at an estimated cost of $15 million.
Table 3: Canada Student Loans Program expenditures
Program / Initiative
Canada Study Grant for High Need Students
with Permanent Disabilities54
Canada Study Grant for Students with
Permanent Disabilities55
Permanent Disability Benefit (2005-06 loan year
estimate)
Amount ($ millions/year
Recipients
2004-05)53
$4.6
2,914
$17.4
7,470
$2.7
5,000
Internal evaluation/audit
The Office of the Auditor General is conducting a performance audit of federal support to
students in post-secondary education to be tabled in Parliament in April 2007. The objective of
the audit is to determine whether the federal government’s programs to support students in post52
53
54
55
Information on the CSLP can be found at www.hrsdc.gc.ca/en/gateways/nav/top_nav/program/cslp.shtml
These figures are for “loan year”, not fiscal year.
This grant was replaced on August 1, 2005, by the Canada Access Grant for Students with Permanent
Disabilities.
This grant was renamed on August 1, 2005, to the Canada Study Grant for the Accommodation of Students with
Permanent Disabilities.
45
Advancing the Inclusion of People with Disabilities (2006)
secondary education meet intended objectives, while ensuring that the necessary controls are in
place. Grants for people with disabilities are being included in this audit. A performance audit is
a systematic and objective examination of government activities that provides Parliament with an
assessment of how those activities perform. Its scope can include an examination of economy,
efficiency, cost-effectiveness, and environmental effects of government activities; procedures to
measure effectiveness; accountability relationships; protection of public assets; and compliance
with authorities.
b. Promoting learning
National Office of Literacy and Learning
The National Literacy Program promoted literacy as an essential component of a learning
society and seeks to make Canada’s social, economic, and political life more accessible to people
with low literacy skills. These people include the non-employed or under-employed, Aboriginal
people, new Canadians, and people with disabilities such as deafness, blindness, or learning
disabilities.
Among the projects that the National Literacy Program funded in 2005-06, six were aimed at
organizations that deal primarily with people with disabilities. These projects received a total of
$905,614 in funding.
The Office of Learning Technologies Program acted as a catalyst for innovation in the area of
technology-enabled learning and skills development and promotes innovative, lifelong learning
opportunities for Canadians by creating Community Learning Networks. The networks’ projects
take place in areas with high unemployment rates or within groups that have a low attachment
to the labour market. The groups include residents of rural and remote areas, the unemployed or
underemployed, new immigrants and aboriginals, and people with disabilities.
The Office of Learning Technologies provided financial support to 16 projects that provide
learning opportunities primarily to people with disabilities. In 2005-06, these projects received
$1,612,498 in funding.
On April 1, 2006, the National Literacy Program, the Office of Learning Technologies Program,
and the Learning Initiatives Program were integrated into a single cohesive program: the Adult
Learning, Literacy and Essential Skills Program. This integrated program is administered by the
National Office of Literacy and Learning.
By integrating these three closely related programs, Human Resources and Social
Development Canada has created a more coherent approach to delivering its adult learning and
literacy activities.
In future years, inputs to the Federal Disability Reports will be submitted under the program
name of Adult Learning, Literacy and Essential Skills Program within the National Office of
Literacy and Learning.
c. First Nations and Inuit
Indian and Northern Affairs Canada’s (INAC) primary role is to support First Nations and
Inuit in developing healthy, sustainable communities and in achieving their economic and social
46
aspirations. It is responsible for delivering services such as education, housing, and community
infrastructure to Status Indians on reserve, and for delivering social assistance and social support
services to residents on reserve with the goal of ensuring access to services comparable to those
available to other Canadian residents.56
INAC’S programs therefore encompass more than one area. In terms of education, its Special
Education Program delivers the support described below.57
The Special Education Program was created in 2002-03 to provide critical programs and
supports to First Nations children residing on reserve who are affected with severe to profound
behavioural or physical challenges. Such services are fundamental components of every
elementary and secondary education program in Canada.
Special education programming is provided by all provinces and territories, usually as a matter
of education law or regulation. This type of programming is intended to meet the unique needs of
students suffering the effects of moderate-to-severe and severe-to-profound physical, emotional,
behavioural, communication, cognitive, or learning disabilities or disorders.
Objectives and services of the Special Education Program
The objective of the Special Education Program is to help First Nations on-reserve special
education students to improve their achievement levels. It does this by providing access to special
education programs and services that are culturally sensitive and meet the provincial standards
in the locality of the First Nation. Resources are targeted for those students assessed as having
high-costs special needs.
The Special Education Program is an investment in programs and services for on-reserve
First Nations children with identified special needs. First Nations children, including those in
grades K4 and K5 who have been screened by educators as having special needs, are assessed
by specialists who formally identify their special needs. Once those needs have been identified,
program and services available to the children generally include, but are not limited to, providing
support such as hiring additional teaching staff, teaching assistants, personal attendants, speechlanguage pathologists, counsellors, specialized programs, and assistive technology to meet the
child’s special needs and enhance their quality of education.
Program impact and results
The number of students enrolled in kindergarten, primary, and secondary school who were
identified as requiring high-cost special education was almost three times higher in 2004-05 than
in 1998-99, growing from 3,955 students in 1998-99 to 10,535 students in 2004-05. There has
been an average increase of more than 15% per year since 1998. In total, 16,238 assessments
were completed. Of these, 10,535 were identified as requiring high-cost services.
Budget
The 2006-07 budget for the Special Education Program is $118 million.
56
57
More information on INAC can be found at www.ainc-inac.gc.ca/index_e.html
More information on the Special Education Program can be found at www.ainc-inac.gc.ca/ps/edu/rep03/educ_
e.html
47
Advancing the Inclusion of People with Disabilities (2006)
2. Employment
a. Overview of the employment situation of people with disabilities
Overall, the employment situation of people with disabilities has improved over the last six
years. The percentage of people with disabilities who were employed full-time, full-year increased
from 42.4% in 1999 to 46.4% in 2004, compared to an increase from 62.8% to 65.3% for people
without disabilities in the same period. As Figure 5 shows, while an important gap remains
between those with disabilities and those without, the increase in the employment rate was
greater for people with disabilities than for people without disabilities (4.0% vs. 2.5%) between
1999 and 2004.
People with disabilities are also somewhat less likely to be employed part-time or partyear than are people without disabilities (18.4% vs. 21%).58 However, the gap is much smaller
than in relation to full-time, full-year employment.
Furthermore, as shown in Figure 6, people with
Figure 5: Employment Rates by Disability Status (%)
disabilities are much more likely to be unemployed
or out of the labour force than are people without
65
65
65
64
64
63
disabilities (35.2% vs. 13.7%).
b. Support for general employment programs
42
42
44
47
47
46
Labour Market Agreements for Persons with
Disabilities
Under the Labour Market Agreements for Persons
with Disabilities, the Government of Canada shares
costs with provinces’ programs and services to
1999
2000
2001
2002
2003
2004
improve the employment situation of Canadians with
People with disabilities
disabilities by enhancing their employability, increasing
People without disabilities
the employment opportunities available to them, and
All
building on the existing knowledge base.
Provincial labour market programs and services
Source: Survey of Labour and Income Dynamics, Custom Table R23403CB-01
funded under the Agreements are consistent with one
or more of the following priority areas:
• education and training;
• employment participation;
• employment opportunities;
• connecting employers and people with disabilities; and
• building knowledge.
Through this approach, provincial governments have the flexibility to determine their own
priorities and approaches to address the needs of people with disabilities in their jurisdictions.
Examples of interventions that provinces may choose to jointly fund under this initiative include:
58
48
This category also includes responses not elsewhere classified.
• job coaching and mentoring;
• pre-employment training and skills
upgrading;
• post-secondary education;
• assistive aids and devices;
• wage subsidies;
• accessible job placement networks;
• self-employment; and
• other workplace supports.
Figure 6: Employment Status (%)
65
46
35
14
Employed
Unemployed
18
21
Other (Includes
(Full-time, Full-year)
Part-timeand/or
or NILF
Reporting under this initiative includes objectives,
Part-year and NEC)
descriptions, target populations, and expenditures
People with disabilities
for programs and services funded. Reporting also
People without disabilities
includes the following indicators:
Source: Survey of Labour and Income Dynamics, Custom Table R23403CB-01
• number of participants in programs and
services;
• number of participants who complete a
program or service where there is a specific start and end point to the intervention; and
• number of participants who obtained or were maintained in employment where the
program or service supports this activity.
The provincial Ministers agreed to report on societal indicators of labour market participation
for their jurisdiction or at the national level, subject to the data available. They agreed on the
following common indicators:
• employment rate of working-age people with disabilities;
• employment income; and
• level of education attained.
In addition, efforts are under way to formally evaluate the Agreements through a joint
partnership with the Government of Canada in three jurisdictions: Manitoba, Nova Scotia, and
Prince Edward Island. Work has begun on all three, but Manitoba’s is the most advanced.
Evaluations are both costly and time-consuming to complete. The Manitoba evaluation was
conceived in 2003-04 and its expected completion date is June 2007. Its total estimated cost
is $300,000. These three jurisdictions are currently discussing their next steps and timing for
moving these evaluations forward.
The Government of Canada contributes 50% of the costs that provinces incur for
funded programs and services, up to the amount of the federal allocation identified in each
bilateral agreement.
49
Advancing the Inclusion of People with Disabilities (2006)
Table 4: 2005-06 Federal contribution for Labour Market Agreements for
Persons with Disabilities
Province
Federal Contribution
Newfoundland and Labrador
$4,578,367
Prince Edward Island
$1,375,659
Nova Scotia
$8,290,346
New Brunswick
$5,950,848
Quebec
$45,892,915
Ontario
$76,411,477
Manitoba
$8,964,971
Saskatchewan
$10,852,608
Alberta
$25,190,332
British Columbia
$30,744,084
Total Contribution
$218,251,607
Source of fund: Consolidated Revenue Fund
The Opportunities Fund for Persons with Disabilities
The Opportunities Fund for Persons with Disabilities program is designed to assist people with
disabilities to return to work if they are otherwise ineligible for employment programs through the
Employment Insurance program.
The objectives of the Opportunities Fund are:
• To assist eligible people with disabilities to prepare for and obtain employment or selfemployment, as well as to develop the skills necessary to maintain it.
• To support effective and innovative activities such as, but not limited to:
- encouraging employers to provide individuals with work opportunities and
experience;
- assisting individuals to increase their employment skill level; and
- helping individuals to start their own business.
• To work in partnership with organizations for people with disabilities, including the private
sector, to support innovative approaches to integrate individuals with disabilities into
employment or self-employment; and to address barriers to an individual's labour market
participation.
Outcomes focus on the degree to which the program helped people with disabilities achieve
greater employability, attain employment, or return to school.
50
Fund recipients
The Opportunities Fund serves businesses, organizations such as public health and
educational institutions, tribal/band councils, municipal governments, and individuals. Provincial/
territorial government departments and agencies require Ministerial approval to be included in the
class of recipients.
Summary of activities
Between 300 and 350 agreements a year that provide direct financial assistance to individuals
with disabilities to obtain skills for employment, to establish a new business or to obtain the
necessary supports and services to become employed.
About 400 to 450 agreements a year with employers and non-governmental organizations,
including seven to nine projects a year delivered under the Opportunities Fund National
Projects option.
On average, about 4,800 clients have been served each year since the program was
established in 1997. This number has increased over the last two years and it is expected that
over 5,000 clients will be served in 2006. Approximately 33% of clients served have gained
employment. The remainder of the clients continue to work with service providers on their returnto-work action plans. Some clients return to school, some are referred to a more appropriate
resource, and some drop out for health reasons.
Evaluations
The results from the 2001 Summative Evaluation indicated that the program offers a broad
and flexible variety of interventions for clients who are not job-ready; participants improved their
employability, self-esteem and overall quality of life; and employers accessed skilled employees
and increased their understanding of barriers faced by people with disabilities. Key findings
suggested a more comprehensive and cohesive labour market strategy for people with disabilities
was needed.
The Opportunities Fund is now subject to a second summative evaluation of the program for
2003. The first phase of this evaluation is now complete. It involved interviews with key informants,
surveys of employers, service providers, community coordinators and program participants, case
studies, and a literature review. Six technical reports were produced, with each report representing
a separate line of evidence. Key findings from the technical reports will be summarized and
reported in the Phase I Final Evaluation Report, which will be released in fall 2007.
Preliminary findings based on the first phase of this evaluation suggest positive impacts.
Overall, 71% of clients surveyed were satisfied and only 14% were dissatisfied with the programs
and services received. Most notable is that the objectives of the Opportunities Fund continue to
be relevant, and that the program fills a service gap in helping people with disabilities who are not
well served by other federal or provincial government programs. In general, flexibility has emerged
as one of the strongest characteristics of the program. The program also continues to forge strong
partnerships and provide holistic/comprehensive approaches to assisting people with disabilities.
The second phase of this evaluation will involve comparing Opportunities Fund client data with
provincial data to determine whether the Fund’s clients were also served by programming under
the former Employment Assistance Programs for Persons with Disabilities. Information-sharing
51
Advancing the Inclusion of People with Disabilities (2006)
agreements must be secured with each province/territory in order to proceed. These agreements
are currently being negotiated with five provinces that will serve as the sample group for this
phase of the evaluation. The goal is for the agreements to be in place early in 2007 and then
begin the process of preparing for the data matching. This phase of the evaluation will address
the issue of overlap and duplication in services for people with disabilities, although preliminary
findings suggest that the Opportunities Fund fills a service gap in this area. The final report of the
evaluation is expected in late fall of 2007.
International recognition of the Opportunities Fund
The Australian Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission published its final report,
Workability II: Solutions – People with Disabilities in the Open Workplace in December 2005.
The report identifies practical ways of improving the employment of people with disabilities and,
therefore, focuses on ways of addressing barriers (the first report, Workability I, focused on
identifying barriers to employment). Recommendation 4 of the report said there were only two
international programs to emulate: one was the Opportunities Fund.
Total expenditures under the Opportunities Fund for Persons with Disabilities
The Opportunities Fund is a $30-million-a-year contribution program. Contribution agreements
designed to assist people with disabilities prepare for, find, and maintain employment account for
$26.7 million. About $21.5 million (80%) of the contribution budget is delivered through regional
Service Canada Centres and the remaining 20% ($5.2 million) is reserved for of the program’s
national projects. The remaining $3.3 million is for the operating costs of the program. Funds
come from the Consolidated Revenue Fund.
c. Rehabilitation and vocational assistance services
The new Veterans Charter Rehabilitation Program aims to help Canadian Forces Veterans who
have been recently released from medical care, and those with disabilities who need support to
re-enter civilian life. Rehabilitation and vocational assistance services at Veterans Affairs Canada
will support independence and wellness and are designed to ensure that Veterans participate to
the best of their ability at home, at work, and in their community. These services include:
• Medical – health care experts will work to stabilize and restore health, make it easier to
cope with health problems, and help body and mind functioning.
• Psycho-social – will help restore independence and facilitate the adjustment to a
Veteran’s current situation.
• Vocational – will help with learning if it is possible to transfer skills and education from a
military job to a similar civilian job. If not, the Veteran may qualify for training for another
kind of job.
52
d. Self-employment
Western Economic Diversification assists individuals with disabilities through a targeted
program, as well as by funding projects within each of the Department’s strategic priorities.
• The Entrepreneurs with Disabilities Program provides business services and access to
capital to entrepreneurs with disabilities in rural and urban areas.
• Support is also available for individual economic development projects that benefit
people with disabilities.
In 2005-06, the Agency spent more than $1.5 million on projects and activities aimed at
supporting individuals with disabilities.
Entrepreneurs with Disabilities Program
Western Economic Diversification’s Entrepreneurs with Disabilities Program (EDP)59 provides
a range of services to entrepreneurs in western Canadian urban and rural communities who are
seeking to start up or expand small and medium-sized businesses. Some of the services include:
• assistance with developing business plans;
• mentoring and counselling services;
• training in business management;
• access to business loans; and
• referral to other government resources.
Delivery channels
The EDP is delivered through the four provincial Community Futures Associations (cumulative
funding of $250,000 for operations in 2005-06) and seven urban partners located in key urban
centres (cumulative funding of $525,000 in 2005-06).
Loan provisions
The rural EDP loan funds initially totalled $18 million and, as of March 31, 2005, the net value
of the fund was $14.5 million. The $3.5 million decline results from loan write-offs and approved
transfers to provide additional operating funding to the delivering organizations. The urban EDP
loan funds initially totalled $2.3 million and as of March 31, 2005, the net value of the funds was
approximately $1.1 million. The decline is due to a combination of loan write-offs (approximately
$600,000) and approved transfers to provide additional operating funding to the deliver
organizations.
Background
The EDP and the former Urban Entrepreneurs Disabilities Initiative were created in 1997-98 in
response to the Access to Business Opportunities project and the 1996 report of the Federal Task
59
In April 2006, Western Economic Diversification consolidated its Entrepreneurs with Disabilities Program with
the former Urban Entrepreneurs Disabilities Initiative and undertook a five-year commitment to provide funding
of up to $1.5 million every two years. Previous funding for the two programs was $775,000 per year. Funding
increases are based on delivery partners submitting an acceptable business plan.
53
Advancing the Inclusion of People with Disabilities (2006)
Force on Disabilities, which identified employment as a major element that can alleviate the high
incidence of poverty among people with disabilities.
Since inception:
• 765 loans totalling $16.2 million have been issued to clients under both programs.
• 65% of the clients are currently operating businesses, up 54% before approaching the
programs.
• Among the 89% of clients who were not in business, 69% subsequently started up
operations and, of those, 55% are still operating.
Over a five-year period, the loan program resulted in:
• 3,400 person-years of incremental employment; and
• $145 million in incremental revenues ($9.16 for every dollar in loans).
Support through other initiatives that align with Western Economic Diversification’s
strategic priorities
The Department also supports individual projects that benefit people with disabilities by
enhancing economic well-being through activities that assist entrepreneurial growth, improve
quality of life through research and development, increase access to community facilities, and
enhance the capacity or organizations that serve the disability community. Since April 1, 2004,
some $7 million has been provided to 38 such projects under various programs.
The funding has generated additional investments of $16 million from other sources. Examples
of these projects include the First Nations Disability Association of Manitoba. As part of the Urban
Aboriginal Strategy, Western Economic Diversification has committed $50,000 toward a $346,316
project to expand this organization’s services. This project will establish three positions within the
First Nations Disability Association to enhance its capacity to provide peer support, advocacy,
and referral services designed to improve the quality of life for Aboriginal persons living with
disabilities in Winnipeg. The Department also committed $400,000 under the Western Economic
Diversification Program toward a $1,451,088 magnetoencephalography neurological research
facility in Vancouver. The research facility is expected to result in increased health research and
clinical capacity and activities, retain and attract leading researchers, enhance linkages among
innovation organizations, develop suppliers in the West, and will ultimately benefit people with
Down Syndrome and other developmental disabilities.
e. Aboriginal people with disabilities
Since April 1999, the Aboriginal Human Resources Development Strategy (AHRDS) has
been helping Aboriginal communities strengthen the ability of Aboriginal people to compete in
the Canadian job market. Delivered through 80 Aboriginal Human Resources Development
Agreement holders, the Strategy has been designed with flexibility to meet the needs of individual
Aboriginal communities and to respect the wide-ranging cultural diversity of those communities
while ensuring accountability measures are in place. The Strategy is aimed at helping Aboriginal
people increase self-sufficiency, build stronger communities, and develop long-term employment.
The largest share of the total funding goes to creating employment programs and services.
54
There is a disability component in the Strategy. Moreover, wherever possible, HRSDC
encourages Agreement holders, national Aboriginal organizations, and other labour market
partners to include people with disabilities in all services and activities, including the AHRDS. To
that end, the collective challenge is to ensure that Aboriginal people with disabilities benefit fully
from all aspects of the Strategy, including funds under other components of the Strategy (labour
market, urban, and youth).
Key issues on disability data and knowledge
Statistics are poor overall because of different definitions and a highly varied population.
Depending on the source, definition of disability, and variables used, Aboriginal rates of disability
typically run between 1.7 and 3 times that of the Canadian population. Given that nearly one
million (976,000) Canadians identified themselves as Aboriginal in the 2001 Census and it is
estimated that some 31% of Aboriginal people have a disability, there could be about 300,000
Aboriginal people with disabilities in Canada.
f. Employment within the Public Service
The Public Service Commission (PSC) is dedicated to building a public service that strives for
excellence. We protect merit, non-partisanship, representativeness, and the use of both official
languages. The PSC safeguards the integrity of staffing in the Public Service and the political
impartiality of public servants. It develops policies and guidance for public service managers and
holds them accountable for their staffing decisions. It conducts audits and investigations to confirm
the effectiveness of the staffing system and to make improvements. As an independent agency,
the PSC reports its results to Parliament.
Programs and initiatives of the PSC
In preparation for the coming-into-force of the Public Service Employment Act on
December 31, 2005, the PSC developed and established an appointment policy framework that
included an overarching policy on employment equity. In addition, the PSC developed tools to
provide guidance and support to departments in applying the new provisions in the Act, including
how to integrate employment equity into the appointment process.60
To this end, the PSC has integrated the duty-to-accommodate requirements pertaining to
staffing into the Commission’s Appointment Framework policies, guides, and tools developed
under the new Act.61 The PSC also provided guidance to sensitize public service managers to the
complex issues surrounding the recruitment and self-identification of people with disabilities.62
60
61
62
The PSC published guidelines for making decisions about the kinds of modifications to assessment tools and
procedures that are appropriate to accommodate candidates with a variety of disabilities. The guidelines are
available at www.psc-cfp.gc.ca/centres/priority_e.htm
More information on the Public Service Employment Act and the Appointment Framework can be found at
www.psc-cfp.gc.ca/psea-lefp/index_e.htm
Employment equity information for human resources professionals and employees with disabilities can be found
at www.psc-cfp.gc.ca/ee/tools_resources_e.htm
55
Advancing the Inclusion of People with Disabilities (2006)
Although the Government of Canada is interested in advancing the inclusion of all people
with disabilities, it recognizes that some sub-groups tend to experience more difficulties in
participating in society. People with high school education or less, people with poor health,
women, and Aboriginal people have been identified as facing more barriers than other groups
of people with disabilities.
For example, in 2005, the First Nations Centre published the result of the First Nations
Regional Longitudinal Health Survey (RHS), conducted in 2002-03 and funded by Health
Canada. Conducted from an indigenous cultural perspective, the RHS analysis provides
insight into the situation of people with disabilities among First Nations adults, youth, and
children. The RHS shows that the rate of disability among First Nations adults is 28.5% (25.7%
among men and 31.5% among women). The research also shows that First Nations adults
with disabilities are less likely to be employed than their non-disabled counterparts (37.3%
compared to 52.2%).63 This low level of employment is also reflected in lower income. Some
58.7% of First Nations people with disabilities had personal incomes of less than $15,000 or
no income in 2001. The study covers a wide range of issues related to health and disability on
the First Nations communities.
With respect to women, various disability-specific surveys have shown that, because of the
intersection with gender, women with disabilities experience issues differently and face more
problems than their male counterparts in many areas, including violence, employment, housing,
and problems in the home. For example, an initiative of the Association for Community Living
Manitoba, funded by Status of Women Canada and entitled “Manitoba Women in Harm’s
Way – Identifying the Silent Abuse,” determines the prevalence of abuse suffered by women with
intellectual disabilities in their family homes, group homes, care institutions, and communities.
Recommendations to address this abuse will be proposed.64
Women make up the majority (55%) of adults with disabilities. For people with disabilities
over 75, women represent 61% of the population, largely because of women’s longer lifespan
and their higher rate of chronic conditions.
Women with disabilities have comparatively low levels of income and are less likely to be
employed. The average income for women with disabilities is $15,500, compared to $28,157 for
men with disabilities. Women without disabilities earn income of $20,000 on average, whereas
men without disabilities earn $31,500. Only 40.3% of working age women with disabilities
(aged 15-64) are employed, compared to 47.6% of working age men with disabilities, 72.8%
of women without disabilities, and 84.1% of men without disabilities (PALS 2001).
The obstacles that people with disabilities face are not always related to their impairment
or health condition. Obstacles are often the product of the interplay between impairment or
health problems and socio-economic and cultural environments, including attitudes. Research
is therefore useful to identify the sources of stigma and negative attitudes and the means of
addressing them.
63
64
56
First Nations Regional Longitudinal Health Survey 2002-03 (2005). Results for Adults, Youth and Children Living
in First Nations Communities, p. 55.
Other studies include Women with Disabilities: Accessing Trade, which can be consulted at www.swc-cfc.gc.ca/
pubs/pubspr/0662367391/index_e.html
Canada Revenue Agency’s Indeterminate Recruitment Program for
Persons with Disabilities
Although they are not part of the Public Service, many crown agencies also have
programs aimed at encouraging inclusion. One such program is Canada Revenue
Agency’s Indeterminate Recruitment Program for Persons with Disabilities.65 This project
broke new ground for recruiting employees with disabilities as indeterminate staff in the
Canada Revenue Agency’s tax services offices and tax centres across Canada. The
project also established a positive environment within the CRA by giving people with
disabilities meaningful, permanent jobs. In addition, the project helped managers, recruits,
and other employees become more aware and supportive of people with disabilities.
Public Service Employee Survey
The Public Service Employee Survey is a government-wide survey that asks employees for
their opinions on such issues as service delivery, organizational effectiveness, well-being, and
overall climate across the public service. Statistics Canada administered the survey on behalf of
the departments and agencies and the Public Service Human Resources Management Agency
of Canada. The 2005 survey was the third such survey. It is possible to measure progress on the
areas that were examined in the earlier (1999 and 2002) surveys. As one of the questions asks
people with disabilities to self-identify, it has been possible to look at the results for people with
disabilities.66 Unless otherwise noted, figures refer to the 2005 survey.
Overall, employees’ perceptions of equality in the workplace have remained stable since the
previous survey. As in 2002, a large majority of respondents (90%) believed that every individual
in their work unit was accepted as an equal member of the team, regardless of race, colour,
gender, or disability. Nonetheless, there were some areas in which the responses of people with
disabilities differed from those without disabilities. Following a pattern consistent throughout the
surveys, people with disabilities were less likely to strongly agree with the statement: “In my work
unit, every individual, regardless of race, colour, gender or disability would be / is accepted as an
equal member of the team” (54% vs. 65%). However, the percentage of respondents who strongly
agreed increased significantly between the 1999 survey and the 2005 survey (44% of people with
disabilities and 51% of people without disabilities).67
People with disabilities were much more likely to strongly disagree with the statement “I
am classified fairly (my current group and level) compared with others doing similar work in my
organization or elsewhere in the Public Service” (32% vs. 24%). This pattern was consistent
throughout all three surveys.
65
66
67
More information on the Indeterminate Recruitment Program for Persons with Disabilities can be found at
www.psc-cfp.gc.ca/ee/best_practices/docs/nar-19_e.htm
Results for people with disabilities are available at www.hrma-agrh.gc.ca/survey-sondage/2005/resultsresultats/00/disabl-e.htm
The percentage that mostly agreed decreased in the same period. The total percentage that either mostly
disagreed or strongly disagreed was 18% in both 1999 and 2005.
57
Advancing the Inclusion of People with Disabilities (2006)
As a group, people with disabilities report a less favourable environment in terms of supports
that can help them to succeed in their present job and that can make it possible to advance. They
were less likely to strongly agree with the statement “I have the material and equipment I need to
do my job” than those without disabilities (24% vs. 32%). People with disabilities were also less
likely to strongly agree or mostly agree that they get the training needed to do their job, that they
get on-the job coaching to help improve the way work is done, that they have opportunities to
develop and apply the skills they need to enhance their career, that their immediate supervisor
does a good job of helping them develop their career, and that they have opportunities for
promotion within their department or agency, given their education, skills, and experience.
In a question aimed specifically at people with disabilities, respondents were asked whether
they are provided with the supports or alternative media resources that are critical in performing
their work. Forty-nine percent said yes and 31% said it was not applicable.
The survey provides valuable information about how to make the federal public service a better
place to work. While it shows a reduced gap in some areas related to the accommodation of
disabilities in the workplace, it also identifies areas for improvement.
All departments within the federal government work to build an inclusive work environment.
The measures one department took are described below. Other examples are included in
Appendix C.
58
Environment Canada: Using computer-assisted technology
In May 2006, Environment Canada adopted a “strategy of inclusivity” to develop and
support an inclusive culture that thrives on the diverse skills and abilities of its employees.
The key elements of this strategy are:
• updating strategies and key practices related to personnel management;
• ensuring representation;
• instituting national methods of financing for the ministerial priorities;
• re-examining how to build good relations; and
• undertaking an overhaul of our reporting system.
An initial allowance of $100,000 was allotted to this central fund to ensure the adaptation
needs of employees are met in the staffing process and for employees who return to
work after a work-related injury or illness.
Environment Canada also set up a Computer Adapted Technology (CAT) program.
The program’s mandate is to support the workplace integration of Environment Canada
employees with disabilities who need to use a computer.
Environment Canada provides its CAT services to other departments. Among the
services offered:
• A permanent CAT centre located at Terrasses de la Chaudière in Gatineau;
• Advice and orientation on computer products adapted to meet the needs of
employees with disabilities;
• A CAT needs assessment for employees, including the need to route work so
that employees are matched with the adapted software and hardware they need;
• An evaluation of the technological compatibility of software and hardware;
• Installing and incorporating adapted software and equipment on employees’
office computers;
• Training employees with disabilities on the use of adapted software and
equipment installed on their computers;
• Technical and training support on the use of adapted software, equipment, and
computer systems;
• Training first-level technicians to support CAT;
• Training software developers and web designers on creating accessible
products; and
• Awareness sessions, demonstrations, and consultations for managers and
personnel.
59
Advancing the Inclusion of People with Disabilities (2006)
g. The National Council of Federal Employees with Disabilities
The National Council of Federal Employees with Disabilities (NCFED) represents the interests
of federal public servants with any type of physical or mental disability by raising awareness and
getting involved in all employment processes, from recruitment and retention to training, career
development, accommodation, and accessibility. The NCFED provides information, advice,
analysis, and recommendations on relevant issues, as well as the actions required to address
them, to federal public service management and other key players. The ultimate goal is to ensure
a respectful and inclusive work environment.
Easy access to appropriate accommodations is only the most obvious component of
inclusiveness for employees with disabilities. The NCFED’s vision also focuses on subtler and
more profound changes to the corporate culture of federal departments and agencies. The work
environment is much more than a workplace. As the workplace must be accessible, so too must
be the work environment, which includes the rapport of NCFED constituents with co-workers,
supervisors, line managers, and senior managers.
The NCFED is made up of nine federal public servants with disabilities, three from the National
Capital Region, six from the regions, and two full-time office workers. The NCFED Board members
are all people with disabilities who have been elected by federal public servants and their
voluntary work through the Council is in addition to their everyday job.68
Review of the Employment Equity Act
The year 2006 is the tenth anniversary of the coming into effect of the amended Employment
Equity Act. As the legislation requires a Parliamentary review every five years, it is expected that
the Standing Committee on Human Resources, Social Development and the Status of Persons
with Disabilities will initiate a second review of the current Act in 2006. Should the Committee
decide to review the Act, it would likely focus on examining its impact on members of designated
groups as well as on employers and workplaces.
To assist in developing its report for the Minister of Labour to present to the Committee,
the Labour Program sought the views of individual Canadians, employment equity specialists,
employers, employer associations, unions, as well as organizations representing designated
groups, including people with disabilities. An issue paper, Ten Years of Experience, was prepared
to assist in the discussion.69
Over the spring and summer of 2006, representatives of the Labour Program met with a
number of organizations representing both designated groups and employers, sent letters
requesting written comments, and placed an announcement on the HRSDC website inviting
written responses.
The following pages describe the employment situation of people with disabilities and the
progress that employers made toward achieving employment equity from 1987 to 2004.
68
69
60
Further information about the NCFED and its sub-committees is available at www.hrma-agrh.gc.ca/ee/ncfpsdcnehfpf/index_e.asp
This document can be consulted at www.hrsdc.gc.ca/en/lp/lo/lswe/we/review/2006/issues-paper.doc
Examples of the NCFED key activities and achievements
The Council was instrumental in ensuring that the 2005 Public Service Employee
Survey (launched November 2, 2005) was carried out using paper questionnaires only,
in a manner that was more fully accessible than the previously intended online survey
mechanism that was under development. Other achievements include:
• Establishing collaborative discussions with its counterparts, the National Council
of Aboriginal Federal Employees and the National Council of Visible Minorities
to discuss common issues. For example, career advancement is one issue that
concerns all three groups. A joint meeting is planned to discuss a collaborative
approach to address this question more strategically, as well as other shared
issues to be identified.
• Encouraging the Department of National Defence and the Canadian Forces to
adopt a new Universal Design code. This code will be presented for adoption by
other departments and agencies at the earliest opportunity.
• Enhancing membership and outreach by enlarging its news letter distribution list
to over 300 individuals.
• Organizing a yearly Deputy Ministers’ Breakfast hosted by the Council’s
Champion Michael Wernick to gain senior management support and to keep
them abreast of current events.
• Participating actively in the annual celebration of the International Day of People
with Disabilities (December 3).
The group’s current achievements also include the development of seven subcommittees: Career Progression, Disability Management and Insurance Issues, the
Infocentre, Management Awareness, Mental Health Issues, Training and Awareness
for Persons with Disabilities, and Communications and Membership Drive. These
subcommittees and working groups are at various stages of development; sponsorship
is now being sought and implementation is forthcoming. For information concerning the
sub-committees’ future developments, please visit the following website (www.hrmaagrh.gc.ca/ee/ncfpsd-cnehfpf/index_e.asp).
Overall Workforce
In 2004, at the collective workforce level for all employers covered under the Employment
Equity Act (data are not available for the federal contractors), people with disabilities were underrepresented at 3.1%. When compared to labour market availability of 5.0%, based on the 2001
Participation and Activity Limitation Survey (PALS),70 the representation of people with disabilities
was 61.8% of their availability.
70
To measure the progress of people with disabilities covered by the Act, representation is compared to availability
in the workforce population. Availability data are obtained from surveys conducted by Statistics Canada which
are gathered every five or ten years. There is therefore a time lag in measuring representation gaps, as for
example, 2004 representation is being compared to 2001 PALS availability data.
61
Advancing the Inclusion of People with Disabilities (2006)
Table 5: Employers covered by the Employment Equity Act (2004)*
Employers
All Employees
People with Disabilities
Representation
Availability**
Federally regulated private sector and
Crown corporations
650,987
16,554
2.5%
5.3%
Federal public service
165,976
9,452
5.7%
3.6%
67,259
3,195
4.8%
5.3%
130,136
2,282
1.8%
5.3%
1,014,358
31,483
3.1%
5.0%
Separate
Other public sector
Total
* Data on people with disabilities are not available for federal contractors.
** Source: Statistics Canada, 2001 PALS.
Federally Regulated Private Sector and Crown Corporations Workforce
In the federally regulated private sector and Crown corporations workforce the number and
representation of people with disabilities increased from 9,440 (1.6%) in 1987 to 16,554 (2.5%)
in 2004, but remained significantly below their availability of 5.3% based on the 2001 PALS. The
representation rate of people with disabilities was 29.6% of their labour market availability in 1987
and increased to 48.0% in 2004.
Figure 7 illustrates the little progress that people with disabilities made in private workplaces
under federal jurisdiction over the 18 years from 1987 to 2004.
Figure 7: Representation and Availability (1987-2004)
10%
8%
6%
4%
2%
0%
1987 1988 1989 1990 1991 1992 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004
Federally regulated private sector workforce
Canadian about market availability
* The data on Canadian labour market availability of people with disabilities are obtained from surveys conducted by Statistics Canada.
Note that since 1987, only two surveys were conducted. The Health and Activity Limitation Survey was conducted in 1991, followed by the PALS
in 2001.
62
Table 6: Summary statistics – Representation in federally regulated private sector
and Crown corporations workforce
Summary Statistics
1987
2003
2004
Total
9,440
14,425
16,554
Representation
1.6%
2.3%
2.5%
Labour market availability
5.4%
5.3%
5.3%
29.6%
43.4%
48.0%
Utilization rate
Sectors
The number and representation of people with disabilities increased in all sectors from
1987 to 2004, except in the “Other” sector, where representation remained relatively constant.
In 2004, their highest representation was in the banking sector, followed by communications,
transportation, and other.
Table 7: Representation of people with disabilities in private sectors
1987
Sector
2003
2004
Banking
3,053
1.8%
3,978
2.2%
5,250
2.8%
Communications
2,512
1.4%
4,854
2.3%
5,553
2.5%
Transportation
2,892
1.4%
4,366
2.4%
4,448
2.4%
Other
983
2.3%
1,227
2.6%
1,303
2.2%
Total
9,440
1.6%
14,425
2.3%
16,554
2.5%
Occupational Groups71
In 1987, the highest concentration of people with disabilities in the workforce was in clerical
then manual and trade occupations (39.6% and 28.3% respectively). In 2004, their highest
numbers were still in clerical (41.9%), followed by manual and trade (22.4%) and professional
occupations (16.2%). In terms of their distribution, the most significant increase was among the
professionals and semi-professionals.
71
To facilitate and allow occupational comparisons, the Employment Equity Occupational Groups have been
combined into six groups (e.g., the Upper-level/Senior Managers have been combined with Middle and Other
Managers to form the Managers occupational group).
63
Advancing the Inclusion of People with Disabilities (2006)
Table 8: Distribution by occupational group
1987
Occupational Group
Managers
2003
2004
1,220
12.9%
1,427
9.9%
1,539
9.3%
Professionals and semi-professionals
909
9.6%
2,222
15.4%
2,688
16.2%
Supervisors
634
6.7%
715
5.0%
878
5.3%
3,734
39.6%
5,606
38.9%
6,941
41.9%
271
2.9%
791
5.5%
808
4.9%
2,672
28.3%
3,664
25.4%
3,700
22.4%
Clerical occupations
Sales and service personnel
Manual and trade workers
Total
9,440
100.0%
14,425
100.0%
16,554
100.0%
Geographical Regions
Figure 8 shows how, in each of the provinces in 2004, the representation of people with
disabilities was below their respective availability.
Figure 8: Representation and Availability (1987-2004)
Federally regulated
sector workforce
Labour market avail
YT
3.7%
(n/a)
BC
3.0%
(6.3%)
02
NT
2.2%
(n/a)
AB
3.2%
(5.9%)
NU
n/a
(n/a)
SK
3.4%
(6.1%)
MB
3.7%
(6.4%)
1
(
ON
2.6%
(5.5%)
QC
1.4%
(3.6%)
NB
2.9%
(5.3%)
*Source: Statistics Canda, 2001 PALS
64
N
3.
(6
Workforce Mobility
Although the number and share of people with disabilities hired into the combined workforce
increased from 442 (0.6%) in 1987 to 1,102 (1.1%) in 2004, they were significantly below
availability of 5.3%.
The number of people with disabilities promoted dropped from 981 in 1987 to 816 in 2004.
However, their share of promotions rose from 1.4% to 2.0% and was below their availability within
the workforce.
The number and share of people with disabilities whose employment terminated increased
from 767 (1.0%) in 1987 to 1,636 (1.9%) in 2004. However, this designated group’s share of
terminations was below their availability within the workforce.
In 1987, 2003, and 2004, the number of people with disabilities who left the workforce
exceeded the number hired, leading to serious erosion of this designated group. The problem
may be related to the retention of people with disabilities and the unmet need for work-related
accommodations.
Table 9: Workforce mobility
1987
Mobility
2003
2004
Hires
442
0.6%
840
1.1%
1,102
1.1%
Promotions
981
1.4%
784
1.9%
816
2.0%
Terminations
767
1.0%
1,569
1.9%
1,636
1.9%
Net effect of hires and
terminations
-325
-729
-534
These data and others from national surveys presented earlier in this chapter are clear
indications that much remains to be done if working-age adults with disabilities are to participate to
their fullest potential in the Canadian labour market.
65
Advancing the Inclusion of People with Disabilities (2006)
Chapter Four: Income, Income Support,
and Tax Measures
Canadians with disabilities have a lower average income and rely more on government
programs for income support.
People with a disability are not always able to earn an adequate income through employment.
While the average earnings of people with disabilities increased by 3.7% between 1999 and 2004
(vs. 5.3% for people without disabilities), they remained substantially lower than the average
earnings of those without disabilities (SLID 1999-2004).
Table 10: Average earnings for people with and without disabilities, and earnings of
people with disabilities as a percentage of the earnings of those without, 1999-2004
Year
PWD
PwoD
%
1999
29,600
34,000
87.1
2000
30,400
35,400
85.9
2001
29,400
35,700
82.4
2002
30,100
35,900
83.8
2003
30,600
35,300
86.7
2004
30,700
35,800
85.8
PWD: people with disabilities
PwoD: people without disabilities
Source: Survey of Labour and Income Dynamics, 2004, Table R25468VT.
People with disabilities were more likely to have low earnings. About 17.1% of people with
disabilities have earnings of less than $5,000 in contrast to 12.4% of people without disabilities.
In addition, people with disabilities are less likely to have high earnings. About 18.4% of
people with disabilities have incomes of $50,000 or more, compared to 23.4% of those without
disabilities. There are significant differences between men and women. For both sexes, people
with disabilities are more likely to have lower earnings and less likely to have higher earnings.
However, women with disabilities are much more likely to have very low earnings (19.6% have
earnings of under $5,000, in contrast to 14.6% of men with disabilities), and much less likely to
have high earnings (10.9% earn $50,000 or more, in contrast to 25.6% of men with disabilities).
66
Table 11: Distribution of earnings of individuals aged 16-64 by disability status
and sex, 2004 (%)
All
Salary
Men
Women
All
PWD
PwoD
All
PWD
PwoD
All
PWD
PwoD
$1-4,999
13.2 %
17.1 %
12.4 %
10.6 %
14.6 %
9.7 %
16.2 %
19.6 %
15.5 %
$5,000-19,999
27.6 %
28.6 %
27.3 %
22.6 %
24.0 %
22.2 %
33.3 %
33.4 %
33.1 %
$20,000-29,999
14.4 %
14.6 %
14.2 %
12.6 %
13.3 %
12.1 %
16.6 %
16.1 %
16.5 %
$30,000-39,999
12.5 %
12.4 %
12.6 %
12.6 %
12.4 %
12.5 %
12.5 %
12.4 %
12.6 %
$40,000-49,999
9.9 %
8.9 %
10.1 %
11.1 %
10.1 %
11.4 %
8.5 %
7.6 %
8.7 %
$50,000-59,999
6.7 %
5.9 %
6.9 %
8.4 %
7.5 %
8.6 %
4.8 %
4.2 %
5.0 %
15.6 %
12.5 %
16.5 %
22.2 %
18.1 %
23.5 %
8.1 %
6.7 %
8.6 %
$60,000 and over
Source: Survey of Labour and Income Dynamics, 2004, Table R25468VT.
Although many people with disabilities can become self-sufficient if given the opportunity, some
are unable to be in the labour market, and rely on governments to provide the financial resources
to meet their basic needs (shelter, food, and clothing). People with disabilities are three times
more likely to have income from government sources as their major source of income: 27% vs. 9%
(SLID 2003). However, this reliance on government sources decreased over the years, from 32%
in 1999. Moreover, in 2003, wages and salaries were the main source of income for 54% of adults
with disabilities, while 74% of those without disabilities relied on wages and salaries. For people
with disabilities, this represents an increase of four percentage points, up from 50% in 1999.
Table 12: Major source of income for working-age adults with disabilities, 1999-2003
Wages and
salaries
Selfemployment
income
Government
sources
Investment income; private
insurance pensions
Other
income
1999
49.7%
5.2%
31.7%
7.8%
2.0%
2000
51.1%
5.6%
31.3%
6.7%
1.5%
2001
51.2%
5.6%
30.6%
7.0%
2.1%
2002
53.0%
6.2%
28.2%
7.0%
2.6%
2003
54.2%
6.1%
26.8%
7.3%
2.6%
Total
52.0%
5.7%
29.5%
7.2%
2.2%
Source: SLID, 1999-2003
67
Advancing the Inclusion of People with Disabilities (2006)
Recognizing all of these factors, the Government of Canada uses its fiscal policy to
support people with disabilities and their caretakers through a variety of income support
measures. It also provides tax measures so that people with disabilities and those who
care for them are treated more fairly. In addition, the Income Tax Act offers tax privileges
to registered charities, which can contribute to building the capacity of the disability
community.
1. Tax Measures for People with Disabilities
Two departments play a key role in developing and administering the income tax system.
The Department of Finance Canada is responsible for formulating tax policy and introducing
new tax legislation, and the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) administers the tax laws. In
addition, the Department of Justice provides legal advice and litigation services to both the CRA
and Finance Canada.
This section further describes the roles of Finance Canada and the CRA. It also contains a
description of the programs HRSDC undertakes to provide income support.
Finance Canada is actively involved in the Government’s policy and legislative agenda,
helping to develop and implement fiscal, economic, social, and financial policies and programs.
Its responsibilities include preparing the federal budget, developing tax and tariff policy and
legislation, managing federal borrowing on financial markets, administering major transfers of
funds to provinces and territories, developing regulatory policy for the country’s financial sector,
and representing Canada in international financial institutions and fora.
Finance Canada is responsible for developing tax policy. The personal income tax system
provides a number of tax credits and deductions for people with disabilities and their caregivers,
including:
• the disability tax credit;
• the disability tax credit supplement for children;
• the medical expense tax credit;
• the caregiver credit;
• the infirm dependant credit;
• the disability supports deduction; and
• the refundable medical expense supplement.
These tax measures recognize that people with disabilities and their caregivers face extra
disability-related expenses that reduce their ability to pay tax. This function of recognizing costs in
the tax system helps to level the playing field for people with disabilities and their caregivers.
In addition to these tax measures, the Government of Canada offers a benefit delivered
through the tax system to families caring for children with disabilities, the Child Disability Benefit.
68
Technical Advisory Committee on Tax Measures for Persons with Disabilities
In 2003, the Technical Advisory Committee on Tax Measures for Persons with Disabilities was
established to provide advice on how to address tax issues affecting people with disabilities. The
Committee’s final report, submitted in December 2004, contains 25 recommendations.
Budget 2006 completed the implementation of the committee’s policy recommendations and went
beyond by:
• Increasing the maximum annual Child Disability Benefit to $2,300 from $2,044 effective
July 2006. The Child Disability Benefit is a supplement of the Canada Child Tax Benefit
payable in respect of children in low- and modest-income families that are eligible for the DTC.
• Extending eligibility for the Child Disability Benefit to middle- and higher-income families
caring for a child who is eligible for the DTC, including virtually all families that are currently
eligible for the Canada Child Tax Benefit base benefit, effective July 2006.
• Increasing the maximum amount of the refundable medical expense supplement to $1,000
from $767 for the 2006 tax year. The refundable medical expense supplement improves
work incentives for Canadians with disabilities by helping to offset the loss of coverage for
medical and disability-related expenses under social assistance when recipients move into
the labour force.
Other
An expert panel was appointed in July 2006 by the Minister of Finance to examine ways to help
parents save for the long-term financial security of a child with a severe disability, and reported its
recommendations to the Minister of Finance on December 12, 2006. A New Beginning – The Report
of the Minister of Finance’s Expert Panel on Financial Security for Children with Severe Disabilities
can be found at www.fin.gc.ca/activity/pubs/disability_e.html.
The Canada Revenue Agency administers:
• tax laws for the Government of Canada and for most provinces and territories; and
• various benefit and credit programs delivered through the tax system.
The CRA has taken significant steps during the past year to enhance tax fairness for people
with disabilities. Many of these changes were prompted by the report of the Technical Advisory
Committee on Tax Measures for Persons with Disabilities, entitled Disability Tax Fairness. Several
of these initiatives are ongoing, such as a review of Form T2201 (Disability Tax Credit Certificate),
yearly consultations with external partners, and increasing awareness of the various tax measures
available to people with disabilities, to name a few.
Information on tax expenditures for measures directed at individuals is available in Appendix B.
The Office of the Auditor General of Canada regularly audits the CRA. The administration of
the disability tax credit has been exempt from an in-depth audit because the CRA does an up-front
review of Form T2201 when it is initially received, unlike post-assessing reviews of other credits and
allowable expenses that taxpayers claim.
The CRA regularly conducts internal evaluations and audits in the form of monitoring trips to tax
centres and offices in Canada and focus testing of existing and new forms, policies, procedures,
and compliance programs. As well, the CRA has established a Centre of Expertise in Sudbury
where a team of qualified personnel will review, on request, disability tax credit claims that have
been disallowed.
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Advancing the Inclusion of People with Disabilities (2006)
Surveys and service evaluation
Based on one of the recommendations made in the Disability Tax Fairness report concerning
awareness of the disability tax credit, a telephone survey has been developed and will be
completed by the end of 2006. Selected taxpayers who receive a Canada Pension Plan Disability
benefit are going to be surveyed about their awareness of the disability tax credit and other tax
measures that the CRA offers to people with disabilities.
Since 2004, the CRA has held consultations with external partners, including lawyers,
physicians, and representatives of various health organizations. These consultative sessions
resulted in some very positive changes to letters from the CRA to the public, and to Form T2201.
In an effort to increase awareness of the tax measures available to people with disabilities,
the CRA attended a number of conferences in 2006, both as an exhibitor and presenter. Although
initially surprising to some audiences, the CRA’s attendance at these conferences was felt to be
very worthwhile and it is anticipated that this practice will be continued.
2. Registered Charities
Many organizations that work with people with disabilities qualify as registered charities.
This contributes to building the capacity of the disability community by providing tax benefits to
registered charities and people who donate to these organizations. A charity that is registered with
the CRA72 has two privileges associated with its registration:
• It is exempt from paying income tax; and
• Individuals who make donations to the charity can claim a non-refundable tax credit in
respect of the donation, and corporate donors can claim a charitable deduction.
An organization may also benefit from the special rules that apply to charities with regard to
the Goods and Services Tax and other federal taxes. Provincial, territorial, and many municipal
governments provide favourable treatment to registered charities. For example, like the federal
government, all provinces and territories provide charitable donation credits or deductions in
respect of charitable donations.
When filing annual information returns with the CRA, charities must indicate the fields in which
they operate and the relative importance of each activity for the organization. Of the 77,496
registered charities that filed a 2004 return, 1,955, or 2.5%, listed “services for the physically or
mentally challenged” as their most important field. An additional 1.1% listed this as the second
(585) or third (267) most important field.
72
70
The Charities Directorate of the CRA registers qualifying organizations as charities, gives technical advice on
operating a charity, and handles audit and compliance activities. To qualify for registration, an organization
must be established and operated exclusively for charitable purposes, and it must devote all of its resources
to charitable activities. These charitable purposes and activities are defined through common law. The courts
have recognized as charitable those organizations that have been established to prevent and relieve sickness
and disability (both physical and mental). For example, this includes hospitals, clinics, nursing and convalescent
homes, and home care services. More information on registered charities is available on the CRA website at
www.cra.gc.ca/charities
3. Other Programs that Provide Income Support to People with Disabilities
Canada Pension Plan (Disability)
In 2005-06, almost 296,000 individuals with severe and prolonged disabilities, along with
89,000 of their dependent children, received $3.3 billion in Canada Pension Plan Disability
(CPPD) monthly benefits. The 2006 maximum monthly benefit is $1,031, and the average is $775
per month. The children’s monthly benefit in 2006 is $200.47 for each eligible child.
Since January 31, 2005, beneficiaries who stop receiving CPPD benefits because they return
to work are entitled to have their benefits automatically restarted if their disability returns and
prevents them from working. During 2005-06, 161 CPPD clients were able to have their benefits
quickly restarted using these provisions. While the new provision has only been in effect for a
relatively short time, early feedback is positive.
In January 2006, Human Resources and Social Development Canada concluded a new
agreement with long-term disability insurers that provides increased protection for CPP Disability
children’s benefits. The agreement improves transparency and accountability with respect to the
reimbursement of retroactive CPPD payments. Specifically, insurers cannot seek reimbursements
in cases when CPP children’s benefits are offset by the insurer.
Human Resources and Social Development Canada partnered with the United States Social
Security Administration to host a second international seminar on disability income policy. The
seminar focused on measures and supports that facilitate successful and long-term employment
experiences for recipients of disability income programs. Conference participants included
government officials and non-government experts in the field of disability from several countries
that are members of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development.
Employment Insurance sickness benefits
Employment Insurance provides up to 15 weeks of sickness benefits to help people who
cannot work due to short-term illness, injury, or quarantine. Sickness benefits are intended to
complement a range of other supports that are available for longer-term illness and disability,
including benefits offered through employer-sponsored group insurance plans, private coverage
held by individuals, and long-term disability benefits available under the Canada Pension Plan.
Expenditure
Annual spending for EI Sickness Benefits in 2004-05 was $813.2 million.
New Horizons for Seniors Program
The New Horizons for Seniors Program provides funding for community-based projects that
encourage seniors to contribute to their communities through their social participation and active
living. Although not targeted directly to seniors with disabilities, projects funded under this program
have both a direct and indirect impact on seniors with disabilities. Among the projects that the New
Horizons for Seniors Program funded in 2005-06, 15 involved organizations that deal with people
with disabilities. These projects received a total of $319,825 in funding.
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Advancing the Inclusion of People with Disabilities (2006)
4. First Nations
Indian and Northern Affairs Canada is responsible for supporting First Nations and Inuit
in developing healthy, sustainable communities and in achieving their economic and social
aspirations, in part through its Assisted Living Program,73 and through special needs assistance
provided through the Income Assistance Program.
The Assisted Living Program was part of the federal government’s general policy to provide
First Nations on reserves with access to services reasonably comparable to those provided by the
provinces and territories to other Canadians. It came into existence in 1981-82.
The Assisted Living Program supports First Nations people who have functional limitations due
to age, health problems, or disability to maintain their independence, to maximize their level of
functioning, and to live in conditions of health and safety.
The program is divided into four components:
• In-Home Care – provides financial assistance for non-medical personal care services
such as attendant care, housekeeping, and meal preparation.
• Institutional Care – reimburses some expenses for social care in designated facilities.
• Foster Care – provides funding for supervision and care in a family-like setting to
individuals who do not require 24-hour care but are unable to live on their own.
• Disabilities Initiatives – provides funding for projects to improve the coordination and
accessibility of existing disability programs and services on reserves. These may include
such things as advocacy, public awareness, or regional workshops.
Program objectives and services
The objective of the Assisted Living Program is to provide social support services, based on an
assessed need, that meet the special needs of individuals with functional limitations due to age,
chronic illness, or disability, at a standard that is comparable to the reference province or territory
of residence, regardless of age.
The program provides individuals with social support services and assistance with their daily
activities, allowing them to remain at home and in their communities whenever possible. When
providing services at home is not feasible and institutional care is required, the Assisted Living
Program may fund non-medical care for people in designated provincial or territorial facilities (up
to federal level Type II).
The Disabilities Initiative provides funding for projects to improve the coordination and
accessibility of existing disability programs and services on reserves. These projects may include
advocacy, public awareness, and regional workshops.
73
72
More information on the Assisted Living Program can be found at www.ainc-inac.gc.ca/ps/mnl/alp/alp_e.html
Program impact and results
The anticipated results of the program are to:
• alleviate hardship;
• support individuals in maintaining functional independence in their homes or in supportive
housing environments or foster placements that are in or close to their communities. This
support is provided through social support services that are comparable to those that the
reference province or territory provides to the general population; and
• encourage greater self-sufficiency for First Nation individuals and communities.
National allocation
The 2006-07 national allocation for the Assisted Living Program is $94.5 million.
Indian and Northern Affairs’ Income Assistance program74 provides funding for First Nations
communities to administer income assistance activities with the objective of providing all eligible
individuals and families on reserve with the means to meet the basic needs of food, clothing, and
shelter. Indian and Northern Affairs must adopt the rates and eligibility requirements of the host
provincial or territorial income assistance program and, following those criteria, may also fund
special needs, such as dietary requirements, personal incidentals, household items, guide dogs,
transportation, accommodation, and equipment which are essential to the physical or social wellbeing of a final recipient, but may not be included as items of basic needs. The financial need is
determined through an income test and other eligibility requirements.
74
Further information regarding Indian and Northern Affairs Canada’s Income Assistance Program can be found at
www.ainc-inac.gc.ca/ps/mnl/afv/afv_e.html
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Advancing the Inclusion of People with Disabilities (2006)
Chapter Five: Health and Well-Being
1. Disability and Health
Health is commonly understood as a total state of well-being and not only an absence of
illness. Health therefore interacts with multiple and complex factors, including education, age,
gender, culture, life habits, the availability or lack of adequate supports and services, and the
overall state of the socio-economic environment.
Any serious discussion of the relationship between disability and health has to address the
implications of two somewhat conflicting views. On the one hand, the medical model, which
dominated the discourse on disability issues for decades, tends to define disability in terms of
defect and sickness to which medical intervention is the right answer. Contrary to this view, others
propose a social model, which views disability as a social construct—in other words, society’s
failure to recognize and accommodate the needs of people with disabilities. Michel Delcey
summarizes the difference this way: [Translation] “The medical model tries to adapt the individual
to society whereas the social model tries to adapt society to the diversity of individuals that
comprise it.”75
Since the medical model sees disability as a personal condition, a direct result of illness or
other health condition, treatment and rehabilitation are perceived as a solution. The social model,
on the other hand, seeing disability as a state created by society, proposes a solution based on
developing strategies to overcome the barriers to participation that society has created.
From a more integrative perspective, which takes into account the complex and
multidimensional nature of disability, the World Health Organization proposed a bio-psycho-social
approach to defining disability. The International Classification of Function, Disability and Health
(ICF) is the product of many years of international collaborative efforts to overcome the limitations
of existing definitions and to establish common language and understanding of disability issues
across disciplines, interests, and nations. The ICF is an evolving conceptual model, still being
revised and improved by multidisciplinary research teams in many parts of the world. Canada is
one of the leading countries on advancing and refining the development of the ICF.
75
74
Delcey, Michel. “Déficiences motrices et situation de handicaps”- ed. AFP- 2002.
Figure 9: ICF: An Interactive Model (WHO, 2001)
Health
Condition
Activities
(Limitation)
Body function and
structure
Environmental
Factors
Participation
(Restriction)
Personal
Factors
As illustrated in Figure 9, the ICF recognizes the set of factors that contribute to disability
issues and attempts to clarify how they interact. The ICF takes into account all the relevant
environmental and personal factors (e.g., socio-economic and political system, gender, race,
education, etc.) and shows how they can restrict participation when combined with certain health
conditions.
A number of programs that the Government of Canada initiates through Health Canada
and the Public Health Agency of Canada implicitly operate from a similar understanding of the
complexity of the relationships between health and disability and strive to remove the barriers to
well-being.
2. Health Care Programs
Health Canada is the federal department responsible for helping Canadians maintain and
improve their health, while respecting individual choices and circumstances. Health Canada is
committed to improving the lives of all Canadians and to making this country’s population among
the healthiest in the world as measured by longevity, lifestyle, and effective use of the public
health care system.
Health Canada continues to provide national leadership to develop health policy and enforce
health regulations and is also responsible for administering the Canada Health Act. In the areas of
disease prevention and healthy living, Health Canada works closely with the Public Health Agency
to adapt programs to the needs of First Nations and Inuit communities as part of its responsibility
to ensure that health services are available and accessible to them.
By working with partners at the provincial, federal, and international levels, Health Canada
strives to:
• Prevent and reduce risks to individual health and the overall environment;
• Promote healthier lifestyles;
• Ensure high-quality health services that are efficient and accessible;
75
Advancing the Inclusion of People with Disabilities (2006)
• Integrate renewal of the health care system with longer-term plans in the areas of
prevention, health promotion, and protection;
• Reduce health inequalities in Canadian society; and
• Provide health information to help Canadians make informed decisions.
a. First Nations and Inuit Health
The First Nations and Inuit Health Branch (FNIHB) and the Home and Continuing Care Unit within
Health Canada are two branches of particular interest to people concerned with how health and
disability issues interact.76
The FNIHB works with other branches and departments to address disability issues for Aboriginal
peoples. This population has three times the national average rate for disabilities such as diabetes
and fetal alcohol spectrum disorder. The FNIHB’s programs include:
• First Nations and Inuit Home and Community Care Program, funded by Health Canada,
provides basic home and community care services that meet the unique health and social
needs of First Nations people and Inuit. The program’s coordinated services allow people
with disabilities, people with chronic or acute illnesses, and elders to receive care in their own
home or community. The support services offered depend on the availability of resources to
respond to the needs identified in the planning phase. For communities that already have certain
services, the program offers to augment them by building on existing investments in health
and community-based services. Funding for the program was $90 million in both 2003-04 and
2004-05.
• Aboriginal Diabetes Initiative – $58 million has been allocated from the Canadian Diabetes
Strategy for this program to begin to address the widespread rate of diabetes in Aboriginal
communities.
• National Native Alcohol and Drug Abuse Program – helps First Nations and Inuit people and their
communities to establish and operate programs aimed at reducing the level of alcohol and drug
abuse among people living on reserve. Coordinates a network of 53 treatment centres offering
about 700 beds for in-patient treatment. There are also more than 500 community-based alcohol
and drug abuse prevention programs, with the First Nations and Inuit Health Branch (FNIHB)
funding a total of 729 field worker positions.
• Solvent Abuse Program – provides community-based prevention, intervention, and in-patient
treatment to youth solvent abusers.
• FAS/FAE Initiative and FAS/FAE Information Service – In 1999 the federal government increased
funding for the expansion of the existing Canada Prenatal Nutrition Program, to allow for a
sustained focus on FAS/FAE and to further improve the health of pregnant women at risk and
their babies. Funding of $11 million over three years is allocated to enhance activities related to
public awareness and education, FAS/FAE training and capacity development, early identification
and diagnosis, coordination, integration of services, surveillance, and a strategic project fund.
76
76
More information on the First Nations and Inuit Health Branch can be found at www.hc-sc.gc.ca/fnih-spni/index_
e.html
More information on the Home and Continuing Care Unit can be found at www.hc-sc.gc.ca/hcs-sss/home-domicile/
index_e.html
Health Canada has other programs, involved in disability-related activities, that are directed at
the Canadian public at large. These include the Workplace Health and Public Safety Program and
Home and Continuing Care services.
b. Workplace Health and Public Safety
The Workplace Health and Public Safety Program is responsible for helping Canadian private
and public sector employers maintain and improve the health of their workers. The program
provides national leadership to develop health policy and best practices in the workplace, and
enhance healthy living for all working Canadians.
c. Home and Continuing Care
Health Canada’s Home and Continuing Care unit is responsible for policy advice on longterm care in Canada that is based in the home, community, and in facilities. The unit has funded
reports that address the ability of home and continuing care services to meet the needs of clients,
including people with disabilities and their informal or family caregivers. The unit collaborates with
stakeholders, including the provinces and territories, to advance the federal goal of achieving
comparable levels of access to home and continuing care services across Canada. Trainers with
expertise in planning, building, and design were selected from the Canada Mortgage and Housing
Corporation. Four trainers were involved from the Health Care Sector, the Canadian Home Care
Association, and the Universal Design Institute.
The Public Health Agency of Canada77 focuses on emergency preparedness and response,
infectious and chronic disease prevention and control, and injury prevention, supported by a
collaborative, national network. This structure supports a rapid response to public health threats
and greater national collaboration on health issues. Moreover, chronic diseases are the leading
cause of death and disability for Canadians. Collaboration between federal and provincial and
territorial governments is the key to prevention.
Several of the Agency’s divisions and units have programs that directly affect people with
disabilities.
As well as being responsible for developing and disseminating publications and disseminating
videos, the National Clearinghouse on Family Violence coordinates disability issues for the
Department and chairs the Disability Working Group of the Public Health Agency of Canada.78
77
78
More information on the Public Health Agency of Canada can be found at www.phac-aspc.gc.ca/new_e.html
More information on Family Violence and Violence Prevention can be found at www.phac-aspc.gc.ca/ncfv-cnivf/
familyviolence/famvio_e.html
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Advancing the Inclusion of People with Disabilities (2006)
The Canadian Diabetes Strategy79
The 2005 budget announced an increase in funding of $90 million over five years and
$18 million per year ongoing to renew and enhance the Canadian Diabetes Strategy.
The Government recognizes the heavy burden of diabetes among Aboriginal peoples
and allocated more than half of the funding from this strategy to the Aboriginal Diabetes
Initiative to begin to address this urgent health concern. Rates of diabetes among
Aboriginal people in Canada are three to five times higher than those of the general
Canadian population. The Aboriginal Diabetes Initiative provides $58 million to help
address diabetes in Aboriginal communities.
Partners of the Canadian Diabetes Strategy include:
• Canadian National Institute for the Blind;
• Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation;
• Kidney Foundation of Canada;
• Canadian Institute of Child Health;
• Canadian Nurses Association;
• Assembly of First Nations;
• Métis National Council;
• Inuit Tapiristat Canada; and
• National Aboriginal Diabetes Association.
d. Seniors
The Division of Aging and Seniors of the Public Health Agency of Canada is responsible
for programs and activities directed at seniors with disabilities, and for preventing injuries
and disabilities.80 In addition, Health Canada and the Agency support and participate in
many intergovernmental and intra-governmental bodies that affect seniors with disabilities in
various ways.
e. Children
The Agency administers a wide range of programs aimed at children, adolescents, and their
families in general, which benefit those with disabilities. For example, the Community Action
Program for Children is designed to provide long-term funding to community groups to establish
and deliver services that address the health and social development needs of children living in
conditions of risk from birth to age six. This program targets groups at risk of poor health and
development (e.g., low-income and teenage parent groups) but does not directly target people
with disabilities. However, many parents served by the Community Action Program for Children
have developmental disabilities.81
79
80
81
78
More information on The Canadian Diabetes Strategy can be found at www.phac-aspc.gc.ca/ccdpc-cpcmc/
diabetes-diabete/english/strategy/index.html
More information on Aging and Seniors health can be found at www.phac-aspc.gc.ca/seniors-aines/index_
pages/whatsnew_e.htm
More information on Children and Adolescent health can be found at www.phac-aspc.gc.ca/dca-dea/main_e.html
The Agency also developed a national joint statement on Shaken Baby Syndrome to create
a common understanding of its definition, cause, outcomes, and consequences for the family
and community; stimulate the development of effective ongoing local and national prevention
strategies; and encourage the provision of support for affected children and families.82
f. Injury Prevention
Injury is an important public health concern. The Public Health Agency of Canada conducts
a range of programs and proposes initiatives to reduce injury rates in Canada. It also formally
collaborates with other federal departments and jurisdictions on the issue.
Health Canada manages product safety by administering the Hazardous Products Act, and
manages a variety of programs and initiatives in safety promotion, public education, surveillance,
and injury prevention. The Public Health Agency of Canada works in a multi-disciplinary manner
with others involved in road safety, water and fire safety, mental health, and suicide and violence
prevention. And the scope of these initiatives starts with primary prevention and extends to
enhancing health and opportunities for Canadians living with impairments or disabilities.
The Canadian Hospitals Injury Reporting and Prevention Program is administered by the
Centre for Health Promotion. Through this program, the Agency collects and analyzes data on
injuries that are treated in the emergency departments of 15 paediatric and general hospitals
across the country. Injury prevention stakeholders use the resulting information on the nature
of injuries and the circumstances in which they occur to develop programs and policies. The
estimated cost of this program is $700,000 per year.
g. HIV/AIDS
The HIV/AIDS Policy of the Public Health Agency of Canada runs a number of programs to
help prevent the spread of HIV/AIDS and help people living with HIV/AIDS.
The Canadian Working Group on HIV and Rehabilitation was founded in 1998 to facilitate
a coordinated response to the emerging needs of people living with HIV/AIDS. The group is
innovative, multi-sectoral, and represents a diverse range of stakeholders including people living
with HIV, AIDS service organizations, HIV care providers, private industry, and government.
The group undertakes work in a coordination and advisory capacity, and funds short projects
in rehabilitation, disability, income maintenance, and work and workplace issues. It also has a
partnership with other stakeholders in these areas, and is supported by public and private sector
funds. The group, which serves as a national focus and catalyst for action, is ideally placed to
identify new and emerging trends in HIV-related disabilities and to develop and promote innovative
programs and services.
82
It has a budget of $15,000. Partners include the Saskatchewan Prevention Institute, Canadian Institute of Child
Health, Canadian Paediatric Society and other NGOs, Family Violence Prevention Unit and Child Maltreatment
Unit (Health Canada).
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Advancing the Inclusion of People with Disabilities (2006)
The Canadian Strategy on HIV/AIDS aims to prevent the spread of HIV infection in Canada
and minimize the impact of social and economic factors that increase individual and collective risk
for HIV. The strategy also seeks to ensure care, treatment, and support for Canadians living with
HIV/AIDS and their families, friends, and caregivers.
National HIV/AIDS Capacity-Building Fund83
The goal of the National HIV/AIDS Capacity-Building Fund is to strengthen the capacity of
staff and volunteers working in areas related to HIV/AIDS across Canada. To be funded, projects
have to prove that their initiatives are national in scope and that they have national availability.
By supporting staff and volunteers working in areas related to HIV/AIDS, communities across
Canada can better respond to the HIV/AIDS epidemic. The Canadian Working Group on HIV
and Rehabilitation, a national charitable non-profit organization that promotes innovation and
excellence in rehabilitation in the context of HIV disease, is an example of funded initiatives under
the National HIV/AIDS Capacity-Building Fund.
Aboriginal health and HIV/AIDS
Aboriginal people are among the most HIV-vulnerable groups in Canada, and are overrepresented in this epidemic. Estimates for 2005 show that they represent 6–9% of people
currently living with HIV infection and 6–12% of new HIV infections, despite representing only
3.3% of the total population. HIV is having a significant impact on Aboriginal people and they are
being infected at a younger age than non-Aboriginal people. Factors such as poverty, substance
use (including injecting drugs), sexually transmitted infections, and limited access to health
services have made many Aboriginal Canadians more vulnerable to HIV.
The Federal Initiative to Address HIV/AIDS in Canada has two Aboriginal-specific funding
programs supporting community effort:
• Health Canada’s First Nations and Inuit Health Branch’s supports on-reserve First
Nations people.
• The Public Health Agency of Canada manages the Non-Reserve First Nations, Inuit and
Métis Communities HIV/AIDS Project Fund.
This fiscal year, Health Canada committed $5.07 million, representing an increase of
$750,000 over last year. In addition to its contribution agreement funding, Health Canada now
has dedicated HIV/AIDS staff in each region. The Public Health Agency’s Non-Reserve First
Nations, Inuit and Métis Communities HIV/AIDS Project Fund budget totals $1.7 million this fiscal
year. All projects funded by the Non-Reserve Fund benefit non-reserve Aboriginal communities.
The total allocation in 2006-07 for Aboriginal-specific community program funding at Health
Canada and the Public Health Agency of Canada is $6.77 million. This total represents an
increase of $880,000 over last year.
83
80
More information on the National HIV/AIDS Capacity-Building Fund can be found at www.phac-aspc.gc.ca/aidssida/funding/rfp/capacity_building_e.html
h. Veterans
The mission of Veterans Affairs Canada (VAC) is to provide exemplary, client-centred services
and benefits that respond to the needs of Veterans, other clients, and their families, in recognition of
their services to Canada.84
The Veteran population includes Canada’s traditional war Veterans—the men and women
who served during the First World War, the Second World War, and the Korean War—and also
incorporates former Canadian Forces members in recognition of their service to Canada in modernday operations, such as international peacekeeping missions. Clients also include Canadian Forces
members, past and present members of the RCMP, their survivors, and dependants, as well as
certain allied Veterans and eligible civilians. The Department also serves Canadians more broadly
through Remembrance activities, both in Canada and overseas.
Disability Benefits
VAC administers the Pension Act, which provides a monthly disability pension designed to
compensate Veterans and their dependants if the Veteran becomes permanently disabled or dies
as a result of military service. Effective in April 2006, VAC also administers the Canadian Forces
Members and Veterans Re-establishment and Compensation Act, which provides a lump-sum
disability award to compensate members and Veterans of the Canadian Forces, and in some cases
surviving spouses or common-law partners and surviving dependent children, for the non-economic
effects of a service-related disability.
Disability award
The New Veterans Charter disability award compensates members and Veterans of the Canadian
Forces and, in some cases, surviving spouses or common-law partners and surviving dependent
children, for the non-economic effects of a service-related disability. These effects can include pain
and suffering, functional loss, and the diminished enjoyment of life attributable to a permanent
impairment and the resulting impact on the member’s or Veteran’s ability to contribute to the family
household. The award will be a tax-free lump-sum payment, based on the extent of the disability.
Treatment Benefits Program
The objective of the Treatment Benefits Program is to ensure that eligible clients are provided
with reasonable and timely treatment benefits that the Department considers to be an appropriate
response to their health needs. Many of these benefits are available through “Programs of Choice,”
where clients with specific health needs can obtain benefits from the health professional or provider
of their choice.85
84
85
More information on VAC and its mandate and services can be found at www.vac-acc.gc.ca/general
Treatment benefits include any medical, surgical, or dental examination or treatment provided by a health
professional; any surgical or prosthetic device or any aid approved by the Minister and the maintenance of the
device or aid and any home adaptation that is necessary to accommodate or facilitate its use; preventive health
care approved by the Minister; and pharmaceuticals prescribed by a physician, dentist, or other person authorized
to prescribe pharmaceuticals under the laws in force in the province or country where the pharmaceuticals are
provided.
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Advancing the Inclusion of People with Disabilities (2006)
Veterans with a disability pension are the primary clients of the Treatment Benefits Program.
Other clients must first access provincial health care programs. Clients include:
• Wartime pensioners who are severely disabled (pensioned at 78% or higher) or
moderately disabled (pensioned between 48% and 77%); and
• Prisoners of War who are totally disabled and are eligible for the Veterans Independence
Program.
Veterans Independence Program
The purpose of the Veterans Independence Program (VIP) is to help clients remain healthy
and independent in their homes and communities. Qualified clients use the program services in
addition to their own resources to achieve as much independence as possible.86 Services include
home care, such as grounds maintenance, housekeeping, personal care, and health and support
services. They also include ambulatory health care service, transportation costs, nursing home
care, and home adaptations to assist with basic, everyday activities such as personal hygiene
and preparing food. The VIP is available to recipients of a VAC disability award who have needs
related to the condition for which they receive the disability award.87
Long-term care
Veterans Affairs provides assistance to over 3,000 Veterans who reside in 172 facilities with
contract beds across the country and another 7,500 Veterans who reside in more than 1,500
community care facilities. Eligible war service Veterans and some civilians may qualify for longterm care at Ste. Anne’s Hospital, which VAC administers, at facilities with beds under contract
with VAC, and at community facilities of their choice. Canadian Forces pensioners may qualify for
residential care assistance in a community facility if the need for the care is related to a servicerelated pensioned condition.88
Mental health services
The first step in modernizing programs and services for Canadian Forces clients living with
mental health conditions was to develop mental health services and supports for clients who suffer
from operational stress injuries as a result of their service. Set in the context that mental illness is
as serious as physical illness and that people with mental health conditions deserve to be treated
in the same way as people with physical health conditions, Veterans Affairs has developed and is
implementing a Mental Health Strategy as one of the key elements of the New Veterans Charter.
86
87
88
82
More information on the Veterans Independence Program (VIP) can be found at www.vac-acc.gc.ca/clients/sub.
cfm?source=services/vip
Moderately and seriously disabled pensioners, as well as those who have multiple health conditions that, when
combined with their pensioned condition, place them at risk due to frailty may receive VIP services for any health
need. The benefit is also available to non-pensioned prisoners of war who have extensive disabilities and other
eligible pensioners (who may not have disabilities).
More information on long-term care can be found at www.vac-acc.gc.ca/clients/sub.cfm?source=salute/
summer2002/long_term_care
During the reporting period, Veterans Affairs is focusing on:
• implementing a comprehensive range of mental health services and policies that include
promotion, early intervention, treatment, rehabilitation, and ongoing care;
• building capacity across the country that will provide specialized care to Veterans Affairs
clients with mental health conditions arising from service;
• strengthening our role as a leader in the field of mental health; and
• developing collaborative partnerships with other organizations that share the goal of
responding effectively to the needs of clients living with mental health conditions.
Veterans Affairs is committed to addressing the needs of clients living with mental health
conditions as a result of military service. Building on the solid experience in the services and
benefits that help traditional war-service Veterans live with dignity and independence, the New
Veterans Charter uses the principles of sound disability management by providing Canadian
Forces Veterans and their families access to services and programs that are tailor-made for them,
increasing their chances of making a successful transition from military to civilian life. The focus is
on health and wellness over the client’s lifespan, which is of paramount importance to those with
mental health conditions striving to live productive and satisfying lives in our Canadian society.
Financial benefits
Financial benefits are various forms of compensation for the economic loss resulting from a
service-related or career-ending impact of a condition. Benefits include temporary support for lost
earnings while a Veteran is undergoing rehabilitation, as well as longer-term support to Veterans
who can no longer work because their disability is permanent.89
Job placement assistance
Job placement assistance provides practical help in finding a civilian job. This program is
available to all members on release from Regular Force service.
Group health insurance program
The Health Benefits Program under the New Veterans Charter ensures that Canadian Forces
Veterans and their families have access to health coverage, so that health needs do not act as a
barrier to successful transition into civilian life. This is accomplished by offering eligible Veterans
the opportunity to voluntarily purchase lifetime, post-release health coverage for themselves and
their families through the Public Service Health Care Plan (PSHCP).90
89
90
The New Veterans Charter means that Veterans who have a service-related or career-ending condition may
qualify for Earnings Loss Benefits, Permanent Impairment Allowance, Supplementary Retirement Benefit, and
Canadian Forces Income Support.
The Health Benefits Program intends to fill gaps in post-release health coverage by ensuring that eligible
medically released Canadian Forces Veterans, Veterans with a rehabilitation need, and some survivors have
access to group family health insurance through the PSHCP. More information on the Health Benefits Program
and the PSHCP can be found at www.vac-acc.gc.ca/clients/sub.cfm?source=forces/nvc/programs/ghi&CFID=54
67333&CFTOKEN=69962369
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Advancing the Inclusion of People with Disabilities (2006)
Effective April 1, 2006, eligibility to participate in the PSHCP was expanded to include:
• Former members of the Canadian Forces who have been approved for benefits under
Service Income Security Insurance Long-Term Disability and who are not otherwise
eligible for the PSHCP;
• Veterans of the Canadian Forces with a rehabilitation need that is service-related,
identified by VAC, who are not otherwise eligible for post-release PSHCP; and
• Survivors of Veterans and of members of the Canadian Forces who have died as a result
of military service when the survivors are not otherwise eligible for the PSHCP.
Health Care Review
In support of its goal of continuously improving programs and services, VAC has launched a
health care review of its programs and services to ensure that the health care needs of this aging
clientele are met in the most appropriate care setting. In its review, VAC will consult with Veterans,
Veterans’ organizations, other stakeholders, and experts.
VAC National Client Satisfaction Surveys
In May and June 2005, VAC conducted its third National Client Satisfaction Survey; previous
surveys were conducted in 2001 and 2003. The 2005 survey examined client satisfaction levels
on 23 to 26 separate service elements, which fell into the three broad categories: accessibility of
service; communications; and services offered by staff.91
The following table provides the global results for the respective surveys:
Table 13: Global results from VAC’s third National Client Satisfaction Survey (2001-05)
Client
2001
2003
2005
War Veterans
89%
90%
88%
Canadian Forces Veterans/clients
72%
80%
77%
Survivors
84%
86%
84%
--
--
83%
85%
87%
84%
RCMP
Overall Level of Satisfaction
Audits and Evaluations
At VAC, internal audits are objective examinations of evidence in order to provide an
independent assessment of the soundness of risk management strategies and practices,
management control frameworks and practices, and information used for decision-making and
reporting. Evaluations are conducted with a view to improving the effectiveness and delivery of
VAC’s programs.
91
84
More information on National Client Satisfaction Survey can be found at www.vac-acc.gc.ca/clients/sub.
cfm?source=department/reports/sii/ncsspres
Program areas are invited to and do respond to all recommendations and observations raised
in audit and evaluations through Management Responses and Management Action Plans.
A further follow-up is completed where documentation and other evidence provided are examined
to ensure actions within these program areas fully satisfy the recommendations raised. These
steps are fulfilled before closing off the report.92
Redress Mechanisms
The Veterans Review and Appeal Board is a quasi-judicial tribunal that operates
independently of VAC, and provides avenues of redress for applicants dissatisfied with servicerelated disability compensation decisions. The Board ensures that each individual is treated
fairly, efficiently, and in accordance with the appropriate legislation. The main priority for the
Board is to carry out its mandate to render well-reasoned disability pension, disability award, and
War Veterans Allowance decisions while working toward implementing priorities identified in its
strategic plan. Table 14 summarizes the number of decisions the Board finalized over the last
four years.
Table 14: Veterans Review and Appeal Board, Summary of finalized decisions 2002-06
Finalized Decisions
2002-03
2003-04
2004-05
2005-06
Reviews
5,213
5,015
4,911
4,870
Appeals
1,363
1,755
1,756
1,532
Reconsiderations
120
258
194
222
War Veterans Allowance
56
26
23
21
6,752
7,054
6,884
6,645
Total
The Bureau of Pensions Advocates within VAC provides free advice, assistance, and representation for individuals
dissatisfied with decisions VAC renders about their claims for entitlement to disability benefits, or any assessment
awarded for their pensioned conditions.93
92
93
For example, in March 2006, VAC conducted the Veterans Independence Program Baseline Evaluation (Phase
II) in order to take a snapshot of the VIP payment processing following the changeover to the Federal Health
Claims Processing System and to make a comparison to the initial VIP Baseline Study results of June 2004.
In July 2005, VAC released Volume II of the Disability Pension Program Evaluation, which provided an analysis
of process issues that were raised in Volume I (2004), introduced some peripheral issues that nevertheless had
pension program implications, dealt summarily with future directions for the program, and provided viewpoints
received from client focus groups.
More information on The Bureau of Pensions Advocates can be found at www.vac-acc.gc.ca/clients/sub.
cfm?source=department/organization/bpa1
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Advancing the Inclusion of People with Disabilities (2006)
APPENDIX A – Profile of Disability in Canada: An Overview (2001)
A1. Socio-demographic profile
A1.1 Adults with disabilities by age groups, by sex, Canada, 2001 (1)
% of total
population
% of total
population
Women
% of total
population
1,526,900
13.4%
1,893,440
15.7%
9.9%
921,020
9.4%
1,047,470
10.4%
151,030
3.9%
74,500
3.8%
76,530
4.0%
25-54
1,206,660
9.2%
555,420
8.6%
651,240
9.7%
55-64
610,800
21.8%
291,100
21.1%
319,700
22.4%
1,451,840
40.5%
605,880
38.5%
845,970
42.0%
65-74
649,180
31.2%
296,310
30.2%
352,860
32.0%
75 and over
802,670
53.3%
309,570
52.1%
493,100
54.1%
Age Groups
Total (2)
Total-Aged 15
and over
3,420,340
14.6%
15-64
1,968,490
15-24
65 and over
Men
Source: Statistics Canada. Participation and Activity Limitation Survey, 2001.
Notes:
(1) The Canada total excludes the Yukon, Northwest Territories and Nunavut.
(2) The sum of the values for each category may differ from the total due to rounding.
86
A1.2 Severity of disability for adults by age groups and by sex, Canada, 2001 (1)
Severity of disability
Mild
Moderate
Total
Very
Severe
Severe
Total (2)
Total
%
%
Total
%
Total
%
Total-Aged
15 and over
3,420,340
1,165,470
34.1%
855,330 25.0%
919,310 26.9%
480,220
14.0%
15-64
1,968,490
647,380
32.9%
494,580 25.1%
548,060 27.8%
278,470
14.1%
65 and over
1,451,840
518,090
35.7%
360,750 24.8%
371,260 25.6%
201,750
13.9%
1,526,900
555,110
36.4%
375,380 24.6%
383,570 25.1%
212,830
13.9%
15-64
921,020
316,760
34.4%
228,800 24.8%
245,040 26.6%
130,420
14.2%
65 and over
605,880
238,350
39.3%
146,580 24.2%
138,530 22.9%
82,410
13.6%
Total-Aged
15 and over
1,893,440
610,360
32.2%
479,950 25.3%
535,740 28.3%
267,390
14.1%
15-64
1,047,470
330,620
31.6%
265,780 25.4%
303,020 28.9%
148,050
14.1%
845,970
279,740
33.1%
214,170 25.3%
232,730 27.5%
119,340
14.1%
Age Groups
Men
Total-Aged
15 and over
Women
65 and over
Source: Statistics Canada. Participation and Activity Limitation Survey, 2001.
Notes:
(1) The Canada total excludes the Yukon, Northwest Territories and Nunavut.
(2) The sum of the values for each category may differ from the total due to rounding.
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Advancing the Inclusion of People with Disabilities (2006)
A2. Education: People with disabilities and those without disabilities
A2.1 Highest level of educational attainment for adults with disabilities, by age groups,
by sex, Canada (1)
Aged 15 to 64
Total (2)
Total
%
1,968,490
Men
%
921,020
Women
%
1,047,470
Less than high school
728,560
37.0%
356,050
38.7%
372,510
35.6%
High school (3)
453,030
23.0%
198,190
21.5%
254,840
24.3%
Trades certificate or diploma
248,180
12.6%
150,750
16.4%
97,420
9.3%
College (4)
310,900
15.8%
121,960
13.2%
188,940
18.0%
University
224,040
11.4%
91,340
9.9%
132,700
12.7%
Total PSE
783,120
39.8%
364,050
39.5%
419,060
40.0%
Not specified
3,790 E
0.2%
2,730 E
0.3%
1,060 E
0.1%
Men
%
Aged 15 to 24
Total (2)
Total
%
151,030
74,500
Women
%
76,530
Less than high school
76,950
51.0%
40,510
54.4%
36,450
47.6%
High school
51,780
34.3%
25,590
34.3%
26,190
34.2%
(3)
Trades certificate or diploma
6,350
4.2%
3,080 E
4.1%
3,270 E
4.3%
(4)
10,250
6.8%
3,580 E
4.8%
6,670
8.7%
University
4,800
3.2%
1,270 E
1.7%
3,530 E
4.6%
College
Not specified
890 E
0.6%
X
…
X
…
Men
%
Women
%
Aged 25 to 54
Total (2)
Total
%
1,206,660
555,430
651,230
Less than high school
356,020
29.5%
178,150
32.1%
177,870
27.3%
High school (3)
296,340
24.6%
134,890
24.3%
161,460
24.8%
Trades certificate or diploma
153,700
12.7%
90,370
16.3%
63,330
9.7%
College
(4)
231,630
19.2%
87,980
15.8%
143,650
22.1%
University
167,350
13.9%
62,940
11.3%
104,410
16.0%
Not specified
1,610 E
0.1%
1,100
0.2%
88
X
…
Aged 55 to 64
Total (2)
Total
%
610,800
Men
%
291,100
Women
%
319,700
Less than high school
295,580
48.4%
137,390
47.2%
158,190
49.5%
High school
104,900
17.2%
37,710
13.0%
67,200
21.0%
Trades certificate or diploma
88,120
14.4%
57,300
19.7%
30,820
9.6%
College
(4)
69,020
11.3%
30,400
10.4%
38,620
12.1%
University
51,890
8.5%
27,130
9.3%
24,760
7.7%
Not specified
X
…
X
…
X
…
(3)
Source: Statistics Canada. Participation and Activity Limitation Survey, 2001.
Notes:
(1) The population excludes persons living in institutions, on Indian reserves, and in the Yukon, Northwest Territories and Nunavut.
(2) The sum of the values for each category may differ from the total due to rounding.
(3) Includes persons who have attended courses at postsecondary institutions and who may or may not have a high school graduation
certificate. Excludes persons with a postsecondary certificate, diploma or degree. Examples of postsecondary institutions include
community colleges, institutes of technology, CEGEPs, private trade schools, private business colleges and schools of nursing.
(4) This sector includes non-degree-granting institutions such as community colleges, CEGEPs, private business colleges and technical
institutes.
E: Use with caution
X: Suppressed to meet the confidentiality requirements of the Statistics Act. Symbol “...” represents “not applicable”.
89
Advancing the Inclusion of People with Disabilities (2006)
A2.2 Highest level of educational attainment for adults without disabilities, by age groups,
by sex, Canada, 2001 (1)
Aged 15 to 64
Total (2)
Total
%
17,889,850
Men
%
8,900,690
Women
%
8,989,160
Less than high school
4,517,530
25.3%
2,366,640
26.6%
2,150,890
23.9%
High school (3)
4,800,570
26.8%
2,274,300
25.6%
2,526,260
28.1%
Trades certificate or diploma
1,971,840
11.0%
1,233,200
13.9%
738,640
8.2%
College (4)
2,958,180
16.5%
1,239,840
13.9%
1,718,340
19.1%
University
3,641,430
20.4%
1,786,480
20.1%
1,854,950
20.6%
Total PSE
8,571,450
47.9%
4,259,520
47.9%
4,311,930
48.0%
Aged 15 to 24
Total (2)
Total
%
3,732,670
Men
%
1,905,520
Women
%
1,827,140
Less than high school
1,575,470
42.2%
851,330
44.7%
724,150
39.6%
High school
1,355,360
36.3%
691,210
36.3%
664,140
36.3%
Trades certificate or diploma
172,290
4.6%
98,220
5.2%
74,070
4.1%
College
(4)
373,760
10.0%
163,060
8.6%
210,700
11.5%
University
255,680
6.8%
101,670
5.3%
154,000
8.4%
Men
%
(3)
Aged 25 to 54
Total (2)
Total
%
11,961,090
5,907,720
Women
%
6,053,370
Less than high school
2,178,260
18.2%
1,154,830
19.5%
1,023,430
16.9%
High school (3)
2,981,270
24.9%
1,393,230
23.6%
1,588,040
26.2%
Trades certificate or diploma
1,535,150
12.8%
959,580
16.2%
575,570
9.5%
College
(4)
2,299,670
19.2%
958,250
16.2%
1,341,420
22.2%
University
2,966,530
24.8%
1,441,620
24.4%
1,524,910
25.2%
90
Aged 55 to 64
Total (2)
Total
%
2,196,100
Men
%
1,087,450
Women
%
1,108,650
Less than high school
763,790
34.8%
360,480
33.1%
403,310
36.4%
High school
463,940
21.1%
189,860
17.5%
274,080
24.7%
Trades certificate or diploma
264,400
12.0%
175,400
16.1%
89,000
8.0%
College
(4)
284,750
13.0%
118,520
10.9%
166,220
15.0%
University
419,220
19.1%
243,180
22.4%
176,030
15.9%
(3)
Source: Statistics Canada. Participation and Activity Limitation Survey, 2001.
Notes:
(1) The population excludes persons living in institutions, on Indian reserves, and in the Yukon, Northwest Territories and Nunavut.
(2) The sum of the values for each category may differ from the total due to rounding.
(3) Includes persons who have attended courses at postsecondary institutions and who may or may not have a high school graduation
certificate. Excludes persons with a postsecondary certificate, diploma or degree. Examples of postsecondary institutions include
community colleges, institutes of technology, CEGEPs, private trade schools, private business colleges and schools of nursing.
(4) This sector includes non-degree-granting institutions such as community colleges, CEGEPs, private business colleges and technical
institutes.
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Advancing the Inclusion of People with Disabilities (2006)
A3. Labour Market
A3.1 Labour force activity by disability status, by age groups, by sex, Canada, 2001
(excludes full-time students)
All (Men and
Women)
Total 15-64
Total
adults
12,764,420
74.5%
765,510
41.8%
11,998,900
78.4%
Unemployed
1,249,810
7.3%
468,120
25.5%
781,690
5.1%
3,048,200
17.8%
525,830
28.7%
2,522,380
16.5%
73,110
0.4%
72,790
4.0%
0
0.0%
Total
1,661,670
Employed
1,186,150
71.4%
33,220
49.6%
1,152,930
72.3%
164,910
9.9%
19,910
29.7%
145,000
9.1%
306,940
18.5%
10,320
15.4%
296,630
18.6%
3,670
0.2%
3,560
5.3%
0
0.0%
67,010
1,594,660
Total
12,677,460
Employed
10,192,120
80.4%
575,190
49.7%
9,616,940
83.5%
882,270
7.0%
312,920
27.1%
569,350
4.9%
1,562,940
12.3%
228,610
19.8%
1,334,330
11.6%
40,130
0.3%
39,920
3.5%
0
0.0%
Unemployed
Not in labour
force
Not
specified
1,156,630
11,520,830
Total
2,796,410
Employed
1,386,150
49.6%
157,110
25.8%
1,229,040
56.2%
202,630
7.2%
135,290
22.2%
67,340
3.1%
1,178,320
42.1%
286,900
47.1%
891,420
40.7%
29,310
1.0%
29,310
4.8%
Unemployed
Not in labour
force
Not
specified
92
15,303,290
Employed
Not in labour
force
Not
specified
55-64
1,832,250
17,135,540
Unemployed
25-54
Adults
without
disabilities
Total
Not in labour
force
Not
specified
15-24
Adults with
disabilities
608,610
2,187,800
X
X
Total
adults
Men
Total 15-64
7,635,460
Employed
6,808,970
80.2%
389,840
45.6%
6,419,140
84.1%
646,750
7.6%
202,230
23.7%
444,520
5.8%
1,003,280
11.8%
231,720
27.1%
771,560
10.1%
30,730
0.4%
30,490
3.6%
0
0.0%
Total
884,480
Employed
641,910
72.6%
14,930
44.8%
626,980
73.7%
Unemployed
101,350
11.5%
10,530
31.6%
90,820
10.7%
139,290
15.7%
5,990
18.0%
133,310
15.7%
1,920
0.2%
1,900
5.7%
0
0.0%
Not in labour
force
Not
specified
33,340
851,130
Total
6,232,330
Employed
5,352,560
85.9%
284,730
53.6%
5,067,830
88.9%
440,560
7.1%
133,210
25.1%
307,350
5.4%
423,030
6.8%
96,900
18.3%
326,130
5.7%
16,170
0.3%
15,960
3.0%
0
0.0%
Unemployed
Not in labour
force
Not
specified
55-64
854,270
8,489,730
Not in labour
force
Not
specified
25-54
Adults
without
disabilities
Total
Unemployed
15-24
Adults with
disabilities
Total
530,810
1,372,930
5,701,520
290,120
1,082,810
Employed
814,510
59.3%
90,170
31.1%
724,330
66.9%
Unemployed
104,830
7.6%
58,490
20.2%
46,350
4.3%
440,960
32.1%
128,830
44.4%
312,130
28.8%
12,640
0.9%
12,640
4.4%
Not in labour
force
Not
specified
X
X
Source: Statistics Canada. Participation and Activity Limitation Survey, 2001.
Note:
X: Suppressed to meet the confidentiality requirements of the Statistics Act.
93
Advancing the Inclusion of People with Disabilities (2006)
Total
adults
Women
Total 15-64
7,667,830
Employed
5,955,440
68.9 %
375,680
38.4 %
5 579,770
72.8 %
603,060
7,0 %
265,890
27.2 %
337,170
4.4 %
2,044,920
23.7 %
294,110
30.1 %
1,750,810
22.8 %
42,380
0.5 %
42,300
4.3 %
0
0.0%
Total
777,190
Employed
544,240
70.0 %
18,290
54.3 %
525,950
70.7 %
Unemployed
63,560
8.2 %
9,380
27.9 %
54,170
7.3 %
167,650
21.6 %
4,330
12.9 %
163,320
22.0 %
1,750
0.2 %
1,660
4.9 %
0
0.0 %
Not in labour
force
Not
specified
33,670
6,445,140
Employed
4,839,560
75.1 %
290,460
46.4 %
4,549,110
78.2 %
441,710
6.9 %
179,710
28.7 %
262,000
4.5 %
1,139,900
17.7 %
131,700
21.0 %
1,008,200
17.3 %
23,960
0.4 %
23,960
3.8 %
Not in labour
force
Not
specified
Total
625,830
1,423,480
5,819,310
318,490
X
X
1,104,990
Employed
571,640
40.2 %
66,940
21.0 %
504,710
45.7 %
Unemployed
97,800
6.9 %
76,800
24.1 %
20,990
1.9 %
737,370
51.8 %
158,080
49.6 %
579,290
52.4 %
16,670
1.2 %
16,670
5.2 %
Not in labour
force
Not
specified
Source: Statistics Canada. Participation and Activity Limitation Survey, 2001.
Note:
X: Suppressed to meet the confidentiality requirements of the Statistics Act.
94
743,530
Total
Unemployed
55-64
977,980
8,645,810
Not in labour
force
Not
specified
25-54
Adults
without
disabilities
Total
Unemployed
15-24
Adults with
disabilities
X
X
Advancing the Inclusion of People with Disabilities (2006)
A4. Income
A4.1 Average(1) and median(2) household Income by disability status, by age groups,
by sex, Canada, 2001
All (Men and
Women)
Total adults
15-64
15-24
25-54
55-64
65 and over
Average
$67,027
Adults with
disabilities
$50,330
Median
$55,949
$37,932
$59,189
Average
$70,612
$53,000
$72,548
Median
$60,468
$44,334
$62,082
Average
$72,751
$63,815
$73,111
Median
$62,437
$51,068
$62,872
Average
$71,109
$52,835
$72,951
Median
$61,623
$45,000
$63,113
Average
$65,322
$50,656
$69,393
Median
$51,561
$40,480
$54,600
Average
$47,165
$46,708
$47,475
Median
$33,383
$31,218
$35,098
Total population
Men
Total adults
15-64
15-24
25-54
55-64
65 and over
Total population
Adults with
disabilities
Adults without
disabilities
$69,874
Adults without
disabilities
Average
$68,897
$50,770
$71,696
Median
$58,437
$40,408
$60,980
Average
$71,862
$53,088
$73,800
Median
$62,000
$45,940
$63,532
Average
$74,306
$67,773
$74,561
Median
$64,317
$55,666
$64,529
Average
$71,572
$52,446
$73,367
Median
$62,398
$45,830
$63,971
Average
$69,712
$50,552
$74,821
Median
$56,600
$44,604
$59,902
Average
$50,390
$47,250
$52,353
Median
$37,597
$34,306
$39,153
95
Advancing the Inclusion of People with Disabilities (2006)
Women
Total adults
15-64
15-24
25-54
55-64
65 and over
Total population
Adults with
disabilities
Average
$65,259
$49,976
$68,103
Median
$53,418
$35,984
$57,000
Average
$69,389
$52,923
$71,307
Median
$58,926
$42,934
$60,698
Average
$71,134
$59,955
$71,600
Median
$60,402
$48,000
$60,811
Average
$70,663
$53,166
$72,544
Median
$60,936
$44,294
$62,521
Average
$61,088
$50,751
$64,069
Median
$47,340
$37,962
$50,000
Average
$44,642
$46,318
$43,431
Median
$30,207
$28,310
$31,312
Source: Statistics Canada. Participation and Activity Limitation Survey, 2001.
Notes:
(1) Arithmetic average of all household incomes.
(2) The value found in the middle of a group of values that have been ranked from lowest to highest.
96
Adults without
disabilities
Advancing the Inclusion of People with Disabilities (2006)
A4.2 Average(1) and median(2) individual earnings by disabilities status, by age groups,
by sex, Canada, 2001
Total
population
Adults with
disabilities
Adults
without
disabilities
Average
$31,731
$26,760
$32,085
Median
$25,082
$21,657
$25,992
Average
$10,169
$9,082
$10,203
Median
$6,700
$6,200
$6,715
Average
$36,317
$28,804
$36,837
Median
$30,000
$25,000
$30,597
Average
$36,509
$26,672
$38,128
Median
$27,230
$20,000
$28,500
Average
$38,267
$32,385
$38,677
Median
$31,041
$28,157
$31,500
Average
$11,373
$9,381
$11,431
Median
$7,314
$6,000
$7,400
Average
$43,715
$34,536
$44,312
Median
$38,000
$31,000
$38,000
Average
$45,086
$33,475
$47,081
Median
$34,412
$27,230
$35,000
Average
$24,507
$20,821
$24,776
Median
$20,000
$15,500
$20,000
Average
$8,884
$8,806
$8,886
Median
$6,000
$6,500
$6,000
Average
$28,326
$23,302
$28,697
Median
$25,000
$19,136
$25,000
Average
$24,695
$16,406
$25,977
Median
$20,000
$13,000
$21,220
Canada
All (Men and
Women)
Total Aged 15
and over
15-24
25-54
55-64
Men
Total Aged 15
and over
15-24
25-54
55-64
Women
Total Aged 15
and over
15-24
25-54
55-64
Source: Statistics Canada. Participation and Activity Limitation Survey, 2001.
Notes:
(1) Arithmetic average of all household incomes.
(2) The value found in the middle of a group of values that have been ranked from lowest to highest.
97
Advancing the Inclusion of People with Disabilities (2006)
A5. Assistive aids and devices and help with daily activities
A5.1 Use of and need for assistive aids and devices for adults with disabilities, by age groups,
by sex, Canada, 2001 (1)
Total men
and women (2)
%
Men
%
Women
%
Total Aged 15 and over
Total
Use aids, but need
more
Don’t use, but need
some
Have all aids and
devices needed
1,604,610
709,020
895,590
459,930
28.7%
198,180
28.0%
261,750
29.2%
164,600
10.3%
74,170
10.5%
90,430
10.1%
980,080
61.1%
436,660
61.6%
543,420
60.7%
Aged 15 to 64
Total
Use aids, but need
more
Don’t use, but need
some
Have all aids and
devices needed
836,460
387,200
449,260
277,410
33.2%
125,850
32.5%
151,560
33.7%
110,440
13.2%
52,100
13.5%
58,350
13.0%
448,610
53.6%
209,260
54.0%
239,350
53.3%
Aged 65 and over
Total
Use aids, but need
more
Don’t use, but need
some
Have all aids and
devices needed
768,150
321,810
182,520
23.8%
72,340
22.5%
110,180
24.7%
54,150
7.0%
22,070
6.9%
32,080
7.2%
531,470
69.2%
227,400
70.7%
304,070
68.1%
Source: Statistics Canada. Participation and Activity Limitation Survey, 2001.
Notes:
(1) The Canada total excludes the Yukon, Northwest Territories and Nunavut.
(2) The sum of the values for each category may differ from the total due to rounding.
98
446,330
Advancing the Inclusion of People with Disabilities (2006)
A5.2 Use of and need for help with everyday activities for adults with disabilities, by age groups,
by sex, Canada, 2001 (1)
Total men
and women (2)
%
Men
%
Women
%
Total Aged 15 and over
Total
Receive help, but
need more
Don’t receive help,
but need some
Receive all the help
needed
2,176,530
814,630
1,361,900
640,280
29.4%
224,410
27.5%
415,870
30.5%
125,620
5.8%
49,390
6.1%
76,220
5.6%
1,410,630
64.8%
540,830
66.4%
869,800
63.9%
Aged 15 to 64
Total
Receive help, but
need more
Don’t receive help,
but need some
Receive all the help
needed
1,198,440
465,170
733,260
355,150
29.6%
128,160
27.6%
226,980
31.0%
90,630
7.6%
34,380
7.4%
56,250
7.7%
752,660
62.8%
302,630
65.1%
450,030
61.4%
Aged 65 and over
Total
Receive help, but
need more
Don’t receive help,
but need some
Receive all the help
needed
978,090
349,460
628,630
285,140
29.2%
96,250
27.5%
188,890
30.0%
34,990
3.6%
15,020E
4.3%
19,970
3.2%
657,970
67.3%
238,190
68.2%
419,770
66.8%
Source: Statistics Canada. Participation and Activity Limitation Survey, 2001.
Notes:
(1) The Canada total excludes the Yukon, Northwest Territories and Nunavut.
(2) The sum of the values for each category may differ from the total due to rounding.
E: Use with caution.
99
Advancing the Inclusion of People with Disabilities (2006)
A6. Transportation
A6.1 Long distance travel by car for adults with disabilities, by age groups, by sex, Canada, 2001
(1)
Total Men and
Women (2)
%
Men
%
Women
%
Total Aged 15 and over
Total adults with disabilities
Total adults with disabilities who
travelled long distance only by
car
Travelled by car, but was a
problem because of condition
Travelled and not a problem
because of condition
Other (3)
3,420,340
1,526,900
1,893,440
1,216,320
35.6%
582,370
38.1%
633,950
33.5%
387,240
11.3%
166,860
10.9%
220,390
11.6%
829,070
24.2%
415,510
27.2%
413,560
21.8%
2,204,020
64.4%
944,530
61.9%
1,259,490
66.5%
Aged 15 to 64
Total adults with disabilities
Total adults with disabilities who
travelled long distance only by
car
Travelled by car, but was a
problem because of condition
Travelled and not a problem
because of condition
Other (3)
1,968,490
921,020
1,047,470
777,560
39.5%
377,160
41.0%
400,410
38.2%
283,790
14.4%
124,540
13.5%
159,250
15.2%
493,770
25.1%
252,620
27.4%
241,150
23.0%
1,190,930
60.5%
543,870
59.1%
647,060
61.8%
Aged 65 and over
Total adults with disabilities
Total adults with disabilities who
travelled long distance only by
car
Travelled by car, but was a
problem because of condition
Travelled and not a problem
because of condition
Other (3)
1,451,840
605,880
845,970
438,750
30.2%
205,210
33.9%
233,540
27.6%
103,450
7.1%
42,320
7.0%
61,130
7.2%
335,300
23.1%
162,890
26.9%
172,410
20.4%
1,013,090
69.8%
400,670
66.1%
612,420
72.4%
Source: Statistics Canada. Participation and Activity Limitation Survey, 2001.
Notes:
(1) The Canada total excludes the Yukon, Northwest Territories and Nunavut.
(2) The sum of the values for each category may differ from the total due to rounding.
(3) Other includes adults with disabilities who did not travel long distance exclusively by car, and those who did not provide a response to
one or more of the long distance travel questions.
100
Advancing the Inclusion of People with Disabilities (2006)
A7. Children with disabilities and their families
A7.1 Children with disabilities, by age groups, by sex, Canada, 2001 (1)
Total (2)
% of Total
Population
Males
%of Total
Population
Females
180,930
3.3%
113,220
4.0%
67,710
2.5%
0-4
26,210
1.6%
16,030
1.9%
10,180
1.3%
5-14
154,720
4.0%
97,180
4.9%
57,530
3.0%
Age Groups
Total Aged 0 to
14
% of Total
Population
Source: Statistics Canada. Participation and Activity Limitation Survey, 2001.
Notes:
(1) The Canada total excludes the Yukon, Northwest Territories and Nunavut.
(2) The sum of the values for each category may differ from the total due to rounding.
A7.2 Help with everyday activities received by children with disabilities by severity of disability,
Canada, 2001 (1)
Severity of disability
Total (2)
Total children with disabilities
aged
5 to 14
Children receiving help with
everyday activities (3)
Received help because of child’s
condition:
Yes, help received due to
condition
No, help not received due to
condition
Not specified whether help
received or not due to condition (4)
%
154,720
Mild to
moderate
Severe
to very
severe
%
88,690
%
66,030
39,160
25.3%
7,640
8.6%
31,520
47.7%
34,920
22.6%
5,270
5.9%
29,660
44.9%
3450 E
2.2%
2010 E
2.3%
1440 E
2.2%
780 E
0.5%
X
X
420 E
0.6%
Source: Statistics Canada. Participation and Activity Limitation Survey, 2001.
Notes:
(1) The population excludes persons living in institutions, on Indian reserves, and in the Yukon, Northwest Territories and Nunavut.
(2) The sum of the values of each category may differ from the total due to rounding.
(3) “Help with everyday activities” refers to the help the child receives with personal care (i.e. bathing, dressing or feeding) and moving
about within the home.
(4) Respondents either did not provide an answer, refused to answer, or did not know the answer to one or more of the questions related
to the help with everyday activities.
E: Use with caution.
X: Suppressed to meet the confidentiality requirements of the Statistics Act.
101
Advancing the Inclusion of People with Disabilities (2006)
A7.3 Household income of children, by disability status, by age groups, Canada, 2001 (1)
Total
population
5,546,010
Total Aged 0 to 14
Total households (2)
%
Disabled
Nondisabled
5,365,090
%
180,930
%
656,300
11.8%
25,450
14.1%
630,860
11.8%
$20,000 - $59,999
2,174,710
39.2%
78,040
43.1%
2,096,660
39.1%
$60,000 - more
2,713,950
48.9%
76,400
42.2%
2,637,550
49.2%
920 E
…
920 E
…
920 E
…
Less than $5,000 - $1
9,999 (3)
Not specified
Total
population
Aged 0 to 4
Total households (2)
Less than $5,000 - $1
%
Disabled
1,641,680
Nondisabled
%
26,210
%
1,615,480
226,320
13.8%
3,750
14.3%
222,570
13.8%
$20,000 - $59,999
662,650
40.4%
12,500
47.7%
650,150
40.2%
$60,000 - more
752,570
45.8%
9,820
37.5%
742,750
46.0%
X
X
X
X
X
X
9,999 (3)
Not specified
Total
population
Aged 5 to 14
Total households (2)
Less than $5,000 - $1
%
Disabled
3,904,330
Nondisabled
%
154,720
%
3,749,610
429,980
11.0%
21,700
14.0%
408,290
10.9%
$20,000 - $59,999
1,512,060
38.7%
65,540
42.4%
1,446,510
38.6%
$60,000 - more
1,961,380
50.2%
66,580
43.0%
1,894,800
50.5%
920 E
…
920 E
…
…
…
Not specified
9,999 (3)
Notes:
E: Use with caution.
X: represents the data suppressed to meet the confidentiality requirements of the Statistics Act.
Symbol “…” represents “Not applicable”.
102
Advancing the Inclusion of People with Disabilities (2006)
A7.4 Average and Median Household income of children, by disability status, by age groups,
Canada, 2001 (1)
People with
People without
All
Disabilities
Disabilities
Aged 0 to 4
Average household income
$65,956
$54,660
$66,138
Median household income
$55,937
$49,180
$56,082
Average household income
$69,993
$60,607
$70,348
Median household income
$58,901
$50,288
$59,237
Average household income
$73,393
$65,658
$73,734
Median household income
$61,245
$55,685
$61,430
Aged 5 to 9
Aged 10 to 14
Source: Statistics Canada. Participation and Activity Limitation Survey, 2001.
Notes:
(1) The population excludes persons living in institutions, on Indian reserves, and in the Yukon, Northwest Territories and Nunavut.
(2) Refers to total households of children with disabilities.
(3) Less than $5,000: Includes no income or loss.
The sum of the values for each category may differ from the total due to rounding.
103
Advancing the Inclusion of People with Disabilities (2006)
APPENDIX B – Government of Canada –
Principal Disability-Related Benefits and Programs 2005-2006*
AMOUNT
($millions/year
2005-2006)
PROGRAM / INITIATIVE
Accessibility and Disability Supports
CTA programs
CMHC programs (RRAP-D, RRAP-Secondary/Garden Suite, HASI)
2.1
1
40.4
Funding for Special Olympics and Deaflympics sports (Canadian Heritage)
0.9
Paralympics sports funding (Canadian Heritage)
9.8
Sport participation funding (Canadian Heritage)
0.3
Sport Canada’s Grants and Contributions (Canadian Heritage)
Social Development Partnerships Program – Disability (HRSDC)
Subtotal
130.0
13.6
197.1
Learning, Skills, and Employment
Canada Study Grant for the Accommodation of Students with Permanent
Disabilities (HRSDC) 2
Canada Access Grant for Students with Permanent Disabilities (HRSDC) 3
Data not available
18.1
National Literacy Program (HRSDC)
0.9
Office of Learning Technologies Program (HRSDC)
1.6
Special Education Program (INAC)
106.0
Labour Market Agreements for Persons with Disabilities (HRSDC)
219.9
Opportunities Fund (HRSDC)
23.6
Entrepreneurs with Disabilities Program (WD)
0.8
Aboriginal Human Resources Development Strategy – Disability component
(HRSDC)
3.0
Subtotal
373.9
Health and Well-being
Population Health Fund and other health-related grants and contributions
5.8
Active Living Alliance for Canadians with a Disability (PHAC)
0.6
FAS/FAE Initiative (HC)
1.2
Canadian Hospitals Injury Reporting and Prevention Program (PHAC)
0.7
Federal Initiative to Address HIV/AIDS in Canada (PHAC)
55.2
Veterans Independence Program (VAC)
273.6
Veterans treatment benefits program (VAC) 4
293.2
War Veterans Allowance (VAC)
104
20.6
Advancing the Inclusion of People with Disabilities (2006)
Veterans Affairs Canada Mental Health Initiative (VAC)
Subtotal
0.2
651.1
Income Support Benefits
Canada Pension Plan Disability (CPP-D) (HRSDC)
Canada Pension Plan Disability, vocational rehabilitation program (HRSDC)
3,300.0
2.8
Federal workers compensation benefits (HRSDC) 5
155.1
Employment Insurance sickness benefits (HRSDC) 6
813.2
Assisted Living Program (INAC)
682.3
Child Disability Benefit (FC and CRA) 7
90.0
Veterans Disability Pension Programs (VAC)
1,656.0
Subtotal
6,699.4
Total Program Expenditures
7,921.5
Tax Measures (FC and CRA) 8
Disability Tax Credit (including supplement for children)
440.0
Medical Expense Tax Credit 9
825.0
Caregiver Credit
81.0
Infirm Dependant Credit
6.0
Disability Supports Deduction
Refundable Medical Expense Supplement
8.0
9
100.0
Total Tax Measures
1,460.0
TOTAL
9,381.5
* Please note that the figures in this table are based on departmental estimates. Note also that a number of programs that benefit people
with disabilities indirectly are not included in the 2005-06 expenditures. For example, the New Horizons for Seniors Program, within
HRSDC, provided about $10.8 million in 2005-06, Non-Insured Health Benefits Program (Health Canada), provided $817.9 million, and
First Nations and Inuit Home and Community Care Program also in Health Canada, provided about $90.0 million.
(1) RRAP-D and RRAP-Secondary/Garden Suite HASI commitment amounts are for the 2005 calendar year.
(2) Since August 1, 2005, this grant replaced the Canada Study Grant for Students with Permanent Disabilities. New program data are
not completed.
(3) Since August 1, 2005, this grant replaced the Canada Study Grant for High Need Students with Permanent Disabilities.
(4) While most clients of the Veterans Treatment Benefits Program are people with disabilities, the program provides general
health-related benefits not necessarily related to disability.
(5) This benefit is administered under the Government Employees Compensation Act. The $155.1 million includes:
a) Compensation Benefits (includes wage replacement, medical, pension and other benefits): $107.7 Million;
b) Workers Compensation Boards Administration costs (includes adjudication, monitoring of files, return to work, etc.):
$26.4 Million; and
c) Injury on-duty leave (paid by departments and Crown corporations covered under GECA): $21 Million (The estimated
$21 million is the portion equivalent to what was awarded by the WCBs).
(6) EI Sickness amount is for 2004-05 as expenditures for 2005-06 are not yet available.
(7) Department of Finance estimate.
(8) Tax expenditure amounts are estimates for the 2006 tax years rather than fiscal years 2005-06.Source: Department of Finance,
Tax Expenditures and Evaluations, 2006.
(9) The tax expenditures for the medical expense tax credit and the refundable medical expense supplement include the tax relief offered
to all taxpayers.
105
Advancing the Inclusion of People with Disabilities (2006)
APPENDIX C – Further examples of supporting employees with
disabilities within the federal public service
Supporting employees at Service Canada
The Adaptive Computer Technology (ACT) Centre provides information, tools, and equipment
to Service Canada employees with disabilities to help them create more accessible and effective
work stations and spaces. In 2005-06, the ACT Centre processed 464 client service requests, 121
information requests, and took part in 17 promotional events. The Centre also offers guidance and
advice on various adaptive technologies that can be used to create documents, web pages, and
programs to ensure increased accessibility for people with disabilities. Solutions are targeted to
individual employees’ needs. Service Canada is striving to be a world leader in providing accessible
government services. To reach this objective, the ACT Centre will take on an expanded mandate: to
provide accessible services through Service Canada for people with disabilities.
In keeping with the Employment Equity Act and its Regulations to create an equitable workplace,
Service Canada established an Employment Equity and Diversity Union Management Consultative
Committee in December 2005. This committee provides a national forum for meaningful consultation
on employment equity and diversity issues.
Internal initiatives provided to people with disabilities at the Canadian Radiotelevision and Telecommunications Commission
As of June 2006, 35 of the CRTC’s approximately 420 employees have self-identified as having
a disability. The CRTC has implemented various job accommodations.
The Commission has an active Diversity and Equity Committee. Its mandate is to create a
welcoming environment and an accessible career path, to undertake measures to correct historic
employment disadvantages for designated employment equity groups (women, aboriginal peoples,
people with disabilities, and members of visible minorities), and to promote their employment within
the work force. The Committee has carried out several initiatives this year related directly to people
with disabilities.
Steering Committee for Employees with Intellectual Disabilities
For the past 15 years, the CRTC has been offering an employment program for people with
intellectual disabilities. The program currently employs five people, and the goal is to ensure that
they continue to have a fulfilling and inclusive work experience.
Information Sessions
Throughout the year, the Diversity and Equity Committee presents information sessions on topics
of interest to the four designated groups. Two of this year’s sessions related to disability issues.
106
Advancing the Inclusion of People with Disabilities (2006)
APPENDIX D – Abbreviations used in this report
ADIO
Assistive Devices Industry Office
ACPD
Advisory Committee of Persons with Disabilities
ACT
Adaptive Computer Technology
AMD
Age-related macular degeneration
CAB
Canadian Association of Broadcasters
CAT
Computer Adapted Technology
CIDA
Canadian International Development Agency
CNIB
Canadian National Institute for the Blind
CRA
Canada Revenue Agency
CRTC
Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission
CSLP
Canada Student Loans Program
CHIRPP
Canadian Hospitals Injury Reporting and Prevention Program
CHRC
Canadian Human Rights Commission
CMHC
Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation
CNIB
Canadian National Institute for the Blind
CPP
Canada Pension Plan
CPPD
Canada Pension Plan – Disability component
CRA
Canada Revenue Agency
CTA
Canadian Transportation Agency
DTC
Disability Tax Credit
EDP
Entrepreneurs with Disabilities Program
EI
Employment Insurance
FAS/FAE
Fetal Alcohol Syndrome/Fetal Alcohol Effects
FC
Finance Canada
FNIHB
First Nations and Inuit Health Branch
HASI
Home Adaptations for Seniors Independence Program
HC
Health Canada
HIV/AIDS
Human Immunodeficiency Virus / Acquired Immuno-Deficiency Syndrome
HRSDC
Human Resources and Social Development Canada
107
Advancing the Inclusion of People with Disabilities (2006)
ICF
International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health
INAC
Indian and Northern Affairs Canada
LAC
Library and Archives Canada
LMAPD
Labour Market Agreements for Persons with Disabilities
NRCan
Natural Resources Canada
PALS
Participation and Activity Limitation Survey
PHAC
Public Health Agency of Canada
PSC
Public Service Commission of Canada
PSHCP
Public Service Health Care Plan
RCMP
Royal Canadian Mounted Police
RRAP-D
Residential Rehabilitation Assistance Program for Persons with Disabilities
SAP
Secondary Audio Program
SDPP
Social Development Partnerships Program
SDPP-D
Social Development Partnerships Program’s disability component
SEP
Shelter Enhancement Program
SLID
Survey of Labour and Income Dynamics
TAC
Technology Accessibility Centre
TDD
Telecommunications Device for the Deaf
TTY
Teletypewriter
UN
United Nations
VAC
Veterans Affairs Canada
VIP
Veterans Independence Program
WD
Western Economic Diversification Canada
WHO
World Health Organization
108
Advancing the Inclusion of People with Disabilities (2006)
APPENDIX E – Contributing Departments and Agencies
The departments and agencies listed below contributed information to this report and assisted
with reviews and comments. Their participation is gratefully acknowledged.
Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation
Canada Revenue Agency
Canadian Heritage
Canadian Human Rights Commission
Canadian International Development Agency
Canadian Radio-Television and Telecommunications Commission
Canadian Transportation Agency
Correctional Service Canada
Elections Canada
Environment Canada
Finance Canada
Health Canada and the Public Health Agency of Canada
Human Resources and Social Development Canada
Indian and Northern Affairs Canada
Industry Canada
National Council of Federal Employees with Disabilities
National Library and Archives Canada
Natural Resources Canada
Public Service Commission of Canada
Service Canada
Status of Women Canada
Transport Canada
Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat
Veterans Affairs Canada
Western Economic Diversification Canada
109
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