Advancing the Inclusion of People with Disabilities 2008 Federal Disability Report

Advancing the Inclusion of People with Disabilities 2008 Federal Disability Report
People • Partnerships • Knowledge
2008 Federal Disability Report
Advancing the Inclusion
of People with Disabilities
ISSD-001-12-08 E
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Federal Disability Report • 2008
Message from the Minister
The Government of Canada is committed to helping make
Canada a truly accessible society for all Canadians.
Advancing the Inclusion of People with Disabilities 2008 is the
sixth annual federal disability report highlighting the Government
of Canada’s disability-related programs, initiatives and services
undertaken by over 30 departments and agencies. This year’s
report includes a new chapter on disability-related research
and also highlights statistics on the progress of Canadians with
disabilities from the 2006 Participation and Activity Limitation
Survey, which were released throughout the year.
In the past year, the federal government introduced several new initiatives and
programs to assist Canadians with disabilities. For example, the Enabling Accessibility
Fund will provide $45 million over three years for construction and renovation
projects needed to improve accessibility for people with disabilities. The Registered
Disability Savings Plan, a new initiative announced in Budget 2007, will help eligible
individuals and others save for long-term financial security, as of December 2008. The
government also provided $110 million to the Mental Health Commission of Canada to
support innovative demonstration projects to develop best practices to help
Canadians with disabilities who are experiencing mental health and homelessness
challenges. In addition, funds were allocated to expand the list of eligible expenses
under the Medical Expense Tax Credit.
Internationally, the Government of Canada has taken a leadership role by being one
of the first countries to sign the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons
with Disabilities. The Convention reaffirms that all people with disabilities must enjoy
all and equal human rights and fundamental freedoms. In accordance with Canada’s
regular practice with respect to the question of ratifying international treaties, federal,
provincial and territorial officials are engaged in a review of domestic laws, policies
and programs towards a decision on whether to ratify the Convention.
As a government, we continue to work with our provincial and territorial partners to
ensure that all barriers are removed for Canadians, with or without disabilities. Our
combined efforts make it possible for everyone to participate fully in society.
The Honourable Diane Finley, P.C., M.P.
Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development
Federal Disability Report • 2008
Contributing Departments and Agencies
The departments and agencies in the following list 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 Institute for Health Information
Canadian Institutes of Health Research
Canadian International Development Agency
Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission
Canadian Transportation Agency
Elections Canada
Finance Canada
Health Canada
Indian and Northern Affairs Canada
Human Resources and Skills Development Canada
Industry Canada
Justice Canada
Library and Archives Canada
National Council of Federal Employees with Disabilities
Public Health Agency Canada
Public Safety
Public Service Commission
Service Canada
Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council
Statistics Canada
Status of Women Canada
Transport Canada
Veterans Affairs Canada
Western Economic Diversification Canada
Advancing the Inclusion of People with Disabilities
Federal Disability Report • 2008
Table Of Contents
Introduction............................................................................ 1
An overview of disabilities in Canada.......................................................................2
Summary overview of chapters................................................................................4
Chapter 1: Human Rights, the Justice System
and Canada’s International Leadership.............................. 7
1. Protecting the Rights of People with Disabilities..................................................7
A. Justice System.................................................................................................8
2. Educational and Promotional Activities..............................................................10
3. Canada on the International Stage.....................................................................10
A. United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities..........10
B. 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games...............................................12
C. Development Assistance................................................................................13
Chapter 2: Accessibility and Disability Supports............. 17
1. National Transportation.......................................................................................18
A. Development and Administration of Policies, Regulations and Services...... 18
B. D
ispute Resolution, Standards Development,
Monitoring and Educational and Outreach Activities.....................................19
2. Housing...............................................................................................................26
A. Accessible Housing........................................................................................26
3. Communications and Culture.............................................................................32
A. Radio-television and Telecommunications.....................................................32
B. Cultural Initiatives...........................................................................................38
C. Library System...............................................................................................39
D. Sport...............................................................................................................41
4. Breaking Barriers to Participation in the Community..........................................43
A. Enabling Accessibility Fund............................................................................43
B. Social Development Partnerships Program...................................................43
C. New Horizons for Seniors Program................................................................45
D. Elections.........................................................................................................45
5. Disability Supports..............................................................................................47
A. Assistive Devices........................................................................................... 47
Advancing the Inclusion of People with Disabilities
Federal Disability Report • 2008
Chapter 3: Income Support, Benefits
and Service Delivery............................................................ 49
1. Canada Pension Plan Disability..........................................................................49
A. International Seminar on Disability Income Policy.........................................50
2. Employment Insurance Sickness Benefits..........................................................50
3. Service Delivery..................................................................................................51
A. Ensuring Accessibility.....................................................................................52
B. Easier Access by Simplifying and Bundling Services....................................53
C. Building a World-class Government Service that is a
Best Practice in Serving People with Disabilities...........................................54
Chapter 4: Learning, Skills and Employment.................... 61
1. Learning and Skills..............................................................................................62
A. Canada Student Loans Program....................................................................62
2. Employment........................................................................................................65
A. Labour Market Agreements for Persons with Disabilities..............................65
B. The Opportunities Fund for Persons with Disabilities....................................67
C. Western Economic Diversification..................................................................69
D. Public Service Employment...........................................................................71
Chapter 5: Well-Being: Health, Safety and Identity.......... 75
1. Health..................................................................................................................76
A. Maintaining and Improving Health..................................................................76
B. Preventing and Responding to Health Emergencies......................................77
C. Public Health Measures.................................................................................78
2. Public Safety.......................................................................................................80
3. Veterans..............................................................................................................81
4. Seniors................................................................................................................87
5. Women................................................................................................................89
A. Promoting Full Participation of Women..........................................................89
Chapter 6: Aboriginal People with Disabilities................. 91
1. Disability Supports..............................................................................................91
A. Assisted Living Program.................................................................................91
2. Income Supports................................................................................................93
A. Income Assistance program...........................................................................93
3. Learning and Skills..............................................................................................94
A. Special Education Program............................................................................94
4. Aboriginal Labour Market Programs...................................................................95
A. Aboriginal Human Resources Development Strategy....................................96
B. Evaluations of the AHRDS..............................................................................97
C. Aboriginal Skills and Employment Partnership Program...............................97
5. Health..................................................................................................................98
A. First Nations and Inuit Health.........................................................................98
Advancing the Inclusion of People with Disabilities
Federal Disability Report • 2008
Chapter 7: Research......................................................... 103
1. National Surveys...............................................................................................104
A. The Participation and Activity Limitation Survey..........................................104
B. Canadian Community Health Survey...........................................................106
C. Other Surveys and Initiatives.......................................................................106
2. Other Research.................................................................................................110
A. Health Research...........................................................................................110
B. Humanities and Social Sciences..................................................................111
Chapter 8: Tax Measures.................................................. 115
1. General..............................................................................................................115
A. Personal Income Tax....................................................................................115
B. Corporate Income Tax..................................................................................119
C. Sales Tax......................................................................................................120
D. Charitable and Non-profit Organizations.....................................................120
2. Developments in 2008......................................................................................121
A. Medical Expense Tax Credit.........................................................................121
B. Expanded GST Relief...................................................................................121
C. Tax-assisted Savings Vehicles.....................................................................122
3. Surveys and Service Evaluation........................................................................123
Appendix A
Principal Disability-Related Benefits and
Programs for 2006/07 and 2007/08 Fiscal Years..................................................125
Appendix B
Acronyms Used in this Report..............................................................................129
Index by Department/Program........................................ 132
Advancing the Inclusion of People with Disabilities
Federal Disability Report • 2008
Introduction
The Government of Canada supports numerous programs
and initiatives with the aim of promoting the inclusion and full
participation of people with disabilities in Canadian society.
Advancing the Inclusion of People with Disabilities 2008 is the
sixth annual federal progress report on disability. It provides
an overview of key initiatives that federal departments have
implemented, individually or in collaboration, or are in the
course of implementing in 2007/08 and beyond.
As with previous reports, the 2008 report is divided into thematic chapters that
update and complement information on federal government programs that are
directly and indirectly targeted at people with disabilities. Since the combination
of Aboriginal and Disability status creates an especially vulnerable population, the
information on Aboriginal people comprises a separate chapter.
Several important initiatives for people with disabilities in Canada were announced
in Budget 2008:
• providing $110 million to the Mental Health Commission of Canada to
support innovative demonstration projects that will develop best practices
aimed at helping Canadians who face mental health and homelessness
challenges;
• allotting funds to expand the list of eligible expenses under the Medical
Expense Tax Credit;
• exempting training from the Goods and Services Tax/Harmonized Sales Tax
(GST/HST) and expanding the list of GST/HST-free medical and assistive
devices to include service dogs to help individuals cope with disabilities or
disorders such as autism; and
• amending the Registered Disability Savings Plan, which was announced in
Budget 2007, to ensure its efficiency in helping parents and others save for
the long-term financial security of a person with a disability.
Advancing the Inclusion of People with Disabilities
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Federal Disability Report • 2008
New in this year’s report is a section reflecting the increasing knowledge base of
research on disability. For example, the Government of Canada has made major
advances in the knowledge available on the experience of people with disabilities
through its release of information from the 2006 Participation and Activity Limitation
Survey (PALS). PALS is a post-censal1 national survey that collects data on Canadians
with disabilities and, as such, is an essential resource for information on the experiences
of people with disabilities. PALS is a primary data source for developing policies
and programs, as well as for assessing and planning. An important aspect of PALS
2006 is that its results can be compared with the 2001 survey results to identify
changing disability trends in Canada. This information provides us with an important
understanding of the changing nature of the experience of disability. More information
on PALS is included throughout this year’s report.
An overview of disabilities in Canada
In its December 2007 release of PALS, Statistics Canada showed that the disability
rate in Canada has increased from 12.4% (3,601,270 Canadians) in 2001 to 14.3%
(4,417,870 Canadians) in 2006. Part of this increase in disability rate can be explained
by the aging Canadian population. In Canada, between 2001 and 2006, the median age
increased from 37 years to 38.3 years. Since older Canadians tend to have a higher
disability rate, an aging population will naturally produce a higher overall disability rate
without any change in reporting patterns.2 It is also notable that learning disabilities
increased significantly between 2001 and 2006, for both children and adults.
Disability rates varied across the country, ranging from 10.4% in Quebec to 20.0% in
Nova Scotia. In part due to their populations being older on average, provinces in Atlantic
Canada had higher disability rates than those in the west. For the first time, in 2006,
PALS was conducted in Canada’s three territories. Yukon had the highest disability rate at
13.5%, followed by the Northwest Territories at 8.6% and Nunavut at 6.4%.
ALS used the 2006 Census as a sampling frame to identify its population. The 2006 Census questionnaire included two general
P
questions on activity limitations. The PALS respondents were selected through the use of the census information on age,
geography and the responses to these two general questions.
2
Using the age-standardized disability rate removed the effects of differences in the age structure of populations among areas and
over time. Looking at the data for Canada, the disability rate in 2006 would have been 13.5% instead of 14.3% if population aging
had not occurred. Thus, about 40% of the disability rate increase is explained by the aging of the Canadian population. However,
disability rates increased for nearly all age groups, suggesting that a change in disability profiles, reporting practices, or some
combination of the two may also be at play.
1
2
Advancing the Inclusion of People with Disabilities
Federal Disability Report • 2008
Disability rates for Canada’s
provinces and territories, 2006
25
Canada-wide Disability Rate
20
15
10
5
0
BC YT NT AB SK NU
Nunavut
Northwest Territories
Yukon
British Columbia
Alberta
MB ON QC NB PE NS NL
Nova Scotia
Newfoundland and Labrador
Prince Edward Island
New Brunswick
Saskatchewan
Manitoba
Ontario
Quebec
Source: PALS 2006
Since the disability rate rises as the population ages, the demographic make-up of a
province or territory has an impact on its overall disability rate. The relatively young
populations in the three territories and Alberta explain a great deal of the interprovincial
variation, but differences still remain. Age-standardized disability rates in Quebec
remain the lowest at 10.2%, followed by Nunavut (12.8%) and the Northwest Territories
(13.1%). The highest provincial age standardized disability rate is still Nova Scotia, with
a rate of 18.9%, followed by New Brunswick at 16.4%.
Advancing the Inclusion of People with Disabilities
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Federal Disability Report • 2008
Summary Overview of Chapters
Chapter 1: Human Rights, the Justice System and Canada’s
International Leadership
By rooting equality rights in a comprehensive legal framework, the Government of
Canada is committed to promoting active participation of people with disabilities in
Canada. This chapter describes initiatives of the Government of Canada to promote
and support the human rights of people with disabilities. It focuses on the work of the
Department of Justice and the Canadian Human Rights Commission. It also includes
information on the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities
and disability activities at the international level, such as the 2010 Olympic and
Paralympic Games.
Chapter 2: Accessibility and Disability Supports
This chapter describes the key federal initiatives and programs related to accessibility
and disability supports, including transportation, housing, communications and cultural
initiatives. These supports are essential to promoting the inclusion and full participation
of people with disabilities in Canadian society. This chapter also includes information
on measures to improve access for people with disabilities undertaken by Elections
Canada and on improvements in assistive devices for people with disabilities.
Chapter 3: Income Support, Benefits and Service Delivery
This chapter provides information on the Government of Canada’s programs and
initiatives aimed at providing income support and related benefits for people with
disabilities. These programs seek to reduce the threat of poverty and exclusion
that affect many people with disabilities. This chapter also discusses challenges in,
and improvements to, service delivery for people with disabilities in Canada, which
is critical for ensuring that they are able to access the income and other supports
designed to assist them.
Chapter 4: Learning, Skills and Employment
This chapter examines programs of the Government of Canada that support
people with disabilities in their pursuit of inclusion in learning and employmentrelated activities. It focuses on initiatives in the areas of student loans, employment
opportunities, development of job skills, and public service support.
4
Advancing the Inclusion of People with Disabilities
Federal Disability Report • 2008
Chapter 5: Well-Being: Health, Safety and Identity
This chapter describes health-centred initiatives to support people with disabilities and
includes information on safety, programs promoting well-being, and the different social
identities of people with disabilities.
Chapter 6: Aboriginal People with Disabilities
Aboriginal people with disabilities often face multiple disadvantages that act as a
barrier to participation. This chapter describes the various programs in place to
address the needs of Aboriginal people with disabilities, including those related to
disability and income supports, learning and skills, employment and health.
Chapter 7: Research
The Government of Canada plays an important role in ensuring that a comprehensive
knowledge base is developed through research on disability. This chapter describes
major government-sponsored research initiatives related to disabilities and people with
disabilities, including national surveys, such as the Participation and Activity Limitation
Survey (PALS), and government support of research related to disability.
Chapter 8: Tax Measures
People with disabilities often have extra expenses and lower income. The Government
of Canada provides tax measures to people with disabilities and their caregivers
in acknowledgement of the extra expenses faced by individuals with disabilities
that reduce their ability to pay tax and participate in the community. This chapter
describes these tax measures that help to offset costs associated with having a
disability, and discusses important new and expanded tax measures announced and
implemented in 2008.
Advancing the Inclusion of People with Disabilities
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Federal Disability Report • 2008
Chapter 1
Human Rights, the Justice
System and Canada’s
International Leadership
1. Protecting the Rights of People with Disabilities
Enhanced participation for people with disabilities is at the core of the Government
of Canada’s approach to disability. This means that, through its policies and initiatives,
the Government supports people with disabilities in their pursuit of full and equal
involvement in every aspect of Canadian society.
Canada has a strong legal and legislative framework that protects the equality
of people with disabilities. The enactment of the Canadian Charter of Rights and
Freedoms in 1982 guaranteed that:
“Every individual is equal before and under the law and has the right to the equal
protection and equal benefit of the law without discrimination and, in particular,
without discrimination based on race, national or ethnic origin, colour, religion,
sex, age or mental or physical disability.” 3
This fundamental guarantee of equal treatment has been the basis for a number of
court decisions related to disability and, as a result, the Charter is acknowledged as
being a key force in advancing the inclusion of people with disabilities in Canada.
Beyond the Charter, in 1985, the Government of Canada enacted the Canadian Human
Rights Act (CHRA) to prevent discrimination and improve access to employment,
services and facilities in all areas under federal jurisdiction. Under the CHRA, both
public and private sector employers, unions and service providers must accommodate
the needs of people with disabilities to the point of undue hardship.
In 1995, the Government of Canada enacted the Employment Equity Act to ensure that
people with disabilities, women, Aboriginal people and visible minorities all have equal
access to employment. By promoting their representation in the workplace, the Act
aims to foster equality and to remedy traditional employment disadvantages.
3
Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, Section 15(1).
Advancing the Inclusion of People with Disabilities
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Federal Disability Report • 2008
The Government of Canada also continues to support disability rights on the
international stage. In 2008, this was most visible in its ongoing work related to the
UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, the 2010 Olympics, and
development assistance.
Canada was involved in drafting the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with
Disabilities and was one of the first countries to sign the Convention. By signing the
Convention, the Government of Canada reaffirmed its commitment to advancing the
inclusion of people with disabilities, both at home and abroad. Canada is now working
toward ratification.
Canada is also engaged in ensuring that the 2010 Olympics and Paralympics, which
will take place in Vancouver and Whistler, B.C., are the most accessible games ever.
In preparation for this, Canada hosted an accessibility showcase in the BC/Canada
Pavilion at the 2008 Summer Games in Beijing.
A. Justice System
The Canadian justice system is directly supported by the work of the Department of
Justice and the Canadian Human Rights Commission4 (CHRC).
The Department of Justice supports the Minister of Justice in working to ensure that
Canada is a just and law-abiding society with an accessible, efficient and fair system
of justice; provides high-quality legal services and counsel to the Government and to
various departments and agencies; and promotes respect for rights and freedoms, the
law and the Constitution.
The CHRC and the Labour Program of HRSDC share responsibility for ensuring that
federally regulated employers provide equal employment opportunities under the
Employment Equity Act. This applies to four designated groups: women, Aboriginal
peoples, people with disabilities and members of visible minorities.
The CHRC administers the CHRA and is responsible for monitoring compliance with
the Employment Equity Act. Both acts ensure that the principles of equal opportunity
and non-discrimination are followed in all areas of federal jurisdiction.
4
8
More information on the Canadian Human Rights Commission is available at: www.chrc-ccdp.ca/default-en.asp.
Advancing the Inclusion of People with Disabilities
Federal Disability Report • 2008
Research Programs
To understand shifts in Canadian society and to remain a leader in human rights
knowledge, the CHRC is implementing an advanced and policy-driven research
program in human rights.
The Research and Performance Management Division of the CHRC is conducting two
research projects on disability. The first examines systemic discrimination complaints
on the basis of disability filed under Sections 5 and 10 of the CHRA. The project looks
at complaints processed by the CHRC over the 10-year period from 1997 to 2006
and their resolutions, including settlements facilitated by the CHRC. The research is
focused on illuminating the systemic obstacles that people with disabilities cite in their
complaints to the CHRC.
The second project examines individual complaints of discrimination filed on the basis
of disability under Sections 5, 7 and 14 of the CHRA. Complaints will be drawn from
the five-year period between 2002 and 2006, and the project will examine individual
forms of discrimination experienced by people with disabilities and the resolution of
these complaints, including settlements facilitated by the CHRC.
The information gained from both projects will be used to strengthen the CHRC’s
long-term strategy of removing barriers to equality on the basis of disability.
Employment Equity Data
In 2007, the representation of people with disabilities in the public sector was down
slightly from 5.8% the previous year. Nonetheless, the representation of people with
disabilities still exceeds the public sector availability of 3.6%5. The representation of
people with disabilities has always been higher than their share of hires. The discrepancy
is thought to be due to increased self-identification among those employed and the effect
of an aging workforce, as age is associated with higher disability rates.
At 2.7%, the representation of people with disabilities in the federally regulated private
sector6 in 2006 was unchanged from the previous year. People with disabilities have
consistently received proportionately less hires than their representation in the labour
market entails. In 2006, they received just 1.3% of all hires, up very slightly from 1.2%
the previous year and 1% in 1997. However, some improvements were noted. In the
banking sector, where their hiring has been higher than in other sectors for the past
years, people with disabilities held 3.4% of the jobs, up from 2.4% in 1997.
Public service availability refers to people who are able to work in the public service. It is slightly different from the overall
workforce availability because the public service excludes persons living in Canada who are not Canadian citizens.
6
The federally regulated private sector includes, among others: Crown corporations; chartered banks; airlines; television and
radio stations; interprovincial communications and telephone companies; buses and railways that travel between provinces; First
Nations; and other federally regulated industries, such as certain mining operations.
5
Advancing the Inclusion of People with Disabilities
9
Federal Disability Report • 2008
On the other hand, in both the transportation and communications sectors, the
proportion of jobs filled by people with disabilities declined slightly between 2005
and 2006. More specifically, rates declined from 2.4% to 2.3% in the transportation
sector and from 2.6% to 2.5% in the communications sector.7
Human Rights Complaints
The Canadian Human Rights Commission provides dispute resolution services
in cases of alleged discrimination by federally regulated organizations, including
employers, unions and service providers. Allegations of discrimination are screened
to ensure they fall within CHRC jurisdiction and inquirers may be referred to other
redress mechanisms, such as a grievance process. If the dispute falls within CHRC
jurisdiction, the parties are offered services to help them resolve the matter without
filing a complaint. If the matter cannot be resolved and the inquirer wishes to file
a complaint, the case may be assigned to a mediator or an investigator. After the
investigation, if there is evidence to support the allegation of discrimination, the
Commission can request that an inquiry by the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal
take place. Only the Tribunal can make a finding of discrimination.
In 2007, the CHRC received 298 signed complaints that cited disability as a ground
of discrimination. This represents approximately 36% of all signed complaints.
2. Educational and Promotional Activities
The Department of Canadian Heritage funds eligible educational and promotional
activities on human rights through a limited number of grants and contributions.
Canadian Heritage is also responsible for coordinating, with provincial and territorial
governments, the domestic implementation of international human rights instruments
and the preparation of Canada’s reports to the United Nations.
3. Canada on the International Stage
A. United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities
From 2001 to 2006, Canada was actively involved in creating the new United Nations
(UN) Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. The Convention is an
important means for the international community to recognize and reaffirm the need
to prohibit discrimination against people with disabilities in all aspects of life and
serves as a vehicle to outline key steps for countries to take to promote and protect
the human rights of people with disabilities.
7
10
Canadian Human Rights Commission Annual Report 2007.
Advancing the Inclusion of People with Disabilities
Federal Disability Report • 2008
Canada was one of the first countries to sign the Convention on March 30, 2007. It
came into force on May 3, 2008, for the countries that ratified it.8
In accordance with Canada’s regular practice with respect to the question of ratifying
international treaties, federal, provincial and territorial officials are engaged in a review
of domestic laws, policies and programs with a view to Canada’s possible ratification
of the Convention.
The Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade (DFAIT), Justice Canada,
Human Resources and Skills Development Canada (HRSDC) and the Department
of Canadian Heritage have been the main departments involved in the international
development of the Convention and the domestic process of considering its signature
and ratification. DFAIT has overall responsibility for Canada’s international activities
in relation to the negotiation and ratification of the Convention. Justice Canada is
responsible for the legal analysis of the treaty and is leading the review of domestic
implications at the federal level. Because of the content of the Convention, the
Office for Disability Issues at HRSDC is very involved in the domestic review process
and will be responsible for upcoming consultations with stakeholders. Canadian
Heritage is responsible for coordinating consultations with provinces and territories
on the Convention.
What is the difference between signing and ratifying a convention?
Signing a convention is a preliminary step that demonstrates a country’s support
of the objectives of the convention. Signature does not legally bind the country
to abide by specific terms of the agreement or obligate the country to ratify
the convention. Signing a convention does create an obligation not to do
anything to undermine a convention.
Ratifying a convention is the next step after signing and means that a
country has decided to implement the convention domestically and become
legally bound to the terms of the convention.
8
Information on the Convention and its provisions is available on the UN Web site at: www.un.org/disabilities. The Draft Optional
Protocol will allow individuals to seek redress for treaty violations after exhausting remedies available under their national laws,
and is to be adopted simultaneously with the Convention. Information on this protocol is also available on the UN Web site.
Advancing the Inclusion of People with Disabilities
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Federal Disability Report • 2008
How does Canada implement its international treaty obligations?
In Canada, international human rights treaties do not automatically become
part of domestic law upon ratification. They are implemented domestically
through a combination of Constitutional provisions as well as new or existing
federal, provincial and territorial legislative, administrative and policy measures.
B. 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games
The Government of Canada has contributed $654.65 million to the 2010 Olympic
and Paralympic Winter Games. The 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games
Federal Secretariat pursues activities to foster positive domestic and international
exposure to help make these “Canada’s Games,” to globally position Canada as a
country of excellence and innovation, and to ensure that the 2010 Winter Games
leave sustainable social, cultural, economic and sport opportunities and legacies
for all Canadians.
In signing the Multi-Party Agreement, all major Games partners have committed
to ensuring that the Games facilities are reasonably accessible to people with
disabilities. The Vancouver Organizing Committee for the 2010 Olympic and
Paralympic Winter Games (VANOC) committed to hosting the most inclusive and
accessible games ever. The 2010 Federal Secretariat works closely with VANOC
and other major Games stakeholders to provide leadership, advice and secretariat
support to interdepartmental and intergovernmental engagement in 2010 and
related initiatives.
The Government of Canada has committed $20 million for planning and staging
the Paralympic Games. VANOC has completed the first overlay accessibility
reviews for mountain venues, has initiated and in some cases completed
construction of Paralympic venues, and has completed the first draft of the
Barrier-Free Operations Guidelines.
HRSDC’s Office for Disability Issues (ODI), as the focal point within the Government
of Canada for full participation of Canadians with disabilities, is helping to achieve
this commitment.
12
Advancing the Inclusion of People with Disabilities
Federal Disability Report • 2008
ODI is a co-chair of the 2010 Social Development Issue Cluster. The cluster
provides a forum to support and encourage federal interdepartmental collaboration
on activities that foster sustainable social development in areas affected by the
2010 Olympics and Paralympics. These social development activities primarily
target Canadians at risk of social and economic exclusion. The areas of access
and inclusion are the focus of ODI’s participation.
Also, representatives of ODI organized an Accessibility Showcase at the BC/Canada
Pavilion in Beijing, China, between the 2008 Olympic and Paralympic Games. ODI
developed a partnership with BC’s Ministry of Employment and Income Assistance
and 2010 Legacies Now to showcase Canada’s commitment to the full participation
of people with disabilities. Several programs and services were presented to Chinese
officials and organizations in an effort to engage in knowledge exchange.
C. Development Assistance
The Government of Canada also works to support people with disabilities outside
of Canada. In many developing countries, disability acts as a significant barrier to
participation, especially for the poorest and most marginalized populations. The
Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA)9, Canada’s lead agency for
development assistance, works to improve conditions for people with disabilities
in developing countries through international cooperation. In working to reduce
poverty, promote human rights and increase sustainable development, the
Government of Canada directly affects the lives of people with disabilities and
promotes their active participation in civil, political, economic, social and cultural life.
CIDA’s development assistance directly and indirectly addresses disability issues
resulting from armed conflicts, land mines, natural disasters, discrimination and
poor health and nutrition through its programming in the health, education and
democratic governance sectors, among others. Moreover, CIDA seeks to promote
the human rights of and equal opportunities for people with disabilities by raising
awareness, addressing stigma and discrimination, promoting integration and
improving health, education, social and economic outcomes.
9
More information on CIDA is available at www.acdi-cida.gc.ca/index-e.htm.
Advancing the Inclusion of People with Disabilities
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Federal Disability Report • 2008
Below are a few examples of CIDA’s disability-related programs for the
2007/08 fiscal year:
• Afghanistan Emergency Appeal: CIDA contributed $7 million to the International
Committee of the Red Cross’s Emergency Appeal for Afghanistan, which included
support to the Red Cross’s six physical rehabilitation centres throughout the country.
These centres fit limbs and provide orthotic and rehabilitation work for people with
disabilities, whether landmine victims or those with motor impairments from other
causes. They also provide continued support with re-integrating into society once
physical rehabilitation is completed. Each centre is supplemented by a home-care
service to provide paraplegics and their families with medical, economic and social
support. In 2007, these centres registered 5,579 new patients and produced over
14,000 prostheses and orthoses; gave some 153,000 physiotherapy sessions;
granted micro-credit loans to 596 patients to start their own business ventures,
training 263 people in various jobs; and assisted over 1,230 patients with spinal
cord injuries. In Kabul alone, more than 2,970 home-care visits were made.
• Mitigating Effects of HIV/AIDS in Mozambique: CIDA contributed $14,720 to
a program implemented by the Mozambique National Association of the Visually
Impaired (ACAMO), in partnership with Voluntary Services Overseas, to develop
an appropriate approach for mitigating the effects of HIV/AIDS within the visually
impaired community and reducing their vulnerability to the pandemic. The project
includes capacity development activities for ACAMO and other associations
working with the visually impaired, HIV/AIDS education, and promoting incomegenerating activities.
• Special-Needs Education in Malawi: Through the Gender Equality Support Project,
CIDA contributed $33,400 to the Montfort Special-Needs Education College to
improve the quality, access and equality of special-needs education for children with
learning difficulties due to physical or other sensory disabilities in pilot districts in
Malawi. Canada’s contribution reached 30 resource centres established to provide
special classes for pupils with learning difficulties before the students are enrolled
in mainstream schools. The project also addressed the low priority that education
authorities and communities give to issues of children with learning difficulties
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during planning, limited access to education and educational facilities for children
with disabilities, and the poor retention and performance of children with learning
difficulties in the mainstream school system.
• Community-Based Civic Education in Haiti: CIDA contributed $234,602 to
the Réseau Associatif National pour l’Intégration des Personnes Handicapées
(RANIPH) and its 23 member organizations, as well as other social partners such
as organizations promoting human rights, women’s groups and organizations
representing the media, to support the integration of people with disabilities in
Haitian society, where it is estimated that 800,000 people live with a disability. The
focus of the project includes raising public awareness of the human rights of people
with disabilities, as well as sensitizing decision-makers to the particular needs and
challenges faced by people with disabilities, particularly women. It also focuses on
strengthening the institutional capacity of RANIPH.
Advancing the Inclusion of People with Disabilities
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Federal Disability Report • 2008
Chapter 2
Accessibility and
Disability Supports
Creating accessible communities and providing disability supports is integral
to achieving the full participation of people with disabilities in Canadian society.
This approach requires action on two levels: at the societal level, the reduction or
elimination of the environmental barriers that affect the lives of people with disabilities
and prevent their full inclusion in society; and, on a personal level, the availability
of disability supports that address individual needs, further participation and
maximize independence.
This chapter describes the policies, programs and initiatives that the Government of
Canada has enacted to promote accessibility and further access to disability supports.
Transportation
Based on the 2006 Participation and Activity Limitation Survey, 54% of adults
with disabilities took a long-distance trip for personal or business reasons in the
previous 12 months.
Of the respondents who reported that they had taken long-distance trips:
• 33% reported travelling by airplane;
• 8% reported travelling by inter-city bus; and
• 5% reported travelling by train*.
*Respondents could indicate more than one type of transportation. Therefore, the percentages are
not cumulative. Respondents also gave answers, including car, for modes of long-distance transportation; however, the statistics here focus only on federally regulated modes of transportation.
Advancing the Inclusion of People with Disabilities
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Federal Disability Report • 2008
1. National Transportation
A. Development and Administration of Policies, Regulations
and Services
Transport Canada10 provides policy leadership to improve accessibility and remove
undue obstacles from the federal transportation system, including the air, intercity bus,
rail and marine modes of transport.11 The Transportation Development Centre manages
a multi-modal Research and Development program aimed at improving the safety,
security, energy efficiency and accessibility of the Canadian transportation system,
while protecting the environment.
Transport Canada maintains and updates the Access to Travel Web site,12 which
provides information on accessible transportation and travel across Canada with
the aim of making travelling an easier and more enjoyable experience for Canadians
with disabilities.
In 2008, Transport Canada also collaborated with the intercity bus industry to facilitate
the transport of large motorized scooters as baggage on intercity buses. The concern
about scooters on intercity buses had been raised as an issue for people with
disabilities through three complaints to the Department and had been noted as an
emerging issue in other developed countries.
Transport Canada continued to distribute its disability awareness training program
entitled “Getting on Board” to service providers operating within the federal
transportation network. This training program helps service providers ensure that
employees are properly trained to provide different types of transportation-related
services to people with disabilities.
Transport Canada hosted the 11th World Conference on Mobility and Transport for
Elderly and Disabled Persons (TRANSED) in June 2007, which allowed international
experts to exchange ideas and showcase innovative and technological solutions
for the transportation needs of an aging population and people with disabilities.
The Conference’s proceedings were tabled at the U.S. Transportation Research
Board Conference in January 2008 and now provide a valuable research resource
for the transportation industry and policymakers in advancing accessibility in the
transportation network in Canada and abroad.
More information on Transport Canada is available at: www.tc.gc.ca/en/menu.htm.
Community-level modes of transport are the responsibility of provincial governments. Transport Canada’s jurisdiction applies only
to the national transportation system.
12
The Access to Travel Web site can be found at: www.accesstotravel.gc.ca.
10 11
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B. Dispute Resolution, Standards Development, Monitoring and
Educational and Outreach Activities
The Canada Transportation Act is the Canadian Transportation Agency’s13 enabling
statute to implement the federal government’s transportation policy. The Agency also
shares responsibility for administering other acts and their related regulations, including
the Canada Marine Act, the Pilotage Act, the Coasting Trade Act, and the Railway
Safety Act.
The Agency’s mission is to assist in achieving a competitive, efficient and accessible
transportation system through dispute resolution, essential economic regulation and
communication, in a fair, transparent and timely manner.
The Agency has a legislative mandate to remove undue obstacles to the mobility
of people in all modes of transport under federal jurisdiction (i.e., air, rail, ferry
and interprovincial bus services). The Agency exercises this mandate by resolving
accessible transportation concerns either informally on a case-by-case basis, through
facilitation and mediation, or through formal decision-making. It also addresses
accessible transportation issues on a systemic basis by implementing codes of
practice and other standards, and by implementing regulations where necessary.
Through informal discussion and outreach, the Agency also seeks to educate industry
about the rights of people with disabilities to equitable access and the industry’s
obligations to make transportation services accessible.
Resolution of Accessibility Disputes
FACILITATION
Agency personnel are often able to work out solutions quickly through facilitation, in
consultation with complainants and transportation service providers.
MEDIATION
The Agency also offers confidential mediation as a less resource-intensive alternative
to formal processes.
FORMAL ADJUDICATION
As a quasi-judicial tribunal, the Agency operates like a court and has the authority
to issue decisions and orders on matters within its jurisdiction through formal
adjudication.
More information on the Canadian Transportation Agency is available at: www.cta-otc.gc.ca/.
13 Advancing the Inclusion of People with Disabilities
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Federal Disability Report • 2008
For issues related to the accessibility of transportation services, the adjudication
process is engaged when an applicant perceives that there has been an undue
obstacle to the mobility of a person with a disability. In such cases, the Agency
determines whether:
• the person has a disability for the purposes of the Canada Transportation Act;
• there was an obstacle, that is, an impediment to the mobility of the person; and
• the obstacle was undue, that is, the transportation service provider has
not demonstrated that it provided reasonable accommodation to people
with disabilities.
The Agency has broad powers to impose corrective actions when it finds there
is an undue obstacle to the mobility of people with disabilities within the federal
transportation network. Measures include purchasing or modifying equipment,
changing or developing a policy or procedure, and enhancing a training program.
In 2007/08, 62 new applications were received related to the mobility of people with
disabilities, 67 cases were carried over from previous years, 28 were resolved through
facilitation, 8 were resolved through mediation, 10 were closed, 11 were withdrawn,
and 62 were carried over to be dealt with in 2008/09. Of these cases, 6 were on hold
pending the one-person-one-fare decision, and 26 related to medical oxygen issues
where a decision is pending.
People with disabilities raise issues pertaining to transportation equipment and
facilities, communication and services. Recent examples include additional seating
required by people with disabilities (e.g., “one-person-one-fare”), medical oxygen
required for air travel, and allergy-related issues in the context of air travel.
One-person-one-fare decision
After extensive written pleadings and evidence, and two hearings, the Canadian
Transportation Agency issued a decision expected to affect some 80,000 people
with disabilities.
In January 2008, the Agency ordered three airlines to adopt a one-person-one-fare
policy for people with severe disabilities on flights within Canada. The airlines were
given up to one year to implement the policy, which does not apply to domestic
segments of transborder and international trips.
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The decision means that, for domestic services, these carriers may not charge
more than one fare for people with disabilities who:
• are accompanied by an attendant for their personal care or safety in
flight, as required by the carriers’ domestic tariffs; or
• require additional seating for themselves, including those determined to
be functionally disabled by obesity.
As well, the Agency ordered an Airport Authority, also a respondent in the case,
not to charge its improvement fee for attendants of people with disabilities.
The decision does not apply to:
• people with disabilities or others who prefer to travel with a companion
for personal reasons;
• people with disabilities who require a personal care attendant at
destination, but not in-flight; and
• people who are obese but not disabled as a result of their obesity.
This one-person-one-fare policy is based on long-standing principles of equal
access to transportation services for people with disabilities, regardless of the
nature of the disability, and the Agency’s legislative mandate to remove “undue
obstacles” to their mobility.
It also respects related decisions of the Supreme Court of Canada and Federal
Court of Appeal.
The Supreme Court confirmed, in Council of Canadians with Disabilities v. VIA Rail
Canada Inc., that the Agency must apply human rights legislation in identifying
undue obstacles to the mobility of people with disabilities.
The Supreme Court also ruled, in Tranchemontagne v. Ontario (Director, Disability
Support Program), that there should be no discrimination between people with
disabilities in terms of benefits regardless of the underlying reason for their disability.
The Federal Court of Appeal Decision, in Linda McKay-Panos v. Air Canada,
confirmed that a person who is obese may be disabled for purposes of air travel
if unable to fit in an airline seat.
Advancing the Inclusion of People with Disabilities
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Federal Disability Report • 2008
The airlines are required within 12 months of the decision to develop a screening
process to assess eligibility under the policy.
In a separate statement supplementing the decision, the Agency offered to help
develop a common screening process for implementing the one-person-one-fare
policy. Such a cooperative approach to work out common terms of compliance
would potentially benefit Canadian air carriers and airport authorities that may
consider implementing the policy voluntarily.
In February 2008, the air carriers sought leave to appeal this decision to the Federal
Court of Appeal.
Use of medical oxygen
The Canadian Transportation Agency concluded oral hearings in the fall of 2007 so
it could gather more information about providing medical oxygen onboard aircraft in
the context of 25 complaints against two airlines.
In a December 2005 decision, the Agency found various obstacles in the carriers’
services to the mobility of people with disabilities who require oxygen. The hearings
were held to determine whether the obstacles were undue and, if so, the appropriate corrective measures to address them. A decision is expected in 2008.
Allergies
As the year closed, the Canadian Transportation Agency was pursuing its investigation
of three complaints against an airline involving allergies to flowers, peanuts and
nuts. Pending this ruling, three other cases involving chemicals and scented
products, cashews and peanuts were stayed.
The cases raise issues pertaining to whether the applicants are people with disabilities
by virtue of allergies for the purposes of Part V of the Canada Transportation Act.
The Agency is gathering expert evidence on pet allergies and multiple chemical
sensitivities, a condition closely related to allergies, to support its investigation of
complaints about these matters. If the allergy is determined to be a disability in any
of these cases, the Agency will then decide whether the airline’s policies on allergens pose an obstacle to mobility and, if so, whether the obstacles are undue.
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VIA Rail’s Renaissance cars
Two decisions by the Canadian Transportation Agency in 2003 ordering VIA Rail
to improve the accessibility of its new Renaissance cars were appealed to the
Federal Court of Appeal and then to the Supreme Court of Canada, which ruled
on March 23, 2007.
The judgment restored the Agency’s preliminary and final decisions in this case,
thereby requiring VIA to implement corrective measures for 14 undue obstacles to
the mobility of people with disabilities related to its Renaissance cars.
Undue obstacles cited included inadequate width of doors and aisles, lack of space
for wheelchairs and lack of appropriate seating for attendants and people who
travel with service animals.
Subsequent to the Supreme Court ruling, the Agency issued an order for
compliance, and staff followed up with VIA on whether corrective measures
were implemented. VIA has committed to comply fully with the Agency’s order
and has submitted a design plan for modifications for the Agency’s review.
The Supreme Court judgment also has broad implications for the Agency in its
consideration and processing of accessibility-related complaints.
Applicants must establish that there is an obstacle to the mobility of a person with
a disability in the federal transportation network. The onus of proof then shifts to
the transportation service provider to prove that the obstacle is not undue. The
service provider must show that reasonable accommodation has been provided
up to the point of undue hardship.
In most cases, there will be a range of alternatives available to address the needs
of a person or a group with a disability. In the end, reasonable accommodation will
be the most appropriate accommodation which would not cause undue hardship to
the service provider.
In light of this new undue hardship test, respondents to complaints in process at
the time of the Supreme Court judgment are being given another opportunity to file
submissions. Wording in all Agency decisions sets out this new approach.
Advancing the Inclusion of People with Disabilities
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Federal Disability Report • 2008
For new complaints, the Agency initiated work to promote understanding of:
• the test the applicant must meet to establish that an obstacle was
encountered, failing which the Agency would dismiss the complaint, and
• the new undue hardship test, the elements of this test, and the burden of
proof as this applies to respondent service providers.
Anticipating and Eliminating Problems of Access
Dispute resolution is often seen as a mechanism for redress after events occur and the
problem has been experienced. The Agency’s approach, however, has evolved into a
set of mechanisms to anticipate and, where possible, eliminate problems. This is the
case particularly for accessibility to transportation services. Agency responses to pretravel enquiries address travel situations before they become problems.
To identify gaps in levels of accessibility, and to explore practical means of addressing
these gaps, the Agency educates people with disabilities and transportation service
providers and disseminates information to them concerning their rights and obligations
regarding accessible transportation. It also facilitates compliance with accessibility
regulations and standards by transportation service providers through monitoring,
information seminars, exhibits at trade shows and ongoing informal dialogue.
The Agency deals with systemic issues by developing regulations, codes of practice
and standards. There are two sets of regulations. Under the Terms and Conditions of
Carriage of Persons with Disabilities regulations, air carriers are required to provide
services to make travel easier for people with disabilities. The Personnel Training for
the Assistance of Persons with Disabilities Regulations require carrier and terminal
personnel in the federal air, rail and marine transportation networks to have the
knowledge, skills and attitudes necessary to help people with disabilities effectively
and sensitively.
Emphasizing collaboration, consensus and compromise, Agency codes of practice
avoid rigid descriptions in favour of practical, functional and operation-oriented
solutions. Their success is based on development through consultation with service
providers, the Agency’s Accessibility Advisory Committee, and individuals and
organizations with a demonstrated interest in accessible transportation.
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There are five codes of practice in place:
1) Aircraft Accessibility for Persons with Disabilities;
2) Passenger Rail Car Accessibility and Terms and Conditions of Carriage by Rail
of Persons with Disabilities;
3) Ferry Accessibility for Persons with Disabilities;
4) Removing Communication Barriers for Travellers with Disabilities and
accompanying guide; and
5) Passenger Terminal Accessibility.
The passenger terminal code was unveiled in Montréal in June 2007 at the 11th Inter­
national Conference on Mobility and Transport for Elderly and Disabled Persons where,
as a major conference sponsor, the Agency also presented two technical papers.
It covers a broad range of terminals from small ferry terminals in Atlantic Canada to
rural and urban train stations of varying sizes and Canada’s airports within the National
Airports System. In addition to providing the technical specifications for the physical
aspects of terminals, the code covers other issues such as ground transportation,
boarding devices, escort passes, passenger assistance, and facility and service
awareness programs.
An accompanying guide helps terminal operators implement the provisions of the code
by providing resources, tips and examples of best practices.
With the release of the Passenger Terminal Accessibility code of practice, the Agency
has now put into place codes of practice and standards covering equipment and
services in all modes of travel provided by carriers and terminal operators. Given the
breadth of these provisions, and in order to ensure effective and efficient monitoring
and facilitate the transportation industry’s compliance, the Agency is developing a
monitoring and compliance methodology to complement and support its existing
monitoring activities.
Advancing the Inclusion of People with Disabilities
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Federal Disability Report • 2008
2. Housing
Specialized features in the home:
7.9% of adults with disabilities reported using specialized features either to enter or
leave their residence or inside their residence. Furthermore, 4.4% of respondents
reported having an unmet need for specialized features. The reasons given for not
having these features included:
• Not covered by insurance;
• Too expensive;
• Not approved or recommended by health professionals; and
• Currently on a waiting list for aids (features).
4.6% of adults with disabilities reported that the design and layout of their home
made it difficult to participate in activities that they wanted or needed to do.
A. Accessible Housing
Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) administers a number of initiatives
that contribute to accessible housing for people with disabilities:
• the Residential Rehabilitation Assistance Program for Persons with Disabilities
(RRAP-D);
• the Residential Rehabilitation Assistance Program – Secondary/Garden Suite;
• the Shelter Enhancement Program (SEP);
• the Home Adaptations for Seniors’ Independence program (HASI); and
• FlexHousingTM.
The details of each initiative are explained in the following paragraphs. In general,
assistance is in the form of a fully forgivable loan that does not have to be repaid,
provided the owner or occupant adheres to the conditions of the program.
In December 2006, the Government of Canada announced $256.2 million for a twoyear extension of CMHC’s renovation programs for 2007/08 and 2008/09.
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.
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Advancing the Inclusion of People with Disabilities
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In addition to providing financial assistance, CMHC also undertakes research and
information transfer activities.
Residential Rehabilitation Assistance Program for
Persons with Disabilities
CMHC offers financial assistance under the RRAP-D to homeowners and landlords
to modify dwellings occupied or intended for occupancy by low-income people
with disabilities. The RRAP-D is available across Canada, including on-reserve
communities.14 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 geographic 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 geographic area (which can range from $24,000 to
$36,000 in southern to far northern areas, respectively). Assistance is also available to
landlords of rooming houses.15 Modifications include, for example, building an exterior
ramp, installing a visual fire alarm or installing task lighting. Supplementary assistance
of 25% of the loan amount is available to homeowners and landlords in remote areas.
An evaluation (Residential Rehabilitation Assistance Program Evaluation, May 2003)
of CMHC’s renovation programs found that the RRAP-D has encouraged homeowners
and landlords to undertake accessibility modification. The RRAP-D has had 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, 92% of RRAP-D beneficiaries reported that the
modifications had improved their ability to participate in daily living activities.
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.
Over the years, changes to the RRAP-D were introduced, increasing the available housing stock suitable for low-income people
with disabilities. The program is particularly 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. In addition, the federal Disability Tax Credit
is recognized as a reduction in income when a household is applying for RRAP-D and other CMHC renovation programs.
15
Properties must meet minimum health and safety requirements.
14 Advancing the Inclusion of People with Disabilities
27
Federal Disability Report • 2008
In 2007, an estimated 1,280 households received some $15 million in federal/
provincial/ territorial forgivable assistance under RRAP-D.
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.16
Eligible clients are 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—an affordable rental housing option for low-income seniors and
adults with a disability. 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 a 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 2007, an estimated 44 households received some $1.1 million in federal/provincial/
territorial forgivable assistance under the RRAP – Secondary/Garden Suite program.
Shelter Enhancement Program
The objective of the 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.17 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
The initiative was announced in the February 2004 Speech from the Throne. CMHC created and launched the RRAP –
Secondary/Garden Suite program in May 2005.
17
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.
16 28
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Federal Disability Report • 2008
and its location (ranging from $24,000 to $36,000 per unit for southern and far northern
areas of Canada, respectively). Supplementary assistance of 25% of the loan amount
is available in remote areas.
The SEP was initiated in 1995/96 with $1.9 million in annual funding under the federal
Family Violence Initiative. The scope of the SEP was broadened in 1999 to include
youth, and in 2003 to include men who are victims of family violence.
According to a 2002 evaluation of the SEP, shelter repairs and enhancements helped
women feel more secure, met the needs of children, increased self-esteem and wellbeing of occupants, and improved access for people with disabilities. Shelter occupants
indicated that the physical condition of shelters was a significant factor contributing to
their satisfaction. In this regard, repeat occupants 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 occupants
with physical disabilities. Over two-thirds of family violence shelters are currently
wheelchair-accessible.18
Eligibility for the SEP extends to not-for-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.19 For secondstage housing, occupants are expected to make modest contributions to offset the
project’s operating costs.
In 2007, about 430 shelters (representing 844 shelter spaces), received $7.3 million in
federal/ provincial/territorial forgivable assistance under the SEP.
Home Adaptations for Seniors’ Independence Program
Launched in 1992, 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 and safely.
According to data from Statistics Canada’s Transition House Survey (THS), 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 more than doubled since 1994 (from
146 to 305).
19
Provinces, territories and Indian and Northern Affairs Canada may also provide regular operating funds to family violence shelters
in their jurisdictions.
18 Advancing the Inclusion of People with Disabilities
29
Federal Disability Report • 2008
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 homes needed only minor modifications, at relatively low cost, to enable the
occupants to continue living there. HASI is also available to on-reserve Aboriginal people
with disabilities.
The majority of HASI clients (80%) said that the adaptations to their homes made their
lives more comfortable and safer, increasing their ability to live independently in their own
homes. The majority also responded 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.
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. The
occupant must:
• be 65 years of age or over;
• have difficulty with daily living activities brought on by aging;
• have a total household income at or below a specified limit for the specified area;
and
• have the dwelling unit as their permanent residence.
In 2007, over 2,060 households received some $6.2 million in federal/provincial/territorial
forgivable assistance under HASI.
FlexHousingTM
FlexHousing is a practical approach to designing and building housing that allows
residents to more economically convert space to meet their changing needs.
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Based on the principles of adaptability, accessibility, affordability and Healthy Housing,
FlexHousing responds to the needs of today’s families and supports independent living for
people with disabilities and seniors.20
FlexHousing appeals to people with disabilities, industry, builders, renovators and
architects because it is a practical approach to designing and building accessible and
flexible 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 have hearing or seeing limitations. FlexHousing also appeals to
those who want to continue living in the same housing as they age because expensive
renovations are not needed to make the housing more accessible when aging decreases
mobility, vision or hearing.
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. Overall, the review suggested that FlexHousing principles
are increasingly evident in the new home construction industry.
CMHC spent around $45,000 in 2007 to promote FlexHousing to the housing industry and
the public through information products and dissemination activities.
Housing Research and Program Evaluations
CMHC also undertakes research to improve housing choice and affordability for
Canadians. The research concerns the distinct housing needs of seniors and people with
disabilities. In 2007, CMHC published the first in a series of research highlights on the
housing conditions of people with disabilities based on the 2001 Census. In 2008, CMHC
undertook to complete this research based on data contained in Statistics Canada’s
Participation and Activity Limitation Survey (PALS).
This research will examine relationships between housing conditions for people with
disabilities and other socio-economic factors such as education, labour activity, age,
gender, disability severity, geography, household type and income. Various measures of
housing conditions that are available through the PALS and the Census will be explored
by type of disability, including need for home modifications. The research will also look
particularly at the housing conditions of seniors and children with disabilities.
CMHC is also implementing a detailed cost/benefit analysis of the RRAP-D and HASI
program based on a cost/benefit analysis framework developed under a previous CMHC
research project. The study will have three major objectives: 1) to estimate the impact
Housing professionals (e.g., builders, renovators, designers, architects) are key to successfully implementing FlexHousing.
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Federal Disability Report • 2008
of the HASI and RRAP-D programs on the length of tenure of the beneficiaries in their
homes; 2) to determine the impact of the renovations on the quality of life of those who
received HASI and/or RRAP-D contributions and their caregivers; and 3) to estimate the
costs and benefits.
In 2007/08, CMHC has been completing a series of About Your House manuals on
Accessible Housing by Design, using the core principles of universal design. The series
covers many aspects of accessible home design, including kitchens, bathrooms, lifts,
ramps, elevators and appliances.
CMHC is evaluating the RRAP, HASI and SEP programs to determine the extent to which
they have met their objectives. The evaluations were initiated in 2008.
3. Communications and Culture
A. Radio-television and Telecommunications
The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC)21 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, 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.
In May 2007, the CRTC announced a new policy with respect to closed captioning,
Broadcasting Public Notice CRTC 2007-54, 17 May 2007 (PN 2007-54). Under this
new policy, all television broadcasters are now required to caption 100% of their programs
over the broadcast day. This policy is being implemented through ongoing licence
renewals.
Recognizing that the quality of captioning is a growing concern, the CRTC called upon the
industry to establish working groups in each of the English- and French-language markets
to develop and implement universal standards and to propose and implement concrete
21
32
More information on CRTC is available at: www.crtc.gc.ca/eng/welcome.htm.
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solutions with respect to other aspects of captioning quality, including mechanisms aimed
at reducing errors and technical malfunctions.
The CRTC has asked the Canadian Association of Broadcasters (CAB) to coordinate
the establishment of the working groups. The CRTC approved the CAB’s Action Plan for
these working groups in February 2008, and they submitted the results of their work to
the CRTC on November 30, 2008. Their reports will form part of the public record of the
Commission’s proceeding with respect to Unresolved issues related to the accessibility of
telecommunications and broadcasting services to persons with disabilities (Broadcasting
Notice of Public Hearing 2008-8-2). The Commission will formally respond to the CAB’s
reports as part of this proceeding, expected in the first quarter of 2009.
ACCESS FOR PEOPLE WHO ARE BLIND OR WHOSE VISION IS IMPAIRED
The CRTC continues to work to ensure that broadcasters provide improved access to
television programming for people who are blind or whose vision is impaired. Television
broadcasters use two methods to do this: audio description and described video. All
broadcasters are expected to provide audio description and to broadcast described
versions of their programming, wherever available. The CRTC 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. In September 2007 (CRTC Public Notice 2007-101), the CRTC confirmed
the requirement that all described video associated with programming services that
are distributed digitally be “passed-through” to subscribers, with the pass-through
to be implemented by September 2009. Class 1 cable distributors (the largest cable
distribution companies) are also required to pass-through described video associated with
programming services distributed on an analog basis. These distributors may apply for a
condition of licence relieving them from this requirement
on the condition that they provide complimentary set-top boxes that enable access
to described video on a digital basis to subscribers who are blind or who have a
visual impairment. Several applications for this condition of licence are currently before the
CRTC.
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Federal Disability Report • 2008
Services dedicated to people with disabilities
In addition to the two national reading services licensed by the Commission to provide
programming forpeople who are blind, whose vision is impaired or who are print-restricted
(VoicePrint and La Magnétothèque), in July 2007 (CRTC Decision 2007-246) the CRTC also
approved the licensing and mandatory distribution on digital basic service of The Accessible
Channel. The Accessible Channel is a national, English-language, digital specialty television
service that will provide 100% of its programming in open format described video. This
service aired on December 3, 2008, on the International Day of Persons with Disabilities.
The CRTC 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. Since 2004, the CRTC has been requiring
broadcasters to establish specific initiatives designed to meet these goals. Broadcasters
are required to report annually on the progress made in implementing their plans, which
are available on the CRTC’s Web site.
Extensive research was also conducted in 2005 by the CAB to educate broadcasters
about portrayal problems in broadcasting. This research has informed the CRTC and the
industry ever since about the most pressing concerns of people with disabilities about
the way they are portrayed in programming. In response, the CAB has embarked upon a
series of initiatives to respond to these concerns, and reports annually to the CRTC on its
progress in this regard.
In its 2006/07 report, the CAB reported that it has implemented the following initiatives:
• the development of a Public Service Announcement regarding people
with disabilities;
• the creation and publication of an information booklet for people with disabilities
on Employment Opportunities in the Canadian Broadcasting and Affiliated
Production Sector; and
• the creation and publication of a booklet for radio and television newsrooms (in
collaboration with the Radio and Television News Directors Association of Canada)
entitled Recommended Guidelines on Language and Terminology – Persons with
Disabilities: A Manual for News Professionals and Glossary.
Most recently, the CAB has also created a new self-regulatory Equitable Portrayal Code,
to set clear standards for the equitable portrayal of people with disabilities, along with all
other identifiable groups set out in the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. The Commission
approved this code in March 2008 (Public Notice 2008-23). As a result, this code is now a
condition of licence for all television and radio broadcasters.
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Any unresolved issues with respect to the broadcasting sector’s service to people
with disabilities will be explored in the CRTC’s joint public proceeding with the
Telecommunications sector, announced in June 2008, in Telecom and Broadcasting
Notice of Public Hearing CRTC 2008-8. See box on page 36 for details.
Telecommunications
Section 7 of the Telecommunications Act sets out the following objectives for Canadian
telecommunications policy that relate to people with disabilities:
“
(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;
These objectives are applied in accordance with the policy direction published by the
Governor in Council on 14 December 2006 (Order Issuing a Direction to the CRTC on
Implementing the Canadian Telecommunications Policy Objectives, P.C. 2006-1534). The
Policy Direction requires the CRTC to, among other things, implement non-economic
regulatory measures, to the greatest extent possible, in a symmetrical and competitively
neutral manner to achieve the objectives set out in section 7 of the Telecommunications Act.
TELECOMMUNICATIONS SERVICES FOR PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES MANDATED BY
THE COMMISSION
There are various services for people with disabilities that have been mandated by the
Commission. Message Relay Service (MRS) is an operator service that allows people
who are deaf, deafened or hard of hearing, or who have speech impairments to place
calls to standard telephone users via a teletypewriter (TTY, also called a text telephone),
an electronic device that enables text communication through a telephone line. MRS
must be made available by all telephone companies that provide local residential
telecommunications services. Registered users of telecommunications devices for the
deaf (TDDs) also benefit from a 50% discount on Basic Toll Rates (long-distance calls
charged according to the Basic Toll Schedule). Some telephone companies also offer
various long-distance discounts to their customers with disabilities.
People who are blind or visually impaired can also choose to receive bills, bill
inserts and information setting out the rates, terms and conditions of a service in
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Federal Disability Report • 2008
an alternative billing format, such as Braille, large print or electronically. Alternative
billing formats must be made available, upon request, as a condition of offering any
telecommunications service to a consumer.
Two further services are directory assistance and Automatic Directory Assistance Call
Completion (ADACC). People with disabilities who are registered as disabled with their
telephone company can receive free directory assistance and free ADACC to help them
find and dial telephone numbers. All telephone companies that provide directories also
provide free directory assistance to people with disabilities, and some other companies
offer free or discounted directory assistance to their customers with disabilities.
The CRTC also mandated various requirements for pay telephones. When installing new
payphones or replacing or upgrading old ones, all telephone companies must provide the
following functions to assist people with disabilities:
• key pads with larger buttons spread further apart
• standard arrangement of numbers and letters on the dial pad
• bright, contrasting-colour coin and/or card mechanisms
• a feature that allows the user to start the call over if a mistake is made
• a screen displaying context-sensitive dialling instructions in larger size
• a card reader for a variety of telephone cards • voice prompts to assist in placing calls or using features
In addition, access for people with physical disabilities must be provided and the pay
telephones must be hearing aid-compatible. There are also requirements to install a
minimum number of TTY-equipped payphones.
Decisions and public proceedings issued during the 2007/08 fiscal year related
to accessibility for people with disabilities
In Establishment of an independent telecommunications consumer agency,
Telecom Decision CRTC 2007-130, 20 December 2007, CRTC approved, subject to
certain conditions, the structure and mandate of the Commissioner for Complaints
for Telecommunications Services Inc. Among other things, CRTC considered that
such an agency should be more accessible to consumers, particularly to people
with disabilities. CRTC expects this agency to meet, at a minimum, the standards
of accessibility offered by telecommunication service providers with the highest
accessibility standards.
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In Small incumbent local exchange carriers – Follow-up to Telecom Decision
2006-14, Telecom Decision CRTC 2007-109, 21 November 2007, CRTC found that
there are no technical obstacles unique to the small incumbent local exchange
carriers (SILECs) that prevent them from offering MRS over Voice over Internet
Protocol (VoIP). CRTC directed the SILECs to provide access to MRS throughout
their territories, to the extent technically feasible. CRTC also directed the SILECs
to include in their contracts or other arrangements with VoIP service providers the
requirement that the latter provide access to MRS throughout their operating
territories as a condition of providing telecommunications services to local VoIP
service providers.
In Review of the regulatory constraints that apply to the basic toll schedules,
Telecom Decision CRTC 2007-56, 23 July 2007, CRTC removed the constraints
that applied to the basic toll schedules, except in relation to registered or certified
hearing- or speech- impaired TTY users. CRTC reiterated that the 50% TTY
discount established in Telecom Decision 97-19, as modified by Order 2000-17,
helps to meet the objectives of 7(h) of the Act by responding to the economic and
social requirement of telecommunications service users. CRTC found that, for
registered or certified hearing- or speech- impaired TTY users, the basic toll
constraints and the 50% discount would continue to apply to customers of Bell
Aliant, Bell Canada, MTS Allstream, Ontera, SaskTel, Télébec and TCC.
In Statement of consumer rights of Northwestel Inc. and the small incumbent
local exchange carriers, Telecom Decision CRTC 2007-28, 2 May 2007, CRTC
directed Northwestel and the SILECs to adopt the statement of consumer rights, as
approved in Telecom Decision CRTC 2006-52. Among other things, the statement
of consumer rights describes services that are available for people with disabilities,
some of which are provided at a discount or free of charge.
In Use of deferral account funds to improve access to telecommunications
services for persons with disabilities and to expand broadband services to rural and remote communities, Telecom Decision CRTC 2008-1, 17 January 2008,
CRTC approved the use of deferral account funds by incumbent local exchange
carriers (ILECs) for certain initiatives to improve access to telecommunications
services for people with disabilities. ILEC initiatives included the following: establishing a single point of contact for people with disabilities to receive customer
service tailored to the specific needs of the customer; conducting research into
the needs of people with disabilities during the development process of new
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Federal Disability Report • 2008
products and services; establishing an accessibility committee; incorporating
inclusive design considerations in service development; developing specific
inclusiveness guidelines; and working with wireless device manufacturers to
procure accessible wireless handsets.
In Unresolved issues related to the accessibility of telecommunications and
broadcasting services to persons with disabilities, Telecom and Broadcasting
Notice of Public Hearing CRTC-2008-8, 10 June 2008, CRTC initiated a proceeding to address unresolved issues related to the accessibility of telecommunications
and broadcasting services to people with disabilities. CRTC invited comments on
proposals for improving the accessibility of telecommunications and broadcasting
services, including those provided via the Internet and/or to mobile devices. The
proceedings included a public consultation, which began on 17 November 2008.
B. Cultural Initiatives
Canadian Culture
Canadian Heritage administers several programs and initiatives aimed at promoting
the full participation of people with disabilities in different domains including culture,
community and sports.
Canadian Culture Online, which contributes to the development of a uniquely Canadian
presence on the Internet, has funded Canadian cultural Web sites directed at people with
disabilities. All sites funded by Canadian Culture Online are required to either conform to the
World Wide Web Consortium’s Web Accessibility Initiative Guidelines 1.0 or make available
alternative versions that comply with these guidelines. In 2007/08, the Canadian Memory
Fund supported the National Film Board to digitize and make available a total of 260 films, 78
of which included video description to assist Canadians with visual impairments, and 48 of
which were subtitled to assist Canadians with hearing impairments. Canadian Culture Online
also funded initiatives with the Canadian Cultural Society of the Deaf, the Adaptive Technology
Resource Centre (University of Toronto) and the Centre de recherche informatique de Montréal.
Copyright
The Minister of Canadian Heritage is responsible for formulating cultural policy as it
relates to copyright. The cultural policy underlying the copyright regime is based on the
concept of a balance between the rights of intellectual property rights holders and the
ability of all users, whether or not they have a disability, to access cultural content. In
this regard, a number of measures have been introduced to give people with disabilities
appropriate access to cultural content.
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The process of developing a copyright policy, whether or not it leads to legislation, in
part aims to ensure that copyright rules conform to the Canadian Charter of Rights and
Freedoms. In addition, interested parties are consulted as required. Finally, individuals
with perceptual disabilities may avail themselves of exceptions under the Copyright
Act. These aim to facilitate legal and appropriate uses of cultural content through
media adapted to the needs of people with disabilities.
Canada Post Recognizes the Contribution of Guide Dogs
On April 21, 2008, Canada Post
issued a 52¢ stamp to honour the
contributions of guide dogs to
improving the lives of people with
visual impairments. The stamp,
the first in Canada to incorporate
Braille, is designed to showcase
the dog, while emphasizing the
important connection with its partner. Guide dogs have become indispensable tools for people with
visual impairments. Required to
have a calm disposition, a high level of initiation, the ability to concentrate and a strong
desire to please, as many as 60% of dogs are rejected from training schools. The dogs
that do succeed the rigorous examinations go on to work and live with their partners,
aiding them in their daily routines. The guide dog and its partner work together as a
team in navigating environments. For example, when crossing the street, the dog must
protect his partner from traffic, but, as the dog is unable to distinguish between red
and green lights, safety depends on a combination of the partner’s hearing and the
dog’s discretion. In issuing this stamp, Canada Post recognizes this close relationship
that makes guide dogs so important for the people who have them.
C. Library System
Library and Archives Canada (LAC)22 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 multiple formats and to
22
More information on LAC is available at: www.collectionscanada.gc.ca/index-e.html
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Federal Disability Report • 2008
support Canadian libraries and archives in serving their clients with disabilities.
LAC has launched the three-year, $3-million Initiative for Equitable Library Access to
create the conditions for sustainable and equitable library access for Canadians with
print disabilities. LAC has been asked to develop and cost a strategy for implementing
nation-wide partnerships, activities and services to meet the long-term library and
information access needs of Canadians with print disabilities.
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.
AMICUS, LAC’s free catalogue, lists the holdings of libraries across Canada, including
items in multiple formats, and supports resource-sharing among Canadian libraries.
The Accessible Canadian Library II is a resource tool for libraries serving people with
disabilities, enabling them to evaluate and improve their services and facilities.
LAC’s own public buildings are fully accessible and its reference and consultation
rooms include assistive devices for people with disabilities. LAC provides a telephone
service for people who wish to communicate through a TTY device and has
implemented many important accessibility features on its Web site.
Leisure activities
According to the 2006 Participation and Activity Limitation Survey, adults with disabilities who reported being prevented from doing more leisure activities attributed this to:
• their condition (65.3%)
• the need for specialized aids or equipment that they don’t have (5.4%)
• the need for someone’s assistance (12.3%)
• transportation services that are inadequate or not accessible (10.9%)
• community has no facilities or programs available (7.4%)
• facilities, equipment or programs are not accessible (6.0%)
• too expensive (23.6%)
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D. Sport
Sport is a widespread cultural phenomenon that unites Canadians
through grassroots initiatives and the pursuit of 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, enhancing opportunities for sport participation for all
Canadians and developing the Canadian sport system. In 2007/08,
Sport Canada provided $15.9 million for sport programming for people
with disabilities, which represents over 11.6% of Sport Canada’s
grants and contributions budget in 2007/08 (about $138 million).
There are a diverse range of initiatives Sport Canada has undertaken to support the
Government of Canada’s mandate for people with disabilities. It has supported the
delivery of sport programs for people with a disability in collaboration with national
sport organizations (e.g., Hockey Canada) and multisport service organizations (e.g.,
Canadian Olympic Committee).
For instance:
Special Olympics (athletic events involving people with mental disabilities):
Sport Canada provided sports funding of $1.4 million to Special Olympics Canada,
including $350,000 to support athletes competing in the 2007 Special Olympics World
Summer Games in Shanghai.
Paralympic sports (athletic events involving people with physical disabilities):
Sport Canada provided $5.6 million in funding to Paralympic sports, with $1.2 million
allocated to the Canadian Paralympic Committee, and $4.4 million to National Sport
Organizations to support athletic preparations for the 2008 Paralympic Games in
Beijing, China.
National Sport Organizations:
National Sport Organizations received $3 million as base funding for the development
of sport programs for athletes with a disability.
Individual level:
Sport Canada’s Athlete Assistance Program provided $3.9 million to support individual
Canadian athletes with a disability identified as performing at or having the greatest
potential to achieve a top-16 result at the Paralympic Games or World Championships.
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Federal Disability Report • 2008
The implementation of the action plan associated with the Sport Canada Policy on
Sport for Persons with a Disability, which was published in 2006, began in 2006/07.
Contributions are being provided for major games (Paralympics, Special Olympics
and Deaflympics), ongoing national team programs, hosting important international
sport events for athletes with a disability, as well as direct athlete assistance grants.
Investments in sport participation have been strengthened: $1.45 million in funding
has been directed specifically toward sport for people with a disability, including
support for the Canadian Paralympic committee’s winter sport recruitment initiative,
“Feel the Rush.”
Internationally, the International Sport Directorate works to enhance Canada’s
position as a leading sport nation by influencing the international sport policy agenda
to advance domestic sport objectives such as “increasing access and equity in sport.”
To that end, the International Sport Directorate advocates for increased representation
and quality sport experiences of targeted under-represented groups, including athletes
with a disability. The following paragraphs summarize the Directorate’s activities
for 2007/08:
Since 2004, the Directorate has supported the Sport for Development and Peace
International Working Group, which exists to encourage national governments to
include sport in international cooperation and social development policies. As part
of this mandate, the working group is developing its report “Harnessing the power of
sport for development and peace: Recommendations to governments.” The report
provides evidence that sport can contribute to social development across five themes:
child and youth development, health, gender, people with disabilities and peace. The
role of sport to facilitate social inclusion for people with disabilities is illustrated in
Chapter 5 of the report, “Sport and persons with disabilities: Fostering inclusion
and well-being.”
In June 2007, the International Sport Directorate identified a Canadian expert and
supported his participation in setting up the international advisory committee, Cellule
de réflexion sur la question du sport pour les personnes ayant un handicap, which
advises the Secretary General of the Conference of Ministers of Youth and Sport of
French-Speaking Countries (CONFEJES) on youth and sport matters for people with
disabilities. CONFEJES is a branch of La Francophonie that seeks to encourage the
establishment of environments conducive to the participation and the social, economic
and professional inclusion of youth of La Francophonie.
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4. Breaking Barriers to Participation in the Community
A. Enabling Accessibility Fund
Budget 2007 announced the Enabling Accessibility Fund, which is contributing
$45 million over three years to contribute to the capital costs of construction and
renovations related to physical accessibility for people with disabilities. Projects
that are eligible for funding include the construction of abilities centres that offer
programs to individuals with varying physical abilities, and smaller projects, such as
adding interior or exterior ramps to existing buildings or installing a wheelchair lift to a
community-based vehicle.
Eligible recipients are not-for-profit organizations, small municipalities, small
private-sector organizations, territorial governments and Aboriginal governments
and organizations.
The program intends to show a measurable improvement in accessibility in
communities where projects receive funding. This fund is administered by the
Department of Human Resources and Skills Development.
B. Social Development Partnerships Program
A longstanding objective of the Government of Canada is to improve life outcomes for
children, families, people with disabilities and other vulnerable populations. HRSDC’s
Social Development Partnerships Program (SDPP) is a broad-based, flexible grant
and contribution instrument that seeks to achieve these aims. The program works
to enhance community-level programs and services and to create knowledge and
information that may be used to inform government policy. Community organizations
apply for funding based on Calls for Proposals. The yearly Calls for Proposals
describe the specific funding priorities for the SDPP and reflect government and
departmental objectives.
Funding comes in the form of grants for national not-for-profit organizations to provide
leadership for program and service improvements offered by their community member
organizations. The funds may be used to develop community outreach, for strategic
planning, or to improve financial and administrative management. Contributions
may also be provided to organizations to allow them to identify and test innovative
programs or services, or to create and share new knowledge and information.
Funding under the SDPP can by multi-year, up to a maximum of four years.
In March 2008, the terms and conditions of the SDPP were extended to March 2009,
pending the outcome of a summative evaluation. It is expected that information related
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Federal Disability Report • 2008
to the disability component of the SDPP final report will lead to greater knowledge and
awareness of social issues, application of solutions and best practices, collaboration
with internal and external stakeholders to meet shared goals, and build capacity within
national social not-for-profit organizations to promote participation and inclusion.
Social Development Partnerships Program –
Disability Component Grants and Contributions
HRSDC’s Office for Disability Issues delivers the Social Development Partnerships
Program – Disability Component (SDPP-D). SDPP-D is an important part of the
Government of Canada’s support for people with disabilities. It provides approximately
$11 million annually in grants and contributions to organizations working in the social
not-for-profit sector.
Up to $5 million in grants are issued annually through SDPP-D to national not-for-profit
disability organizations. In 2008/09, 18 national organizations received grants.
Each year, SDPP-D provides $6 million for project funding. Social development projects
are funded with two principles in mind: that cooperation and development, as opposed
to competition, are fostered within the disability community, and that projects should
be able to demonstrate measurable added value to the issues, organizations, programs
or processes in which they are invested.
SDPP-D contributions are allocated through three project streams: Social Development,
Accomodation Fund, and the Community Inclusion Initiative. A total of $3 million
is allocated annually to projects funded through both the Social Development and
Accommodation Fund streams.
In 2008/09, Social Development projects focused on three themes that reflect
government priorities: seniors with disabilities, youth with disabilities and the promotion
of accessibility. In total, 15 projects, which were national in scope, were funded.
For 2008/09, the SDPP-D Accommodation Fund provided up to $20,000 to eligible
organizations to enable people with disabilities to participate fully in conferences by
ensuring events are accessible. Eligible expenses include accommodations such
as sign language interpretation, real-time captioning, readers and scribes, support
persons and interveners. Thirteen organizations received funding to make their
events accessible.
A total of $3 million is also allocated annually by SDPP-D for the Community Inclusion
Initiative, which assists communities in developing the capacity required to successfully
include people with intellectual disabilities in ways that promote their roles as full
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citizens. This was launched in 1997 as a national initiative to promote the economic
inclusion, full participation and citizenship of Canadians with intellectual disabilities.
It funds activities and projects that strengthen supports for individuals and families. It
also funds projects and activities with efforts toward facilitating and enriching personal
relationships, employment, enabling citizenship, developing communities that can
support individuals and their families, changes to community structures, influencing the
associational life of communities, and revising community systems, laws and policies.
C. New Horizons for Seniors Program
The expanded New Horizons for Seniors Program (NHSP) supports local projects
across Canada that help ensure that seniors are able to benefit from, and contribute
to, the quality of life in their community through their social participation and active
living. The NHSP accomplishes its objectives through three separate funding
streams, namely:
1. The Community Participation and Leadership component, which provides
funding for projects that encourage seniors to contribute to their communities
by sharing their skills, wisdom and experience and helping to reduce isolation;
2. The Capital Assistance component, which provides grant funding for the
upgrading of community facilities and equipment related to existing programs
and activities for seniors; and
3. The Elder Abuse Awareness component, which provides contribution
funding for national or regional projects that raise awareness of the abuse
of older adults.
The NHSP focuses on seniors at large and is not intended to specifically target seniors
with disabilities. However, the NHSP has provided funding for many projects that have
involved organizations that deal with seniors with disabilities. Examples of funded
project activities include deaf seniors being provided with regular interpretive services
and an opportunity to share their needs and stories; South Asian senior women with
disabilities being paired with teenage girls to share knowledge of history, culture,
folklore and storytelling; and seniors with vision loss building peer networks while
participating in recreational activities.
D. Elections
Elections Canada is the independent body set up by Parliament to administer federal
elections and ensure Canadians can exercise their democratic right to vote. It reports
directly to Parliament.
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One of three objectives identified in the Strategic Plan developed by Elections Canada
for the period 2008–2013 is the need to make the electoral process more accessible
by testing innovative ways to vote and offering electors more ways to register. Ongoing
research aims to provide opportunities to improve access for some groups, including
people with disabilities and individuals with special needs.
Following the 39th general election, in efforts to make voting even more accessible,
Elections Canada collaborated closely with associations that represent electors with visual
impairments to improve its existing voting template and to develop a list of candidates
in large-print to display at each polling station. Both of these initiatives have been
successfully tested in by-elections and were used successfully at the 40th general election.
Elections Canada is the first federal government department or agency to introduce
TEXTNET. TEXTNET is a software product that improves Elections Canada’s ability
to serve Canadian electors with a hearing limitation by allowing agents to send and
receive TTY calls on their personal computers via the Internet.
The implementation of this out-sourced technology delivers on Election Canada’s
commitment to reach out to the deaf community, which has historically been underserved by many businesses, mainly because of limited TTY access and lack of
familiarity with its use. TEXTNET will improve Elections Canada’s ability to serve people
who are deaf and hard of hearing by expanding the number of potential TTY call
recipients within the agency. The total expenditures to implement TEXTNET service,
including the set-up and operating costs for 2008/09, will be $6,300.
All new documents posted on Elections Canada’s Web site are now coded to provide
full accessibility to visitors with visual impairments. A new Web page has recently been
added for voters with special needs. It lists all the services Elections Canada offers,
past initiatives, current tools to assist voters, and a list of links to organizations that
provide services to voters with special needs. A work plan for the complete redesign
of the Web site over the next two years is being developed. One of the key priorities
during this redesign will be to render the Web site even more accessible.
Assistive Aids and Devices
The Participation and Activity Limitation Survey found that, in 2006, 90,480 children
with disabilities aged 5 to 14 used or needed assistive technology to help them
participate in their daily activities, representing slightly more than half of all children
with disabilities in that age group in Canada. Also, 2.7 million Canadian adults with
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disabilities aged 15 and over with disabilities, or nearly two-thirds of this population,
used or needed technical aids or specialized equipment to help them perform one
or more daily activities.
Of those with disabilities either using or needing assistive technology, 6 out of 10
adults aged 15 and over (61.3%) and less than half of children aged 5 to 14 (45.3%)
had all of the equipment they needed, while 3 out of 10 adults (28.9%) and a nearly
equal proportion of children (30.1%) used such equipment but needed more. Last,
1 out of 10 adults (9.9%) and one-quarter of children (24.6%) had none of the
equipment required.
5. Disability Supports
A. Assistive Devices
Industry Canada is responsible for encouraging a growing, competitive and
knowledge-based Canadian economy. As part of its mandate, Industry Canada
operates the Assistive Devices Industry Office (ADIO). The ADIO works to support the
assistive technology and rehabilitation engineering industrial sectors. It also produces
Accessible News, a quarterly newsletter and manages the “Accessible Procurement
Toolkit” (www.apt.gc.ca) and the “AT-Links” (www.at-links.gc.ca) Web sites. ADIO also
works to develop and distribute national and international accessibility standards.
The ADIO also advises, supports and provides market information to Canadian
assistive device developers, producers, vendors and service providers. Moreover,
by providing information to its colleagues in other parts of Industry Canada, ADIO
safeguards the rights and needs of people with disabilities. Although ADIO is small
(a staff of three employees and a budget ofless than $50,000), it plays an important
role in ensuring the continued availability of accessible devices.
Under Industry Canada’s Contribution Program for Consumer and Voluntary Non-Profit
Organizations, the Canadian Association of the Deaf received $98,600 to develop, test
and prepare a business plan for its Visible Languages Translation Initiative (VLTI). VLTI
aims to provide a versatile, real-time video interpretation service for businesses and
governments that have a high incidence of deaf and hard-of-hearing consumers. The
Canadian Association of the Deaf tested VLTI using a variety of typical commercial
scenarios in which deaf or hard-of-hearing consumers interact directly with employees.
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Chapter 3
Income Support, Benefits
and Service Delivery
People with disabilities are more likely to have a low income than people without
disabilities. Recognizing this, the federal government offers support to people with
disabilities through a variety of programs and initiatives that provide income support
and other benefits. These programs and initiatives include the Canada Pension Plan
Disability, Employment Insurance Benefit and the new Registered Disability Savings Plan.
1. Canada Pension Plan Disability
The Canada Pension Plan Disability (CPPD) program is the largest long-term disability
insurance program in Canada. Its primary role is to replace a basic level of income for
CPP contributors who cannot work because of a severe and prolonged disability.
In the 2007/08 fiscal year, about 309,000 individuals with severe and prolonged
disabilities and 88,555 of their dependent children received $3.5 billion in monthly
CPPD benefits. A total of 32,479 new CPPD benefits were paid in 2007/08. The 2008
maximum monthly benefit was $1,078, and the average was $790 per month. In 2008,
the children’s monthly benefit was $209 for each eligible child.
With the agreement of the provinces, the CPPD Long Term Contributors provision, a
part of Bill C-36, came into effect on March 3, 2008. This amendment extends CPPD
eligibility to applicants with a long history of labour-force attachment. CPPD applicants
with 25 or more years of contributions now meet the contributory requirements with
valid contributions in three of the last six years, instead of four of the last six years. It is
estimated that by 2010, an additional 3,700 individuals and 1,000 of their children will
receive CPPD benefits. That number will rise to 11,000 by 2030.
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CPPD currently focuses on helping people with disabilities to participate in work
activity if they are able to return to some form of employment. Various policy tools have
been adopted to support CPPD recipients who try to return to work. Since 2005, CPPD
beneficiaries who return to regular employment and whose benefits are ceased are
entitled to have their benefits automatically reinstated if they cannot continue working
due to a recurrence of the same or related disability. This safety net is available for two
years from the time the benefit is ceased. During 2007/08, 451 CPPD beneficiaries
used this provision after returning to regular employment to have their benefits
automatically reinstated.
A. International Seminar on Disability Income Policy
In May 2008, Human Resources and Social Development Canada (HRSDC), in
partnership with the United States Social Security Administration, hosted a third
international seminar on disability income policy. The seminar, held in Montréal,
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 member countries of the Organisation for Economic
Co-operation and Development.
2. Employment Insurance Sickness Benefits
Employment Insurance (EI) sickness benefits provide up to 15 weeks of income
replacement for people who are unable to work due to short-term illness, injury or
quarantine. Through premium reduction agreements with over 32,000 employers
(representing about 40% of all employees in Canada), the EI program also encourages
the provision of private sector sickness coverage with additional health coverage. For
participating employers, the EI program provides a premium reduction through the
Premium Reduction Program in exchange for companies offering employee sickness
benefits that are at least equivalent to those offered through EI. 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 and provincial/territorial plans.
Spending for EI Sickness Benefits in 2006/07 was $916.2 million. Total premium
reductions resulting from the Premium Reduction Program were $649 million in 2006.
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3. Service Delivery
Challenges in Service Delivery
Recent research done for the Treasury Board Secretariat by Ekos Research Associates* found that people with disabilities are far less likely to use the Internet than
people without disabilities: only 60% of people with disabilities had accessed the
Internet in the three-month period covered by the research compared to 81% of
people without disabilities. People with disabilities are also less likely to report
that the Internet has made it easier to find information on government programs
and services. They are less likely to report being satisfied with their interaction with
the federal government and are less likely to support the greater emphasis on the
use of information technology by governments.
The Government of Canada is committed to continually working to improve
accessibility and service delivery for people with disabilities. It recognizes that
government information must be broadly accessible throughout society. To accommodate the varied needs of Canadians, information must be available in multiple
formats to ensure equal access and that all means of communication, from traditional methods to new technologies, must be used to reach and communicate with
Canadians wherever they may reside.
*Rethinking The Information Highway, 2007-2008: Looking at the Data from An
Accessibility Point of View, Ekos Research Associates.
Service Canada is responsible for collaborating with its many partners in delivering
fundamental services that greatly affect the everyday lives of Canadians. Service
Canada has a direct role in improving the day-to-day quality of life for Canadians
through many pathways, such as parental and pension benefits, EI benefits or even
obtaining a passport or a Social Insurance Number.
For the Government of Canada, Service Canada represents a critical reform in
delivering service to citizens. Its implementation stands as a real and tangible
demonstration to Canadians, at the community level, that their personal needs and
interests have priority and that the delivery of quality, comprehensive government
service has considerable significance for the Government of Canada. Service Canada’s
mandate is to improve citizen-centred service by working with HRSDC, other federal
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departments and agencies, orders of government and community partners to satisfy
the needs of individual Canadians, whether in person, by phone, by mail or via
the Internet.
People with disabilities face numerous challenges in carrying out their daily activities.
Service Canada seeks to minimize these challenges and address any barriers that
people with disabilities may face. To this end, in June 2006, Service Canada launched
a three-year service strategy for people with disabilities with the aim of increasing and
enhancing the accessibility of Service Canada’s offices, Web sites, forms, applications,
and telephone and mail services. Implementation of this strategy’s three main objectives
is ongoing as Service Canada strives to ensure its Service Charter is a reality for
Canadians with disabilities.
The strategy’s three objectives are:
1. ensuring accessibility through all channels;
2. enabling easier access by simplifying and bundling services; and
3. building a world-class government service that is a best practice in serving
people with disabilities.
A. Ensuring Accessibility
As a means of ensuring physical, virtual and systemic accessibility, Service Canada has
enhanced and simplified some of its service channel products and processes. These
enhancements were made to address the service needs of Canadians with specific
disabilities while being flexible enough to recognize individual client requirements
and circumstances.
Canada Enquiry Centre
The Canada Enquiry Centre, which is responsible for delivering the 1 800 O-Canada
service, has procured a networked TTY system that will allow the organization to treat
TTY and telephone calls in a more consistent fashion. The new system will deliver
TTY enquiries to the desktop of a group of specifically trained information officers
so that they can be answered in real time. This will ensure the consistent treatment
of telephone enquiries, with comparable service standards and turn-around times
regardless of whether the individual uses a traditional telephone line or a TTY system.
The final components of the technical infrastructure were put into place at the end of
the 2007/08 fiscal year. The system is now functioning in a test environment.
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Service Canada Call Centre
Service Canada Call Centres offer a toll-free number for clients for the following
programs: Canada Pension Plan, Old Age Security, Employment Insurance and Canada
Student Loans Program. Agents working in the call centres are also trained to respond
to TTY enquiries with minimal delay to clients.
Service Delivery Policies
In keeping with its goal to provide Canadians with one-stop, easy-to-access,
personalized service, Service Canada aims to ensure that people with disabilities
receive equitable access to services and benefits when they communicate for services
whether by phone, Internet, mail or in person. To that end, work continues on drafting
service delivery policies that address the various needs of clients with disabilities. A
policy on providing access to communication options for Deaf, Deaf-Blind, deafened
and hard-of-hearing clients is being tested across Canada. This policy applies to all
services provided by Service Canada personnel through the in-person and telephone
channels and demonstrates Service Canada’s commitment to continuous improvement
of accessibility, availability and quality of services to Deaf, Deaf-Blind, deafened and
hard-of-hearing Canadians.
B. Easier Access by Simplifying and Bundling Services
As part of its strategic objective to make access easier by simplifying and bundling
services, Service Canada has committed to simplifying forms and processes, to
creating internal and external linkages, and to improving the client experience when
people with disabilities deal with Service Canada. It has also committed to ensuring
that people with disabilities get information about all the programs and services they
are entitled to.
Enhancement to CPP Disability Benefits and Services
As one step in improving service for people applying for Canada Pension Plan
Disability (CPPD) benefits, Service Canada piloted a new service 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. Since the earnings pre-screening
component of that project was so well received, mechanisms are being created to
pre-screen individuals for the non-medical eligibility requirements before they are
required to complete and submit the whole application kit. Testing of this process in the
telephone channel started in January of 2008 in two Ontario call centres.
Another initiative is to improve the CPPD application form. A new application form
designed specifically for people with a terminal illness is being pre-tested. The form,
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Federal Disability Report • 2008
which used to be 33 pages long, has been reduced to eight pages. In conjunction with
this, Service Canada is also getting assistance from community professionals already
working with terminally ill clients to help them complete the new form. The aim of the
initiative is to significantly reduce the time required to complete an application and any
frustration with the current process for these clients and their families.
Work is also under way to revise and considerably simplify the regular application and
customize some of the questions to specific types of disability, such as mental health
limitations and episodic disabilities.
C. Building a World-class Government Service that is a Best
Practice in Serving People with Disabilities
In its attempt to build a world-class government service that is a best practice in
serving people with disabilities, Service Canada recognizes that internal (operational)
support structures need enhancement to ensure that staff are well equipped to
provide world-class services. Staff training on accessibility and disability issues,
targeted research, external and internal linkages, and enhanced access to assistive
technology for both staff and clients are keys to delivering world-class service to
people with disabilities.
Accessibility Centre of Excellence
The Accessibility Centre of Excellence (ACE) Centre helps HRSDC and Service
Canada employees and their managers to find the proper adaptive computer
technology solutions to create more accessible and effective work spaces. ACE
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 the needs of individual employees.
ACE continues to be a major contributor to central agencies in developing accessibility
guidelines and standards. ACE staff research new products and test all new technology
in use by HRSDC and Service Canada.
In 2007/08, ACE responded to 488 requests for service from 515 unique clients. These
requests ranged from end-user support and equipment loans representing vision,
mobility, hearing, speaking and cognitive disabilities to professional services, such
as accessibility evaluations and project support for developers, project managers,
communications groups, external groups and other government departments.
ACE maintains two Web sites: one internal to Service Canada and one available to all
federal government departments.
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Targeted Research Initiatives
As part of ongoing research projects, Service Canada is also engaged in research to
understand the general demographic trends that are most significant for Canadians
with disabilities. The following research projects ensure the ongoing development of
effective service delivery improvements for this client group:
1) RESEARCH ABOUT ORGANIZATIONS AND AGENCIES SUPPORTING PEOPLE
WITH DISABILITIES – The report was completed in March 2007 and yielded important
information on the needs, preferences, services and operating environments of various
organizations that support people with disabilities. It concluded that many of the
organizations are under-resourced, both financially and in terms of volunteers and staff,
yet most of them have fairly diverse mandates and provide a wide spectrum of services
to their clients. The research also concluded that a variety of communication tools or
approaches (Web, telephone, in-person, events, advertising) are used to reach out to
people with disabilities but that the in-person channel is used most often and viewed
as the most effective approach. It also confirmed that health-related, educational and
recreational programs and services are the type of information people with disabilities
most frequently want to access when they request assistance from organizations.
2) PEOPLE WITH DISABILITY PROFILE – The profile is based on the most
up-to-date information available and it provides descriptions of demographic and
socio-economic characteristics, needs, issues and challenges or barriers faced by
people with disabilities.
3) PARTICIPATION AND ACTIVITY LIMITATION SURVEY 2006 – An analysis has been
undertaked of the survey’s first release containing data on the prevalence, type and
severity of disability by age and gender. It will help identify areas where service could
be enhanced further.
4) NEEDS AND ISSUES OF PEOPLE WITH MENTAL ILLNESS – This study is designed
to describe the demographic and socio-economic characteristics of Canadians with
mental illness, and identify issues and challenges through a review of relevant literature.
In addition, it will identify the proportion of people with mental illness who have
difficulty accessing Government of Canada programs and services, and examine what
federal supports exist to help people with mental illness issues and their caregivers
access government programs and services.
Accommodation Checklist
An accommodation checklist was compiled to act as a guide for assessing offices and
identifying areas where barriers could be easily removed. The checklist is also used
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Federal Disability Report • 2008
to identify areas where accommodations are not so easily made and can assist in
drafting a remedial plan. The checklist is based on the Canadian Standards Association
standard for the built environment.
Adaptive Technology and Physical Accommodations
In a number of regions, specific office modifications or workstation inspections
and modifications have been undertaken to support employees and clients with
disabilities. Service Canada has implemented a plan to equip its 329 centres with
4,000 workstations adapted to improve access for people with disabilities. To date,
about 2,000 workstations have been adapted and work is continuing. The workstations
adjust in height and offer a variety of tools to facilitate access to information and forms
in the Service Canada Centre. These tools include a variety of keyboards and mouses
that can be used by people with dexterity and mobility impairments, as well as touch
and adjustable screens with a “read to me” option for people with literacy, visual or
other impairments.
Site modifications to enhance accessibility for people with disabilities have also been
undertaken in Service Canada centres:
• In the Newfoundland and Labrador region, 13 third-party agreements were
negotiated with community organizations to provide Service Canada Community
Offices. In all cases, one of the requirements was that the community offices meet
the accessibility requirements for people with disabilities.
• In Quebec, every Service Canada Centre is set up to comply with Public Works’
universal accessibility code. Entrances are accessible by ramp, elevator or
lift. People with disabilities can readily get around the service areas and all
workstations are equipped to facilitate their access.
• People with disabilities can access buildings at most of the mobile sites (87%).
In some places where this is impossible, alternatives have been provided, either
in the form of a meeting place where a removable access ramp can be installed
or the use of another facility.
Sensitivity Training
Many regions provide awareness and sensitivity training to their citizen service agents.
• In Bathurst, New Brunswick Canada Pension Plan/Old Age Security telephone
agents were given training on how to better serve citizens who are deaf or hard
of hearing.
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• In the Quebec region, nearly 75% of citizen service agents have received
training in cultural differences that included a sensitivity component to the
realities faced by people with disabilities. They are sensitive to citizens with
specific needs and are in a position to assist them, guide them and respond to
their service requirements.
• In Ontario, citizen service agents have been provided with soft-skill training
(ADAPT!) to remove service barriers and better sensitize them for engaging and
assisting people with disabilities. The Ontario region is also partnering with the
Centre for Addiction and Mental Health to provide awareness and sensitivity
training for Service Canada staff to better serve citizens with mental illness.
External Advisory Group
Service Canada created an External Advisory Group to seek advice, input and
feedback from non-governmental disability organizations involved in service delivery on
ways to improve the accessibility and delivery of its programs and services for people
with disabilities. The Advisory Group is also a forum for dialogue and informationsharing on delivering services to people with disabilities.
Membership in the Advisory Group is voluntary and members do not receive any
honorarium or per diem, although expenses related to attending meetings are covered
by Service Canada. The membership represents a broad spectrum of disabilities and
its members are drawn from across Canada. The Advisory Group held two meetings in
2007, one in May and the other in November.
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SERVICE CANADA – REGION-SPECIFIC ACTIVITIES
Service Canada is about improving the delivery of Government of Canada programs and services to
citizens through easy-to-access, personalized service. It supports many regionally based HRSDC
initiatives to accomplish this goal.
Labour Market Agreements for Persons with Disabilities
The federal government, through the Labour Market Agreements for People with Disabilities, works
with the provinces to put in place programs to help people with disabilities to overcome barriers and
become active in the labour force. Through these agreements, regions also support communitybased organizations to deliver employment-related services that target people with physical and
developmental disabilities. These organizations work with individuals in developing and implementing
return-to-work action plans and in securing employment.
BRITISH COLUMBIA, ALBERTA, NORTHWEST TERRITORIES, YUKON
and NUNAVUT
• The Canada Pension Plan Disability (CPPD)/Assured Income for the Severely Handicapped (AISH)
pilot in central Alberta has now been expanded to cover the whole province. A partnership between
Service Canada and the province, this initiative enables people who apply for Alberta’s AISH at
a government services office to also have their eligibility for CPPD verified over the phone by a
customer service agent at a Service Canada Centre elsewhere in the province. Clients can also
provide consent for one set of medical records to be used to apply for both the federal and provincial
programs.
• Service Canada in British Columbia and the Ministry of Employment and Income Assistance actively
engage the disability community in policy dialogue and consultation regarding employment programs
and services through the Persons with Disabilities Advisory Committee. Organizations representing
people with various types of disabilities sit on the Committee.
• An agreement between Service Canada and the BC Ministry of Employment and Income Assistance
allows people to provide consent for one set of medical records to be used to apply for both the
federal and provincial programs. The application process is therefore more streamlined and cost
effective.
SASKATCHEWAN and MANITOBA
• In southwest Saskatchewan, Service Canada is involved with a committee that is focusing on youth
with disabilities as they complete secondary education. Citizen Service Agents provide services that
facilitate the transition from school to work.
• Service Canada in northern Saskatchewan is a stakeholder of the Employment Networking Initiative.
This coalition of Human Service Agencies provides integrated services for people with disabilities,
ultimately leading to full inclusion and employment.
• Service Canada has actively participated on the Supported Employment Transition Initiative steering
committee which is composed of federal, provincial and community-based organizations with a
mandate to help people with disabilities find and maintain employment in their communities.
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ONTARIO
• A partnership between Service Canada and the Province of Ontario has resulted in Service Canada Ontario
Region and the Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP), Toronto Region, participating in an ongoing pilot to
bundle information about Canada Pension Plan Disability benefits and ODSP benefits in the Service Canada
Centres (Toronto East/West) and the ODSP Toronto Regional Offices. In this way, people with disabilities who
visit the Service Canada Centres and the Ontario Disability Support Program Income Support offices can get
information about both services in either location.
• Service Initiatives to Homeless/Near Homeless Canadians: Community-based input indicates that one
of the most significant sub-populations of homeless people in Ontario includes people with mental
illness or dual diagnoses. Many communities are developing plans and strategic approaches to
respond to this priority. Plans were implemented with programming support and will be in place until
at least March 31, 2009.
QUEBEC
• The region has established an important partnership with the Sphère-Québec organization, which serves
as the community coordinator for managing individual measures available through the Opportunities
Fund for People with Disabilities. This organization’s board of directors represents the main disability
groups in Quebec.
• Professional sign language interpreters are provided on request to clients of the centre who are Deaf,
deafened or hard of hearing.
NEW BRUNSWICK
• The New Brunswick Region has developed a People with Disabilities Client Segment Profile specific to
their region. It includes a diagnostic (snapshot of New Brunswick people with disabilities situation) and
an inventory of programs and services, a needs assessment, and gap analysis. A consultation group was
organized to obtain feedback on service offerings, service gaps and recommendations.
NOVA SCOTIA and PRINCE EDWARD ISLAND
• Consultations with people who are Deaf, deafened or hard of hearing revealed that many are depending
less on TTY for telephone communications in favour of text messaging on cell phones. To enhance
service to these clients, the Halifax Service Canada Centre is piloting the use of a BlackBerry to answer
basic questions that Deaf, deafened or hard of hearing people may have before they come in to the
office, or to arrange for an interpreter when they do have to come in. While the option of an interpreter
continues to exist for clients in the Service Canada Centre, people who are Deaf, deafened or hard of
hearing also have the option of communicating with the citizen service agent by Interpretype. Feedback
from clients has been positive so far. An evaluation will be undertaken by the end of the year.
NEWFOUNDLAND AND LABRADOR
• The Canada Pension Plan Disability (CPPD) Centre of Specialization in St. John’s has hired more medical
adjudicators in 2007/08 to ensure claimants receive decisions and payments on claims sooner. The NL
unit also expanded its service offerings, resulting in payments being made directly to beneficiaries in their
time of need. Together, these two initiatives have increased the number National CPPD file decisions
made by 68%.
• A regional intranet site, Disability Matters, allows staff to increase their knowledge of various disabilities.
The site is also used by several other regions as they work with staff and community on providing
services to people with disabilities. Emphasis is being placed on increasing efforts to engage disability
organizations and to attend community activities such as workshops and annual general meetings.
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Chapter 4
Learning, Skills
and Employment
People with disabilities in Canada often face disadvantages in obtaining education
and employment. A number of barriers such as negative attitudes, inaccessible
infrastructure and a lack of supports have kept many Canadians with disabilities
from furthering their education and working full time.
Some of the factors that limit people with disabilities in trying to access post-secondary
education and in making the transition from school to work include financial barriers;
inaccessible physical infrastructures resulting in limited ability to attend classes,
navigate campus, use various facilities, do research or use libraries and labs; and
absence of necessary supports, such as adequate career and employment counselling
services, which makes entering the labour force difficult.
The Government of Canada is collaborating with other levels of government, disability
organizations and the private sector to remove the barriers to post-secondary
education and employment. The participation of people with disabilities, as well as
youth and immigrants, will be critical in addressing future labour market shortages
as Canada’s aging population leaves the workforce in increasing numbers.
Education
In 2006, 11.9% of adults with disabilities reported having attended school in
the past five years. Among these respondents, 9.6% required modified building
features or services to attend. Examples of modifications include accessible
classrooms, washrooms, residences, and transportation. The most commonly
needed features were accessible transportation and classrooms, with a rate of
2.3% and 1.9%, respectively.
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Also, 13.7% of adult students with disabilities reported needing assistive devices or
services to be able to follow their courses. This could include note-takers or readers, a tutor or teacher’s aide, talking books, attendant care services, among others. Respondents cited tutors or teachers’ aides (6.1%) and note-takers or readers
(4.4%) as the assistive devices or services they required most frequently.
As a group, adult students with disabilities face more challenges than their non-disabled counterparts. For instance, 25.2% reported having begun school later than
most other people their age, and 55.1% reported having taken longer to achieve
their present level of education.
1. Learning and Skills
A. Canada Student Loans Program
The Government of Canada recognizes the particular challenges faced by students
with permanent disabilities in their pursuit of a post-secondary education.
The mission of the Canada Student Loans Program (CSLP) is to promote accessibility
to post-secondary education for students who have a demonstrated financial need.
The program lowers financial barriers by providing loans and grants to ensure that
Canadians have an opportunity to develop the knowledge and skills necessary to
participate in the economy and society.
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 340 weeks.
Students with permanent disabilities are also eligible to enrol in reduced course loads
while continuing to maintain their full-time or part-time status. Eligible students are
considered full-time when they take a 40% course load. They are considered part-time
students when they take between 20% and 39% of a full-time course load.
The CSLP provides additional post-secondary financial assistance to students with
a permanent disability who have a demonstrated financial need through targeted
grants to help offset exceptional education and living costs related to their permanent
disability. In addition to low-income grants for all eligible students with financial need,
the CSLP offers two specific grants to students with permanent disabilities: the Canada
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Access Grant for Students with Permanent Disabilities and the Canada Study Grant
for the Accommodation of Students with Permanent Disabilities.
The Canada Access Grant for Students with Permanent Disabilities provides
up to $2,000 per loan year (1 August to 31 July) up to the assessed financial
need, to help cover accommodation, tuition, books, and other exceptional
education-related expenses.
The Canada Study Grant for the Accommodation of Students with Permanent
Disabilities provides up to $8,000 per loan year to offset exceptional educationrelated costs such as tutors, interpreters or technical aids associated with students’
permanent disabilities.
In the 2006/07 loan year, 12,602 students with permanent disabilities were awarded
a Canada Access Grant, totalling $23.4 million. Another 11,956 students received the
Canada Study Grant for the Accommodation of Students with Permanent Disabilities,
for a total of $20.3 million.
The CSLP also has special loan forgiveness provisions. Students with a permanent
disability recognized by the CSLP who are restricted from participating in the workforce
and who experience exceptional financial hardship in repaying their Canada Students
Loan because of their permanent disability may be eligible for loan forgiveness. In the
2006/07 loan year, 396 students benefited from this measure at an approximate cost
of $4.5 million.
New measures introduced in Budget 2008
In Budget 2008, the Government of Canada announced new measures for the
2009/10 academic year that will provide more effective support to students with
permanent disabilities.
Students with permanent disabilities may also be eligible for grants for students
from low- and middle-income families. The new Canada Student Grant will offer a
$250-per-month grant for students from low-income families and a $100-per-month
grant for students from middle-income families.
Under the new Canada Student Grant, continued support similar to the existing grants
will be available to reduce barriers associated with the high costs faced by students
with disabilities. The Canada Student Grant for Students with Permanent Disabilities
(similar to the Canada Access Grant for Students with Permanent Disabilities) is
increased to a flat $2,000 per loan year for those assessed to be in financial need. The
Canada Student Grant for the Accommodation of Students with Permanent Disabilities
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Federal Disability Report • 2008
(similar to the Canada Study Grant for the Accommodation of Students with Permanent
Disabilites) will provide up to $8,000 to cover exceptional educational-related costs,
such as tutors, note-takers, sign language interpreters, or technical aids.
A new Accelerated Repayment Assistance Plan will be available to borrowers with
a permanent disability who do not qualify for immediate loan forgiveness, with the
following provisions:
• borrowers with incomes below a low-income threshold will not be required to
make loan payments, and will see their debt gradually reduced over 10 years;
• the calculation of repayment assistance will factor in the extra living and
accommodation costs faced by borrowers, reducing the amount of their
affordable payment compared with that of other borrowers; and
• previous assessments of permanent disability will be recognized in determining
eligibility for specific debt-management measures so that students will not have
to submit documentation repeatedly.
Immediate loan forgiveness through the Permanent Disability Benefit will be amended
to ensure that:
• it is provided to borrowers who will never be able to repay their student loans
due to a severe permanent disability; and
• all borrowers with severe permanent disabilities, who had loans issued from
1995 to 2000 (risk-shared loans) will be eligible for repayment assistance. This
will allow for immediate loan forgiveness for qualifying students, regardless of
when the disability occurred, and regardless of when the loan was received.
The Canada Access Grant for Students with Permanent Disabilities –
Focus Group Research
During February and March 2008, the CSLP (through a contract with Environics
Research Group) conducted focus groups with Canada Student Loans borrowers with
permanent disabilities, who are the recipients of Canada Access Grants for Students
with Permanent Disabilities and Canada Study Grants for the Accommodation of
Students with Permanent Disabilities. One of the key objectives of the research
project was to explore whether current government support programs help students
with permament disabilities to access, continue and complete their post-secondary
education. The final research report was released in September 2008 on the Library
and Archives Canada Web site.
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Table – Canada Student Loans Program Expenditures,
2006/07 Loan Year
Program/Initiative
Amount*
($ millions)
Recipients*
Canada Access Grant for Students
with Permanent Disabilities
$23.4
12,602
Canada Study Grant for the
Accommodation of Students with
Permanent Disabilities
$20.3
11,956
$4.5
396
Permanent Disability Benefit
*Note: Figures are based on departmental estimates
2. Employment
A. Labour Market Agreements for Persons with Disabilities
In 2004, the Forum of Social Services Ministers developed and implemented the
Multilateral Framework for Labour Market Agreements for Persons with Disabilities
(LMAPDs), which aims to improve the employment situation of people with disabilities.
The Framework reaffirms the commitment of federal and provincial governments to
work toward ensuring that people with disabilities can participate successfully in the
labour market, and to report to Canadians on progress made in this area.
There are agreements between the Government of Canada and nine provincial
governments. Quebec did not participate in the Multilateral Framework, but it has
signed an LMAPD that respects similar principles in providing labour market programs
in Quebec. The territories have not signed LMAPD agreements.
Under the LMAPD, the Government of Canada provides funding for 50% of eligible
program costs up to the amount of the federal allocation set out in the bilateral
agreements with provinces. The LMAPD framework is in place to March 31, 2009.
LMAPD funding supports a range of programs and services designed to help people
succeed in the labour market by enhancing their employability, increasing available
employment opportunities, and building on the existing knowledge base. Some
300,000 individuals participate in LMAPD-funded programs each year. Provinces
design and deliver these programs to address key needs in their jurisdictions.
LMAPD-funded programs and services are provided through a variety of ministries/
departments and third parties within each jurisdiction.
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Provincial labour market programs and services funded under the LMAPD are
consistent with select priority areas including education and training, employment
participation, employment opportunities, connecting employers and people with
disabilities, and building knowledge.
Table: 2007/08 Federal Contribution for Labour Market Agreements for
Persons with Disabilities
Newfoundland and Labrador
Prince Edward Island
Nova Scotia
New Brunswick
Quebec
Ontario
Manitoba
Saskatchewan
Alberta
British Columbia
Total Contribution
$4,578,368
$1,375,660
$8,290,346
$5,950,848
$45,892,915
$76,411,477
$8,964,971
$10,852,609
$25,190,332
$30,744,085
$218,251,611
Source of funds: Consolidated Revenue Fund
Under the Multilateral Framework for Labour Market Agreements for Persons with
Disabilities, governments agree to report on program and societal indicators, beginning
in 2005 and yearly thereafter, in order to improve the quality and effectiveness of
reporting over time. Each jurisdiction agrees to release its report to their constituents
on December 3, the International Day of Persons with Disabilities.
Jurisdictions will report on the following indicators:
i. Program Indicators
The number of participants:
• in programs and services;
• completing a program/service with specific start and end points; and
• who obtained or maintained employment.
ii. Societal Indicators
• the employment rate of working people with disabilities;
• their employment income; and
• their educational attainment.
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The federal and provincial governments are making the LMAPD more effective by
improving how results are reported against program and society indicators, as well as
by conducting a joint evaluation with Manitoba. This evaluation was used to determine
whether the program was being implemented as intended and whether changes to its
design and delivery would improve its success. The evaluation also assessed program
rationale and relevance to the needs of people with disabilities, reviewed design and
delivery processes, and examined the extent to which services reflect best practices.
The Manitoba evaluation was completed in September 2008. A final report will be
available in 2009.
B. The Opportunities Fund for Persons with Disabilities
The Opportunities Fund for Persons with Disabilities (OF) is a federally delivered
program. Its objective is to help people with disabilities prepare for, obtain and keep
employment or become self-employed, thereby increasing their economic participation
and independence.
The intent of the program is to assist unemployed people with disabilities who have
had little or no labour force attachment and who therefore do not qualify for assistance
under the Employment Insurance program.
Although the LMAPDs and the OF both offer training and supports to help people
with disabilities find employment, the LMAPD’s focus is on increasing the individual’s
employability (e.g., vocational rehabilitation) while the OF offers immediate supports
and short-term training to individuals who are considered job-ready to get them back
into the labour market as quickly and effectively as possible.
The OF supports a broad range of activities, including:
• financial assistance to organizations to deliver employment-related programs
and services;
• wage subsidies to employers;
• work experience placements;
• financial assistance to individuals for skills training; and
• financial assistance to individuals to establish a new business.
Assistance is also available to address the specific employment circumstances and
needs of the individual, such as workplace accommodation costs or the provision of
adaptive equipment and personal supports.
Eligible recipients include businesses, organizations such as public health and
educational institutions, tribal/band councils, municipal governments and individuals.
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The OF is delivered primarily through local Service Canada Centres. However, a portion
of the $30-million-a-year budget is retained at national headquarters for OF National
Projects. Under this option, funding is provided to organizations to deliver employmentrelated services to a broad cross-section of people with disabilities in a number of
sites across the country. National projects must operate in three or more provinces
or territories.
Table: 2007/08 Distribution of Opportunities Fund Financing
Newfoundland and Labrador
$ 349,882
Prince Edward Island
$ 100,000
Nova Scotia
$ 828,860
New Brunswick
$ 517,598
Quebec
$ 4,150,083
Ontario
$ 8,255,194
Manitoba
$ 691,634
Saskatchewan
$ 699,825
Alberta
$ 2,554,952
British Columbia
$ 3,110,698
Northwest Territories
$ 100,000
Yukon
$ 100,000
Nunavut
$ 100,000
National Headquarters
$ 5,192,274
Subtotal
$26,751,000
Operating
$ 3,249,000
Total
$30,000,000
In 2007/08, over 900 agreements provided assistance to people with disabilities. Of
these, about 300 were with employers and 130 were with organizations providing
employment-related services. Some 500 agreements were with individuals who provide
assistance for skills training or establishing a new business. Seven projects were
delivered in various sites across Canada under the OF National Projects option.
Outcomes of the OF focus on the labour market participation of people with disabilities
and the level to which the program helped them achieve greater employability and
obtain employment.
In 2007/08, 4,631 clients were served by the program. Of these,1,616 (35%) gained
employment, 3,021 (65%) enhanced their employability and 168 (3.6%) returned
to school. The remaining clients continue to work with service providers on their
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return-to-work action plans, others are referred to a more appropriate resource, and
some drop out for health reasons.
In October 2007, in an effort to increase awareness within the employer community
about the advantages of hiring people with disabilities, the Minister of HRSD approved
a request to allow local Service Canada Centres to conduct employer-awareness
activities in their respective areas. Results will be provided annually to ensure that
funds are expended effectively.
An evaluation of the program was completed in spring 2008. It addressed the
program’s rationale and relevance, implementation and achievement of objectives,
monitoring and client profile, and impacts and effects. The findings are generally
positive, and indicate that the program continues to be relevant by assisting people
with disabilities who are not fully served by other federal or provincial programs.
Outcomes of the Opportunities Fund
Outcomes of the Opportunities Fund focus on the degree to which the program
helped people with disabilities achieve greater employability, attain employment or
return to school. In 2007/08, more than 900 agreements helped 4,631 people with
disabilities to find, prepare for and maintain employment or become self-employed.
C. Western Economic Diversification
Western Economic Diversification Canada (WD)23 provides the Entrepreneurs
with Disabilities Program (EDP), a program that targets assistance for people with
disabilities. It also provides funding support for individual projects within each of the
Department’s strategic priorities.
Entrepreneurs with Disabilities Program
In 2007/08, WD spent $1.4 million on the EDP. The EDP 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. The services include:
• assistance with developing business plans;
• mentoring and counselling;
• training in business management;
• help in identifying requirements for specialized equipment;
• referrals to other government resources; and
• access to business loans.
23
More information on Western Economic Diversification Canada is available at: www.wd.gc.ca.
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Federal Disability Report • 2008
Background
At its inception in 1997/98, the EDP was composed of two programs: the Urban
Entrepreneurs with Disabilities Initiative and the Entrepreneurs with Disabilities Program
in rural areas. In 2005, the two were consolidated into one program—the EDP.
Delivery channels
Western Canadians who have a disability can access a network of business
professionals and many other resources through the EDP.
In rural communities, the program is delivered through Community Futures offices.24
In urban areas, WD works with a number of partners to deliver the program.
Province
British Columbia
Alberta
Saskatchewan
Manitoba
Community Futures Development Corporation
Community Futures Development Association of BC
Community Futures Network of Alberta
Community Futures Partners of Saskatchewan
Community Futures Manitoba Inc.
City
Vancouver, BC
Victoria and Lower Mainland, BC
Calgary, AB
Edmonton, AB
Regina, SK
Saskatoon, SK
Winnipeg, MB
Delivery Agent
Vancouver City Savings Credit Union
Coast Capital Savings Credit Union
Momentum Community Economic
Development Society
Distinctive Employment Counselling
Services of Alberta
South Saskatchewan Independent
Living Resource Centre
North Saskatchewan Independent
Living Resource Centre
Independent Living Resource Centre
Source: Western Economic Diversification
Loan provisions
The EDP provides access to business loans to entrepreneurs with disabilities who are
unable to obtain financing from a traditional financial institution. The loan terms are
flexible and tailored to meet an individual’s needs.
24
70
Information on the Community Futures Development Corporation is available at: www.wd.gc.ca/254_ENG_ASP.asp.
Advancing the Inclusion of People with Disabilities
Federal Disability Report • 2008
Support through other initiatives that align with WD’s strategic
priorities
WD 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 of organizations that serve the disability community.
Examples of projects funded by Western Economic Diversification Canada
In 2007/08, WD provided $2.2 million to the Rick Hansen Foundation. The total
multi-year commitment to the Foundation is $15 million. The purpose of these
contributions is to help establish a leadership fund with the aim of improving the
health and quality of life of people with spinal cord injuries.
As part of a multi-year commitment of over $63,000, Western Economic Diversification
Canada contributed over $6,000 to the Canadian Paraplegic Association in 2007/08.
The objective of this project is to support the development, implementation and
pilot operations of the Kootenay Lodge. Kootenay Lodge will be an affordable,
supportive housing project aimed at meeting the needs of homeless Aboriginal
people with spinal cord injuries or other physical disabilities. Kootenay Lodge will
combine housing with daily living aids and social supports to provide a stable living
environment and help residents reconnect with their families, promote greater
independence, and help them reintegrate back into the community through
employment training and education.
D. Public Service Employment
The Public Service Commission
The Public Service Commission (PSC) is dedicated to building a public service that
strives for excellence. It protects 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.
The PSC 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.
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Federal Disability Report • 2008
PROGRAMS AND INITIATIVES OF THE PSC
The PSC is accountable for employment equity in all appointment activities it
administers or oversees under the Public Service Employment Act (PSEA). In addition,
the Employment Equity Act (EEA) requires the PSC to identify and eliminate barriers
and institute positive policies and practices in the public service appointment system
to achieve a representative workforce.
The PSC’s appointment framework includes an overarching policy on employment
equity and the duty to accommodate requirements pertaining to staffing. The PSC also
has guides and tools to support departments in integrating employment equity into the
appointment process. The PSC will continue to monitor their impact on recruitment and
staffing activities.
The PSC is updating its systems and tools and developing new ones to help
departments and agencies implement the provisions of the PSEA. Tools such as the
jobs.gc.ca Web site, the Public Service Resourcing System and the Infotel service at
1-800-645-5605 are monitored and maintained to ensure that they are inclusive and
barrier-free. All Canadians can access employment opportunities in the federal
public service.
The PSC Guidelines for Assessing Persons with Disabilities have been revised to
reflect current legislative requirements, policies and best practices, and to make them
more user-friendly.
MERIT AND REPRESENTATIVENESS
In March 2008, the PSC launched the statement, “Merit - Achieving Representativeness,”
and the new tool, “Increasing Representativeness in the Public Service.”
The purpose of the statement is to:
•reaffirm the link between merit and representativeness under the PSEA and
the EEA;
•explain how merit can be applied to achieve employment equity objectives in
the public service appointment system; and
•provide practical tools to help deputy heads, managers and human resources
professionals achieve a representative workforce.
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EEA REVIEW
As part of its contribution to the five-year Parliamentary review of the EEA, the PSC
has consulted key stakeholders including deputy heads, bargaining agents and chairs
of national employment equity employee councils. The feedback received has been
analyzed and will be used to develop the PSC’s position on the consultation issues.
CASE STUDY
The PSC studied selected collective recruitment processes to determine the good
practices that contribute to higher appointment rates for employment equity group
members. The case study includes a review of the merit criteria and how they are
applied, the assessment and selection tools used, and how appointment decisions
are made. The PSC identified and reported on emerging good practices from selected
collective recruitment processes for the Personnel Administration Group.
National Council of Federal Employees with Disabilities
The National Council of Federal Employees with Disabilities (NCFED) is made up of
11 federal public servants with disabilities: three from the National Capital Region, six
from the regions, a National Capital Region Co-Chair and a Regional Co-Chair. NCFED
also has two full-time office workers. The NCFED board members are all people with
disabilities, have been elected by federal public servants, and their voluntary work
through the Council is in addition to their regular employment.
Some of the NCFED’s Key Activities and Achievements in 2007/08:
• NCFED now boasts over 500 subscribers.
• Following an extensive consultation process, NCFED has successfully
laid the groundwork for interactive discussions with Deputy Ministers
and Assistant Deputy Ministers, paving the way for a strategic and
collaborative approach to addressing major areas of concern for public
servants with disabilities. Susan Fletcher, ADM at Health Canada,
has taken up the challenge of championing this initiative. An effective
Assistant Deputy Minister/Director General (ADM/DG) Subcommittee
on Accommodation (the Infocentre) has held several meetings.
Appropriately, NCFED plays an advisory role. An ADM/DG Subcommittee
on Mental Health Issues and Disability Management is being established.
Both subcommittees are composed of representatives from departments
that have responsibility and decision power for these areas.
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Federal Disability Report • 2008
• Another positive step for NCFED centres on the Committee on
Real-Time Print Interpretation which has been meeting with Treasury
Board representatives.
• NCFED has also presented a position paper to the Standing Committee
on Human Rights and the Status of Persons with Disabilities concerning
the revision of the Employment Equity Act. This paper will be posted on
the NCFED Web site.
• NCFED has increased its visibility within the public service, both in
the National Capital Region and in the regions. Representatives have
participated in many events, including the National Managers Forum,
several international celebrations for people with disabilities, Employment
Equity and Diversity conferences, and DND Western Diversity events in
Vancouver, Victoria, Edmonton and Calgary. Since this is an election year
for NCFED, the organization can count on seeing some changes and
expansion over the next three years.
• NCFED hosted Congress 2008 at the Ottawa Congress Centre
June 11 and 12 for employees. The theme was “Energized, Enabled
and Empowered,” emphasizing mental health issues and stress in
the workplace.
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Chapter 5
Well-Being: Health,
Safety and Identity
People with disabilities are less likely to report that they are in good health25 and that
they have shorter life expectancies, on average, than people without disabilities.26
Many people with disabilities are also in a less advantageous position in terms of wellbeing, which includes social well-being in the sense of belonging to a community.27
Disability rates, by age and sex, Canada, 2006
percentage
70
60
Males
54
Females
50
40
33 34
30
17 19
20
10
0
58
2 1
0-4
6 3
5-14
5 5
13 15
8 8
15-24 25-44
45-64
65-74
75+
Total
age group
Source: PALS 2006
. Hourston, “Health Learning and People with Disabilities,” Abilities, July (2007), pp.45.
S
M. A. McColl, J. Bickenbach, W. Boyce, J. Miller, L. Ogilvie, S. Shortt, and D. Surtevant, “Access to Primary Health Care, New
Information for People with Disabilities,” Queen’s University Centre for Health Services and Policy Research, 2003 (available at:
http://chspr.queensu.ca/downloads/Reports/Consumer_Fact_Sheet.pdf).
27
Interestingly, however, a 2006 study found that Canadians born with a disability were more likely to report being happy than were
individuals who developed a disability later in life. For more information, see Uppal, Sharanjit (2006) “Impact of the timing, type
and severity of disability on the subjective well-being of individuals with disabilities”, Social Science & Medicine, vol.63(2).
25
26
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Federal Disability Report • 2008
While only 14.3% of Canadians reported experiencing a disability in 2006, the majority
of Canadians experience disability at some point in their lives. Frequently, disability is
experienced with age, with nearly half (43.4%) of people aged 65 and over reporting
a disability. This rate significantly increases to over half (56.3%) for people aged 75
and over. Also, females, with the exception of those younger than 15, tend to report
higher disability rates than their male counterparts (15.7% and 13.4%, respectively). It
is important to recognize that the experiences of women, Aboriginals, veterans or the
elderly with disabilities, for example, may differ significantly from the experiences of
other people with disabilities.
This chapter focuses on general health and safety programs as well as on programs
that promote well-being, including those that support people with disabilities in a way
that recognizes that the disability community is not a homogeneous one, but rather,
that the experience of disability can differ greatly from individual to individual based
on social identity. This chapter includes information on programs directed at women,
veterans and the elderly. Information on programs available to Aboriginal people is
included in Chapter 6.
1. Health
The Government of Canada initiates several programs through Health Canada (HC)
and the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) that rely on an understanding of the
complex relationships between health and disability. These programs aim to eliminate
the barriers to well-being.
A. Maintaining and Improving Health
Health Canada28 is the federal department responsible for helping Canadians maintain
and improve their health. HC is committed to improving the lives of all Canadians and
to making Canada’s population among the healthiest in the world as measured by
longevity, lifestyle and effective use of the public health care system.
HC fulfills its mission by supporting activities that preserve Canada’s health care
system; enhance and protect the health of Canadians; and communicate with
Canadians about health promotion, disease prevention and safety messaging.
HC has many roles and responsibilities in ensuring the health of Canadians, including
providing research and analysis on specific policy files that may directly or indirectly
improve services for people with disabilities. The Strategic Policy Branch provides
policy advice on a range of health care issues including home care, long-term facilitybased care, primary health care, palliative care, supportive housing and autism. It
28
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More information on Health Canada is available at: www.hc-sc.gc.ca/index-eng.php.
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Federal Disability Report • 2008
also collaborates with stakeholders, other federal departments and provincial and
territorial governments to develop and share knowledge in these areas to improve
Canadians’ access to quality health care services that meet their needs. Such services
are especially important to the quality of life of people with disabilities who may need
continuing health care or assistance with the essential activities of daily living so
that they can fully participate in society and in the workforce. Canadians of all ages
and with a range of physical, developmental and mental disabilities will ultimately be
affected by this work.
The Human Development Index
The Human Development Index (HDI), measured by the United Nations, is a composite index that measures the average achievements in a country in three basic
dimensions of human development: a long and healthy life, access to knowledge,
and a decent standard of living. For the 2007/08 year, Canada was ranked as being
fourth in the world on the HDI scale, with an HDI value of 0.961. The life expectancy
at birth was measured as 80.3 years.
More information on the HDI is available at:
http://hdr.undp.org/en/media/hdr_20072008_en_complete.pdf.
The Canada Health Act
The Canada Health Act was adopted in 1984. Through this Act, the federal government ensures that the provinces and territories meet certain requirements, such as
free and universal access to insured health care. These requirements have helped
shape provincial health care insurance plans throughout the country.
More information on the Canada Health Act is available at:
www.parl.gc.ca/information/library/prbpubs/944-e.htm.
B. Preventing and Responding to Health Emergencies
The Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC)29 focuses on preventing chronic diseases
and injuries and responding to public health emergencies and infectious disease
outbreaks. It works closely with provinces and territories to keep Canadians healthy
and to help reduce pressures on the health care system. HC and the PHAC work
closely together to adapt programs to suit the needs of all Canadians.
29
More information on the Public Health Agency of Canada is available at: www.phac-aspc.gc.ca/index-eng.php.
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Recognizing the need to think of and plan for the specific needs of the individuals,
families and special care groups affected by a disaster, PHAC’s Centre for Emergency
Preparedness manages the Personal Services Program. The goal of the Personal
Services, which is one of the six Emergency Social Services, is to facilitate people’s
early recovery by:
• offering immediate, appropriate, personal help and information to people with
physical, social, emotional or financial problems or needs created or aggravated
by a disaster;
• providing short- and long-term preventive programs or services that will help
reduce the ongoing stresses associated with personal, family and community
recovery from disaster;
• providing information to human service planners, policy makers, and workers
about human problems and needs created by a disaster and the services
required to respond to these needs.
Help with Everyday Activities
It is not uncommon for adults with disabilities to need help iwth everyday activities such as housework or childcare. In fact, 63.7% of adults with disabilities
report needing at least some help with their daily activities. According to PALS
2006 data, of the nearly 2.7 million adults with disabilities who do require help, the
three most common areas in which assistance are obtained are:
• help with heavy household chores (69.1%)
• help with grocery shopping and going to appointments (51.0%)
• help with housework (48.2%)
Many of those adults with disabilities who require help with everyday activities
report receiving all the assistance they need. However, according to PALS 2006,
53.3% of those require help report not receiving all the assistance they need. The
three most common areas of unmet needs* are:
• help with heavy household chores (29.6%)
• help with housework (19.0%)
• help with grocery shopping and going to appointments (15.9%)
*People have unmet needs if they need help but have no help or if they have some
help but need additional help.
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C. Public Health Measures
Healthy Living
The Healthy Living Fund (national stream) solicited and signed contribution agreements
with 10 organizations (11 projects in total) in 2007, with contribution agreements
concluding on March 31, 2009. Two of these contribution agreements have been
signed by two national organizations that serve Canadians living with disabilities by
helping them lead healthy, active lives.
The organizations and the projects they are undertaking are as follows:
Active Living Alliance for Canadians with a Disability
Physical Activity and Healthy Eating: A Project for Children and Youth with Disabilities
This project seeks to: engage youth with disabilities as leaders in advocating for
healthy, inclusive communities; educate children and youth with disabilities about
the importance of active living and healthy eating; evaluate current strategies for
training physical education and community recreation program leaders; and equip
individuals and organizations (e.g., teachers, coaches, community leaders, etc.) with
the knowledge, training and resources they need to ensure children and youth with
disabilities are included in physical education and recreation programs. This project
will help young Canadians with disabilities be better informed about active living,
physical activity and healthy eating, and increase their capacity to affect change
in their communities.
Canadian Association of Independent Living Centres
Food for Thought: A Pan-Canadian Initiative Addressing the Healthy Eating Goals of
Persons with Disabilities
The project will help to ensure that community capacity, partnerships, networks
and supportive environments are in place so that people with disabilities can make
better, healthier food choices. More specifically, this project will increase the capacity
of Canada’s 28 Independent Living Resource Centres to deliver healthy eating
programs and increase cross-sectoral partnerships. This will result in more people
with disabilities making informed choices about nutrition, leading to improved health
and well-being.
Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder
Projects funded through the FASD National Strategic Projects Fund have focused
on building consensus on screening and counseling pregnant women and women of
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Federal Disability Report • 2008
child-bearing age, in order to improve consistency of prevention of prenatal exposure
to alcohol. These projects have included both in-person and online training for health
care and allied professionals. Other projects have focused on improving the capacity
and consistency of diagnosis of FASD through the development of a screening tool kit
to be used by allied health professionals.
The model for calculating the economic impact of FASD for Canada was confirmed
by the participants in the First Roundtable and work was started, in partnership with
the Centre of Excellence on Child Welfare and the University of Manitoba, to calculate
the additional costs to the Manitoba system of the 17% of children in care diagnosed
with FASD. Preliminary results from this project show an additional cost of over $9
million annually for Manitoba. A second roundtable was held in February 2008 to reach
consensus on the parts of a model for the Justice component. These projects, and
collaboration with researchers at St. Michael’s Hospital in Toronto, are building the
evidence supporting the cost of prenatal alcohol exposure for Canadians. A revised
estimate of FASD costs resulting from the last project has been submitted for publication.
Provincial, territorial and health care provider organizations have been involved in these
projects and will use the resulting tools and evidence in policy, program and practice
changes to prevent future alcohol-exposed births and improve outcomes for those
already affected.
2. Public Safety
Public Safety Canada30 is responsible for supporting and coordinating the
federal departments and agencies responsible for national security and the safety
of all Canadians.
An important component of Public Safety’s responsibilities is emergency management31
coordination. This involves ensuring that a critical infrastructure remains functional
during an emergency and that Canadians are personally prepared for an emergency.
In order for Emergency Management to be successful, relationships must be developed
and maintained with diverse stakeholders, including communities; municipalities
and federal, provincial and territorial governments; emergency first responders;
and volunteer and non-government organizations. By effectively maintaining this
relationship, Public Safety Canada contributes to a more sustainable, prosperous and
disaster-resilient society. This ultimately saves lives.
In Canada, much progress has been made to include safety and outreach for citizens
with disabilities. In addition to funding community-based research initiatives that
generated knowledge on the needs of vulnerable populations, significant strides have
30
31
80
ore information on Public Safety Canada is available at: www.publicsafety.gc.ca/index-en.asp.
M
More information on Emergency Management is available at: www.publicsafety.gc.ca/thm/em/index-eng.aspx.
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been made to disseminate information in multiple formats directly to Canadians and
their families. The Public Safety Emergency Preparedness Guide has been reviewed to
augment disability-related content. This initiative is part of the 72-hour preparedness
campaign32 that Public Safety Canada has used across the country. The campaign
works to improve the safety and security of Canadians by giving them information
they need to increase their personal safety in times of emergency. Partners share the
responsibility of disseminating this information to individuals who might otherwise be
at risk during emergency situations. These types of proactive measures help to ensure
that all individuals know how to prepare for emergency situations, which reduces the
impacts and risks during all types of emergency situations.
Public Safety Canada remains committed to ensuring that Canada’s emergency
management framework is comprehensive and inclusive of the needs of Canadians
with disabilities. Relationship-building with strategic partners committed to safety,
including various levels of government and federal partners, such as HRSDC’s Office
for Disability Issues, enables the evolution of an emergency management framework
that fully integrates the needs of people with disabilities.
3. Veterans
Historically, the programs designed for veterans have been important because they
recognize the services veterans have given to Canada and they have provided a model
for programs later made available to the general public.33
The mission of Veterans Affairs Canada (VAC)34 is to provide exemplary, client-centred
services and benefits that respond to the needs of veterans, their other clients and their
families, in recognition of their services to Canada, and to keep the memory of their
achievements and sacrifices alive for all Canadians.35 VAC has many ongoing programs
for veterans and continues to improve them. The recent expansion of the Veterans
Independence Program, to provide housekeeping and/or grounds maintenance
benefits to eligible low-income and disabled survivors of certain traditional war service
veterans, is one example of such an improvement.
As of December 31, 2007, VAC had a workforce representation rate of 7.3% for people
with disabilities out of a labour market availability rate of 3.8%.
ore information on the 72-hour preparedness campaign is available at: getprepared.gc.ca.
M
“Comfort, Security, Dignity: Home Care for Canada’s Aging Veterans, 1977-2004”, in Elsbeth Heaman, Alison Li, and Shelley
McKellar eds., Essays in Honour of Michael Bliss: Figuring the Social (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2008), 315-348.
34
More information on Veterans Affairs Canada is available at: www.vac-acc.gc.ca/general.
35
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 modern-day operations, such as international peacekeeping missions. They 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.
More information on VAC and its mandate and services is available at: www.vac-acc.gc.ca/general.
32
33
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Veterans Affairs Canada, in partnership with the University of Alberta (the Hidden
Costs and Invisible Contributions Project), recently explored issues concerning the
responsibility, impacts on the life, and costs that people face when providing informal support to adults with disabilities.
In the fall of 2007, a national survey was conducted with a group of 140 younger
veterans released from active duty with high levels of disability as well as with the
family members who support them. The study found that the family members who
support these young high-needs veterans have high levels of financial, social and
health needs related to disability.
With the help of these findings and other research, Veterans Affairs Canada is looking for even more ways to help Canadian families cope with the challenges resulting
from a military way of life.
For further information or to view the final report, visit the University of Alberta’s
Web site at: http://www.ales.ualberta.ca/hecol/hcic/.
Enabling Technologies
In their efforts to ensure a level playing field for people with disabilities, VAC has
developed in-house expertise in their Information Technology Division in the area of
adaptive equipment. This expertise responds to requests for a wide range of adaptive
equipment that is available for employees in their workplaces in order to ensure
employees with disabilities are accommodated according to their specific needs. The
products made available to employees are as broad-ranging as voice input/output
computers, specialized keyboards, large-screen monitors or other devices deemed
necessary through consultation with the respective employees.
VAC has also responded promptly to individual requests for workplace accommodation
by providing additional power-operated doorways for individuals with mobility
impairments and stairway escape equipment that can be used to help people with
mobility impairments to exit buildings in an emergency.
Advisory Groups
In place at VAC are both a National Employment Equity Advisory Committee and a
Regional Employment Equity Committee that include people with disabilities, along
with other equity group members. These committees were formed to provide advice to
senior management on equity issues as well as to provide advice and input on matters
related to initiatives in Employment Equity.
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Advisory groups that provide advice for Veterans Affairs programs and
services include:
• The Gerontological Advisory Council, which was created in October 1997 to
advise VAC on how to address the changing needs of Canada’s veterans so that
they may continue to enjoy optimal health and well-being as they age. Since its
inception, the Council has provided guidance in a number of areas, including:
caregiver issues; alternative housing needs of veterans; long-term, palliative and
respite care; and health promotion and education.
• The New Veterans Charter Advisory Group, a mechanism for the major veterans’
organizations and experts in rehabilitation to provide advice to the Department
with respect to the ongoing implementation of the New Veterans Charter.
• The Advisory Group on Special Needs, a mechanism to facilitate consultation
with Canadian Forces Veterans with serious disabilities on modernized services
and programs that best meet their needs.
• The Operational Stress Injury Social Support (OSISS) Advisory Committee,
formed to bring key stakeholders together to provide advice to the OSISS
management team and to provide an effective feedback mechanism on issues
relevant to the program, which emanate from both DND and VAC. The OSISS is
a national peer support network that offers one-to-one support, group support,
education and guidance to CF members, Veterans and their families affected by
operational stress injuries.
Disability Pension and Disability Award Programs
VAC administers the Pension Act, which provides pension awards to people living with
disabilities related to military service, either during peace or wartime. These awards
are designed to compensate veterans and their dependants if the veteran experiences
permanent disability or dies as a result of military service.36
Also administered by VAC is the Canadian Forces Members and Veterans Reestablishment 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. 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 is a tax-free lump-sum payment, based
on the extent of the disability.
36
isability pensioners may also be eligible for a special award paid in addition to the disability pension in the form of an
D
Attendance Allowance, an Exceptional Incapacity Allowance, and a Clothing Allowance.
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Treatment Benefits Program
The Treatment Benefits Program ensures that eligible veterans are provided with
reasonable and timely treatment benefits that VAC considers to be an appropriate
response to their health needs. Many of these benefits are available through “Programs
of Choice,” where individuals with specific health needs can obtain benefits from the
health professional or provider of their choice.37
Veterans Independence Program
The Veterans Independence Program helps clients remain healthy and independent
in their homes and communities.38 Services include home care (i.e., grounds
maintenance, housekeeping, personal care) and health and support services. The
program is available to people who have needs related to the condition for which
they receive a VAC disability pension or award, and to wartime veterans or overseas
civilians who qualify due to low income.39
Long-Term Care
VAC provides assistance to over 10,700 veterans who reside in 171 facilities
with contract beds across the country and access to more than 2,000 community
care facilities.40
Rehabilitation Program
VAC’s Rehabilitation Program aims to help Canadian Forces veterans who have
recently been released from medical care and those with disabilities who need support
to re-enter civilian life. The program supports independence and wellness and is
designed to ensure that veterans can participate to the best of their ability at home,
at work and in their community. Health care experts work to stabilize and restore
health, make it easier to cope with health problems and help body and mind
functioning. Psycho-social services help restore independence and facilitate the
adjustment to a veteran’s current situation. Vocational services are also offered.
eterans with a disability pension are the primary clients of the Treatment Benefits Program. Other clients must first access
V
provincial health care programs. Clients include:
• wartime pensioners who are severely disabled or moderately disabled; and
• prisoners of war who are totally disabled and are eligible for the Veterans Independence Program.
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; preventative 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.
38
More information on the Veterans Independence Program is available at: www.vac-acc.gc.ca/clients/sub.cfm?source=services/vip.
39
Pensioners with moderate or severe disabilities, as well as those who have multiple health conditions that, when combined with
their pensioned condition, place them at risk because of 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).
40
More information on long-term care is available at:
www.vac-acc.gc.ca/clients/sub.cfm?source=salute/summer2002/long_term_care.
37
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Financial Benefits for Veterans
Financial benefits are compensation for the economic loss resulting from a
service-related or career-ending injury or impairment. 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 of a permanent disabilty.41
Mental Health Services
VAC is committed to addressing the needs of clients living with mental health
conditions as a result of military service. Building on the solid experience that
helps traditional war-service veterans live with dignity and independence, the New
Veterans Charter provides Canadian Forces veterans and their families with services
and programs that are tailor-made for them, increasing their chances of making a
successful transition from military to civilian life. The implementation of this Charter
was a major step in modernizing VAC’s programs and services for Canadian Forces
clients by establishing a rehabilitation program that recognized the linkages among
physical, psycho-social and vocational rehabilitation, and ensured a continuing stream
of family income and supports.
VAC’s Mental Health Strategy aims to provide a continuum of mental health services
and policies that can help veterans, eligible members of the Canadian Forces and the
RCMP and their families receive the supports that they need to deal with their mental
health conditions. VAC has established a national network of Operational Stress
Injury clinics where an interdisciplinary team of mental health professionals provide
assessment, treatment and outreach services. VAC and the Department of National
Defence also work closely in developing and managing the Operational Stress Injury
Social Support Program, a peer support network whose mission is to establish and
improve social support programs for Canadian Forces members, veterans, and their
families affected by operational stress. VAC is also extending its network of local
service providers and has introduced the services of Clinical Care Managers who
can be retained to assist the case management of clients living with complex mental
health conditions.
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 purchase lifetime,
post-release health coverage for themselves and their families through the Public
41
he New Veterans Charter means that veterans who have a service-related or career-ending condition may qualify for Earnings
T
Loss Benefits, Permanent Impairment Allowance, Supplementary Retirement Benefit and Canadian Forces Income Support.
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Service Health Care Plan (PSHCP). Also included are former members of the Canadian
Forces who have been approved for benefits under Service Income Security Insurance
Plan Long-Term Disability and who are not otherwise eligible for the PSHCP, and
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.42
Redress Mechanisms
VETERANS REVIEW AND APPEAL BOARD
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 service-related 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
decisions about disability pensions, disability awards and War Veterans Allowances,
while working toward implementing priorities identified in its strategic plan.
Table: Veterans Review and Appeal Board, summary of finalized
decisions 2003-08
Finalized Decisions
2003/04
Reviews
5,015
Appeals
1,755
Reconsiderations
258
War Veterans Allowance
26
Total
7,054
Source: Veterans Affairs Canada
2004/05
4,911
1,756
194
23
6,884
2005/06
4,870
1,532
222
21
6,645
2006/07
5,743
1,271
107
11
7,132
2007/08
5,716
1,329
245
13
7,303
FREE LEGAL ADVICE AND REPRESENTATION
The Bureau of Pensions Advocates is a nation-wide organization of advocates
within VAC. The Bureau’s main function is to provide free advice, assistance and
representation for individuals dissatisfied with decisions rendered by VAC. This may
be with respect to their claims for entitlement to disability benefits or any assessment
awarded for their entitled conditions. The Bureau helps individuals prepare applications
for review or appeal and arranges for them to be represented by an advocate at
hearings before the Veterans Review and Appeal Board.
42
86
he Health Benefits Program intends to fill gaps in post-release health coverage by ensuring that eligible medically released
T
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 is available at: www.vac-acc.gc.ca/clients/sub.
cfm?source=forces/nvc/programs/ghi&CFID=5467333&CFTOKEN=69962369.
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VETERANS BILL OF RIGHTS AND VETERANS OMBUDSMAN
The Veterans Bill of Rights is a comprehensive declaration of rights for all war-service
veterans, veterans and serving members of the Canadian Forces (Regular and
Reserve), members and former members of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police,
spouses, common-law partners, survivors and primary caregivers, and other eligible
dependants, family members and individuals.
The Veterans Ombudsman, established in 2007, is an impartial, arms-length and
independent officer with the responsibility to review individual complaints and systemic
issues raised by veterans regarding benefits and services that they receive from
VAC. However, the Ombudsman does not review decisions for which there is a right
of appeal to the Veterans Review and Appeal Board. The Ombudsman upholds the
Veterans Bill of Rights and will review individual and systemic issues arising from it.
4. Seniors
PALS 2006 results show that the disability rate in Canada does, in fact, increase
steadily with age. Among adults aged 15 to 64, slightly over one in 10 (11.5%) reported
a disability, with this rate rising to over four in 10 (43.4%) among people aged 65
and over. The disability rate was 56.3% among individuals aged 75 and over. As the
Canadian population continues to age, more individuals will report disabilities.
The Division of Aging and Seniors of the Public Health Agency of Canada provides
federal leadership on public health issues related to aging and seniors, including
seniors with disabilities. The Division of Aging and Seniors supports and participates in
intergovernmental and intra-governmental initiatives that affect seniors with disabilities
in various ways, including the Inter-Agency Working Group on Emergency Management
and People with Disabilities.
The Division of Aging and Seniors has the lead on the following projects funded under
the Population Health Fund:
Applicant: Canadian Association of Occupational Therapists (CAOT)
Project Title: Post-Fall Support: Enabling Seniors
Abstract: CAOT will develop a model and component strategies for seniors who have
experienced a fall to enable them to maintain or resume in-home and community
activities. Seniors who have experienced a fall are at risk for subsequent falls and
decreased participation in activities of daily life. This project will address fear of falling
and personal, environmental, and activity-related risk factors for subsequent falls. Fiscal Year 07/08: $117,868
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Applicant: Neil Squire Foundation
Project Title: A Community-Based Approach to Reducing the Barriers to the Acceptance of New Assistive Technologies by Older Adults
Abstract: This project will develop and pilot a community-based education and
support program that will introduce seniors to new technologies and teach them
how to use them effectively.
Fiscal Year 07/08: $131,299
Applicant: British Columbia Institute of Technology, Technology Centre
Project Title: Overcoming Assistive Device Stigma: A Campaign to Improve the
Daily Lives of Non-Metropolitan Canadian Seniors
Abstract: This project will develop, deliver, and evaluate a program that will focus
on a face-to-face grassroots delivery of an Assistive Device Anti-Stigma Program. It
will include content and delivery of materials by and for seniors, have personal and
community relevance, and facilitate an open dialogue of the barriers to using assistive devices.
Fiscal Year 07/08: $192,531
Applicant: Canadian National Institute for the Blind
Project Title: Age-Related Vision Loss: Just the Facts
Abstract: The goal of this project is to enable seniors to better manage their own
vision health by creating public education and awareness tools about age-related
vision loss and vision rehabilitation.
FY 07/08: $130,902
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5. Women
According to PALS 2006, women are, in general, more likely to report an activity
limitation than men (15.2% and 13.4%, respectively). However, this relationship is
reversed among children aged 14 and under. Young men and women aged 15 to 24
have a similar disability rate. Differences in the rates begin again at age 25, when the
prevalence of disability is slightly higher for women than for men. This trend steadfastly
continues into the senior years. Essentially, women make up the majority of people with
disabilities in Canada and typically live longer than men, making them more likely to
experience health conditions associated with aging.
A. Promoting Full Participation of Women
Status of Women Canada43 is a federal government organization that promotes the full
participation of women in the economic, social and democratic life of Canada. These
priorities are particularly relevant to women with disabilities, who report some of the
lowest incomes and may experience vulnerability to violence.
Status of Women Canada works with federal departments and agencies to ensure that
the gender dimensions are taken into account in developing policies and programs by
conducting gender-based analysis and supporting research. It also funds initiatives in
support of women with disabilities, who make up a majority of people with disabilities
in Canada. Women also make up the majority of seniors, representing a population
more likely to suffer from chronic illness or disability. In 2007/08, the Women’s Program
continued to support organizations to:
• document the experiences of violence against women with disabilities;
• make recommendations related to housing and socio-economic challenges;
• identify obstacles faced by immigrant women with disabilities;
• promote volunteerism among young women with disabilities;
• develop solutions to ensure services are accessible to women who are deaf and
face family violence;
• improve the healthcare system by identifying gaps, as well as the difficulties
caused by multiple discrimination;
• educate senior women on the Canadian pension system; and
• build community support for accessible home care.
43
More information on Status of Women Canada is available at: www.swc-cfc.gc.ca/.
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Chapter 6
Aboriginal People
with Disabilities
The Government of Canada recognizes the importance of supporting Aboriginal
people and seeks to facilitate their participation in Canadian society by providing
various programs and instruments to address their specific needs. The departments
that most directly affect Aboriginal people with disabilities in Canada are Indian and
Northern Affairs Canada (INAC), the Aboriginal Affairs Directorate of HRSDC, Health
Canada and the Public Health Agency of Canada.
There are limited quantitative data available on Aboriginal people with disabilities.
However, existing research suggests that the rate of people experiencing disabilities is
higher among the Aboriginal population than in the general population, and that having
a disability can compound other disadvantages many Aboriginal people experience.
Indian and Northern Affairs Canada’s primary role is to work together to make Canada a
better place for Aboriginal and northern people and communities. INAC funds services
such as education, housing and social services to Status Indians on reserve and delivers
social assistance and social support services to eligible recipients, ordinarily residing on
reserve, with the goal of ensuring access to services comparable to those available to
other Canadian residents. Any of INAC’s programs supporting this mandate is likely to
improve the situation for Aboriginal people with disabilities, either directly or indirectly.
Here we present only the programs that address disability issues directly.44
1. Disability Supports
A. Assisted Living Program
INAC’s Assisted Living Program,45 which has existed since 1981/82, was part of the
federal government’s general policy to provide First Nations people on reserves with
access to care services reasonably comparable to those provided by the provinces and
44
45
ore information on INAC is available at: www.ainc-inac.gc.ca.
M
More information on the Assisted Living Program is available at: www.ainc-inac.gc.ca/ps/acp_e.html.
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territories to other Canadians.
The Assisted Living Program supports First Nations people who have functional
limitations due to age, health problems or disability in maintaining their independence,
to maximize their level of functioning and to live in conditions of health and safety.
The program has 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 who are unable to live on
their own; and
• Disabilities Initiative – provides funding for projects to improve the coordination
and accessibility of existing disability programs and services on reserves, which
can include advocacy, public awareness or regional workshops.
Program objectives and services
The Assisted Living Program aims 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. It provides individuals
with social support services and assistance with daily activities, allowing them to
remain at home and in their communities whenever possible. When institutional care
is required, the Assisted Living Program may fund non-medical care for people in
designated provincial or territorial facilities.
Program impact and results
The goals of the program are to:
• alleviate hardship;
• provide support comparable to that given to the general population for
maintaining functional independence in their homes or in supportive housing
environments or foster placements that are in or close to their communities; and
• encourage greater self-sufficiency for First Nations individuals and communities.
The Assisted Living Program complements Health Canada’s Home and Community
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Care Program. This program funds medical, nursing and community support services
to individuals who are resident on reserve and have lost some capacity for self-care.
(Further information on the Home and Community Care program can be found in
section 5 of this chapter.) Together, these programs fund and support the home and
community care foundations of the First Nations on reserve continuing care system.
INAC, together with Health Canada and First Nations partners, is exploring options
for developing a Continuing Care system on reserve that will provide improved
access to social and medical supports, and allow individuals to maintain their health
and independence for as long as possible within the supportive cultural and social
environment of their communities.
The 2006/07 national allocation for the Assisted Living Program was $89 million and
increased to $90.6 million for 2007/08.
2. Income supports
A. Income Assistance Program
INAC’s Income Assistance program46 provides funding for First Nations communities to
deliver financial assistance to eligible individuals and families on reserve with the means
to meet the basic and special needs: food, clothing and shelter, personal incidentals,
special diets, guide dogs, special transportation and moving costs, etc. INAC also has
authority to provide financial assistance for pre-employment activities that help Income
Assistance clients increase their employability. INAC adopts the rates and eligibility
requirements of the host provincial or territorial social assistance program.
In the 2007/08 fiscal year, program expenditures totalled $742 million for basic needs,
special needs and pre-employment activities and program/service delivery. Although
some Income Assistance recipients may have a disability, the exact amount of money
that has gone to Income Assistance recipients with disabilities has not been tracked
separately.
An evaluation of the Income Assistance program was completed by INAC’s Audit and
Evaluation Sector in late 2007. The evaluation examined the program with a particular
focus on “active measures” (these are activities that improve the employability of
Income Assistance clients), and made a number of recommendations in the areas of
improving program delivery, developing strategies to prevent and reduce dependency
on income assistance, and performance measurement. Following the evaluation in
46
ore information on Indian and Northern Affairs Canada’s Income Assistance program is available at:
M
www.ainca-inac.gc.ca/ps/mnl/afv/afv_e.html.
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2007, and to help support strategies to improve program effectiveness, the Audit and
Evaluation Sector at INAC will conduct an impact evaluation of the Income Assistance
Program, the Assisted Living Program and the National Child Benefit Reinvestment
initiative in the fall of 2008.
3. Learning and Skills
Aboriginal students are less likely to stay enrolled and to complete education than
non-Aboriginal students. Completion rates are even lower for those with disabilities.
A. Special Education Program
INAC’s Special Education Program was created in 2002/03 to provide additional
investments in programs and services for First Nations children with special needs
who reside on reserve. Program funds have been targeted to improve the quality of
education and levels of support services available for eligible students with high-cost
special-education needs.
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 high cost special-education needs of students with moderate-to-severe and
severe-to-very severe 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 improve the educational
achievement levels of First Nations students on reserve by providing access to special
education programs and services that are culturally sensitive and meet the provincial
standards in the locality of the First Nations.
Programs and services available to students generally include, but are not limited
to, providing support such as hiring special-education teaching staff and assistants,
professional services such as speech language pathologists and counsellors, and
specialized programs and assistive technology to meet the students’ special needs
and enhance their quality of education.
Program impact and results
The number of First Nations students on reserve that were identified as receiving
high-cost special education services has increased from 7,600 students in 2002/03 to
about 11,000 students in 2005/06. During this same period, over 22,000 First Nations
students on reserve have been formally assessed or reassessed as required. The
number of students with Individual Education Plans increased from 5,700 in 2002/03 to
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10,800 in 2005/06. In addition, 65% of students in 2005-06 achieved 50% to 100% of
their Education Plan objectives.
Across the country, advances in identifying students in need, improvements in student
outcomes and increased capacities to deliver programs, which are tailored to the
needs of First Nations students, have been reported.
The 2007/08 budget for the Special Education Program is $129 million.47
4. Aboriginal Labour Market Programs
A number of barriers exist that limit the participation of Aboriginal people with
disabilities in the labour market. Lack of information about job opportunities, negative
public attitudes and stigma, low self-esteem, a lack of supports to participate in
education, training or employment, and fear of potentially losing certain health benefits
upon entering the labour force are among some of the barriers that constrain the
labour market involvement of Aboriginal people with disabilities.48 Like all people
with disabilities, Aboriginal people with disabilities may face significant financial
disincentives to accessing training or employment.
It is clear that the rates of disability—particularly associated with various health
conditions such as diabetes and ear disease—are distressingly high among Aboriginal
peoples. Depending on the disability and the region under consideration, estimates
range from 20% to 50% greater than those found in the non-Aboriginal population.49
In 2005, the First Nations Centre published the result of the First Nations Regional
Longitudinal Health Survey, conducted in 2002/03 and funded by Health Canada. The
survey 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 counterparts without
disabilities (37.3% compared to 52.2%). 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 2001.50
The Government of Canada has two programs that help to enhance Aboriginal labour
market participation: the Aboriginal Human Resources Development Strategy (AHRDS)
and the Aboriginal Skills and Employment Partnership program (ASEP). AHRDS is
ore information on the Special Education Program is available at: www.ainc-inac.gc.ca/ps/edu/rep03/educ_e.html.
M
Leah Fleetwood and Liz Parkin, HRSDC Post 2009 Strategy- Issue Workbook: Aboriginal Disabilities Issue Workbook, May 16,
2007, draft version, pp. 3.
49
Jamie C. MacDougall, Where the River Flows: Aboriginal People with Disability: A Literature review: Focus on Employment,
August 2006, pp. 7.
50
See Human Resources and Social Development Canada, Advancing the Inclusion of People with Disabilities 2006:
http://www.rhdsc.gc.ca/en/disability_issues/reports/fdr/2006/page05.shtml#_Toc150915455.
47
48
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managed by the Program Operations Branch of HRSDC and administered by Service
Canada, while ASEP is managed and administered through the Aboriginal Affairs
Directorate of HRSDC. The Aboriginal Affairs Directorate is responsible for the overall
policy and program design of Aboriginal labour market programs for HRSDC.
A. Aboriginal Human Resources Development Strategy
The AHRDS provides funding to 79 Aboriginal organizations to design, develop and
implement employment and human resources programs for Aboriginal people in
Canada. The AHRDS was initiated in 1999, extended for one year in 2004/05 and has
been renewed until 2009/10. It has a $1.6 billion, five-year budget for a wide range
of labour market programs including youth, child care and services for people with
disabilities. Under AHRDS, $3 million per year is earmarked specifically to support
employment programs and services for Aboriginal people with disabilities. These
funds are Employment Insurance Part II resources and are therefore available to clients
who self-identify as having a disability and have had a previous attachment to the
workforce. The funds are considered a floor, not a ceiling. Aboriginal Human Resources
Development Agreement (AHRDA) holders may also support programs and services for
Aboriginal people with disabilities through the labour market or other funding envelopes
of their agreements.
AHRDA holders are Aboriginal organizations that design and deliver employment and
human resources programs for Aboriginal people in their communities. Key results
for AHRDAs are completed interventions, returns to work and/or school. Since 1999,
the AHRDAs have assisted a total of 10,881 Aboriginal people with disabilities
through 8,286 completed interventions 2,784 returned to work with help from the
AHRDS.51 Interventions include, but are not limited to:
• employee assistance services (i.e., facilitating job search);
• targeted wage subsidies (i.e., cultivating employment opportunities);
• job creation partnerships (i.e., recruitment, employer collaboration,
accommodating workplaces); and
• skills development (i.e., developing human resources through training and work
experience, supports such as job coaches and mentors, and assistive devices);
Ontario Region’s AHRDA holders dedicate a percentage of their budgets to provide
programs to help people who self-identify as having a physical, mental or learning
disability obtain and retain employment. AHRDA holders partner with local Opportunities
Fund service providers to leverage resources from both budgets. This is considered a
51
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HRSDC. AHRDS Aboriginal Program Operations: AHRDA Key Statistics and Measures (National Total Results), April 2008.
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best practice. In the 2007/08 fiscal year, approximately $546,704 was spent by AHRDAs
in Ontario on interventions to assist people with disabilities: 150 people were assisted,
297 interventions were funded and 39 individuals obtained employment.
In spring 2007, HRSDC engaged all AHRDA holders in discussions on topics including
improving services for people with literacy and essential skills deficits, people with
disabilities and youth. Following these discussions, the focus of proposed new
program design for post-2010 Aboriginal labour market programs is building incentives
into the system to improve labour market programs and services for Aboriginal people
with multiple barriers to employment.
B. Evaluations of the AHRDS
The formative evaluation of the AHRDAs will increase our understanding of the
issues and factors framing the design, delivery, implementation, and effectiveness
of the strategy, including services for people with disabilities. This evaluation has
been undertaken using multiple lines of inquiry including a literature review, socioeconomic profile of AHRDA communities, an assessment of data collection and
accountability systems and an examination of issues relating to the design, delivery
and implementation of 13 case-study AHRDAs. Of the 13 case-study AHRDAs, 12 were
selected at random and there is a Treasury Board requirement to evaluate the thirteenth
AHRDA (Kativik Regional Government). The 13 case study AHRDAs have been
examined by means of key informant interviews, focus group discussions, document/
file reviews and an analysis of client administrative data from electronic and paper files.
Human Resources and Skills Development Canada has also undertaken a summative
evaluation of the AHRDAs, using key informant interviews, focus group discussions
and document/file reviews. In addition, impacts on AHRDA participants will be derived
from administrative data through statistical analysis and modeling. Both the summative
and formative evaluations will increase our understanding of the effectiveness of the
strategy and are essential to help shape future Aboriginal labour market programs.
Results of these evaluations will be shared in 2009 once a management response is
formally approved.
C. Aboriginal Skills and Employment Partnership Program
The ASEP is an opportunity-driven initiative launched in 2003 ($85 million) that will
expand from 2007 to 2012 (with an additional $105 million) to maximize long-term
sustainable employment for Aboriginal people in major economic opportunities across
Canada. Multi-year training and employment strategies are developed and managed by
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formalized partnerships of Aboriginal organizations, employers and other stakeholders
and are jointly funded by the partnership, provinces/territories and ASEP.
A formative and summative evaluation on the ASEP will be finalized in 2009.
5. Health
A. First Nations and Inuit Health
Health Canada’s First Nations and Inuit Health Branch supports the delivery of public
health and health promotion services on-reserve and in Inuit communities. It also
provides drug, dental and ancillary health services to First Nations and Inuit people
regardless of residence. The Branch also provides primary care services on-reserve in
remote and isolated areas, where there are no provincial services readily available.
Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder Program
Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) is a term that describes a range of disabilities
that may affect children whose mothers drank alcohol while they were pregnant. The
diagnoses of FASD include: Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS), partial FAS, alcohol-related
neurodevelopmental disorder and alcohol-related birth defects. These disorders can
include physical, mental, behavioural andr learning disabilities. Some children affected
by FASD have physical disabilities but, most often, the effects are not physical and
can include problems in areas such as learning, remembering things, attention span,
communicating, vision or hearing. Research has shown that being diagnosed with an
FASD-related disability before six years of age and receiving developmental disability
services have the greatest positive impact on quality of life, making early diagnosis and
intervention critical.
Under the FASD Program, children affected by FASD are supported by intervention
activities aimed at minimizing the impact of this disability on their lives. Through
community coordinators in some communities, the program promotes early
diagnosis and intervention for First Nations pre-school aged children with FASD.
The coordinators aim to improve access to multi-disciplinary teams who provide
assessment and diagnostic services. Although the program is focused on children with
FASD, it may also provide increased opportunities to children with other special needs
through the assessment and diagnosis process.
The FASD program addresses health problems associated with alcohol use by women
during pregnancy. The main purpose of the program is twofold: 1) to prevent FASD
births; and 2) to improve the quality of life for those affected by FASD. This is
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achieved through:
• building awareness of FASD in First Nations and Inuit communities;
• targeted interventions for those at risk of having an FASD-affected child;
• collaborative work with communities to address the broader determinants of
health;
• education and training for front-line workers and health professionals with
First Nations and Inuit clients; and
• earlier diagnosis and intervention for pre-school aged children with FASD and
their families.
Aboriginal Diabetes Initiative
Diabetes has a significant impact among First Nations and Inuit communities, most
often through its complications. The complications of untreated or poorly managed
diabetes may lead to a number of disabilities including blindness, heart disease,
amputation, nerve damage, kidney damage, erectile dysfunction and stroke. Based on
data from the National Population Health Survey data (1996/97), diabetes is associated
with more disability days and increased loss of productivity as compared to people
without diabetes. In the First Nations, Métis and Inuit populations of Canada, the rates
of diabetes are significantly higher than the Canadian average.
The ADI works to reduce the incidence of Type 2 diabetes through a range of health
promotion, prevention, screening and treatment services delivered through an
increased number of health service providers and trained diabetes workers. More than
600 First Nations and Inuit communities have access to a range of diabetes services.
An additional 50 diabetes prevention projects target Aboriginal people living off reserve,
Métis and urban Inuit.
Activities include walking clubs, cooking classes, school-based prevention projects
and camps for children and caregivers. The initiative also supports diabetes-related
research, surveillance and evaluation.
The ADI benefits these communities by increasing awareness and knowledge of risk
factors and diabetes prevention approaches and by providing access to diabetes
prevention, screening and treatment services.
Emphasis is placed on promoting healthy eating and active living. The Government of
Canada is investing $190 million over five years to support community-based initiatives
to prevent diabetes and provide better care to those with the disease.
National Native Alcohol and Drug Abuse Program
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NNADAP provides access to culturally appropriate community-based prevention,
and in/out-patient treatment services for First Nations and Inuit clients with a range of
substance-abuse disabilities. Substance abuse is a recognized form of disability under
the Canada Human Rights Act whereby disability is defined to include any previous or
existing mental disability, physical disability, or dependence on alcohol or drugs.
NNADAP’s main objectives are to prevent and treat alcohol and drug abuse in First
Nations and Inuit communities. NNADAP supports a national network of 54 treatment
programs that provide culturally appropriate in-patient and out-patient non-medical
treatment services with approximately 700 in-patient beds.
This network is managed and delivered by First Nations and Inuit communities south
of the 60th parallel. The community-based component of NNADAP provides more than
500 community-based prevention programs with more than 700 addictions staff.
National Youth Solvent Abuse Program
The NYSAP provides access to culturally appropriate community-based prevention,
intervention, treatment and aftercare programs that target First Nations and Inuit youth
who are addicted to inhaling solvents or at risk of becoming so. Substance abuse is a
recognized form of disability under the Canada Human Rights Act whereby disability
is defined to include any previous or existing mental disability, physical disability, or
dependence on alcohol or drugs.
NYSAP prevention and intervention programs involve working with families and
communities to begin to address the broader health issues including family violence,
suicide, and depression. These issues are addressed through family treatment
sessions and community programs or pre- and post-care and are delivered by
treatment centre staff.
In addition, a network of seven solvent addiction residential treatment centres provides
support and guidance to help youth understand and overcome their addictions.
Treatments emphasize personal growth and wellness and offer a continuum of care
based on Aboriginal values and beliefs.
Non-Insured Health Benefits Program
The Non-Insured Health Benefits Program provides about 800,000 eligible First
Nations and Inuit people, including those with disabilities, with a limited range of
medically necessary health-related goods and services not provided through private
insurance plans, provincial/territorial health or social programs, or other publicly funded
programs. The benefits provided under this program include prescription drugs, dental
and vision care, medical supplies and equipment, short-term crisis intervention mental
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health services, medical transportation to access medical services not available
on-reserve or in the community of residence, and health care premiums in Alberta
and British Columbia.
First Nations and Inuit Home and Community Care program
Launched in 1999, FNIHCC provides basic home and community care services to
eligible First Nations and Inuit communities. At present, 97% of all eligible communities
by population have access to FNIHCC services. FNIHCC services help those with
activity limitations, such as those with chronic illnesses, disabilities and the frail
elderly to remain in their own homes and communities. These clients make up about
65% of all clients and receive about 80% of all service hours. The program provides
assessment and case management services, nursing, personal care supports and
respite to caregivers. FNIHCC links with the home-making supports provided via Indian
and Northern Affairs’ Assisted Living Program (In-Home Care).
A summative evaluation is presently underway. The objective of the study is to
examine and summarize the continued relevance, implementation and program
success/effectiveness (achievement objectives and impact/effects to date) and cost
effectiveness/alternatives. This present study is the first summative evaluation of the
program. Results are expected in the spring of 2009.
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Chapter 7
Research
This chapter describes major government-sponsored research initiatives related to
disabilities and people with disabilities. These include national surveys such as the
Participation and Activity Limitation Survey (PALS), which supports ongoing policy
development and reporting on the progress toward ensuring the full inclusion of people
with disabilities in Canadian society. It also includes information on research bodies
that support research related to disability, such as the Canadian Institutes for Health
Research and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council.
Table: A brief summary of research on disabilities52
1981
1983/84
1985
1986
1986
1991
1991
1991
1993
1994/95
52
Obstacles, the report of the Special Committee on the Disabled
and Handicapped, is published and recommends creating a
national database on disability issues
The Canadian Health and Disability Survey
The General Social Survey (Cycle 1) using the 1986 Census
disability questions
Disability-specific questions are included in the 1986 Census of
Population
The 1986 Health and Activity Limitation Survey
Disability-specific questions (the same ones as used in 1986) are
included in the 1991 Census of Population
The 1991 Health and Activity Limitation Survey
The General Social Survey (Cycle 6)
The first Survey of Labour and Income Dynamics
The first National Population Health Survey
his table is from a paper entitled A Historical Overview of Disability Data in Canada (September 2006) by Adèle Furrie,
T
commissioned by the Office for Disability Issues. It includes information on both disability specific surveys and those with a
significant disability component.
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1996
2000/01
2001
2001
2001
2005
2006
2006
Disability-specific questions (the same ones as used in 1986) are
included in the 1996 Census of Population
The first Canadian Community Health Survey
New disability-specific questions are included in the 2001
Census of Population
The 2001 Participation and Activity Limitation Survey
The Aboriginal Peoples Survey
The first Survey of Household Spending is conducted with
disability questions
Disability-specific questions (the same ones as used in 2001) are
included in the Census of Population
The 2006 Participation and Activity Limitation Survey
1. National Surveys
By providing support and funding for surveys conducted by Statistics Canada and
related research initiatives, the Government of Canada is addressing the need to
ensure the full social inclusion of people with disabilities and continues its historically
important role in building a comprehensive knowledge base on disability. Estimates
by age, as well as by sex and by province and territory, are essential to satisfy policy,
reporting and employment equity requirements. Data from these major surveys are
used by Government of Canada departments, provinces, territories, municipalities,
service providers, researchers and disability organizations to develop evidence-based
policies, programs and positions.
A. The Participation and Activity Limitation Survey
To obtain an adequate sample size, the Government of Canada supported the
development of the Participation and Activity Limitation Survey (PALS). PALS is
conducted by Statistics Canada and distributed by HRSDC. The 2006 PALS is the
centrepiece of the Government of Canada’s strategy for gathering information on
disabilities. At the federal level, PALS is a primary source of data on disability for policy
and program development, assessment and planning. For example, PALS data have
been used extensively by Finance Canada in its review of disability tax measures, and
by HRSDC to provide background for the Multilateral Framework for Labour Market
Agreements for Persons with Disabilities. It also provides information required by the
Employment Equity program in order to meet its regulatory requirements.
Provincial, territorial and municipal governments, along with service providers and the
disability community, have acknowledged PALS and look to the Government of Canada
to continue to provide leadership and resources for developing this knowledge. PALS
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has met these needs by providing data that is used intensively by Government of
Canada departments, provinces, territories, municipalities, service providers and
disability organizations to develop evidence-based policies, programs and positions.
PALS has also garnered the interest of members of the disability community. To
respond to the needs of the disability community, Statistics Canada has included, in
its dissemination plan, the development of fact sheets on specific types of disabilities.
At the international level, PALS is recognized as providing the most comprehensive
picture of people with disabilities in Canada, and has provided input to other nations in
their development process for surveys on disabilities.
PALS is a post-censal,53 national survey designed to collect information on adults and
children who have a disability. Data collection, in the form of a survey, took place between
November 2006 and February 2007. Funded by HRSDC and conducted by Statistics
Canada, PALS provides information on the prevalence of various types of disabilities,
the supports for people with disabilities, their employment profile, their income and their
participation in society. It is the only source of detailed, disability-specific information
on many important aspects of the lives of Canadians with disabilities—for example, it
provides valuable information on changing requirements and identifies unmet needs for
supports and services people require to fully participate in society.
PALS followed the groundwork laid by the Health and Activity Limitation Survey (HALS)
in 1991 and the Participation and Activity Limitation Survey of 2001. The data for HALS
are not directly comparable to those of PALS 2006 because of significant differences
in their sampling plans, the operational definition of their target population,54 and the
content of their questionnaires. However, the PALS 2006 results can be compared
with the 2001 survey to identify trends in the previous five years, allowing progress in
addressing issues of inclusion to be tracked.
The PALS 2006 sample consisted of about 39,000 adults and 9,000 children. The
interviews were conducted by telephone, with the interviewers using a computerassisted collection methodology. Two different questionnaires were used, depending
on the age of the respondent. One questionnaire was used for adults aged 15 and over
and another was used for children under the age of 15. The interviews for the children’s
questionnaire were conducted with the parent or guardian of the child. The survey
population included people residing in private and some collective households in the
10 provinces and the three territories. People living in institutions and on First Nations
reserves were not included in the survey.
ALS used the 2006 Census as a sampling frame to identify its population. The 2006 Census questionnaire included two general
P
questions on activity limitations. The PALS respondents were selected through the use of the census information on age,
geography and the responses to these two general questions.
54
Which, in the case of PALS, was influence by the ICF model.
53
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The first PALS release of 2006 data was on December 3, 2007, on the International Day
of Persons with Disabilities. It contained survey results on the prevalence, type and
severity of disability, by age and sex. Following this, throughout 2008, more specific
analyses were released on topics such as:
• education for children with disabilities;
• use of assistive aids and devices by children and adults with disabilities;
• employment for adults with disabilities;
• disabilities at the sub-provincial level;
• impact on the family of a child with a disability; and
• income for adults with disabilities.
B. Canadian Community Health Survey
The Canadian Community Health Survey, conducted by Statistics Canada, provides
information on health determinants, health status and health system utilization. It is
designed to provide reliable estimates at the health region level. The survey aims to:
• support health surveillance programs by providing health data at the national,
provincial and intra-provincial levels;
• provide a single data source for health research on small populations and rare
characteristics;
• ensure the timely release of information easily accessible to a diverse
community of users; and
• create a flexible survey instrument that includes a rapid response option to
address emerging issues related to the health of the population.
This survey program is a joint effort of Statistics Canada, Health Canada, and the
Public Health Agency of Canada. The annual component of the survey produces
indicator data on a wide range of general health topics. The focus content component
examines a single topic in considerable detail. The focus content component was
conducted in 2002 (mental health) and 2004 (nutrition) and will be conducted every 3
years beginning in 2009.
C. Other Surveys and Initiatives
Other surveys also contribute to the picture of people with disabilities in Canada,
though with less detail related specifically to the condition of people with disabilities.
For example:
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• Census – The Census examines a multitude of variables including sociocultural/demographic variables, mobility, education, labour market activities,
income and household activities, all at a very detailed level of geography. Since
the Census includes PALS filter questions on disability status, analyses can be
conducted crossing various Census variables against disability status.
• National Population Health Survey – The survey collects unique longitudinal
information on health dynamics of Canadians. Since 1994/95, the National
Population Health Survey has tracked some 17,000 people who were
representative of the population in 1994/95. Every two years, these same
individuals provide current and in-depth information on their physical and
mental health status, use of health care services, physical activities, life at the
workplace and in the social environment. Data on education, work industry and
occupation, use of medication, health conditions or problems, nutrition, and use
of tobacco and alcohol are also collected. The resulting data show how a wide
range of factors can contribute to the improvement or deterioration of health.
• Survey of Household Spending – The survey collects detailed information on
household expenditures, dwelling characteristics and ownership of household
equipment, such as appliances and vehicles. This yearly survey uses an
abridged disability filter to identify people with disabilities: “Does a physical
condition or mental condition or health problem of any household member(s)
reduce the amount or the kind of activity this/these person(s) can do at home, at
work, at school, or in other activities such as transportation or leisure?”. Again,
analyses can be conducted crossing various variables against disability status.
• Survey of Labour and Income Dynamics – The survey complements
traditional survey data on labour market activity and income. Its main objective
is the understanding of the economic well-being of Canadians: what economic
shifts do individuals and families live through, and how do they vary with
changes in their paid work, family make-up, receipt of government transfers
or other factors? The survey’s longitudinal dimension makes it possible to see
such concurrent and often related events.
• Workplace and Employee Survey – The survey focuses on the relationship
between employer characteristics (competitiveness, innovation, technology,
human resource practices, training and promotional opportunities, structure of
workplace) and employee outcomes.
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How can the data from these surveys be obtained?
The data from these surveys are available through a variety of means:
• Releases: The Daily, Statistics Canada’s official release bulletin, provides
a comprehensive one-stop overview of new information, including
analytical releases.
• Public Use Microdata Files are produced by Statistics Canada for some
of their surveys as part of the Data Liberation Initiative. Use of these
files is limited to academic research and teaching purposes. A list of
Public Use Microdata Files can be found at the Data Liberation Initiative
Collection page of Statistics Canada’s Web site.
• Research Data Centres Program: The program is part of an initiative by
Statistics Canada, the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council
and university consortia to help strengthen Canada’s social research
capacity and to support the policy research community. Research Data
Centres provide researchers with access, in a secure university setting,
to microdata from population and household surveys.
• Customized services: Statistics Canada offers customized services to
clients in Canada and around the world.55
International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health
The International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (ICF) provides
standardized terminology and classification of the consequences of diseases.
It was first published in 1980, for trial purposes, under the name International
Classification of Impairments, Disabilities and Handicaps. Since its publication,
the classification has been used in a wide array of areas and has specific applications
in clinical diagnosis, rehabilitation assessment, disability policy planning and
survey research. In 2001, with the support of the World Health Organization, the
International Classification of Impairments, Disabilities and Health was revised and
renamed ICF. The Canadian Institute for Health Information coordinated Canadian
input to the revision process.
55
In addition, when working with SLID, researchers are able to use the remote access in an initiative that enables external
researchers to access and use the data. This service is an alternative to Statistics Canada’s Research Data Centers and regional
offices and opens up a complex data set to even more researchers and increases research volume. For more information contact
Client Services, Income Statistics Division at Statistics Canada (1-888-297-7355 or 613-951-7355; [email protected] ).
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Under the ICF, “disability” is an umbrella term to represent the dynamic interaction
between person and environment. ICF is a classification of health and healthrelated areas that describe:
• body functions and structures
• physiological functions of body systems
• structural or anatomical parts of the body
• activities and participation
• execution of a task or action by an individual (individual perspective)
• persons’ involvement in a life situation (societal perspective)
• environmental factors
• all aspects of the external world that affect the person’s functioning
The ICF classification is organized hierarchically. Body functions and structure,
activities and participation, and environmental factors are classified separately.
The ICF provides a standardized language and framework for describing human
functioning and disability and is an important component of health and social care.
This standardization of language:
• supports improved communication between service providers and
people with disabilities;
• eases the comparison of data nationally and internationally;
• establishes a culturally applicable tool covering a person’s entire lifespan;
and
• can be used in service event datasets and survey questionnaires.
In addition, it offers a conceptual framework for information that applies to personal
health care including prevention, health promotion and the improvement of participation
by removing or mitigating societal barriers and encouraging societal supports and
facilitators. It is also useful for the study of healthcare systems, in terms of both
evaluation and policy formulation. It has, for instance, been a foundation for developing
the 2006 PALS questionnaire, and has been an important structure in creating the
UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.
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2. Other Research
A. Health Research
The Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR)56 was created in 2000 as the
Government of Canada’s lead agency for health research. Today, more researchers
are being funded with higher levels of funding in more disciplines and more institutions
than ever before. Since its inception, CIHR has been able to increase the number of
CIHR-funded researchers and trainees from approximately 5,600 to over 11,000, many
of whom are working to address the issues faced by Canadians with disabilities.
CIHR supports research that is helping us better understand a wide range of physical
and mental disabilities. This research is being conducted in collaboration with health
professionals, patient advocates and other stakeholders to encourage the translation
of the results into more effective policies, programs and products. Through these
efforts, CIHR hopes to improve the health and quality of life of Canadians living with
disabilities and their families.
Support for research is provided primarily through CIHR open grants and awards
competitions. Through these programs, CIHR and its partners fund a broad range of
health research and training projects relevant to disability including lower back pain,
muscle dysfunctions and injuries; fetal and child disability due to complications of
pregnancy; skin and oral diseases and conditions; bone and joint diseases; chronic
pain; blindness and/or deafness; physical, developmental and neurological disabilities;
and mental illnesses.
Strategic initiatives and programs
The CIHR Injury Initiative has brought together leading Canadian researchers and
decision-makers representing four domains: unintentional injury prevention, intentional
injury prevention, acute care and post-care/rehabilitation of injury. Teams focus their
research activities on solutions to enhance quality of life through preventative strategies
and innovative approaches to helping people with disabilities. In 2006/07, CIHR
invested $40.1 million in injury research.
The Reducing Health Disparities and Promoting Equity for Vulnerable Populations
initiative is designed to build research capacity that assesses and reduces health
disparities and promotes equity for vulnerable populations, such as people with
disabilities. The initiative enables interdisciplinary groups of researchers in health and
other sectors to develop programs of research that describe, investigate and ultimately
reduce health disparities. Since the program’s inception in 2002, CIHR has invested
over $5 million in this initiative.
56
More information on the Canadian Institutes of Health Research is available at: www.cihr-irsc.gc.ca/e/193.html.
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The Community Alliances for Health Research and Knowledge Exchange on Pain
initiative is designed to bring research teams, the public and private sector and
community organizations together to develop research on pain, with an emphasis
on its translation into health benefits. The Canadian Institutes of Health Research
and partners have committed over $5 million to this initiative (funding started in
January 2008). It is expected that new partners will contribute additional financial
and in-kind commitments.
The Children with Disabilities initiative is intended to fund the creation or further
development of research teams undertaking collaborative research relevant to children
and youth with disabilities and their families. This program was announced in 2007/08
with a funding envelope of $3 million.
Grants programs, such as the Knowledge Translation: Research to Action Grants
promote the inclusion of researcher users within the scope of research activities.
For example, AutismCONNECTS is a virtual community of autism spectrum
stakeholders supported by CIHR. Members of the consortium have established a
knowledge translation program aimed at disseminating research findings and fostering
communication among autism stakeholders (e.g., people with autism and their families,
volunteers, agencies, advocacy groups, researchers and policy makers).
B. Humanities and Social Sciences
The Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC)57 is the federal agency
that promotes and supports university-based research and training in the humanities
and social sciences. Through its programs and policies, SSHRC enables the highest
levels of research excellence in Canada and facilitates knowledge sharing and
collaboration across research disciplines, universities and all sectors of society.
SSHRC contributes to research on a range of disability issues through a variety of
programs, including research grants and doctoral awards.
57
More information on the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council is available at: www.sshrc.ca/web/home_e.asp.
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Some of the grants awarded as part of the competition in SSHRC’s Standard Research
Grants program in 2007/08, for a three-year duration, include:
Susan Rvachew – McGill University
- The contribution of a speech perception intervention to the prevention of
phonological awareness deficits in children with speech sound disorders
Amount Funded: $151,740
Markku Jahnukainen – University of Alberta
- A critical analysis of the current state and change of special-needs education:
an international comparative study
Amount Funded: $95,100
Magdalen Janus – McMaster University
- Early school adjustment for children with special needs
Amount Funded: $147,189
Jacob Burack – McGill University
- Attention filtering and integration with visual stimuli by people with autism
Amount Funded: $151,396
David Nicholas – University of Toronto
- The lived experience of mothers of children with autism
Amount Funded: $154,000
Martin Drapeau – McGill University
- Cognitive errors in a sample of non-ill community women and a sample of
patients suffering from depression: a study of the relation between cognitions,
mental health and social functioning
Amount Funded: $60,653
Heather Keller – University of Guelph
- The eating together in families with dementia: years 4 to 6
Amount Funded: $148,000
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Kim Lavoie – Université du Québec à Montréal
- Impact of mood and anxiety disorders on asthma control and quality of life
Amount Funded: $164,590
John Oliffe – University of British Columbia
- Depression and masculinities: the perspectives of elderly men
Amount Funded: $100,000
Anthony Scott Thompson – University of Regina
- Disability inclusive education: enabling theory and practice from the ground up
Amount Funded: $75,751
Claudia Malacrida – University of Lethbridge
- Motherhood and disability in comparative contexts: Canada and the United
Kingdom
Amount Funded: $87,403
Isabelle Gelinas – McGill University
- L’inclusion sociale des personnes en situation d’incapacité : partenariats intra et
intersectoriels favorisant le partage des savoirs en réadaptation
Amount Funded: $158,000
Awards provided through SSHRC’s Joseph-Armand Bombardier Canada Graduate
Scholarships Doctoral Awards in 2007/08 (for a three-year duration) include:
Laura McGavin – University of Toronto
- Women’s cancer narratives: literature, oncology, and embodiment
Amount Funded: $105,000
Sebastien Roldan – UQAM
- Le suicide en régime naturaliste : la pensée positive confrontée au pessimisme
Amount Funded: $105,000
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Michelle Emmerling – University of Alberta
- Personal construct theory: understanding the cognitive style of young women
with anorexia
Amount Funded: $105,000
Kateryna Keefer – Queen’s University
- Emotional intelligence in childhood and adolescence: developmental
trajectories, antecedents, and outcomes
Amount Funded: $105,000
Kristin Rostad – Concordia University
- Do infants’ social-cognitive abilities predict later theory of mind development?
Amount Funded: $105,000
Shelley Holland – University of New Brunswick
- Postpartum psychosis and the support needs of mothers
Amount Funded: $105,000
Yvonne Hindes – University of Calgary
- Youth with Asperger’s disorder: relationship between theoretical orientations and
resiliency
Amount Funded: $105,000
Tessen Clifford – Queen’s University
- Support groups for parents of children with autism spectrum disorders:
predictors and benefits of involvement
Amount Funded: $105,000
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Chapter 8
Tax Measures
A key aspect of the Government of Canada’s strategy to assist people with disabilities
and their caregivers is its use of tax measures, particularly through personal income tax
provisions. The Department of Finance58 is responsible for developing and evaluating
federal tax policies and legislation in the following areas: personal income tax, corporate
income tax and sales tax. The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA)59 is responsible for
administering the existing tax laws and the various social and economic incentive
programs delivered through the tax system.
This chapter examines the various ways in which the Government of Canada uses the
tax system to support people with disabilities.
1. General
A. Personal Income Tax
The personal income tax system provides a number of tax measures that assist 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.
58
59
ore information on Finance Canada is available at: www.fin.gc.ca.
M
More information on the Canada Revenue Agency is available at: www.cra-arc.gc.ca.
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These tax measures recognize that people with disabilities and their caregivers face
extra disability-related expenses that reduce their ability to pay taxes.
Other available tax measures contain provisions that offer enhanced tax relief to
individuals eligible for the Disability Tax Credit, or their families, including:
• the Children’s Fitness Tax Credit;
• the Child Care Expenses Deduction; and
• the Working Income Tax Benefit.
The Government of Canada also delivers benefits through the tax system to families
caring for children with disabilities. The Child Disability Benefit is provided to families of
Disability Tax Credit-eligible children as a supplement to the Canada Child Tax Benefit.
In addition, the Government of Canada provides a number of tax-assisted savings
vehicles, some of which are intended or include provisions for people with disabilities
(i.e., the Registered Disability Savings Plan and the Registered Education Savings Plan).
A brief description of each of these measures is included in the following table.
Tax Measures to Assist Individuals with Disabilities and Their Caregivers
DISABILITY TAX CREDIT
The Disability Tax Credit (DTC) recognizes the costs of some disability-related items
on an individual’s ability to pay tax. For 2008, the DTC provides a federal tax reduction of up to $1,053 to individuals who, due to the effects of a severe and prolonged
mental or physical impairment, are markedly restricted in their ability to perform a
basic activity of daily living, or would be markedly restricted were it not for extensive therapy (i.e., averaging at least 14 hours per week) to sustain a vital function.
Families caring for minor children eligible for the DTC may receive additional tax
relief through the DTC supplement for children. For 2008, the supplement provides
an additional federal tax reduction of up to $614.
The following tax measures contain special provisions that offer enhanced tax relief
to individuals eligible for the DTC or their families:
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• CHILDREN’S FITNESS TAX CREDIT
The Children’s Fitness Tax Credit allows parents to claim up to $500 in eligible fees
for the enrolment of a child under the age of 16 in an eligible program of physical
activity. If the child qualifies for the DTC and is under 18 years of age, an additional
$500 can be claimed, provided that a minimum of $100 in eligible fitness expenses
has been paid for the child.
• CHILD CARE EXPENSES DEDUCTION
The child care expenses deduction (CCED) allows eligible child care expenses
incurred to earn business or employment income, pursue education or perform
research to be deducted from income for income tax purposes up to a limit of $7,000
for children under seven years of age and $4,000 for children between the ages of
seven and 16. The CCED limit is more generous in respect of children who qualify
for the DTC ($10,000), and DTC-eligible children are considered eligible for the purposes of the CCED at any age.
• WORKING INCOME TAX BENEFIT
The Working Income Tax Benefit is intended to provide tax relief for eligible working low-income individuals and families who are already in the workforce and to
encourage other individuals to enter the workforce. For 2008, the benefit provides
a refundable tax credit to low-income individuals as their earnings rise. For single
individuals, the maximum credit is $510. The maximum credit for families (couples
and single parents) is $1,019. The benefit also includes a disability supplement of
up to $255 for each working individual who is eligible for the DTC.
• REGISTERED EDUCATION SAVINGS PLAN
The Registered Education Savings Plan (RESP) is a tax-assisted savings vehicle
designed to help families accumulate savings for their children’s post-secondary
education. Direct government assistance is provided through Canada Education
Savings Grants and Canada Learning Bonds. The investment income earned in an
RESP accumulates tax-free. Canada Eeducation Savings Grants, Canada Learning
Bonds and investment income earned in the plan are included in the beneficiary’s income for tax purposes when paid out of an RESP. Time periods for contributions to
and termination of RESPs are extended where the beneficiary is eligible for the DTC.
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MEDICAL EXPENSE TAX CREDIT
The Medical Expense Tax Credit recognizes the effect of above-average medical or
disability-related expenses on an individual’s ability to pay tax. For 2008, the credit
is available for qualifying medical expenses in excess of the lesser of $1,962 or 3%
of an individual’s net income. Taxpayers may claim the medical expenses that they
or their spouse incur, as well as, in certain circumstances, expenses incurred by
specified dependent relatives.
CAREGIVER CREDIT
The Caregiver Credit provides tax relief to individuals providing in-home care for
a parent or grandparent 65 years of age or over or for an infirm dependent relative,
including a child or grandchild 18 years of age or over, brother, sister, niece, nephew,
aunt or uncle, who resides with the taxpayer.
For 2008, the Caregiver Credit reduces federal tax of the supporting individual
by up to $614. The credit is reduced when the dependant’s net income exceeds
$13,986 and is fully phased out when the dependant’s net income reaches $18,081.
INFIRM DEPENDANT CREDIT
Individuals providing support to an infirm dependent relative living in a separate
residence may be able to claim the Infirm Dependant Credit. The credit may be
claimed by taxpayers supporting a child or grandchild 18 years of age or over,
parent, grandparent, brother, sister, aunt, uncle, niece, or nephew who is dependent
due to a mental or physical infirmity.
For 2008, the credit reduces federal tax of the supporting individual by up to $614.
The credit is reduced when the dependant’s net income exceeds $5,811 and is fully
phased out when the dependant’s net income reaches $9,906.
DISABILITY SUPPORTS DEDUCTION
The Disability Supports Deduction provides tax relief for the cost of disability supports
incurred for the purposes of employment or education (such as sign language
interpretation services and talking textbooks). This deduction eliminates the income
tax payable on income (including government assistance) used to pay for these
expenses, and exempts this income from the calculation of income-tested benefits.
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REFUNDABLE MEDICAL EXPENSE SUPPLEMENT
The Refundable Medical Expense Supplement reduces the work disincentives
associated with the loss of benefits and services when a person with high medical or
disability-related expenses moves from social assistance into the labour force. The
supplement is equal to 25% of the total of the allowable portion of expenses that
can be claimed under the Medical Expense Tax Credit and the expenses claimed
under the Disability Supports Deduction, up to a maximum of $1,041 for 2008. The
supplement is reduced by 5% of family net income above $23,057. For 2008, it is
only available to individuals with at least $3,040 in earned income.
CHILD DISABILITY BENEFIT
The Child Disability Benefit is a supplement to the Canada Child Tax Benefit (CCTB).
The Child Disability Benefit provides assistance to nearly all families caring for a
child who is eligible for the Disability Tax Credit. For the period July 2008 to June
2009, the Child Disability Benefit provides up to $2,395 for each eligible child.
Beyond a base income threshold, the benefit is reduced based on family net
income at the same rates as the CCTB base benefit.
REGISTERED DISABILITY SAVINGS PLAN
The Registered Disability Savings Plan (RDSP) is a tax-assisted savings vehicle
intended to help parents and others save to ensure the long-term financial security
of a child with a severe disability. Direct government assistance will be provided
through Canada Disability Savings Grants and Canada Disability Savings Bonds.
The investment income earned in an RDSP will accumulate tax-free. Grants, bonds
and investment income earned in the plan will be included in the beneficiary’s income for tax purposes when paid out of an RDSP.
Source: Department of Finance Canada
B. Corporate Income Tax
The corporate tax system provides special tax treatment for certain workplace
accessibility expenditures. More specifically, businesses may claim an immediate
deduction for the full cost of disability-specific renovations and alterations to buildings
(e.g., installation of ramps or hand-activated electric door openers) as well as for
disability-specific devices or equipment to accommodate employees or customers
with disabilities.
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In the absence of this special tax treatment, these expenditures would generally be
capitalized and depreciate over a number of years.
C. Sales Tax
The Goods and Services Tax (GST) system relieves the tax on a number of goods
and services, such as health care, home care and personal care services provided
to people with disabilities. In addition, many medical and assistive devices, such as
wheelchairs and walkers, are relieved from GST.
With respect to the excise tax, individuals with a permanent locomotion impairment, to
the degree that using public transportation would be hazardous, may claim an excise
tax refund of 1.5 cents per litre of gasoline. The Green Levy imposed on fuel-inefficient
vehicles is lifted for vehicles that are fitted with a wheelchair entry device.
D. Charitable and Non-profit Organizations
Charitable and other non-profit organizations60 (NPOs) are central to the well-being of
communities. To recognize their importance, the Government of Canada provides tax
assistance to registered charities and the donors who support them. Many of these
organizations are devoted to serving people with disabilities.61
Individuals who give to registered charities are eligible for a tax credit or, in the case of
businesses, a tax deduction. The combined federal and provincial tax credits reduce,
on average, the net cost of a cash donation by about 45 cents on the donated dollar. In
addition, donations of publicly listed securities are exempt from capital gains tax. Both
of these measures provide a significant incentive to donate.
Many organizations that work with people with disabilities qualify as registered
charities. Of the nearly 80,000 registered charities that filed a 2006 return, nearly 2,000
(2.5%) listed “services for the physically or mentally challenged” as the most important
field in which they operate. An additional 1% of charities listed this response as the
second or third most important field.
Other NPOs also make significant contributions to their communities. Although they
cannot issue tax receipts, non-profit organizations, similar to registered charities, are
not taxed on their income.62
POs are organizations that are organized and operate exclusively for social welfare, civic improvement, pleasure, recreation, or
N
any other purpose except profit. Examples of NPOs include clubs, societies, or associations.
61
The courts have recognized as charitable those organizations that have been established to prevent and relieve sickness and
disability (both physical and mental). This includes hospitals, clinics, nursing and convalescent homes, and home care services.
More information on registered charities is available at: www.cra.gc.ca/charities.
62
More information on the difference between a registered charity and a not-for-profit organization is available in Registered
Charities Newsletter No. 19 (available at: www.cra-arc.gc.ca/E/pub/tg/charitiesnews-19/README.html).
60
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Charities and NPOs also receive relief under the federal sales tax system. Registered
charities, and those NPOs that receive at least 40% of their funding from governments,
are entitled to a 50% rebate on the GST paid for their purchases. This rebate
substantially reduces the GST payable by charitable and publicly supported non-profit
activities undertaken in Canada. Registered charities are also eligible to claim an excise
tax refund of 1.5 cents per litre of gasoline.
Unpaid volunteer activities:
27.2% of adults with disabilities reported participating in unpaid volunteer activities.
2. Developments in 2008
A. Medical Expense Tax Credit
The Medical Expense Tax Credit (METC) recognizes the effect of above-average
medical and disability-related expenses on an individual’s ability to pay income tax.
Expenses eligible for the METC are regularly reviewed and updated in light of new
technologies and other disability-specific or medically related developments. Budget
2008 allowed the cost to purchase, operate and maintain the following devices, when
prescribed by a medical practitioner:
• altered auditory feedback devices for the treatment of a speech disorder;
• electrotherapy devices for the treatment of a medical condition or a severe
mobility impairment;
• standing devices for standing therapy in the treatment of a severe mobility
impairment; and
• pressure pulse therapy devices for the treatment of a balance disorder.
In addition, Budget 2008 extended eligibility under the METC to recognize eligible
expenses for service animals specially trained to assist an individual who is severely
affected by autism or epilepsy to cope with his or her impairment.
B. Expanded GST Relief
Budget 2008 expanded the list of GST-free goods and services for people with
disabilities to include specially designed training to help individuals cope with the effect
of a disability and a number of additional medical devices, such as chairs that are
specially designed for an individual with a disability.
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C. Tax-assisted Savings Vehicles
Budget 2008 introduced developments with regard to the Registered Disability Savings
Plan and the Registered Education Savings Plan. These tax-assisted savings vehicles
are intended or include provisions for people with disabilities.
Registered Disability Savings Plan
In Budget 2007, the Government introduced a new Registered Disability Savings Plan
(RDSP), to help parents and others save to ensure the long-term financial security of a
person with a severe disability. The Government of Canada will pay Canada Disability
Savings Grants and Canada Disability Savings Bonds into RDSPs to encourage
long-term savings through this vehicle. Implementation of the RDSP program is
scheduled for December 2008.
An individual eligible for the Disability Tax Credit (DTC), his or her parent or other legal
representative may establish an RDSP. The DTC-eligible individual will be the plan
beneficiary. The plan will consist of three main elements.
• Parents, beneficiaries and others wishing to save may contribute to an RDSP.
Contributions to an RDSP for a beneficiary will be limited to a lifetime maximum
of $200,000. Contributions will be permitted up until the end of the year in which
the plan beneficiary turns 59.
• Annual RDSP contributions will attract Canada Disability Savings Grants
(CDSGs) at matching rates of 100, 200 or 300%, depending on family income
and the amount contributed, up to a maximum lifetime CDSG limit of $70,000.
An RDSP will be eligible to receive CDSGs up until the end of the year in which
the plan beneficiary turns 49.
• Canada Disability Savings Bonds (CDSBs) of up to $1,000 per year will be
provided to RDSPs established by low- and modest-income families, up to
a maximum lifetime CDSB limit of $20,000, and will not be contingent on
contributions. An RDSP will be eligible to receive CDSBs up until the end
of the year in which the plan beneficiary turns 49.
Contributions to an RDSP will not be deductible and will not be included in income
when paid out of an RDSP. The investment income earned in the plan will accumulate
tax-free. CDSGs, CDSBs and investment income earned in the plan will be included in
the beneficiary’s income for tax purposes when paid out of an RDSP. Payments from an
RDSP will be required to begin by the end of the year in which the beneficiary turns 60.
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To address concerns about the possibility that the beneficiary of a parent-initiated
plan who continues to meet the DTC criteria related to the effects of an impairment
might be able to force the premature collapse of the plan by rescinding his or her DTC
certification, Budget 2008 introduced amendments to the RDSP rule that provide for
a mandatory collapse of the plan if the beneficiary ceases to be eligible for the DTC,
to provide instead for a mandatory collapse of the plan only where the beneficiary’s
condition has factually improved to the extent that the beneficiary no longer qualifies
for the DTC. This change will provide greater certainty for parents planning to establish
an RDSP for their child.
Budget 2008 also announced that RDSPs, Grants and Bonds will be reviewed three
years after plans become operational to ensure that RDSPs meet the needs of
Canadians with severe disabilities and their families.
RDSPs will help provide a brighter future for children with severe disabilities and give
parents greater peace of mind in planning for that future.
Registered Education Savings Plan
Time periods for contributions to and termination of RESPs are extended where the
beneficiary is eligible for the Disability Tax Credit (DTC). Prior to Budget 2008, where
the beneficiary was eligible for the DTC, contributions to RESPs could be made for
25 years following the year in which the plan was entered into, and plans had to be
terminated by the end of the year that included the 30th anniversary of the opening of
the plan.
To provide additional flexibility to parents who save in RESPs, and to students who
later use these savings to help finance their post-secondary education, Budget 2008
increased contribution and plan termination limits by an additional 10 years for all
RESP beneficiaries, including those who are DTC-eligible.
3. Surveys and Service Evaluation
To further evaluate whether Canada Pension Plan Disability (CPPD) recipients who do
not claim the Disability Tax Credit on their tax returns are aware of the credit, a line on
these individuals’ Notice of Assessments was added that indicated the DTC’s Web
address and toll-free number. Information about the disability tax credit was given and
guides were mailed to most of the 3,000 or more callers.
The Canada Revenue Agency also mailed a promotional CD and a version of the guide,
Medical and Disability-Related Information, to Members of Parliament. The purpose
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Federal Disability Report • 2008
was to ensure that the constituency offices of all MPs had up-to-date information
available for people with disabilities regarding the Disability Tax Credit and other tax
measures.
Posters and Disability Tax Credit CDs were also sent to 321 libraries in British Columbia
and New Brunswick. This project is expected to expand to other provinces in 2008.
Handouts and cover letters were sent to 156 Senior Centres in Ontario as a result of
enquiries received at a number of conferences; this project will be expanded to other
provinces in 2008. It was motivated by the finding that roughly 60% of people eligible
for the Disability Tax Credit are seniors and that this ratio is expected to grow along
with the country’s aging population.
In an ongoing effort to increase awareness of the tax measures available to people with
disabilities, the Canada Revenue Agency continues to attend a number of conferences
throughout the year, both as an exhibitor and presenter.
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Appendix A
Principal Disability-Related
Benefits and Programs for
2006/07 and 2007/08 Fiscal
AMOUNT
AMOUNT
($millions/year ($ millions/year
2006/07)
2007/08)
PROGRAM/INITIATIVE
Inclusion and Supports Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation Programs
(RRAP-D, HASI, RRAP-Secondary/Garden Suite, SEP) (1)
Canadian Culture Online Program (Canadian Heritage)
Canadian Transportation Agency Programs – Disability
Component
Special Olympics sports funding and Canadian Deaf
Sports Association (Canadian Heritage)
Paralympics sports funding, Athlete Assistance Program
for Athletes with a Disability and Long-Term Athlete Development Model for sports programs for athletes with a
disability (Canadian Heritage)
Sport participation funding – Disability component (Canadian Heritage), base funding for the National Sport Organizations’ (NSO) Sports Programs for Athletes with a Disability, and NSOs’ long-term athletes development model
for sports programs for athletes with a disability
Hosting program funding (International Major Games for
Aboriginal People and Persons with a Disability, International Single Sport Events)
Federal-Provincial/Territorial projects related to sports
programs for persons with a disability
Sport Canada Contributions for Sport for Persons with a
Disability
51.5
29.4
2.57
2.1
3.2
2.4
**
1.6(2)
7.59
9.6 (3)
1.45
5.7 (4)
**
0.3
**
0.4
**
15.9
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Federal Disability Report • 2008
Sport Canada’s Grants and Contributions (Canadian
Heritage)
Initiative for Equitable Library Access (Library and
Archives Canada)
Social Development Partnerships Program’s Grants
and Contributions (HRSDC)
Income Supports
Canada Pension Plan Disability (HRSDC)
Canada Pension Plan Disability, vocational rehabilitation
program (HRSDC)
Child Disability Benefit (Finance Canada and CRA)
Earnings Loss and Supplementary Retirement Benefit
(VAC) (6)
Employment Insurance sickness benefits (HRSDC)
Federal workers compensation benefits (HRSDC) (7)
Veterans Disability Pension and Disability Awards
Program (VAC)
Learning, Skills and Employment
Canada Access Grant for Students with Permanent
Disabilities (HRSDC)
Canada Study Grant for the Accommodation of Students
with Permanent Disabilities (HRSDC)
Entrepreneurs with Disabilities Program (WD)
Labour Market Agreements for Persons with Disabilities
(HRSDC)
Opportunities Fund (HRSDC)
Permanent Disability Benefit (HRSDC)
Vocational Services (VAC) (6)
Health and Well-being
Aboriginal Diabetes Initiative
Active Living Alliance for Canadians with a Disability
(PHAC)
Canadian Diabetes Strategy (Health Canada)
Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (PHAC)
Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder/First Nations and Inuit
Component (HC)
Federal Initiative to Address HIV/AIDS in Canada (PHAC)
126
141.0
138.0
0
0.3
11
11
3,376.4
2.8
3,474.1
3.02
118(5)
**
139(5)
11.7
916.2
157.5
**
159.2
1895.4
23.4*
*
20.3*
*
1.5
218.3
1.4
218.3
26.7
4.5*
**
26.8
*
1.1
29.7
0.18
40.0
0.20
**
2.67
16.7
**
3.3
16.7
**
**
Advancing the Inclusion of People with Disabilities
Federal Disability Report • 2008
First Nations and Inuit Home and Community Care
Program
National Native Alcohol and Drug Abuse Program and
the Youth Solvent Abuse Program
Non-Insured Health Benefits
Population Health Fund and other health-related grants
and contributions (PHAC)
Healthy Living Fund – Disability Component (PHAC)
Veterans Independence Program (VAC)
Veterans Treatment Benefits Program (VAC)
Tax Measures (Finance Canada and CRA)
Caregiver Credit
Disability Supports Deduction
Disability Tax Credit (including supplement for children)
Infirm Dependant Credit
Medical Expense Tax Credit
Refundable Medical Expense Supplement
Aboriginal People
Aboriginal Human Resources Development Strategy –
Disability component (HRSDC)(9)
Assisted Living Program (INAC)
Special Education Program (INAC)
93.0
105.7
70.0
70.0
856.2
**
898.2
**
**
286.7
290.9
**
303.2
285.7
(6)
(7)
80
5
430
6
(8)
855
105(8)
75
8
420
6
(8)
870
110(8)
**
3
89
118.08
90.6
129
Note: The figures in this table are based on departmental estimates.
Some of the estimates for 2005/06 have been revised since the 2006 report.
*Canada Access Grant for Students with Permanent Disabilities, Canada Study Grant for the Accommodation of Students with
Permanent Disabilities and the Permanent Disability Benefit are based on student loan year (August 1 to July 31). Figures for
2006/07 are preliminary as they have yet to be released. The 2007/08 figures are not yet available since the loan year is not yet
complete.
**
data not available
(1)Commitment amounts are for the 2006 and 2007 calendar years, respectively.
(2)Includes Deaf Sports Association Funding in 2007-08.
(3)Including targeted funding for teams/athletes’ preparation for Paralympic Games, Athlete Assistance Program for athletes with a
disability, Long-Term Athlete Development Model funding to National Sports Organizations (NSO’s), and funding to the Canadian
Paralympic Committee.
(4)Includes Base funding for NSOs’ disability sports programs, and NSOs’ sport participation projects for people with a disability.
(5)Department of Finance estimate of payments for the July to June benefit year.
(6)Tax expenditure amounts are estimates for the 2006 tax year – Source: Department of Finance, Tax Expenditures and Evaluations,
2007.
(7)Tax expenditure amounts are estimates for the 2007 tax year – Source: Department of Finance, Tax Expenditures and Evaluations,
2007.
(8)The tax expenditures for the medical expense tax credit and the refundable medical expense supplement include tax relief offered
to all taxpayers.
(9)These funds are earmarked for labour market programs, services and supports for Aboriginal people with disabilities (these are EI
part II funds) however AHRDA’s can also use their larger labour market envelope to support APWD.
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Federal Disability Report • 2008
Appendix B
Acronyms Used
in this Report
ACAMO
Mozambique National Association of the Visually Impaired
ACE Accessibility Centre of Excellence
ADACC Automatic Directory Assistance Call Completion
ADI
Aboriginal Diabetes Initiative
ADIO
Assistive Devices Industry Office
AHRDA
Aboriginal Human Resources Development Agreements
AHRDS
Aboriginal Human Resources Development Strategy
ASEP
Aboriginal Skills and Employment Partnership Program
CAB
Canadian Association of Broadcasters
CCTB
Canada Child Tax Benefit
CDSB
Canada Disability Savings Bonds
CDSG
Canada Disability Savings Grants
CHRC
Canadian Human Rights Commission
CIDA
Canadian International Development Agency
CIHR
Canadian Institutes of Health Research
CMHC
Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation
CPPD
Canada Pension Plan Disability
CRA
Canada Revenue Agency
CRTC
Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission
CSLP
Canada Student Loans Program
DA
Directory Assistance
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Federal Disability Report • 2008
DFAIT
Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade
DTC
Disability Tax Credit
EDP
Entrepreneurs with Disabilities Program
EEA
Employment Equity Act
EI
Employment Insurance
FASD Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder
FNIHCC
First Nations and Inuit Home and Community Care Program
GST
Goods and Services Tax
HALS
Health and Activity Limitation Survey
HASI
Home Adaptations for Seniors’ Independence Program
HC Health Canada
HDI
Human Development Index
HRSDC
Human Resources and Skills Development Canada
ICF
International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health
ICRC
International Committee of the Red Cross
ILEC
Incumbent Local Exchange Carriers
INAC
Indian and Northern Affairs Canada
LAC
Library and Archives Canada
LMAPD
Labour Market Agreements for Persons with Disabilities
METC
Medical Expense Tax Credit
MRS
Message Relay Service
NCFED
National Council of Federal Employees with Disabilities
NHSP
New Horizons for Seniors Program
NNADAP
National Native Alcohol and Drug Abuse Program
NPO
Non-profit Organizations
NSO
National Sports Organization
NYSAP
National Youth Solvent Abuse Program
ODI
Office for Disability Issues
OF
Opportunities Fund for Persons with Disabilities
OSISS
Operational Stress Injury Social Support
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Federal Disability Report • 2008
PALS
Participation and Activities Limitation Survey
PHAC
Public Health Agency of Canada
PSC Public Service Commission
PSEA
Public Service Employment Act
PSHCP
Public Service Health Care Plan
RANIPH
Réseau Associatif National pour l’Intégration des Personnes Handicapées
RDSP
Registered Disability Savings Plan
RESP
Registered Education Savings Plan
RRAP-D
Residential Rehabilitation Assistance Program for Persons with Disabilities
SDPP
Social Development Partnerships Program
SDPP-D
Social Development Partnerships Program – Disability Component
SEP
Shelter Enhancement Program
SILEC
Small Incumbent Local Exchange Carriers
SLID
Survey of Labour and Income Dynamics
SSHRC
Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council
TRANSED
World Conference on Mobility and Transport of the Elderly and Persons with Disabilities
TTY
Teletypewriter
UN
United Nations
VAC
Veterans Affairs Canada
VLTI
Visible Languages Translation Initiative
VoIP
Voice over Internet Protocol
WD
Western Economic Diversification Canada
Advancing the Inclusion of People with Disabilities
131
Federal Disability Report • 2008
Index by Department/Program
Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation........................................................ 26
FlexHousingTM.................................................................................................... 30
Home Adaptations for Seniors’ Independence Program................................... 29
Residential Rehabilitation Assistance Program –
Secondary / Garden Suite................................................................................. 28
Residential Rehabilitation Assistance Program
for Persons with Disabilities............................................................................... 27
Shelter Enhancement Program.......................................................................... 28
Canada Post.......................................................................................................... 39
Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) (see Finance).................................................... 115
Canadian Heritage................................................................................................. 38
Canadian Culture Online........................................................................................ 38
Canadian Human Rights Commission (CHRC):....................................................... 8
Employment Equity Data..................................................................................... 9
Human Rights Complaints................................................................................. 10
Research Programs............................................................................................. 9
Canadian Institutes of Health Research.............................................................. 110
Children with Disabilities Initiative................................................................... 111
Injury Initiative.................................................................................................. 110
Community Alliances for Health Research and
Knowledge Exchange on Pain initiative........................................................... 111
Knowledge Translation: Research to Action Grants........................................ 111
Reducing Health Disparities and Promoting
Equity for Vulnerable Populations initiative...................................................... 110
Canadian Transportation Agency:.......................................................................... 18
Outreach and Education.................................................................................... 19
Regulations and Codes of Practice................................................................... 25
Resolution of Accessibility Disputes.................................................................. 19
Canadian International Development Agency....................................................... 13
Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission....................... 32
Elections Canada................................................................................................... 45
Finance Canada................................................................................................... 115
Caregiver Credit............................................................................................... 118
Child Care Expenses Deduction...................................................................... 117
Children’s Fitness Tax Credit........................................................................... 117
Disability Supports Deduction......................................................................... 118
Disability Tax Credit......................................................................................... 116
Disability Tax Credit Supplement for Children................................................. 115
Goods and Services Tax.......................................................................... 120, 121
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Federal Disability Report • 2008
Infirm Dependent Credit.................................................................................. 118
Medical Expense Tax Credit.................................................................... 118, 121
Refundable Medical Expense Supplement...................................................... 119
Registered Disability Savings Bond................................................................. 122
Registered Disability Savings Plan.......................................................... 119, 122
Registered Education Savings Bond............................................................... 122
Registered Education Savings Plan......................................................... 117, 123
Working Income Tax Benefit............................................................................ 117
Health Canada....................................................................................................... 76
Aboriginal Diabetes Initiative............................................................................. 99
Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder....................................................................... 98
First Nations and Inuit Home and Community Care Program......................... 101
National Native Drug and Alcohol Abuse Program.......................................... 100
Non-Insured Health Benefits Program............................................................. 100
Strategic Policy Branch..................................................................................... 76
National Youth Solvent Abuse Program........................................................... 100
Human Resources and Skills Development Canada........ 12, 43, 44, 91, 95, 96,104
Aboriginal Human Resources Development Strategy....................................... 96
Aboriginal Skills and Employment Partnership program................................... 97
Aboriginal/Labour Market Programs.................................................................. 95
Enabling Accessibility Fund............................................................................... 43
Labour Market Agreements for Persons with Disabilities.................................. 65
New Horizons for Seniors Program................................................................... 45
Office for Disability Issues – Paralympics.......................................................... 12
Opportunities Fund............................................................................................ 67
Social Development Partnerships Program....................................................... 43
Social Development Partnerships Program – Disability Component................ 44
Indian and Northern Affairs Canada...................................................................... 91
Assisted Living Program.................................................................................... 91
Income Assistance Program.............................................................................. 93
Special Education Program............................................................................... 94
Industry Canada..................................................................................................... 47
Assistive Devices Office..................................................................................... 47
Contribution Program for Consumer and
Voluntary Non-Profit Organizations................................................................... 47
Justice Canada:....................................................................................................... 8
Library and Archives Canada................................................................................. 39
Initiative for Equitable Library Access................................................................ 40
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Federal Disability Report • 2008
Public Health Agency of Canada........................................................................... 77
Healthy Living Fund........................................................................................... 78
Public Safety.......................................................................................................... 80
Public Service Commission................................................................................... 71
Service Canada...................................................................................................... 51
Adaptive Computer Technology Centre............................................................. 56
Canada Enquiry Centre...................................................................................... 52
Canada Student Loans Program....................................................................... 62
Canada Pension Plan Disability......................................................................... 49
Employment Insurance...................................................................................... 50
Region Specific Activities.................................................................................. 58
Service Canada Call Centre............................................................................... 53
Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council............................................ 111
Statistics Canada................................................................................................. 103
Canadian Community Health Survey............................................................... 106
International Classification of Functioning, Disability, and Health................... 108
Participation and Activity Limitation Survey.................................................... 104
Status of Women Canada...................................................................................... 89
Sport Canada......................................................................................................... 41
Transport Canada:................................................................................................. 18
Access to Travel Web site.................................................................................. 18
Transportation Development Centre.................................................................. 18
World TRANSED Conference................................................................................. 18
Veterans Affairs Canada......................................................................................... 81
Disability Award Program.................................................................................. 83
Disability Pension Program................................................................................ 83
Health Benefits Program.................................................................................... 85
Mental Health Strategy...................................................................................... 85
Rehabilitation Program...................................................................................... 84
Treatment Benefits Program.............................................................................. 84
Veterans Independence Program...................................................................... 84
Western Economic Diversification Canada............................................................ 69
Entrepreneurs with Disabilities Program............................................................ 69
134
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Federal Disability Report • 2008
Index by Topic
Accessibility........................................................................................................... 17
Supports............................................................................................................ 47
Aboriginal Programs.............................................................................................. 91
Education........................................................................................................... 94
Employment....................................................................................................... 95
Health................................................................................................................. 98
Income Supports............................................................................................... 93
Broadcasting.......................................................................................................... 32
Charities, Tax Measures....................................................................................... 120
Community ........................................................................................................... 43
Culture.................................................................................................................... 38
Cultural Initiatives.............................................................................................. 38
Education (Skills and Learning).............................................................................. 61
Aboriginal........................................................................................................... 94
Employment....................................................................................................... 65
Employment Equity........................................................................................ 9, 72
Programs .......................................................................................................... 65
Public Service.................................................................................................... 71
Elections................................................................................................................ 45
Health............................................................................................................... 75, 98
Medical Expense Tax Credits........................................................................... 121
Housing.................................................................................................................. 26
Human Rights.......................................................................................... see Justice
Income Supports................................................................................................... 49
Veterans............................................................................................................. 81
International:
Development Assistance .................................................................................. 13
Olympics and Paralympics ............................................................................... 12
UN Convention.................................................................................................. 10
Justice.................................................................................................................. 7, 8
Dispute Resolution............................................................................................. 19
Human Rights................................................................................................ 7, 10
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Federal Disability Report • 2008
Library System....................................................................................................... 39
Research.............................................................................................................. 103
Housing . ........................................................................................................... 26
Surveys............................................................................................................ 104
Safety..................................................................................................................... 80
Seniors............................................................................................................. 45, 87
Service Delivery..................................................................................................... 51
Sport...................................................................................................................... 41
Supports.......................................................................................... see accessibility
Tax Measures....................................................................................................... 115
Telecommunications.............................................................................................. 32
Transportation........................................................................................................ 18
Veterans................................................................................................................. 81
Women................................................................................................................... 89
136
Advancing the Inclusion of People with Disabilities
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