Advancing the Inclusion of Persons with Disabilities

Advancing the Inclusion of Persons with Disabilities
Advancing the
Inclusion of
Persons with
Disabilities
A Government of Canada Report
December 2002
“Let the world see in
Canada a society marked by
innovation and inclusion,
by excellence and justice”
The Right Honourable Jean Chrétien
Prime Minister of Canada
SDDP–042–11–02E
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Ce document est également disponible en français sous le titre Vers l’intégration des
personnes handicapées. Un rapport du gouvernement du Canada, décembre 2002.
© Her Majesty the Queen in Right of Canada 2002
Cat. No.: RH37-4/1-2002E
ISBN: 0-662-33225-3
Table of Contents
1
Message from the Minister
2
Introduction
PART ONE — UNDERSTANDING DISABILITY
4
A Profile of Disability in Canada
8
Improving our Knowledge Base on Disability
12
Measuring Progress on Inclusion
PART TWO — OUTCOMES AND INDICATORS
66
17
Disability Supports
31
Skills Development, Learning and Employment
44
Income
51
Injury Prevention and Health Promotion
62
Capacity of the Disability Community
Conclusion
71
Appendix 1: Chronology of Legislation and Enabling
73
Appendix 2: Glossary of Terms
76
Appendix 3: Program Definitions of Disability
78
Appendix 4: Acronyms
A list of contributing departments and agencies is found at the
end of the document.
“
The Government of Canada has made it a priority to
remove barriers to full participation for persons with
disabilities. We want to make an inclusive society part
of our heritage for the 21st century.
”
Jane Stewart,
Minister of Human Resources Development
Message from the
Minister
anada’s economic and social development in the 21st century depends on
all citizens contributing their talents and knowledge. The 2002 Speech
from the Throne laid out an ambitious agenda to enhance the quality of life
for all Canadians through innovation and inclusion. For persons with disabilities,
this means removing barriers to work and learning and creating increased
opportunities for full participation.
C
There is a great deal of work ahead. But Canada is building momentum, and
significant gains are being made. The government is working in partnership with
other levels of government, the disability community, the Aboriginal community,
employers, labour and volunteers to implement measures that will bring real,
practical improvements to the quality of life of persons with disabilities.
Advancing the Inclusion of Persons with Disabilities is the first report to bring
together information on Government of Canada programs and services in support
of persons with disabilities. I urge you to read the report, to explore the extra
information available on-line and to talk about these issues with family, friends
and colleagues.
Canada is entering an exciting stage of its social and economic development.
We need all areas of Canadian society to come together to ensure that persons
with disabilities can participate fully in society and to build a country that
demonstrates respect for all its citizens.
Jane Stewart, P.C., M.P.
Minister of Human Resources Development
PART ONE – UNDERSTANDING DISABILITY
Introduction
isabilities affect people of all ages and
backgrounds. Some people are born
with one or more disabilities. Many
others develop disabilities through illness,
injury or aging. In fact, disabilities will affect
almost all Canadians or their families.
It is estimated that some 3.6 million
Canadians — 1 in 8 people — have a
disability. In some communities the rate is
much higher, in particular, among the
more than one million Canadians of
Aboriginal heritage.
All Canadians, including persons with
disabilities, have rights and responsibilities
under the Canadian Charter of Rights and
Freedoms. The policies and programs of the
Government of Canada make an important
contribution to ensuring that Canadians with
disabilities can exercise these rights
and responsibilities.
The Government of Canada has unique
relationships with Aboriginal people in
Canada as a result of constitutional, treaty,
legal
and
political
developments.
D
“The concept of citizenship is
central to disability issues.
Citizenship is the inclusion of
persons with disabilities in all
aspects of Canadian society –
the ability of a person to be
actively involved with their
community. Full citizenship
depends on equality, inclusion,
rights and responsibilities, and
empowerment and participation.”
In Unison 2000
2
“We are dedicated to the simple
proposition that persons with
disabilities have the right to
enjoy and have access to any
opportunity that life has to offer.
Indeed, we believe it is a basic
right of citizenship.”
Right Honourable Jean Chrétien, Prime Minister,
on accepting the Franklin Delano Roosevelt
International Disability Award on behalf of
Canada (1997)
The Government’s disability agenda
acknowledges the unique needs of
Aboriginal people with disabilities, and this
report integrates and highlights information
about these people wherever possible.
This first comprehensive report on
disability in Canada describes where our
country has made progress, how the
Government of Canada has contributed, and
where work remains to be done.
Part 1 of the report takes a broad look at
disability issues in Canada. It presents a
profile of disability in this country, describes
Canada’s knowledge base on disabilities
and reviews how we measure progress
toward inclusion. Part 2 of the report deals
with the five areas in which we can measure
progress toward inclusion; it describes
Canada’s progress to date as well as the
Government’s contribution to that progress.
The report ends with a brief conclusion that
summarizes key Government of Canada
disability initiatives and notes some issues to
be covered in future reports.
This report is also accompanied by a
Web-based technical report that provides
more comprehensive information. The
technical report includes further analysis,
supplementary indicators, more detailed
Advancing the Inclusion of Persons with Disabilities
information about government programs and
links to relevant sites. Interested readers can
access
the
technical
report
at
www.hrdc-drhc.gc.ca/bcph-odi.
MANY PARTNERS WORKING
TOGETHER
Over the past two decades, Canadians have
come to understand that all areas of society
share responsibility for making Canada fully
inclusive. Governments, communities,
families, volunteer organizations, learning
institutions, the private sector and labour are
all important partners in making progress on
disability issues. While the Government of
Canada invests in many disability-related
programs, provinces and territories deliver
most of the programs and services that
support Canadians with disabilities.
The United Nations declared 1981 the
International Year of Disabled Persons. That
year a special House of Commons
committee, the Committee on the Disabled
and Handicapped, was established and
made a series of recommendations. Since
then the Government of Canada and
provincial and territorial governments have
introduced initiatives, enhanced programs
and reformed legislation to support the
inclusion of persons with disabilities.1
Despite these efforts, by the mid-1990s it
was clear that much remained to be done. In
1996 the Prime Minister and the provincial
and territorial premiers declared that
disability issues and the needs of children
were priorities for continued social policy
renewal. First ministers agreed that a vision
and framework for disability issues was
needed. Thus in October 1998, In Unison:
A Canadian Approach to Disability Issues
was released by the federal, provincial and
1
2
3
4
territorial ministers responsible for social
services.2 The shared vision of In Unison
promotes greater equality and inclusion of
persons with disabilities in all aspects of
Canadian society.
In 1999 the federal, provincial and
territorial governments, except for Quebec,
endorsed a set of principles to guide them in
working closely together to meet the needs
of all Canadians, including Canadians with
disabilities. This Framework to Improve the
Social Union for Canadians reflects “the
fundamental values of Canadians—equality,
respect for diversity, fairness, individual
dignity and responsibility, and mutual aid and
our responsibilities for one another.” 3
The Government of Canada is committed
to improving the quality of life for persons
with disabilities through its own programs
and services, and to working with all partners
to make a real difference in the opportunities
for people with disabilities to participate fully
in society. The Government outlined the
main elements of its disability agenda in
1999, in Future Directions to Address
Disability Issues for the Government of
Canada: Working Together for Full
Citizenship.4 Future Directions shows how
the Government will contribute to achieving
the In Unison vision of full inclusion.
To support an integrated approach to
action on disability matters within its
jurisdiction, the Government of Canada
has established an interdepartmental
steering committee at the assistant
deputy minister level. The committee
meets regularly to plan government-wide
approaches to implement the
Government’s disability agenda.
See Appendix 1 for a more complete chronology of major Government of Canada initiatives.
While Quebec supports the general principles of the In Unison initiative, it did not participate in developing the initiative because it intends to retain the sole
responsibility for its social policy. Consequently, all references to viewpoints shared by the federal, provincial and territorial governments in this document
exclude the Government of Quebec.
The Social Union Framework is available at http://socialunion.gc.ca/news/020499_e.html
A copy of Future Directions may be obtained from the Office for Disability Issues or at http://www.hrdc-drhc.gc.ca/sp-ps/socialppsociale/reports/disability/main.shtml
Advancing the Inclusion of Persons with Disabilities
3
A Profile of Disability in Canada
eveloping a profile of disability in
Canada, as in most other countries, is
still based on subjective responses.
The number of persons with disabilities in
Canada is only an estimate, since all survey
research is based on people identifying
themselves as having one or more
disabilities or limitations on their activities.
For personal reasons, some people do not
identify themselves as having a disabling
condition—for instance, arthritis, hearing
loss, a learning disability or prolonged
depression—even when they do. As well,
some people may feel their disability is mild,
even though a health professional would
classify it as moderate. And some people
are uncomfortable reporting that they have a
disability while others may overestimate the
significance of a health condition.
The Participation and Activity Limitation
Survey (PALS)5 developed by Statistics
Canada in consultation with experts and
persons with disablities is the result of over
15 years of experience in dealing with
such issues.
In 2001 there were 3 601000 Canadians
with disabilities —1 in 8— according to the
PALS. This represents 12.4% of the
population living in households in the ten
provinces. Figure 1 shows the percentages
of children, working-age adults and seniors
who have disabilities. The figure shows
that the rate of disabilites rises with age.
As people grow older they are more
likely to have experienced injuries, diseases
and other health conditions that give
rise to disabilities.
D
5
“Canadians share basic values that
help define us as a nation –
welcoming everyone to participate
fully in society. The vast majority of
Canadians believe that persons with
disabilities should be supported in
their efforts to be active in their
communities and society.”
In Unison 2000: Persons with Disabilities in Canada
1. Disability Rates by Age and Sex 2001
MALE
AGE 0-14
AGE 15-64
AGE 65+
TOTAL
4.0%
9.4%
38.5%
11.5%
FEMALE
AGE 0-14 2.5%
AGE 15-64
AGE 65+
TOTAL
10.4%
42.0%
13.3%
CANADA
AGE 0-14
AGE 15-64
AGE 65+
TOTAL
3.3%
9.9%
40.5%
12.4%
Source: PALS 2001
Figure 1 description – Total disability
rates among children (age 0–14) are
low, at 3.3%. The rate for boys is 4.0%,
for girls 2.5%. Among working-age men
and women (age 15–64) the total rate of
The Participation and Activity Limitation Survey was conducted in the ten provinces following the 2001 Census and surveyed people living in households.
The populations of the three territories, people living on First Nations reserves and those living in heath care institutions are not included in PALS. A brief
discussion of the differences between PALS 2001 and HALS 1991 is provided in the next section of this report. For a more complete description of PALS
and its findings see Statistics Canada website.
4
Advancing the Inclusion of Persons with Disabilities
disability is 9.9% and the rate for men
and women are similar. For seniors
(65 and over) the rate rises to 40.5%
and the rate is higher for women than
for men (42% versus 38.5%) because
women have a longer life expectancy.
People with disabilities want to participate
in society, but each type of disability may give
rise to unique obstacles. PALS 2001 provides
a detailed profile of the types of disabilities
found in the Canadian population.
For children aged 0–4, 68% have disabilities
classified as developmental delay, 63% are
identified with chronic conditions, 12% with
hearing, 8% with seeing, and 9% have
disabilities that are not classified. The most
common types of disability among children
aged 5–14 are chronic conditions that limit
activities, such as cerebral palsy or autism
(65.3%), learning (64.9%), speech (43.3%),
psychological (31.7%) and developmental
(29.8%). PALS also found that many children
have more than one type of disability.6
People with severe disabilities may face
quite different obstacles to inclusion than
those with moderate or mild disabilities. But
the degree of disability is only one factor
shaping the challenges faced by persons
with disabilities. The type of disability is
another. All people with disabilities have
common experiences of exclusion, but each
type of disability may give rise to
unique needs.
Figure 2 shows the distribution of types of
disabilities for people aged 15 and over. The
most common types of disabilities are
mobility, agility and limitations due to chronic
pain. The percentages in Figure 2 do not add
to 100 since the majority of people
experience more than on type of disability at
the same time. In fact, PALS found that
2. Types of disabilities (2001)
Mobility
Pain
Agility
Hearing
Seeing
Psychological
Learning
Memory
Speech
Developmental
Unknown
72%
70%
67%
30%
17%
15%
13%
12%
11%
4%
3%
Age 15 and over
Sources: PALS 2001
Figure 2 description – The percentages of
people who say they have a particular
type of disability are as follows: mobility
(72%); pain (70%); agility (67%); hearing
(30%); seeing (17%); psychological
(15%); learning (13%); memory (12%);
speech (11%); developmental (4%); and
unknown (3%).
about 80% of persons 15 and over with
disabilities
report
more
than
one
type of limitation.
The type of disability is only one factor
shaping the challenges faced by persons
with disabilities. The severity of disability is
another. Some people with disabilities,
especially those experiencing a combination
of disabling conditions, face very severe
restrictions on many or even most of the
activities that they wish to carry out every
day. Others may be resticted in only one or a
few activities or the restrictions they face
may not be as frequent. 7
Because of the difficulty of assessing the
severity of disabilities in very young children,
disabilities in this age group are classified as
either mild to moderate or severe to very
severe. Mild to moderate disabilities
6
See the technical report for a full breakdown of the types of disabilities found by PALS for all ages along with population estimates.
http//www.hrdc-drhc.gc.ca/bcph-odi.
7
For persons 5 and over, PALS 2001 classifies disabilities as mild, moderate, severe or very severe based on the number and type of activity limitations
identified by the respondent. See Appendix 2, “Glossary of Terms” and the Statistics Canada website for a more complete information on the determination of
severity. For additional details on the distribution of disabilities by age, see the technical report at http//www.hrdc-drhc.gc.ca/bcph-odi.
Advancing the Inclusion of Persons with Disabilities
5
represent 58%, and severe to very severe
42%, for children with disabilities aged 0-4.
This means that 0.9% of Canadian children
0-4 have mild to moderate disabilities and
0.7% have severe to very severe disabilities.
For children aged 5-14 with disabilities,
32% have mild, 25% have moderate,
26% have severe and 17% have very severe
disabilities. This translates into 1.3% of all
children aged 5-14 with mild disabilities,
1.0% with moderate, 1.0 with severe and
0.7% with very severe disabilities.
Among persons aged 15 and over with
disabilities, 34% experience disabilities that
are mild, 25% have moderate disabilities,
27% have severe disabilities and 14% have
very severe disabilities. This means that
5.0% of the total population aged
15 and over have mild disabilities,
3.6% have moderate, 3.9% have severe and
2.0% have very severe disabilities.
Figure 3 shows the distribution of severity
of disabilities by age groups among the
Canadian polpulation with disabilities
aged 5 and over.
Disabilities vary widely in their cause,
duration and effect on a person’s life. Some
people have disabilities resulting from more
than one condition. Some, such as those
with Cystic Fibrosis, Cerebral Palsy or Fetal
Alcohol Syndrome or Fetal Alcohol Effects,
may be limited in their activities for life. Some
disabilities, such as Multiple Sclerosis, go
through cycles when the resulting activity
limitations may ease or even disappear for a
while. Some disabilities, such as paraplegia,
are visible; others, such as mental health or
learning disabilities, are not.
In many cases it is societal barriers—for
instance, inadequate transportation or lack
of modifications in the home—that create
limitations for persons with disabilities. Some
Canadians with severe disabilities can
participate fully in society, but some with
3. Severity of disabilities, persons with
disabilities (2001)
MILD
32%
33%
36%
AGE 5-14
AGE 15-64
AGE 65 and over
MODERATE
25%
25%
25%
AGE 5-14
AGE 15-64
AGE 65 and over
SEVERE
26%
28%
26%
AGE 5-14
AGE 15-64
AGE 65 and over
VERY SEVERE
AGE 5-14
AGE 15-64
AGE 65 and over
17%
14%
14%
Source: PALS 2001
Figure 3 description – The distribution of
severity of disabilities by age group for
persons with disabilities aged 5 and over
are as follows: For children 5-14
(32% mild; 25% moderate; 26% severe;
17% very severe). For persons 15-64:
(33% mild; 25% moderate; 28% severe;
14% very severe). For seniors 65 and
over (36% mild; 25% moderate;
26% severe; 14% very severe).
much milder disabilities cannot because
of these barriers.
Disabilities and Aboriginal People
The 2001 PALS did not include enough
Aboriginal, Métis and Inuit people to obtain
disability rates for the Aboriginal population.
There are two other surveys that provide
information on Aboriginal disabilities, the
Canadian Community Health Survey
(CCHS) and the Aboriginal Peoples Survey
(APS).8 The CCHS is the best current source
8
Like PALS, the CCHS did not survey First Nations reserves but does include significant numbers of Aboriginal people living elsewhere. Since the CCHS
identifies Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal persons with disabilities using the same questions as PALS, it is the best source for comparisons. As additional
information is released from the 2001 Census, it will provide information on Aboriginal disability issues including First Nations on reserves.
6
Advancing the Inclusion of Persons with Disabilities
4. Aboriginal adult disability rates (2001)
AGE 15-64
AGE 65 and over
TOTAL
30%
53%
31%
Source: Canadian Community Health Survey, 2000-2001
Figure 4 description – The overall
disability rate for Aboriginal adults is
31%. For working-age Aboriginal people,
the disability rate is 30%. Among
seniors, the rate is 53%.
for rates of disabilities among Aboriginal
peoples while the APS is the best source for
information on type and severity.
The 2000-2001 CCHS rates of disabilities
among Aboriginal adults are shown in
figure 4. Disability rates for children are not
available from CCHS.
The disability rates for Aboriginal people
shown in figure 4 should not be directly
compared to the PALS 2001 rates for nonAboriginal people. The questions used to
identify persons with disabilities in
CCHS are the same as those used in the
Census 2001. However, Statistics Canada
found that about one quarter of
those selected from the Census for participation in PALS did not identify any specific
areas of limitation during the PALS interview
and so are not included in the PALS
estimate of disability rates. It is likely that the
CCHS rates would be reduced if CCHS also
used the detailed PALS questions.
In 1991, APS reported that almost half of
Aboriginal persons with disabilities—
45%—had mobility disabilities, and 35% had
agility disabilities. The APS indicates that
Aboriginal persons have more seeing (25%),
hearing (35%) and speech disabilities (13%)
more than other Canadians.
Using the 1991 definitions of severity, the
APS found that 66% of Aboriginal disabilities
were mild, 22% were moderate and
12% were severe.
KEY CHALLENGES
Many Canadians with disabilities have high
levels of education, are fully employed and
have adequate incomes. Yet research shows
that persons with disabilities face significant
obstacles in all three of these areas.
EDUCATION
In today’s knowledge-based economy, a
high-school diploma is essential and
post-secondary education is required for an
increasing number of jobs. But many
working-age Canadians with disabilities
lack the education to participate fully in
today’s economy.
The 1996 census reported that just over
50% of working-age persons with disabilities
had completed high school, while only
seven% had completed a university degree.
In contrast, over 70% of persons without
disabilities had completed high school, and
about 17% had completed university.
Approximately 46% of Aboriginal adults with
disabilities had completed high school; only
two% had a university degree.
EMPLOYMENT
For most working-age Canadians, a steady
job is the key to financial security and participation in community life. As with education,
however, persons with disabilities have had
significantly less success finding and
keeping work. The 1996 census reported
that among persons with disabilities, the
employment rate was 41% for men and
32% for women. In contrast, among people
without disabilities, the employment rate was
almost double—83% for men and 70% for
women. The same census found that among
working-age Aboriginal persons with
disabilities, the employment rate was
28%, compared to 56% for the total
Aboriginal population.
Advancing the Inclusion of Persons with Disabilities
7
INCOME
Household income for persons with
disabilities differs greatly from the income of
other households. In 1998, working-age
Canadians with disabilities took in
76% of the average working-age
household’s after-tax income.9 Furthermore,
the 1996 census showed that on average,
Aboriginal persons with disabilities live in
households with only half the income of
Canadian
households
at
large.
Lower household income for persons with
disabilities can be a double disadvantage,
since there are often extra expenses
associated with the disability itself.
OTHER ISSUES
This brief overview of education,
employment and income has highlighted a
few of the significant issues facing persons
with disabilities. This report will more fully
explore these issues along with others such
as housing, transportation, communication
and accessibility, and the challenges facing
families caring for children with disabilities.
Under the Canadian Constitution, federal,
provincial and territorial governments all
have responsibilities that affect the lives of
persons with disabilities. The disability
community has argued that fragmentation of
government services, both within and across
government jurisdictions, is one of the most
important obstacles preventing persons with
disabilities from participating fully in society.
Now, with the Framework to Improve the
Social Union for Canadians mentioned
earlier, governments have agreed to work
together to meet the needs of all Canadians.
9
Survey of Labour and Income Dynamics (1998), special tabulation by Human Resources Development Canada.
8
Advancing the Inclusion of Persons with Disabilities
Improving our Knowledge
Base on Disability
eveloping policy to advance the full
inclusion
of
Canadians
with
disabilities in society requires
knowledge of their current situation, the
issues they face and the successes and
limitations of existing policy. In recent years,
however, the limitations of current
information have hampered progress in
this area.10
Responding to the need for more current
data on disability, the Government of
Canada provided $11.5 million in the 2000
federal budget for research on disability
issues. This enabled Human Resources
Development
Canada
(HRDC),
in
partnership with Statistics Canada, to
develop the PALS. Conducted in 2001, PALS
followed up on the 2001 Census.
PALS is unique because it is the only
comprehensive survey to collect certain data
about persons with disabilities, including
type and severity of disability, age of onset,
need for personal assistance, and disability
supports (including use of supports, costs
and unmet needs). In addition, PALS
collected data on education level, labour
force activity, occupation and industry,
household and personal income, sources of
income and voluntary activity. Initial results
from this important benchmark survey are
included in this report; more detailed data
will become available in 2003.
Until the entire PALS data set is available,
the 1991 Health and Activity Limitation
Survey (HALS) is the main source of detailed
information about issues faced by persons
with disabilities. Information from HALS 1991
D
10
is used in a number of places in
this report.
Over the past decade, there have likely
been changes in the distribution of numbers,
types and severity of disability. However,
Statistics Canada has noted that it is not
possible to develop reliable trend data by
comparing information from HALS 1991 and
PALS 2001.
Many readers of this report may be
surprised by the decrease in the estimated
number of Canadians with disabilities in
PALS 2001. PALS estimated a total number
of 3.6 million persons with disabilities versus
the estimate of 4.2 million provided by HALS
in 1991. The 600 000 difference can be
explained by two major factors: the target
population and the survey methodology.
First, the 1991 HALS estimate
included approximately 300 000 people with
disabilities living in institutions and in
the Territories, populations not surveyed
by PALS.
Second, the ten year interval between
HALS and PALS provided an opportunity for
Statistics Canada to improve its survey
methodology in order to produce more
complete information about disability issues.
The changes in survey methods were
designed in consultation with academic
experts, government departments and
members of the disability community. The
PALS survey methods were more likely to
identify individuals with severe disabilities. As
a result the profile of the population identified
by PALS shifted so that there are fewer mild
and more severe disabilities. This shift
The Government has provided funding to organizations such as the Roeher Institute and the Canadian Council on Social Development to analyze disability
information from major surveys. As examples, see Moving In Unison into Action (Roeher Institute, 2002) and the Disability Research Information Page by
CCSD (http://www.ccsd.ca/drip).
Advancing the Inclusion of Persons with Disabilities
9
explains a net reduction of approximately
300 000 persons with disabilities between
HALS and PALS.
Like HALS, PALS was a post-censul
survey. This means that persons interviewed
in PALS were selected from among those
who indicated during the census that they
had a disability. The disability filter questions
used for this purpose in the 2001 Census
were improved from those used in HALS.
Within PALS, respondents answered over
30 detailed questions about specific areas of
activity limitation. These improved questions
provide better recognition of invisible
disabilities like pain, psychological and
learning disabilities and better accounting for
intermittent or cyclical disabilities. About
25% of those identified in the 2001 Census
did not indicate any activity limitations when
they participated in PALS and so are not
included in the new disability rates. Research
conducted during the development of PALS
has shown that these are mainly persons
whose activity limitations were short in
duration, or who experienced very mild levels
of limitations at the time of the Census.
The improved questions in PALS provide a
great deal of additional information to assess
the types and severity of disabilities among
Canadians. For example, instead of the six
types of disabilities reported by HALS, PALS
has ten types. As well, while HALS had only
three categories of severity in 1991, PALS
classifies disabilities as mild, moderate,
severe or very severe. Because of the
combined effects of many changes in survey
methods, it is not possible to precisely
compare the categories of mild, moderate
and severe used in HALS to the new
PALS categories.
Information about disability issues is now
being collected more frequently through
various national surveys. Beginning in
1999 for the Survey of Labour and Income
Dynamics and in 2000-20001 for the
Canadian Community Health Survey these
10
surveys are using the same quesetions as did
the 2001 Census to identify whether participants may have a disability. This consistent
approach to identify disabilities will increase
the value of these national surveys for
analysing disability issues.
In addition to national survey research, the
Government also supports academic and
industry
research
to
improve
our
understanding of disability. For example,
between 1997 and 2001, the Social Science
and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC)
awarded over $11.3 million for disabilityrelated research. Between 1991 and 1995,
SSHRC and HRDC carried out a joint
research program, Integration of Persons with
Disabilities. The Natural Sciences and
Engineering Research Council and the
Canadian Institutes of Health Research also
fund rehabilitation research.
DEFINITIONS OF DISABILITY
Defining disability is not an easy task, and it is
becoming clear that no single definition can
cover all disabilities. People with disabilities
are generally considered to include people
with physical, sensory, mental health and
intellectual disabilities. In Canada, people are
considered to have a disability if their
condition restricts their ability to perform
common activities such as working, going to
school, travelling, walking, communicating or
performing daily tasks at home.
Over the past century, the concept of
disability has evolved significantly. For many
decades, disability was seen as a set of
characteristics of the individual—a person
was disabled or had a disability. As such,
governments’ and society’s interventions
involved protecting the individual and the
community, or treating and fixing the
impairment. But in the past two decades, as
the disability rights movement has emerged,
the concept of disability has shifted from
individual impairment to a more social
phenomenon. In this social view, persons
Advancing the Inclusion of Persons with Disabilities
with disabilities are seen as being restricted
in performing daily activities because of a
complex set of interrelating factors, some
pertaining to the person and some pertaining
to the person’s immediate environment and
social/political arrangements.
The social concept of disability introduces
the notion that society has erected barriers,
physical or attitudinal, that affect persons
with disabilities. Consequently, government
programs and policies have evolved to
include fixing the environment (e.g., making
buildings barrier-free) and providing income
assistance or work-related supports to help
persons with disabilities participate more fully
in the community and the workplace. The
PALS new approach demonstrates this shift
in thinking from health and activity limitation
(HALS) to participation and activity
limitation (PALS).
In November 2001 the World Health
Organization released a new framework, the
International Classification of Functioning,
Disability and Health (ICF). The ICF was a
seven-year
effort
involving
some
65 countries. Canada, through the Canadian
Institute for Health Information, made a
valuable contribution to developing the new
framework. The ICF has since been
accepted by 191 countries, including Canada,
as the international standard to describe and
measure health and disability.
This new framework goes beyond a
medical approach to take a much broader
view of disability. The ICF looks at the body,
individual activities, social participation and
social environments. Instead of a negative
description of disability, impairment and
handicap, the ICF provides a neutral
description of body structure, function,
activities and participation. It also recognizes
the role of environmental factors in either
facilitating functioning (body functions,
activities and participation) or raising barriers.
11
12
Under the framework, the term “disability”
refers to externally imposed impairments,
activity limitations or participation restrictions.
Carefully designed scientific studies have
been undertaken to ensure that the ICF can
be used across cultures and age groups. This
broad use will enable the collection of
reliable, comparable data on the health
outcomes of individuals and populations,
including disability. The World Health
Organization is now conducting surveys
around the world to collect data based
on the ICF.
Besides the complexity involved in defining
disability, it is important to distinguish
between definitions and eligibility criteria for
specific
government
programs.
The
govern-ment programs described in this
report may have very different objectives
and eligibility criteria.
The House of Commons Standing
Committee on Human Resources Development and the Status of Persons with
Disabilities heard concerns about the different
definitions various government departments
use to determine program eligibility and
reflected these concerns in its 2001 interim
report, A Common Vision. Recommendation 6
of the Standing Committee’s report
specifically asked the Government to study
the harmonization of disability definitions in
federally administered programs.
In response to A Common Vision, HRDC
led a review of disability definitions used by
the Government of Canada.11 A synthesis
document is now being developed to explain
the various definitions, their conceptual
approaches and the objectives and eligibility
criteria of some key Government of Canada
disability programs.12 The document will also
review stakeholders’ major concerns as well
as summarize international initiatives that
have addressed similar definition issues.
The report of the House of Commons Standing Committee on Human Resources Development and the Status of Persons with Disabilities,
A Common Vision and the Government’s response to it may be found at http://www.parl.gc.ca/disability/work/responses_e.asp
The document should be available in 2003.
Advancing the Inclusion of Persons with Disabilities
11
The definition of persons with disabilities
as it relates to the Employment Equity Act
was a concern raised in the Standing
Committee’s 14 June 2002 report on its
review of the legislation.13 At hearings, some
employers told the Committee of their
difficulty getting persons with disabilities to
self-identify, leading to an under-reporting of
internal representation and an exaggeration
of gaps. According to some employers, the
current definition links disability to
disadvantage in employment. Because some
persons with disabilities do not consider
themselves disadvantaged, this link
contributes
to
under-reporting.
The
Government’s Inter-departmental Working
Group on Employment Equity will examine
this issue.
Ultimately, the desired outcome from these
discussions on definition is an improved
understanding of program objectives and
eligibility criteria by beneficiaries and potential
clients as well as an opportunity for improved
policy and program coherence.
COMPARING CANADA TO OTHER
COUNTRIES
To assess how Canada is doing in addressing
disability issues, it is helpful to compare
Canadian data with information from other
countries. Unfortunately, despite such efforts
as the ICF, comparable data are often
unavailable. There are many reasons for this.
Sometimes definitions differ or the information
collected is not directly comparable. There
are also cultural differences, with some
societies taking different views of what
constitutes disability. In addition, because
each country has its own schedule for
collecting disability data, the survey years
frequently differ.
13
14
The system of government within a country
may affect the disability policy-making
processes. For example, federal regimes like
Canada, the United States, Germany and
Australia have governments at both national
and state or provincial level with responsibilities for disability while unitary regimes such
as France or Great Britain have more central
decision-making sytems. Complex federal
systems may result in fragmentation in
services and programs and create challenges
for persons with disabilities in understanding
the rules and obtaining necessary services.14
This first Canadian report compares three
federal systems (the United States,
Germany and Australia), two unitary states
(Great Britain and France) and the European
Union. But even within this small set of
developed countries, inadequate data and
inconsistent definitions limit the comparisons.
The OECD (Organisation for Economic
Co-operation and Development) and the
World Health Organization are trying to
improve the consistency of disability
information. But making international
comparisons will be challenging for years
to come.
Promoting Equality in the Federal Jurisdiction: Review of the Employment Equity Act, Ninth Report of the Standing Committee on Human Resources
Development and the Status of Persons with Disabilities, 2002. The report and associated information can be found at http://info.load-otea.hrdcdrhc.gc.ca/workplace_equity/review/review.shtml.
David Cameron and Fraser Valentine (2001). Disability and Federalism: Comparing Different Approaches to Full Participation. Montreal and Kingston:
McGill-Queen’s University Press.
12
Advancing the Inclusion of Persons with Disabilities
Measuring Progress on Inclusion
n 1999 the Government of Canada
released its disability agenda, entitled
Future Directions to Address Disability
Issues for the Government of Canada:
Working Together for Full Citizenship. Future
Directions builds on the framework
introduced in 1998 by In Unison, the federal,
provincial and territorial vision of full
inclusion for persons with disabilities.
Future Directions identifies seven key
areas to help people with disabilities achieve
full inclusion:
• increase accountability and improve
policy and program coherence;
• build a comprehensive base of
knowledge;
• build the capacity of the disability
community;
• address the acute needs of Aboriginal
people with disabilities;
• improve access and remove barriers
to disability supports and income;
• enhance employability of persons with
disabilities; and
• reduce injury and disability rates by
prevention and health promotion.
I
In 1999 the Government of Canada made
a commitment to Parliament to report
regularly on the Government’s progress on
disability issues, and to report in a way that
reflects the key principles of the
In Unison framework.
The accountability framework presented
in this first Government of Canada report
builds on the groundwork laid by Future
Directions and the indicators developed for
the In Unison framework. Unique information
The process of developing major social
framework documents over the past few
years has led governments and
stakeholders to a shared understanding
of disability-related priorities. This report
points to key concerns to be addressed if
Canadians with disabilities are to
participate as full citizens in all aspects of
Canadian society. According to the
In Unison vision, the most critical areas
requiring government attention are
enhanced disability supports, increased
employment opportunities, skills
development and adequate income.
on Aboriginal people is provided wherever
relevant to show the acute needs of
Aboriginal people with disabilities.
OUTCOMES AND INDICATORS
Government officials consulted representatives from disability organizations and
Aboriginal groups to further develop the
reporting framework for this report, including
outcomes and indicators. To address
progress on the Government of Canada
disability agenda as well as the performance
of the Government’s disability-related
programs and services, the report is
structured around five outcomes identified
as key areas to measure:
• disability supports;
• skills development, learning and
employment;
• income;
• injury prevention and health
promotion; and
• capacity of the disability community.
Outcomes, or results, are the best
measure of success for government policies
Advancing the Inclusion of Persons with Disabilities
13
and programs. For example, in the area of
disability supports, a positive outcome would
be that persons with disabilities have the
services and personal supports they need to
participate in such everyday activities as
going to work or school. Measuring progress
toward that outcome means looking at how
many people have all the help they need,
then measuring trends in future reports.
If more and more people have all the help
they need, it is a sign that the programs may
be producing results. Careful research is
also important to evaluate and explain the
reasons for progress or setbacks.
Unfortunately, it is difficult to report on our
progress in this critical area as well as on a
number of other outcomes because timely
data is not available.
The indicators for each of the five
outcomes will help measure progress on
disability issues and will provide useful
information to guide public policy
development. The indicators can also help
Canadians assess how well government
programs and services are supporting full
inclusion of persons with disabilities in
society. The full list of indicators used in this
report is presented in Text Box 1.
It is important to note that this reporting
framework is only a beginning. Future
reports may incorporate additional or
different indicators.
The real measure of success is improved
quality of life for people with disabilities in
such areas as learning, work, leisure and all
forms of social participation.
As shown in Text Box 2, this report brings
together information on disability issues and
on Government of Canada policies,
programs and services for persons with
disabilities. Over time, the reporting
framework will help Canadians understand
how government programs and services can
make a real difference in the lives of people
14
TEXT BOX 1
MEASURING PROGRESS – FIVE AREAS
Outcomes and Indicators
Disability supports
• Help with everyday activities
• Aids or devices for everyday activities
• Home modifications
• Local and long-distance transportation
• Information in multiple formats
• Health care requirements
Skills development, learning and
employment
• Children aged 6–15 attending school
• Working-age adults with post-secondary
diplomas or degrees
• Employment rate
• Persons employed all year
• Hourly wage
• Employers providing facilities, equipment or
aids to accommodate persons with disabilities
Income
• Household income
• Persons living in low-income households
• Major source of personal income
Injury prevention and health promotion
• Disability-free life expectancy
• Injury-related hospital admission rate
• Occurrence of major diseases and conditions
that may cause disability
• Physical activity
• Opportunity for athletes with disabilities
Capacity of the disability community
• Involvement with elected and non-elected
officials
• Human resource capacity
• Financial resource capacity
• Organizational partnerships
• Media relations
• Quality information about disability
• Responsiveness to clients and members
Advancing the Inclusion of Persons with Disabilities
with disabilities. The Government of Canada
is committed to improving accountability and
reporting measures for the programs,
policies and activities that are part of its
disability agenda. This report is itself a
milestone in the ongoing effort to make sure
Canadians are well informed about the
Government’s work on behalf of persons
with disabilities.
Although this report focuses on
Government of Canada programs and
policies, it also identifies the Government of
Canada’s contribution to a number of joint
disability initiatives conducted with its
provincial and territorial partners.
But this first report can only tell part of the
story. As mentioned earlier, there are still
information gaps and incomplete, outdated
data. Information about Aboriginal persons
with disabilities is especially limited, with the
most detailed data coming from the 1991
Aboriginal Peoples Survey.15 There are also
significant gaps in information about children
with disabilities and their families.
Another limitation is that some programs
report in different ways. In the future,
additional
comprehensive,
long-term
evaluations of key programs will be needed
to provide evidence of program impacts.
As well, new indicators may be required to
measure progress more fully.
This report makes the best use of
available information. As reporting on
government programs improves, as new
survey results become available and as
more comprehensive indicators are
developed, Canadians will be able to assess
how Government of Canada programs and
services for people with disabilities are
helping to build a more inclusive society.
The five sections that follow describe
Canada’s progress toward full inclusion of
persons with disabilities, along with the
Government of Canada’s contribution to that
15
TEXT BOX 2
SOURCES OF INFORMATION ON DISABILITY
ISSUES AND GOVERNMENT PROGRAMS
Much of the information in this report comes from the
1991 and 1996 censuses, and from national surveys
in which people identify themselves as having
disabilities by indicating that they have activity
limitations caused by long-term health conditions or
that they have long-term disabilities. The major
statistical sources are as follows:
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
Census (1991, 1996);
Health and Activity Limitation Survey (1991);
Aboriginal Peoples Survey (1991);
Survey of Labour and Income Dynamics;
(1993–1999)
National Population Health Survey (1994–1999);
Canadian Community Health Survey (2000–2001);
Workplace and Employee Survey (1999);
National Longitudinal Survey of Children and
Youth (1995–1999);
Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples (1996);
Canadian Transportation Agency Air Travel
Accessibility Survey (2000); and
Participation and Activity Limitation Survey (2001).
Besides these statistical sources, Human
Resources
Development
Canada
gathered
information on Aboriginal persons with disabilities
through a series of consultations in the summer of
2001. Another HRDC research project in 2002
supplied preliminary information on the capacity of
the disability community. And many other
Government of Canada departments and agencies
contributed information on their programs and
services (see inside back cover for a full list).
This report also brings together information from a
variety of Government of Canada documents to show
how the Government is addressing disability issues:
• Future Directions (the Government of Canada
disability agenda);
• Recent Speeches from the Throne;
• Responses to parliamentary committees;
• Departmental performance reports and plans;
• Administrative data from programs;
• Evaluation reports on programs; and
• Other government reports (e.g., National Child
Benefit 2001 Progress Report, Employability
Assistance for People with Disabilities—National
Report 2000–2001, Knowledge Matters: Skills and
Learning for Canadians, annual Employment
Equity reports to Parliament).
Information about Aboriginal people on reserves is also limited because of incomplete enumeration of some reserve communities in the census.
Advancing the Inclusion of Persons with Disabilities
15
progress. The sections are based on the five
outcomes presented earlier (see Text Box 1).
Each section includes a brief subsection
on each societal indicator. Every subsection
begins by summarizing what we know about
that particular indicator, then reviews
important Government of Canada initiatives
in that area. Wherever possible, the
subsections include unique information
about Canada’s Aboriginal people with
disabilities to help readers understand the
similarities and differences between
Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people with
disabilities. For a number of indicators, the
data presented are divided by sex to allow
appropriate gender analysis.16 Also, a few
indicators present information specifically
about children.
Under the Canadian Constitution, federal,
provincial and territorial governments all
have responsibilities that affect the lives of
persons with disabilities. The disability
community has argued that fragmentation of
government services, both within and across
government jurisdictions, is one of the most
important obstacles preventing persons with
disabilities from participating fully in society.
Now, with the Framework to Improve the
Social Union for Canadians mentioned
earlier, governments have agreed to work
together to meet the needs of all Canadians.
16
A full breakdown of indicator data by sex is provided in the technical report, available at www.hrdc-drhc.gc.ca/bcph-odi
16
Advancing the Inclusion of Persons with Disabilities
PART TWO – OUTCOMES AND INDICATORS
Disability Supports
his section looks at six indicators that
measure progress toward ensuring
that persons with disabilities have the
disability supports they need. It also
describes the Government of Canada’s
commitments and actions in each area,
including highlights of specific programs
and services.
The daily activities that Canadians take
for granted—getting up in the morning,
showering, getting dressed, reading a sign,
taking the bus to work, remembering a
phone number, buying groceries, walking to
school, caring for a home—can present
sizeable challenges for persons with
disabilities. Some of these challenges are
even greater for those who live in rural or
remote communities. Disability supports help
people with disabilities overcome barriers to
full participation in all aspects of daily life.
T
Disability supports include
• personal help with everyday living
• technical devices and aids
• modifications to homes, vehicles and
workplaces
• accessible buildings, public spaces
and transportation systems
• information in multiple formats
• accessible communications systems
• therapeutic services and medications
• personal assistance in the workplace
Persons with disabilities and governments
alike have agreed that disability supports
are critical to full inclusion at all ages and
stages of life.
SIX INDICATORS OF PROGRESS
Help needed for everyday activities
Aids or devices needed for everyday activities
Home modifications
Local and long-distance transportation
Information in multiple formats
Health care requirements
Among Aboriginal people with disabilities,
access to disability supports is only part of a
far more complex situation. Especially for
those living on reserves or in remote,
isolated communities, the obstacles created
by disabilities can be magnified by harsh
social and economic conditions.
There are many areas where the
Government of Canada’s responsibilities directly affect the quality of life
of Canadians with disabilities. Some of
these areas are rail, ferry and air
transportation; currency; broadcasting;
culture; and some aspects of seniors
programs, housing and health
promotion.
But federal programs and services
are only part of the story. The provinces
and territories also play a vital role in
the lives of persons with disabilities,
since they oversee most health and
social services in Canada, including
home care, attendant care and
provision of technical aids and devices.
Advancing the Inclusion of Persons with Disabilities
17
5. Help with everyday activities (1991)
Help with everyday activities
TOTAL
ome people with disabilities need help
with one or more everyday activities,
such as bathing, dressing, managing
money or getting to work or school. Whether
they get the assistance they need is one
measure of access to disability supports and
is an indication of how inclusive Canadian
society is.
The data in Figure 5 reveal a gap between
the amount of assistance people with
disabilities need and what they actually get.
Women with disabilities are more likely to
say they need assistance and less likely to
have all they need. Women’s greater need
for support may be partly due to their family
roles and responsibilities. It may also relate
to their longer life expectancy: as they age,
they may need more help to live in their own
home or community.
Families remain the most important
source of help with daily activities. The 1991
HALS found that the majority of people with
disabilities received help from family and
friends only. Just 14% received help
exclusively from community service
agencies, and 18% got help from a
combination of agencies, families and
friends. These figures underline the
importance of government assistance and
support to family members so that they can
continue their vital role.
In many Aboriginal communities, some
services that persons with disabilities need
are not yet available. According to the
1991 Aboriginal Peoples Survey, among
Aboriginal persons with disabilities who
received help, approximately 90% got at
least some of it from family. Some 34% got
assistance from friends or neighbours. While
there is a strong cultural tradition for support
S
18
Need help
but have none
W
M
Have help but
need more
W
M
Have help
needed
W
M
Age 15 and over
W = Women M = Men
86 600
63 600
560 300
285 600
506 400
351 400
Source: Health & Activity
Limitation Survey 1991
Figure 5 description – According to the
1991 Health and Activity Limitation
Survey, less than half of the nearly
1.9 million people aged 15 and over who
needed help with daily activities said
they had all they required. Almost
45% received some help but needed
more, and 10% needed help but had
none. Figure 5 also shows that women
with disabilities are more likely than men
to say they need help and less likely to
receive all they need. The survey found
that 1.1 million women with disabilities
needed assistance and 44% had all they
needed. In contrast, 700 000 men
needed assistance and 50% had all
they needed.
from family and friends, 10% of Aboriginal
persons with disabilities had some help but
needed more, while another 17% needed
help but had none.
The Government of Canada has
special relationships with Aboriginal
people. In s.35(2) of the Constitution
Act, 1982 it states that “In this Act,
“aboriginal peoples of Canada”
includes the Indian, Inuit and Métis
peoples of Canada.
Advancing the Inclusion of Persons with Disabilities
√ Government Action
Canadians with disabilities and their
families may incur major costs when
purchasing the assistance and disability
supports they need. The Government of
Canada provides substantial tax measures
to assist persons with disabilities and those
who care for them. Provincial and territorial
governments also have tax measures that
take the costs of disability into account.
Recent budgets have enriched the
existing federal tax measures and
introduced new ones to help people
with disabilities. With these enhancements,
federal tax assistance to persons with
disabilities and those who care for
them increased from $600 million per
year in 1996 to about $1.1 billion per year
in 2002.17
The disability tax credit (DTC) provides
tax assistance to individuals with severe
and prolonged impairments, the effects of
which cause them to require extensive
therapy to sustain a vital function, or
markedly restrict their ability to perform
such basic daily activities as walking;
feeding and dressing themselves;
perceiving, thinking and remembering;
speaking; hearing; and eliminating bodily
waste. The DTC recognizes not only costs
related to help with daily activities, but other
types of disability-related costs that are
difficult to itemize. For 2002 the credit
provides a federal tax reduction of up to
$989, an amount that is fully indexed to
inflation. Families caring for children with
severe and prolonged impairments may get
further tax assistance through the DTC
supplement for children.
The caregiver tax credit reduces the
taxes of people who provide in-home care
for a parent or grandparent over 65, or for
an infirm dependent relative. The infirm
dependant credit provides tax assistance to
individuals who provide support to a
relative living in a separate residence who
is a dependant because of a physical or
mental infirmity. In 2002 the maximum
amount for each tax credit was $577, which
is reducible based on the income of the
dependent relative. The amount of both
credits and the income level at which they
are reduced are fully indexed to inflation.
In response to public concerns about the
administration of the disability tax credit,
the House of Commons Subcommittee on
the Status of Persons with Disabilities, a
subcommittee of the Standing Committee
on Human Resources Development and
the Status of Persons with Disabilities, held
hearings in the winter of 2002. The
Standing Committee later issued a report
containing 16 legislative, policy and
administrative recommendations, the most
important of which were related to the
eligibility criteria for the DTC.
The Government has since responded to
this report and its recommendations.18
For example, an evaluation of the DTC will
begin once data from the Participation and
Activity Limitation Survey become available
in 2003. As well, before the Government’s
response was tabled, the Canada Customs
and Revenue Agency had begun meetings
with disability groups, medical experts and
HRDC both to establish a long-term consultative process and to improve the DTC
certification form and application process.
Apart from tax assistance, the
Government of Canada provides other help
with disability supports. For example,
through the First Nations and Inuit Home
and Community Care Program, the
Government provides support to develop
17
Canada Customs and Revenue Agency is responsible for the administration of tax measures, while the Department of Finance is responsible for tax policy.
18
See the Web site of the House of Commons Subcommittee on Persons with Disabilities for this report and the Government’s response:
http://www.parl.gc.ca/disability/Home/index_e.asp?Language=E
Advancing the Inclusion of Persons with Disabilities
19
home and community care services on
reserves and in Inuit communities.
Provinces, territories and the
Government of Canada have committed to
working together to improve access to
disability supports and to make sure those
supports are still available if a person
moves to another community. Work to fulfill
this commitment is ongoing.
To better understand issues faced by
women with disabilities, Status of Women
Canada has funded research into equality
issues for women with disabilities, and the
role of women as informal caregivers and
their caregiving relationships with persons
living with disabilities. Also, a question on
unpaid work was added to the 2001 census
to help measure the amount of informal
care provided by Canadian families.
In the 2002 Speech from the Throne, the
Government also committed to “put in place
targeted measures for low-income families
caring for children with severe disabilities,
to help meet the needs of the child and of
the family.”
Aids or devices for everyday activities
n addition to personal assistance, people
with disabilities may need aids or devices
to support their mobility, hearing, seeing,
speaking or use of hands and arms.
Measuring progress in this area is important,
since aids and devices can directly affect
whether persons with disabilities can go to
school or work, earn income and get
involved in other activities. Yet as shown in
Figure 6, many persons with disabilities do
not have the aids they need.
Among Aboriginal adults with disabilities,
some 25% required aids or devices for daily
activities in 1991. No national statistics show
the degree of unmet need for aids among
Aboriginal people with disabilities.
I
20
6. Needs for aids and devices (1991)
TOTAL
Need aids but
have none
W
M
Have aids but
need more
Have aids
needed
W
M
60 700
77 700
107 700
116 000
W
M
Age 15 and over / W = Women M = Men
470 600
394 400
Source: Health & Activity
Limitation Survey 1991
Figure 6 description – In 1991, of the
approximately 1.2 million Canadians
aged 15 and up who needed aids or
devices for everyday activities,
70% had what they required. Nearly
20% needed more aids than they had,
and just over 10% needed aids but had
none. Nearly 640 000 women and
590 000 men needed aids or devices.
About 70% of women and 66% of men
said they had all the aids they needed.
The 1991 HALS found that cost was the
main reason why individuals lack the aids
they need. When people with disabilities
cannot afford aids, they may turn to
government programs. However, the
disability community has argued that the
fragmentation of government programs that
provide funding for aids, devices and other
disability supports can create more
obstacles. When individuals move to a new
jurisdiction, when they leave school to start
work, or when they make other transitions,
they may find they are no longer eligible for
the funding they received until then. When
this happens, people may lose important
supports, which in turn may prevent
them from enjoying the same choices as
other Canadians.
Advancing the Inclusion of Persons with Disabilities
√ Government Action
The Government of Canada, through the
tax system, acknowledges the extra costs
Canadians may incur for aids, devices and
other supports. The medical expense tax
credit recognizes that above-average
medical expenses affect an individual’s
ability to pay tax. The amount of the credit
is based on the amount of qualifying
medical expenses and on the taxpayer’s
net income. There is no upper limit to
the amount of eligible expenses that may
be claimed. Taxpayers may claim the
medical expenses that they or their
spouses incur, as well as, in certain circumstances, expenses incurred by specified
dependent relatives.
The list of eligible medical expenses
includes not only disability-related aids and
devices, but also disability-related
expenditures in other areas mentioned in
this report, including attendant care,
prescription drugs, home modifications and
transportation costs. The list of eligible
medical expenses is regularly reviewed and
expanded in light of new technologies and
other disability specific or medically related
items. For example, the 2000 budget
recognized as an eligible expense the
incremental cost of modifications to new
homes to assist individuals with severe
mobility impairments.
As well, the Non-Insured Health Benefits
Program (NIHB) of the First Nations and
Inuit Health Branch provides, to registered
Indians and recognized Inuit and Inuu, a
range of health benefits to meet medical or
dental needs not covered by provincial,
territorial or other third party plans. These
health benefits include drugs, dental care,
vision care, medical supplies and medical
equipment, short- term crisis intervention
counselling and transportation to access
medically-required health services.
Another Government of Canada
approach to ensuring that Canadians with
disabilities have the aids they need involves
the Office of Learning Technologies (OLT) in
Human Resources Canada. OLT supports
initiatives for new learning technologies to
promote the inclusion of groups and
individuals, including persons with
disabilities, who face barriers to participating in today’s knowledge economy.
Its Community Learning Networks Initiative
supports the establishment of networks to
help individuals and groups acquire
technology skills and overcome learning
disabilities or barriers to learning.
In 2000–2001, OLT had 20 active projects
of its budget (3% of its budget) that
focused specifically on the needs of
persons with disabilities.
In Future Directions, the 1999 statement
of the federal disability agenda, the
Government of Canada committed to
promoting universal design of products,
services and environments to enable full
participation of persons with disabilities.
To this end, the Government provided
support for “Inclusion by Design” a world
congress hosted by the Canadian Council
on Rehabilitation and Work in June 2001.
The Government has also encouraged the
use of universal design principles in
federally regulated industries so that
devices such as bank machines, ticket
machines and telephones are accessible to
as many people as possible.
Home modifications
ersons with disabilities may need to
make changes either inside or outside
their homes, or both, to live
independently and enjoy a higher quality of
life. People with disabilities may need modifications so that they can turn on lights or
open windows and doors. They may need
P
Advancing the Inclusion of Persons with Disabilities
21
changes to the kitchen so that they can
prepare meals from a wheelchair. Wider
doorways and modified washrooms are
other possible needs. For persons
with respiratory or immunological conditions,
the quality of indoor air and drinking
water is critical. Persons who are deaf may
need visual doorbells, and persons
who are blind may need talking
programmable thermostats.
In 1991 there were over 800 000 persons
with disabilities aged 15 and over whose
homes required either interior or exterior
modifications or both. Figure 7 shows that
only a minority of those persons had all the
modifications they needed. Most needed
modified fixtures, such as lower light fixtures
or countertops. Many needed equipment,
such as shower grab bars or stairlifts. Some
needed exterior modifications to their
homes, including ramps.
The 1991 Aboriginal Peoples Survey
found that three% of Aboriginal people with
disabilities needed adaptive features to enter
or leave their homes. For Aboriginal people
living on reserves or in remote areas, overall
the issue of overall housing conditions goes
beyond adaptations for persons with
disabilities. Still, some progress is being
made. In March 2002 the number of
adequate on-reserve housing units (those
not needing replacement or renovation) was
51 269. This represents about 56%
of the approximately 92 000 on-reserve
housing units at the time. In comparison, in
March 1997 the amount of adequate housing
was about 52% (41,885 units) of the 80 443
units then available.
22
7. Need for home modifications 1991
Don’t
have any
needed
changes
46%
Have what is
needed
31%
24%
Persons with disabilities,
Age 15 and over
Have but
need more
Source: Health & Activity
Limitation Survey 1991
Figure 7 description – According to the
1991 Health and Activity Limitation
Survey, 31% of persons with disabilities
aged 15 and over said they had all the
home modifications they needed.
Another 24% had some adaptive
features but needed more. Nearly half—
46%—did not have the modifications
they needed.
√ Government Action
Under the Residential Rehabilitation
Assistance Program for Persons with
Disabilities (RRAP-D), the Canada
Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC)
offers financial help to homeowners and
landlords for eligible modifications that
improve the accessibility of dwellings
occupied by low-income persons with
disabilities. RRAP-D is available in all
areas, including reserve communities.
Homeowners qualify for RRAP-D
assistance if their house value is below a
certain figure and their household income is
at or below established ceilings. Landlords
may receive assistance to modify units if
rents are at or below certain levels and
tenants’ incomes are equal to or under set
ceilings. Assistance is also available for
landlords who own rooming houses with
rents below established levels. In 2001 an
Advancing the Inclusion of Persons with Disabilities
estimated 1 625 households received
$11.4 million in forgivable assistance.
As well, CMHC offers the Home
Adaptations for Seniors’ Independence
(HASI) program to assist low-income
seniors who have difficulty with daily
activities in the home. The program
provides one-time, non-repayable contributions of up to $2 500 to assist with minor
home adaptations. These adaptations are
usually permanent additions, replacements
or relocations that make daily home
activities easier and safer. They may
include handrails in hallways and stairways,
door lever handles, and grab bars for
showers and bathtubs.
Homeowners and landlords are eligible
to apply for HASI if the occupant of the unit
intended for modification is 65 years of age
or over. To qualify, household income must
be at or under the threshold established for
the type of household in the area. The HASI
program is also available on reserve to
Aboriginal people with disabilities. In 2001
around 4 425 households received
$8.4 million in forgivable assistance.
CMHC also provides leadership in
ensuring that new homes have flexible
enough designs to meet changing needs.
FlexHousing is an innovative new
approach to housing design that CMHC
developed to respond to the needs of
today’s families and to support independent
living for persons with disabilities and for
seniors. In 2001 CMHC spent $250 000 on
demonstrations and information to promote
FlexHousing to the housing industry
and the public.
For veterans with service-related
disabilities, Veterans Affairs Canada
provides needs-based support for home
modifications. Veterans Affairs also collaborates with the Royal Canadian Legion and
CMHC on housing support for seniors.
19
To continue to improve housing on First
Nations reserves, the Government of
Canada has committed $200 million over
five years, in addition to the $138 million it
already provides annually.19 However,
because the housing program of Indian and
Northern Affairs Canada is under First
Nations community control, measures to
accommodate people with disabilities
largely depend on decisions at the
community level.
Local and long-distance transportation
ccessible transportation can mean the
difference between being able to work
and being unemployed, between
participating in the community and being
excluded. It can affect whether someone can
pursue higher education, go to church or visit
the doctor or dentist. Most people with
disabilities are able to travel in their
communities and around the country if there
is appropriate and accessible transportation.
But access to transportation is often
inadequate, varying greatly among urban,
rural and remote communities.
The 1991 HALS found that 10% of
persons with disabilities aged 15 and over
had problems with local transportation.
These problems ranged from a complete
absence of accessible transportation in their
community to inflexible scheduling to the
expense of taking taxis because of their
disability. Owing to problems with the
transportation system, 20% of Canadians
with disabilities had problems with longdistance travel (80 kilometres and over).
Access problems in terminals, airplanes,
trains, buses and ferries, or employees who
are unprepared for or unfamiliar with the
needs of persons with disabilities, can all
make
long-distance
travel
difficult.
A
Ministerial presentation to the House of Commons Standing Committee on Aboriginal Affairs: 2002–2003 Report on Plans and Priorities, Ottawa,
9 May 2002, http://www.ainc-inac.gc.ca/nr/spch/index_e.html
Advancing the Inclusion of Persons with Disabilities
23
However, a 2001 report by the Canadian
Transportation Agency stated that the airline
industry has made good progress over the
past 10 years in resolving access problems
for air travellers.20
For Aboriginal persons with disabilities
who live in remote and northern areas,
transportation is especially challenging.
Many Aboriginal communities have poor
roads and no paved sidewalks. Many
northern communities have no roads linking
them to other communities; access may be
only by air or water. For persons with
disabilities in these communities, air
transportation can be both expensive and
difficult. This is due partly to location and
partly to such basic problems as getting into
and out of small airplanes and using airports
with limited facilities.
The Aboriginal Peoples Survey of 1991
found that these transportation issues
created problems for almost 10% of
Aboriginal persons with disabilities on short
trips, and for nearly 13% on long trips
over 80 kilometres.
√ Government Action
Each year more than 3.8 million Canadians
with disabilities and their families, friends
and companions use the federally regulated
transportation system. The Government of
Canada is working to improve access to
those areas of the system that are under
federal regulation, including air, rail, marine,
interprovincial and cross-border transit.
The Government’s efforts include furthering
research on accessible transportation;
sharing information with transportation
providers and consumers, including through
Government On-line; and exercising its
regulatory role.
20
21
Because provinces, territories and
municipalities have jurisdiction over
local transportation systems operating
wholly within their boundaries, the
Government of Canada also works with
these governments.
Transport Canada has developed and
monitors the Intercity Bus Code of Practice
and provides mediation services to resolve
complaints under the code. It is also
responsible for research and development
through the Transportation Development
Centre. As part of Government On-line,
Transport Canada has launched the Access
to Travel Web site www.accesstotravel.gc.ca
to supply information on accessible
transportation across the country. Transport
Canada also has a reciprocity agreement
with the European Conference of Ministers
of Transport for the reciprocal recognition of
disabled parking permits.
The Canadian Transportation Agency
monitors accessibility in air, rail and marine
transportation, with an emphasis on
improving accessibility.21 The Agency is
responsible for making sure that any undue
obstacles to the mobility of persons with
disabilities are removed from federally
regulated transportation services and
facilities. The Agency investigates
complaints from persons with disabilities
who have had difficulty using transportation
that falls under federal jurisdiction. It also
sets, administers and enforces regulations
and codes of practice for transportation
accessibility. In doing so, the Agency
consults closely with persons with
disabilities, the transportation industry,
Transport Canada, the provinces and
territories and other countries. Its aim is to
ensure accessible, integrated transportation
for persons with disabilities.
Refer to the accompanying technical report (http://www.hrdc-drhc.gc.ca/bcph-odi) for more details on the findings from the Canadian
Transportation Agency survey.
The Canadian Transportation Agency’s Web site is http://www.cta-otc.gc.ca/index_e.html
24
Advancing the Inclusion of Persons with Disabilities
In 1998 the Canadian Transportation
Agency produced a booklet called
Taking Charge of the Air Travel
Experience: A Guide for Persons with
Disabilities.22 This guide offers useful tips
to help people with disabilities in
planning air travel. Since its release,
more than 45 000 copies have been
distributed. In a survey of users,
97% said they felt more confident about
travelling thanks to the guide.
As one user put it, “The guide helped
me to feel more comfortable about
travelling alone.”
Information in multiple formats
echnology is expanding the formats in
which
information,
ideas
and
entertainment are available to all
Canadians. Yet research shows that there
are still gaps in the information available to
people with disabilities.
More than three million Canadians—
10% of the population—are print-disabled.23
Print disability may result from vision
limitations or from learning disabilities. It may
also stem from motor impairments that make
it difficult to hold a book, turn a page or work
with computer equipment. The National
Library of Canada’s database contains more
than 20 million records, but only 250 000 of
them are audio-book, Braille or large print.
Only three% of new Canadian publications
are available in multiple formats (audio,
Braille, large print, e-text).24
In contrast, in the broadcast medium
some 90% of television programs are now
available with closed captioning, including
nearly all newscasts. A number of new
technologies
are
making
television
broadcasts more accessible for individuals
T
with hearing and visual disabilities. Besides
closed captioning, which displays the audio
portion of a program as subtitles, there is
descriptive video, which provides a separate
audio description of textual or graphic
information. By giving an oral description of
a program’s key visual elements, descriptive
video helps people with vision impairments
to form a mental image of what is happening.
Computers and the Internet are
also beginning to make large amounts
of information more accessible in
electronic formats.
Aboriginal people with disabilities have
some
unique
informational
needs.
Consultations with Aboriginal organizations
have shown that more cultural materials
produced by Aboriginal peoples must be
available in multiple formats, as well as more
information about disability programs for
Aboriginal people.
√ Government Action
In June 2000 the Government of Canada
became the first body in the world to adopt
“common look and feel” guidelines, which
require all its Web sites to conform to the
Web Content Accessibility Guidelines of the
international World Wide Web Consortium
(W3C) Web Accessibility Initiative. A core
principal of this initiative is that the power of
the Internet should be available to
everyone, regardless of ability.
The Government of Canada, through the
Government On-line Initiative, is making it
easier for persons with disabilities to access
information of specific interest to them.
The Persons with Disabilities Online site
www.pwd-online.ca provides comprehensive information on Government of
22
This publication is available at http://www.cta-tc.gc.ca/access/guide/index_e.html
23
Fulfilling the Promise, Report of the Task Force on Access to Information for Print-Disabled Canadians, Ottawa, 2000,
http://www.nlc-bnc.ca/accessinfo/s36-200-e.html
Ibid. This was an estimate by the Task Force on Access to Information for Print-Disabled Canadians.
24
Advancing the Inclusion of Persons with Disabilities
25
Canada programs for persons with
disabilities and links to many other
helpful resources.
Another key resource for Canadians
with disabilities is Disability WebLinks
www.disabilityweblinks.ca. The federal,
provincial and territorial governments
launched this service in April 2001 to
supply information about their programs
and services of interest to persons
with disabilities.
Both Persons with Disabilities Online
and Disability WebLinks provide access to
information on a variety of disability-related
topics, including accessibility, education,
employment, financial support, health,
housing and residential support,
personal support, rights, tax programs
and transportation.
On a broader front, Canada’s National
Library, announced the new Council on
Access to Information for Print-Disabled
Canadians 25 in February 2001.
The Council provides advice, identifies
funding requirements, monitors progress
and develops ideas for implementing
the recommendations of the Task
Force on Access to Information For
Print-Disabled Canadians.
The Council has made contact with many
Government departments and is continuing
its efforts to make more material available
in multiple formats for print-disabled
Canadians. For example, in March 2002 the
Council published the Manager’s Guide to
Multiple Format Production in partnership
with Industry Canada and the Treasury
Board Secretariat. This document provides
guidelines for developing and publishing
accessible Government of Canada material,
but its information is useful for public and
private sector organizations alike.26
Beyond government information, major
cable and satellite services are required by
the Canadian Radio-television and
Telecommunications Commission27 (CRTC)
to provide VoicePrint, a 24-hour news and
information reading service, to their Englishlanguage subscribers. La Magnétothèque
provides a similar French-language service.
When the CRTC holds hearings to
review broadcast licences or to consider
new ones, it can impose requirements on
broadcasters to provide other formats.
Major broadcasters like CBC, CTV and
Global must supply closed captioning for at
least 90% of their programming during the
broadcast day, including 100% of local
news. Medium and smaller stations, along
with specialty channels, are being
encouraged to meet this standard.
Captioning technology was originally
developed for the English language,
but French-language networks are now
moving towards the same standards.
TVA, Canada’s largest French-language
network, must caption 100% of news
programming by 2004 and 90% of all
programming by 2007.28
Health care requirements
btaining needed health care and
social services is an important
indicator of access to disability
supports. Health care is one of the most
valued services for Canadians. It is
especially important for persons with
disabilities, who may have chronic health
conditions or pain.
Data from the National Population Health
Survey and the Canadian Community Health
Survey indicate that the majority of adults
O
25
The Council’s Web site is http://www.nlc-bnc.ca/accessinfo/
26
Manager’s Guide to Multiple Format Production, Assistive Devices Industry Office, Industry Canada, 2002,
http://www.nlc-bnc.ca/accessinfo/s36-202.001-e.html
The CRTC Web site is http://www.crtc.gc.ca
27
28
See the CRTC Web site for further information: http://www.crtc.gc.ca/eng/INFO_SHT/b302.htm#cap
26
Advancing the Inclusion of Persons with Disabilities
with disabilities are able to get the health and
social services they need. However, the
percentage of people with and without
disabilities who are having trouble getting
needed health and social services has been
rising for several years. Still, according to
ongoing surveys, persons with disabilities
are less likely to receive the health care they
believe they need than persons without
disabilities. Figure 8 shows that this situation
has been getting worse.
Consultations with Aboriginal organizations and other research data suggest that
many Aboriginal people with disabilities who
live in remote or northern communities may
not have access to required health care
within their communities. These individuals
8. Persons needing health care in past
12 months that was not received
24%
With Disabilities
15%
often need additional health care and social
services, and when the services are not
available locally, some of these people move
to larger centres. However, those consulted
believe that moving Aboriginal people with
disabilities away from their culture and
community to receive health care is
stressful. Leaving family and friends can
lead to isolation and loneliness.
√ Government Action
The Government of Canada recognizes that
this country needs a health care system
that will meet the needs of all Canadians. In
2000 the Government of Canada committed
$21.2 billion over five years to the Health
Action Plan. This funding, provided as part
of the Canada Health and Social Transfer,
will help provincial and territorial
governments move forward in building a
sustainable health care system that meets
the needs of all, including those with
disabilities.
13%
10%
10%
Without Disabilities
3%
1994-1995
5%
4%
1996-1997
1998-1999
2000-2001
Source: National Population Health Survey 1998-99, 1997-96, 1994-95
Canadian Community Health Survey 2000-2001
Age 15 and over
Figure 8 description – According to the
2000–2001 Canadian Community Health
Survey, 24% of adults with disabilities
said that in the previous 12 months they
did not receive all the health care they
needed. That number is up from 10% in
1994–1995. Among adults without
disabilities, 10% said they did not
receive the health care they needed, up
from three% in 1994–1995.29
29
Under the Canadian Constitution, the
Government of Canada is responsible
for health protection, interpreting the
Canada Health Act and funding a
portion of health care. Provincial and
territorial governments are responsible
for delivering health care to most
Canadians, though the Government of
Canada has special responsibilities for
services to First Nations and Inuit
people, members of the military and
veterans. Both orders of government
share responsibility for health education
and promotion.
Overall population trends in unmet health care needs were published in Health Reports, vol. 13 (March 2002), available from Statistics Canada,
http://www.statcan.ca/english/services/
Advancing the Inclusion of Persons with Disabilities
27
In May 2001 the Commission on the
Future of Health Care in Canada, created to
make recommendations to strengthen
Canada’s health care system, began
collecting information and ideas. The
Commission looked at how to build a health
care system that meets Canada’s current
and future needs and presented its report in
November, 2002. In addition, the Senate
Standing Committee on Social Affairs,
Science and Technology recently completed
a two-year study of Canada’s health care
system. In light of these recent research
efforts, the Government is committed to
working with provincial and territorial
governments and other partners to ensure
that all Canadians, including persons with
disabilities, get the services they need from
the health care system.
Veterans Affairs Canada (VAC) is
responsible for health care for certain
groups of wartime and peacetime veterans.
Under the Veterans Independence
Program, VAC provides health and support
services, personal care, assistance with
housekeeping and grounds maintenance,
and access to nutrition services, as well as
a broad range of treatment benefits
(including aids for daily living, hearing aids,
vision care, dental services, medical
supplies, prescription drugs and special
equipment). A counselling and advocacy
service is also available.
VAC is also responsible for the rehabilitation and reintegration of former Canadian
Forces members into civilian society.
Through the Transition Services Initiative, a
broad range of services is available to help
with the transition from military to civilian
life—a vital aid for disabled veterans who
leave the Forces for medical reasons.
VAC is now building on more than
60 years of experience in disability
management to address a major new
challenge related to the growing number of
disabled younger veterans and their
28
families. The Department is also planning
a program redesign to reflect modern
approaches to disability management.
Its aim is to give veterans with disabilities
better access to supports to maximize their
independence and enhance their well-being,
and to eliminate the barriers that preclude
their full participation in Canadian society.
The Government of Canada has special
health care responsibilities for First Nations
and Inuit people. The Government helps
First Nations and Inuit persons with
disabilities to get the health care they need
through a number of programs. Among
them are the Non-Insured Health Benefits
Program and the First Nations and Inuit
Home and Community Care Program, both
through Health Canada, and the Adult Care
Program through Indian and Northern
Affairs Canada.
As discussed earlier, the Non-Insured
Health Benefits Program (NIHB) provides,
to registered Indians and recognized Inuit
and Innu, a range of health benefits to meet
medical or dental needs not covered by
provincial, territorial or other third party
health plans. The Adult Care Program offers
social support and assistance for daily
activities, enabling individuals who have lost
some measure of independence, such as
people with disabilities or the elderly, to
remain at home and in their community
whenever possible. The program is
available to First Nations people who
ordinarily live on reserve. The Home and
Community Care Program is a coordinated
system of home and community-based
health-related services that are comprehensive, culturally sensitive, accessible and
comparable to those available to other
Canadians. The program builds on and links
to INAC’s Adult Care program and Health
Canada’s NIHB and other related programs.
Advancing the Inclusion of Persons with Disabilities
PRINCIPAL DISABILITY SUPPORTS
PROGRAMS AND INITIATIVES
Bank of Canada
• Accessible currency
Canada Customs and Revenue Agency
• Accessible procedures for income tax
filing, customs procedures, etc.
• Multiple formats
• Services for deaf or hard of hearing clients
and clients with speech impairments
Canada Mortgage and Housing
Corporation
• FlexHousing
• Home Adaptation for Seniors’
Independence (HASI)
• Residential Rehabilitation Assistance
Program for Persons with Disabilities
(RRAP-D)
• Residential Rehabilitation Assistance
Program for Persons with Disabilities
(RRAP-D)—on reserve
Canadian Human Rights Commission
• Complaint and dispute resolution
Canadian Radio-television and
Telecommunications Commission
• Broadcast media regulation (voice/print)
Canadian Transportation Agency
• Codes and regulations
• Complaint and dispute resolution
• Public awareness
Department of Finance and Canada
Customs and Revenue Agency
• Caregiver tax credit
• Customs tariffs
• Disability tax credit (DTC)
• DTC supplement for children
• Federal Excise Gasoline Tax Refund
Program
• Infirm dependant credit
• Medical expense tax credit
Elections Canada
• Accessible polling stations
• Election material and ballots in multiple
formats
Environment Canada (Parks Canada)
• Accessible services at Parks Canada sites
Health Canada
• Division of Aging and Seniors
• First Nations and Inuit Home and
Community Care Program
• Non-Insured Health Benefits Program for
First Nations and Inuit people
• Office of Health and the Information
Highway
Human Resources Development Canada
• Disability WebLinks (with provinces and
territories)
• Office For Learning Technologies
• Persons with Disabilities Online (disability
portal of Government of Canada Web site)
Indian and Northern Affairs Canada
• Adult Care Program
Industry Canada
• Assistive Devices Industry Office
• Participation in various Canadian
Standards Association committees,
including Barrier-free Design, and
Personal and Community Safety
• Support to the W3C Web Accessibility
Initiative
• Web accessibility (Web-4-All) through
Information Highway Applications Branch
Justice Canada
• Communication program (information for
persons with disabilities about justice
system, multiple formats)
• Grants and contributions for projects such
as public legal education and information
projects, training models, research and
education projects
Advancing the Inclusion of Persons with Disabilities
29
National Library of Canada
• Council on Access to Information for PrintDisabled Canadians
• Multiple format guidelines
Public Works and Government Services
Canada
• Accessible federal office facilities and
workplaces
• Participation in Canadian Standards
Association (Barrier-free Design
Committee)
• Sign language interpretation
• Universal design in federal office facilities
Transport Canada
• Access to Travel Web site
• Canadian-European parking agreement
• Monitoring and mediation services for the
Intercity Bus Code of Practice
• Research and development through
Transportation Development Centre
Treasury Board Secretariat
• Government On-line Initiative
Veterans Affairs Canada
• Assistance Service for Former Canadian
Military Members and Their Families
• Attendance allowance
• DND-VAC Centre for the Support of
Injured and Retired Members and Their
Families (“the Centre”)
• Health care (treatment benefits and
Veterans Independence Program)
• Table of Disabilities and Entitlement
Guidelines Project
• Telehomecare pilot project with P.E.I.
• Transitional support for Canadian Forces
members
30
Advancing the Inclusion of Persons with Disabilities
OUTCOMES AND INDICATORS
Skills Development, Learning
and Employment
his section looks at six indicators
that measure opportunities for skills
development, learning and employment for persons with disabilities. It also
describes the Government of Canada’s
commitments and actions in each area,
including highlights of specific programs
and services.
Canadians are building a knowledgebased economy to stay competitive in the
global marketplace of the 21st century.
Success will mean being innovative,
adaptable and quick to develop new ideas.
An important ingredient in this success is
ensuring a solid learning foundation for
young people. Another is developing and
maintaining a skilled workforce that values
lifelong learning and skills upgrading.
By the year 2020, Canada may have a
shortage of nearly one million workers.30
The country must take measures now to
make sure all working-age adults have the
right skills and opportunities to participate
fully in the economy and in society.
Skills development and learning are one
among the government’s highest priorities
for Canadians, especially for persons with
disabilities and Aboriginal people. Research
shows that persons with disabilities still
encounter a number of barriers to full
participation in learning and work.
Women with disabilities and Aboriginal
persons with disabilities face even greater
challenges than others.
T
30
SIX INDICATORS OF PROGRESS
Children aged 6-15 attending school
Working-age adults with post-secondary
diplomas or degrees
Employment rate
Persons employed all year
Hourly wage
Employers providing facilities, equipment or aids
to accommodate persons with disabilities
“It’s all about equipping Canadians
with the skills they need to
participate fully in the workplace and
in society... Knowledge is the
currency in the new economy.
Knowledge is the bridge to
social cohesion.”
Honourable Jane Stewart, Minister
Human Resources Development
February 15, 2002
Children aged 6–15 attending school
esearch has shown that education is
the key to the future for all people,
particularly those with disabilities and
even more so for Aboriginal persons with
disabilities. Through education, people
develop a range of skills and abilities
important for work and social situations.
These skills and abilities go beyond technical
R
From “Remarks by the Honourable Jane Stewart, Minister of Human Resources Development, on Post Launch of Knowledge Matters: Skills and
Learning for Canadians,” Montreal, 15 February 2002, http://www.hrdc-drhc.gc.ca/common/speeches/minhrdc/20020215.html
Advancing the Inclusion of Persons with Disabilities
31
knowledge to include communications,
teamwork, flexibility and adaptability.
Over 90% of all Canadian children attend
publicly funded schools. But among children
with disabilities, the number is slightly
lower.31 There are no data yet on the
percentage of Aboriginal children with
disabilities who attend school.
Children with special needs face many
unique challenges related to learning and
participating in school. Questions of
integration of children with disabilities and
the availability of supports to permit their
success in school are not addressed in this
report. Future reports will provide detailed
information on children with learning,
developmental and other disabilities from
PALS 2001.
√ Government Action
The Government of Canada recognizes that
lifelong learning, so important to success in
an information-based economy, begins in
childhood. As a result, the Government is
working to coordinate its social policy
initiatives with those of other orders of
government to help families and children
build a solid learning foundation.
Under the Canadian Constitution, the
Government of Canada provides funding
for the education of First Nations
students who live on reserves and Inuit
students. The provinces and territories
are responsible for the delivery of
education to most other people living
in Canada.
The National Children’s Agenda provides a
shared vision to guide the creation of a
comprehensive system of supports for
children and families in Canada.32
The Government of Canada provides
funding for elementary and secondary
education for First Nations students on
reserves and for Inuit students. This funding
covers instructional services in federal
schools, reimbursement of costs for onreserve students who attend provincial
schools and funding for instruction in First
Nations schools. The Government also
funds student support services—including
transportation, accommodation, student
financing, and guidance and counselling
services—for First Nations and Inuit
students with and without disabilities.33
The 2001 federal budget announced new
funding of $30 million a year for two years
to meet the unique needs of First Nations
children with disabilities who live on
reserves and Inuit children with disabilities.34
The 2001 budget also provided $185 million
over the next two years to do the following:
• enhance programs, such as child-care
and head-start programs, that support
early childhood development;
• intensify efforts to reduce the incidence
of fetal alcohol syndrome and fetal
alcohol effects on reserves ; and
• increase funding to support children
on reserves who have special needs
at school.
31
National Longitudinal Survey of Children and Youth (1998–1999), Statistics Canada and Human Resources Development Canada.
32
See Knowledge Matters: Skills and Learning for Canadians (Human Resources Development Canada, 2002) for a more complete discussion of how the
Government is contributing to lifelong learning for children and youth. The report is available at http://www.hrdc-drhc.gc.ca/sp-ps/sl-ca/doc/knowledge.pdf
First Nations National Reporting Guide 2001–2002, Indian and Northern Affairs Canada.
33
34
“Backgrounder, Minister’s National Working Group on Education,” Indian and Northern Affairs Canada,
http://www.ainc-inac.gc.ca/nr/prs/m-a2002/02158bk_e.html
32
Advancing the Inclusion of Persons with Disabilities
9. Percentage of working-age adults
completing post-secondary education
College or Trade
With
Disabilities
1996
1991
Without
Disabilities
1996
1991
26%
23%
32%
29%
University Degree
With
Disabilities
1996
1991
Without
Disabilities
1996
1991
7%
6%
17%
14%
Source: 1991 and 1996 Census
Figure 9 description – Based on the
1996 census, 33% of working-age
adults (aged 20–64) with disabilities
have completed a post-secondary
education program, compared to almost
50% without disabilities. Among adults
with disabilities, 7% have a university
degree, compared to 17% among those
without disabilities. Another 26% of
adults with disabilities have completed a
trade or community college diploma,
compared to 32% of those without
disabilities. Figure 9 also shows that in
every case these rates are better
than in 1991.
Overall, combining university, college and
trades, Canadian adults with disabilities are
about two thirds as likely to have a
post-secondary education as adults without
disabilities. Similarly, working-age adults
with disabilities in Europe are about two
thirds as likely as their counterparts without
disabilities to have a post-secondary
education. However, the overall rate of
completing post-secondary education is
lower in Europe than in Canada. In the
United States, working-age adults are more
likely to have a post-secondary education
than in Canada, and the ratio of
post-secondary completion by persons with
and without disabilities is also higher
than in Canada.
Figure 10 shows the rates of
post-secondary
completion
among
working-age Aboriginal people. Among
those with disabilities, 25% have completed
a post-secondary education program,
compared
to
30%
of
those
without disabilities.
10. Percentage of working-age
Aboriginal adults completing
post-secondary education 1996
College or Trade
Working-age adults with post-secondary
diplomas or degrees
With Disabilities
Without Disabilities
23%
26%
University Degree
n the knowledge-based economy, higher
education is becoming the key to
preparing for, finding and keeping work.
Within the next few years, seven in ten new
jobs
will
require
some
form
of
post-secondary education or training.35
Figure 9 shows that a growing percentage of
persons with disabilities are completing
post-secondary studies. Not shown in the
figure is that the rates of post-secondary
completion for men and women with
disabilities are almost identical.
I
35
With Disabilities
Without Disabilities
2%
4%
Source: 1996 Census
Figure 10 description – Among workingage Aboriginal persons with disabilities,
two% have a university degree and
23% have completed a trade or community
college diploma. Among Aboriginal persons
without disabilities, four% have a university
degree and 26% have a trade or
community college diploma.
Knowledge Matters: Skills and Learning for Canadians, available at http://www.hrdc-drhc.gc.ca/sp-ps/sl-ca/home.shtml
Advancing the Inclusion of Persons with Disabilities
33
Looking at the overall rate of
post-secondary graduation, there is a
sizeable gap between Aboriginal and nonAboriginal
persons
with
disabilities
(25% versus 33%) and between Aboriginal
persons with disabilities and Aboriginal
persons without.
In recent years the number of First
Nations students funded by Indian and
Northern Affairs Canada and enrolled in
post-secondary institutions has doubled,
from 13,000 in 1986–1987 to about 26,000
students now.36 According to the 1996
census, the number of on-reserve registered
Indians who have graduated from
post-secondary programs has risen to over
20,000, up from about 11,000 in 1986.
How many of these students have
disabilities is unknown.
√ Government Action
The 2001 federal budget provided more
than $1.1 billion over three years to support
skills development, learning and related
research, including additional support for
persons with disabilities.
In February 2002 the Minister of Industry
and the Minister of HRDC released two
discussion papers that together present
Canada’s Innovation Strategy: Achieving
Excellence: Investing in People, Knowledge
and Opportunity and Knowledge Matters:
Skills and Learning for Canadians. Both
papers describe what Canada must do to
ensure equal opportunity and economic
innovation in a knowledge-based economy.
Since launching Canada’s Innovation
Strategy, Industry Canada and HRDC have
led, with the help of other departments, a
nation-wide series of consultations involving
a range of groups and individuals from
various economic and social sectors.
36
These consultations have increased
Canadians’ awareness of the economic and
social importance of innovation, skills and
learning. They have also identified how
Canada can meet the challenges of the
current knowledge based economy.
From the consultations, five overarching
themes emerged:
• R&D and commercialization;
• inclusive and skilled workforce;
• innovation environment;
• strengthening communities; and
• learning.
One of the most common frustrations to
surface during the consultations concerned
the barriers that keep talented people out of
the labour market. While people recognized
the central role of immigration in meeting
future skill requirements, there was a strong
consensus that Canada’s priority should be
to invest in the skills of Canadians—in
particular, to bring Aboriginal people, people
with disabilities and older workers into the
mainstream workforce.
In November 2002 the Government
hosted the National Summit on Innovation
and Learning to shape recommended
priorities for the Canadian Innovation and
Learning Action Plan and to build
commitments to move Canada’s Innovation
Strategy forward.
Under the Canadian Constitution, the
provincial and territorial governments
have jurisdiction over post-secondary
education. In recent years the
Government of Canada has worked
closely with the provinces and territories
to improve financial assistance
programs for post-secondary students
and to increase the resources available
for university research.
Figures provided by Corporate Information Management Directorate, Indian and Northern Affairs Canada.
34
Advancing the Inclusion of Persons with Disabilities
The long-term success of Canada’s
Innovation Strategy depends on improving
access to post-secondary study. The
Government of Canada helps people with
disabilities in their post-secondary training
and education through the Canada Student
Loans Program, and specifically through
Canada Study Grants, which fund students
with disabilities for supportive services and
aids such as tutors, interpreters (oral and
sign), note takers, readers, learning
disability assessments, attendant care for
studies and transportation to and from
school. In the 2001 federal budget, the
Government, as part of its commitment to
skills and learning, increased the maximum
study grant for disability-associated costs
from $5,000 to $8,000.
Apart from these study grants to help
with disability-related costs, some students
with disabilities may find that the maximum
student loans available do not meet their
assessed needs. In these cases, a
supplementary grant of up to $2,000 is
now provided.
With these enhancements, the overall
budget for Canada Study Grants in
2002–2003 will be $24 million. Many
provinces and territories offer similar
grant programs.
Employment rate
or most Canadian adults, working is an
important way of participating in the
community and in society. However,
the 1996 census found that persons with
disabilities are only half as likely to be
employed as those without disabilities
(see Figure 11). And the situation has
deteriorated since 1991. A somewhat lower
employment rate is perhaps unsurprising,
since a minority of individuals with
F
37
11. Employment rates for adults 15–64
Men
With
Disabilities
Without
Disabilities
1996
1991
41%
47%
83%
84%
1996
1991
Women
With
Disabilities
1996
1991
Without
Disabilities
1996
1991
Excluding full time students
32%
35%
70%
68%
Source: 1991 and 1996 Census
Figure 11 description – In 1996 the
employment rate for men with disabilities
was 41%, about half the rate for men
without disabilities. This number was down
from 47% in 1991. The rates for women
with disabilities are similar. Their 1996
employment rate of 32% was less than
half the rate for women without disabilities,
and was down from 35% in 1991.
“The information technology
revolution allows blind and visionimpaired people to do any job in
the information society, but public
attitudes have not yet entirely
caught up, unfortunately.”
Fran Cutler, Chair, National Board,
CNIB, at Standing Committee on Human
Resource Development and the Status of
Persons with Disabilities, April, 2002
disabilities may decide not to seek
paid employment, but the employment rates
of Canadians with disabilities are
clearly very low.
According to the Survey of Labour and
Income Dynamics, after the recession of the
early 1990s, people with disabilities needed
more time to find work than those without
disabilities.37 Besides the obstacles to
employment faced by both men and women
Presented in In Unison 2000: Persons with Disabilities in Canada, Human Resources Development Canada, 2001,
http://dsp-psd.pwgsc.gc.ca/pubs/2/1/MP43-390-2000E-1.html
Advancing the Inclusion of Persons with Disabilities
35
with disabilities, those who have young
children likely have an even harder time
finding paid work because of their
child-care responsibilities.38
Research has shown that more education
improves the chance of finding employment
for all Canadians, including those with
disabilities. The 1996 census found that the
employment rate among men with
disabilities who had a university education
was 64%, compared to 29% for those with
less than a high-school education. The
employment rate among women with
disabilities who had a university degree was
61%, compared to 18% for those with less
than a high-school education.
As Figure 12 shows, Aboriginal persons
with disabilities are only half as likely
to be employed as Aboriginal persons
without disabilities.
12. Employment rate for adult
Aboriginal population (1996)
On Reserve
Without Disabilities
Disabilities 27%
Off Reserve
Without Disabilities
Disabilities 26%
45%
57%
65%
Without Disabilities
Disabilities
31%
Inuit
Without Disabilities
Disabilities
31%
56%
Total
Without Disabilities
Disabilities 28%
56%
Source: 1996 Census
Figure 12 description – Based on the
1996 census, less than 30% of First
Nations persons with disabilities, both
on and off reserve, are employed. Only
31% of Inuit and Métis people with
disabilities are employed. These rates
are about half the employment rate for
Aboriginal persons without disabilities in
all four groups.
37
38
13. International employment rates (1990s)
Canada
Great
Britain
With Disabilities 37%
Without Disabilities
76%
With Disabilities 38%
Without Disabilities
72%
European
Union
With Disabilities
Without Disabilities
Australia
With Disabilities
Without Disabilities
44%
France
With Disabilities
Without Disabilities
45%
Germany
With Disabilities
Without Disabilities
United
States
With Disabilities
Without Disabilities
39%
62%
74%
64%
46%
69%
49%
84%
Sources: Canada – Census 1996; USA-Survey of Income and Program
Participation 1997; Australia-Disability, Ageing and Carers Survey 1998;
European Countries-European Commission Household Panel Survey 1996
Metis
Excluding full time students
At the international level, as Figure 13
illustrates, Canada’s rate of employing
persons with disabilities is similar to that of
Great Britain, but lower than the rates of the
other countries listed.
Figure 13 description – Canada’s
employment rate for persons with
disabilities is similar to that of Great
Britain and the European Union overall.
But it is lower than the rates for
Australia, France, Germany and the
United States.
√ Government Action
The Government of Canada has made
it a priority to support all working-age
Canadians with disabilities who want to
find and keep work. To this end, the
Government funds several major programs
and initiatives.
Presented in In Unison 2000: Persons with Disabilities in Canada, Human Resources Development Canada, 2001,
http://dsp-psd.pwgsc.gc.ca/pubs/2/1/MP43-390-2000E-1.html
See Gail Fawcett, Bringing Down the Barriers: The Labour Market and Women with Disabilities in Ontario (Ottawa: Canadian Council on Social
Development, 2000).
36
Advancing the Inclusion of Persons with Disabilities
HRDC provides employment
assistance targeted to people with
disabilities through two key programs:
the Opportunities Fund (OF) 39 for Persons
with Disabilities, and Employability
Assistance for People with Disabilities
(EAPD)40 a federal-provincial initiative.
OF assists people with disabilities who
do not qualify to receive benefits under
Employment Insurance to prepare for, find
and maintain employment. Potential beneficiaries of programs and services provided
under OF include social assistance
recipients, those who have never worked,
or have not worked in a long time, and
those who have worked but have long
periods of unemployment between jobs.
With an annual budget of $30 million, the
fund provides assistance through wage
subsidies for employers to hire individuals
who they would not normally hire; financial
incentives for individuals to accept
employment; help to individuals to create
jobs for themselves by starting a business;
work experience opportunities which
lead to on-going employment; direct
assistance to individuals to obtain skills for
employment; personal supports to assist
persons with disabilities to access
employment or employment services (such
as employment counselling, resume writing
and job finding clubs). The OF budget
allocates $3 million annually for Aboriginal
persons with disabilities.
EAPD is a joint federal-provincial
initiative under which the Government of
Canada contributes funding for provincial
programs and services that help
working age adults with disabilities prepare
for, obtain, and retain employment.
The Government of Canada has
committed $193 million annually for the
EAPD initiative.
39
40
The programs and services funded
under EAPD vary among provinces, to
reflect local priorities and circumstances.
Examples of programs and services include
employment counselling and assessment,
employment planning, pre-employment
training, post-secondary education, skills
development, assistive devices, wage
subsidies or earning supplements, and
other workplace supports.
Each province is responsible for program
design and delivery as well as client
eligibility. The Government of Canada
determines eligibility of provincial
programming for funding under EAPD.
In the 2002 Speech from the Throne, the
Government of Canada pledged to fasttrack a comprehensive agreement with
provinces and territories to remove barriers
to participation in employment and learning
for persons with disabilities. Progress in this
area will ensure that the investments made
by all levels of government have the
greatest possible impact in helping men and
women with disabilities succeed in the
labour market. The agreement is being built
around three goals: improving employability,
enhancing employment opportunities, and
improving and disseminating information
about persons with disabilities and about
effective practices to help them integrate
into the workforce. Work toward this
agreement is going on in conjunction with
the renegotiation of the EAPD framework,
which expires at the end of March 2003.
To support Aboriginal persons, the
Government of Canada, in partnership with
Aboriginal groups across the country,
developed the Aboriginal Human Resources
Development Strategy (AHRDS).
A five-year, $1.6 billion strategy, AHRDS
devolves funding and responsibility to
Aboriginal people to design and deliver
labour-market programming. Under
The Opportunities Fund Web site is http://www.drhc.gc.ca/epb-dgpe/ofpd-fiph/menu/home.shtml
The EAPD Web site is http://www.hrdc-drhc.gc.ca/hrib/sdd-dds/odi/content/eapd.shtml
Advancing the Inclusion of Persons with Disabilities
37
AHRDS, 79 human resource development
agreements have been negotiated between
HRDC and Aboriginal groups throughout
Canada. These agreements recognize that
Aboriginal people best understand their own
needs and are best able to design and
implement effective programs and services,
including for Aboriginal persons with
disabilities.41 The 79 agreements administer
a special disability component that receives
$3 million each year from the OF.
In addition to program expenditures, the
Government offers several tax measures to
reduce barriers to employment and to help
Canadians with disabilities work at paid
employment. The refundable medical
expense supplement helps offset the loss of
disability-related supports when Canadians
with disabilities enter the workforce. The
refundable supplement (maximum $535) is
available to workers who earn over
$2 676 per year.42 The attendant care
deduction recognizes the cost to those
taxpayers eligible for the disability tax credit
(DTC) who need attendant care to earn
income or attend school. Similarly, the child
care expenses deduction recognizes the
cost of child care for parents who are
working or going to school. For children
who qualify for the DTC, the child care
expenses deduction limit is $10 000.
In Future Directions, the Government of
Canada made a commitment to encourage
public and private sector partnerships that
promote self-employment and entrepreneurial opportunities for persons with
disabilities. In 2000, fora in Halifax and
Winnipeg brought individuals and organizations together to share their knowledge
and experience, with the aim of helping
Canadians with disabilities become more
successful entrepreneurs. Western
Economic Diversification Canada, the
Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency,
41
42
Canada Business Service Centres and
Industry Canada’s Strategis Web site have
all supported Canadian entrepreneurs
with disabilities.
Persons employed all year
eeping a job is a clear measure of
success in the labour market. Yet
research shows that people with
disabilities often have more difficulty
maintaining stable employment than people
without. The percentage of working-age
adults with disabilities who enjoy full-year
employment is less than half the rate for
adults without disabilities. Figure 14 shows
that this was the case for both men and
women through most of the 1990s.
K
14. Percentage of population with
full-time full-year employment
74%
75%
77%
77%
77%
77%
61%
62%
62%
63%
64%
64%
37%
37%
34%
37%
38%
29%
26%
30%
29%
28%
1996
1997
1998
1993
1994
41%
24%
1995
Source: Survey of Labour and Income Dynamics, excluding full-time students
Men: With Disabilities
Women: With Disabilities
Men: Without Disabilities
Women: Without Disabilities
Figure 14 description – Full-time,
full-year employment rates for men and
women with disabilities remained
relatively stable from 1993 to 1998.
But the comparable rates for men and
women without disabilities improved by
two to three% over the same period.
In 1998, 77% of men without disabilities
had full-year employment, while only
38% of men with disabilities did.
The corresponding rates for women
were 64% and 28%.
More information is available through the Aboriginal Relations Office, http://www17.hrdc-drhc.gc.ca/ARO-BRA/ARO.cfm .
As of January 2000, these amounts are indexed to inflation
38
Advancing the Inclusion of Persons with Disabilities
A comparison of the employment rates in
Figure 14 with those in Figure 15 shows that
Aboriginal persons with disabilities are
less than half as likely to have full-time,
full-year employment as non-Aboriginal
persons with disabilities. Less than 20% of
Aboriginal people with disabilities had
full-time, full-year employment.
15. Aboriginal full-time full-year
employment (1996)
On Reserve
Without Disabilities
Disabilities 12%
Off Reserve
Without Disabilities
Disabilities 12%
Metis
Without Disabilities
Disabilities
13%
want or need to be. Today, with new
technology, medical treatments, functional
rehabilitation, vocational rehabilitation,
job placement participation, job accommodations and skills training, it is possible
for people with disabilities—some of
them severe—to join and remain in
the workforce.
Hourly Wage
21%
Inuit
Without Disabilities
Disabilities
14%
Total
Without Disabilities
Disabilities 12%
30%
33%
27%
28%
Source: 1996 Census – excluding full time students
Aboriginal Population: age 15-64 Full time: 49-52 weeks)
he Survey of Labour Income and
Dynamics shows a large gap between
the earnings of persons with
disabilities and those without. In 1998
average earnings for men with disabilities
were $13 700, while earnings for men without
disabilities were $32 048. For women with
disabilities, average annual earnings were
$7 190, compared to $17 310 for women
without disabilities.
T
Figure 15 description – First Nations
persons with disabilities have the lowest
levels of full employment of all Aboriginal
groups, with only 12% having full-time jobs
for 49 weeks or more. Inuit persons with
disabilities had the highest rate of the
Aboriginal groups, at 16%.43 The full-time,
full-year employment rates for Aboriginal
persons without disabilities ranged from
21% for on-reserve First Nations people to
33% for Métis people.
√ Government Action
The Canada Pension Plan’s Disability
Vocational Rehabilitation Program 44 is one
way for eligible working-age people with
disabilities who are receiving CPP disability
benefits to get help returning to work. In the
past, many people receiving disability
benefits believed they were permanently
out of the workforce, even if they did not
16. Median hourly wage
$14.30
$15.36
1993
With Disabilities
Without Disabilities
1995
With Disabilities
Without Disabilities
$13.03
$15.63
1998
With Disabilities
Without Disabilities
$14.25
$15.62
Constant 1998 dollars
Source: Survey of Labour Income Dynamics, 1993-1998
Figure 16 description – Throughout the
1990s workers with disabilities had lower
wages than workers without. Workers with
disabilities lost ground in their wages in the
mid-1990s and never fully recovered during
the survey period. In fact, the wage gap
increased slightly, with the hourly wage of
workers with disabilities moving from
$14.30—93.1% of the median wage of
those without disabilities—in 1993 to
$14.25—91.2% of the median wage of
those without disabilities—in 1998.
(Wages are in constant 1998 dollars.)
43
While the data shown here are somewhat out of date, more recent evidence suggests that this pattern is still present.
44
The program’s Web site is http://www.hrdc-drhc.gc.ca/isp/cpp/vocational_e.shtml
Advancing the Inclusion of Persons with Disabilities
39
A number of factors may contribute to this
gap. People with disabilities may have
difficulty getting or keeping work. Some may
work more part-time hours or have fewer
weeks of employment than those without
disabilities. However, as shown in
Figure 16, people with disabilities also work
for lower wages.
No information is available on hourly
wages for Aboriginal people. However, data
on employment income from the 1996
census (see Figure 17) show that Aboriginal
persons with employment income earn less
than their non-Aboriginal counterparts.
17. Employment Income: Aboriginal
as percentage of overall
non-Aboriginal (1996)
On Reserve
Without Disabilities
Disabilities
Off Reserve
Without Disabilities
Disabilities
Metis
Without Disabilities
Disabilities
Inuit
Without Disabilities
Disabilities
Total
Without Disabilities
Disabilities
Age 15-64 excluding full time students
52%
46%
73%
54%
72%
56%
63%
55%
66%
53%
Source: 1996 Census
Figure 17 description – On average,
Aboriginal people without disabilities
who had employment income earned
only 66% of the earnings of nonAboriginal workers. Aboriginal persons
with disabilities who had employment
income earned just 53% of the
employment income of non-Aboriginal
workers. Of the four Aboriginal groups,
First Nations people living on reserves
had the greatest earning disadvantage.
Those without disabilities earned
52% of the employment income of
non-Aboriginal workers, while those with
disabilities earned only 46% of the
earnings of non-Aboriginal workers.
45
The 1996 Royal Commission on
Aboriginal Peoples identified a number of
influences affecting how much income
Aboriginal persons with disabilities can earn.
Aboriginal persons with disabilities are far
less likely to have jobs than Aboriginal
persons without disabilities. They are
also less likely to have jobs than
non-Aboriginal people with diabilities.
As well, in Aboriginal communities, many of
the jobs are low-wage.45
√ Government Action
The Employment Equity Act was
established to ensure that four groups—
women, Aboriginal people, people with
disabilities and visible minorities—have fair
opportunities for employment and promotion
and are treated with respect by employers
under the Government of Canada’s
jurisdiction. The Act is reviewed by
Parliament every five years. Over 400 major
employers, including national banks,
telecommunications companies and
railways, as well as all federal departments
and agencies, are covered under the Act.
They must report each year on their efforts
to include members of the four designated
groups in their workforce. Workers in these
organizations account for 10% of the
Canadian workforce.
In 2001 the Minister of Labour presented
findings to the House of Commons
Standing Committee on Human Resources
Development and the Status of Persons
with Disabilities indicating that over the last
decade, persons with disabilities have
experienced little improvement in their
workforce representation in the federally
regulated private sector. Persons with
disabilities made up 2.4% of this workforce
in 1999 compared to 2.3% in 1989—well
People to People, Nation to Nation, Final Report of the Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples, 1996, http://www.ainc-inac.gc.ca/ch/rcap/rpt/index_e.html
40
Advancing the Inclusion of Persons with Disabilities
The Canadian Human Rights
Commission handles complaints
that allege discrimination by employers
or service providers regulated by the
Government of Canada. In 2001 the
Commission’s annual report noted
that 37% of new complaints
that year cited disability as a ground
of discrimination.
below their labour-market availability
of 6.5%.46
Since 1985, the representation of
persons with disabilities has increased in
both the federally regulated private sector
and the federal public service and is higher
among workers in the public sector.
In March 1999, persons with disabilities
made up 4.6% of the federal public service,
a figure that increased to 5.1% in March
2002. Persons with disabilities may benefit
from both the physical accommodation that
the Government of Canada provides as an
employer and the requirements for physical
access to government buildings to
accommodate the public.
The House of Commons Standing
Committee on Human Resources
Development and the Status of Persons
with Disabilities completed a review of the
Employment Equity Act early in 2002. The
Committee tabled its report, which contained
a series of recommendations,in June. The
report emphasized the need to improve
outcomes for persons with disabilities and
Aboriginal people in the federally regulated
private sector, and for visible minorities in
the federal public service.
The Government’s response to the
Standing Committee’s report was tabled
in Parliament in November 2002.
The Government has begun developing
46
47
workplace integration strategies that will
support the hiring of persons with
disabilities and Aboriginal people, and that
will improve representation and job
retention for these groups in the private and
public sectors covered by the Act. These
strategies will be developed in collaboration
with employers, academics, employer
organizations and the disability community.
Along with the Employment Equity Act,
the Canadian Human Rights Act protects
against employment discrimination by
federally regulated employers and service
providers.47 To help both acts achieve their
objectives, the Canadian Human Rights
Commission educates employers and
employee groups about the duty to
accommodate and advises them on
particular accommodation issues.
The Canadian Human Rights
Commission’s mandate includes auditing
employers for compliance with statutory
requirements and taking action in cases of
non-compliance. To be in compliance, an
employer must have in place an
employment equity plan based on
supporting analyses, which if implemented
will result in reasonable progress toward full
representation of persons with disabilities
within the employer’s workforce.
Employers providing facilities,
equipment or aids to accommodate
persons with disabilities
ometimes people with disabilities
require adaptations at their
workplace so that they can continue
or return to their job. Some may require
flexible hours; others may need adapted
workstations. Workers with disabilities may
S
The Employment Equity Act Review, A Report to the Standing Committee on Human Resources Development and the Status of Persons with Disabilities,
December 2001http://info.load-otea.hrdc-drhc.gc.ca/workplace_equity/review/report/
The Canadian Human Rights Act lists 11 prohibited grounds of discrimination, including disability, sex, race and colour. In addition to protecting against
employment discrimination, the Act also protects against discrimination in service delivery by organizations within federal jurisdiction.
Advancing the Inclusion of Persons with Disabilities
41
also need adapted equipment, additional
training and assistance with career planning.
Sometimes employers or supervisors need
training to understand how to accommodate
workers with disabilities. Workplaces that
offer a range of accommodations enable
workers with disabilities to participate fully.
In 1999 the national Workplace and
Employee Survey found that at least
13% of private sector employers had
employees
with
disabilities.
These
employees were asked if their employer had
any unique recruitment or career programs
for employees with disabilities and if their
employer supplied them with altered
equipment or facilities. Only 10% of the
employers did one or the other.48
There are no national data on employers
who offer accommodations to assist
Aboriginal persons with disabilities in the
workplace. However, in the 1991 Aboriginal
Peoples Survey, 3.5% of Aboriginal workers
with disabilities said they required some form
of adapted aids, equipment or services in
order to work.
√ Government Action
A major employer, the Government of
Canada has also promised to become a
model employer of persons with disabilities
and has pledged to promote best practices
within the federal public service. To this
end, the Government is playing a
leadership role by implementing a variety of
initiatives to ensure that, as an employer, it
sets a high standard of accessibility.
The Treasury Board Secretariat (TBS),
in cooperation with the Public Service
Commission (PSC), has revised its “Policy
on the Duty to Accommodate Persons with
Disabilities in the Federal Public Service.”
The objectives of the new policy, to be
48
49
implemented by individual departments and
agencies, are to promote barrier-free
recruitment and selection, to eliminate
access barriers facing potential recruits and
existing employees within the PSC, and to
ensure that the needs of persons with
disabilities are considered when designing
programs, technological applications and
physical environments. The TBS and the
PSC provide departments with advice,
guidance and information sessions to help
them implement this policy.
The PSC’s Personnel Psychology Centre
has updated its guidelines for the
assessment of persons with disabilities and
will be delivering workshops to make
government employees more
knowledgeable about the guidelines.
In addition, HRDC and the Canada
Customs and Revenue Agency have
developed a workshop to train public
servants on the duty to accommodate
employees with disabilities.
The Employment Equity Positive
Measures Program (EEPMP), operated by
the TBS from October 1998 to March 2002,
provided departments with resources to
address employment equity issues and
resulted in a number of disability-related
initiatives. Departments are now
encouraged to continue the initiatives
previously assisted by the EEPMP.
The TBS administers a Web-based tool to
supply information and examples of
best practices.49
The TBS, the PSC and the Office for
Disability Issues (HRDC) have together
created resources to help managers and
staff accommodate employees and job
applicants who have disabilities. For
example, the Guide to Planning Inclusive
Meetings and Conferences provides practical
tips to ensure that workers with disabilities
can participate fully.
There are a number of limitations to interpretation of this survey. Further information is available in the technical report, at http://www.hrdc-drhc.gc.ca/bcph-odi
Examples of successful or innovative initiatives funded under EEPMP are available at http://www.tbs-sct.gc.ca/ee/positive/positive_e.html
42
Advancing the Inclusion of Persons with Disabilities
Industry Canada has developed the
Accessible Procurement Toolkit, which helps
government managers and others use the
proper terminology in the Government’s
purchasing documents to ensure that
purchased items are accessible to employees
with disabilities. As well, a number of
departments, through their Adaptive
Computer Technology Centres, are making
disability supports available to managers
and employees.
In June 2002 the Government of Canada
sponsored an interdepartmental forum of
public service employees with disabilities.
The follow-up actions that result from this
forum will help the Government in its efforts
to become a model employer of persons
with disabilities.
PRINCIPAL SKILLS DEVELOPMENT,
LEARNING AND EMPLOYMENT
PROGRAMS AND INITIATIVES
Canadian Human Rights Commission
• Information for employers to assist in
accommodation of persons with disabilities
Canadian International Development
Agency
• Adaptive Computer Technology Centre
Department of Finance and Canada
Customs and Revenue Agency
• Attendant care deduction
• Child care expenses deduction for children
with a severe and prolonged impairment
• Refundable medical expense supplement
Department of National Defence and
Royal Canadian Mounted Police
• Canadian Forces / RCMP Disability
Priority Program
Environment Canada
• Adaptive Computer Technology Centre
• Train the Technicians courses
Human Resources Development Canada
• Aboriginal Human Resources
Development Strategy
• Adaptive Computer Technology Centre
• Canada Pension Plan Disability Vocational
Rehabilitation Program
• Canada Student Loans Program—
provisions for students with disabilities
• Canada Study Grants
• Opportunities Fund for Persons with
Disabilities
• Employability Assistance for People with
Disabilities
• Federal Contractors Program
• Legislated Employment Equity Program
• Opportunities Fund for Persons with
Disabilities
Indian and Northern Affairs Canada
• Elementary/Secondary Education Program
(includes resources for special education)
Public Service Commission of Canada
• Advice, guidance and training to assist in
implementation of “Policy on the Duty to
Accommodate Persons with Disabilities in
the Federal Public Service,” focusing on
barrier-free recruitment and selection
processes (including assessment of
candidates for employment)
Treasury Board Secretariat
• Advice, guidance and information sessions
to assist in implementation of “Policy on
the Duty to Accommodate Persons with
Disabilities in the Federal Public Service”
• Employment Equity Division (Job
Accommodation Network)
• Web-based tool on positive employment
equity practices
Western Economic Diversification
Canada
• Entrepreneurs with Disabilities Program
• Urban Entrepreneurs with Disabilities
Program
Advancing the Inclusion of Persons with Disabilities
43
OUTCOMES AND INDICATORS
Income
THREE INDICATORS OF PROGRESS
Household income
his section looks at three indicators
that measure progress in ensuring that
persons with disabilities have
adequate incomes, whether earned through
employment alone or supplemented by
government income programs. The section
also describes the Government of Canada’s
commitments
and
actions
in
this
area, including highlights of specific
programs and initiatives.
To participate fully in society, people need
an adequate income—that is, enough
money to meet basic needs for housing,
food, clothing, health, transportation and
other essentials. The ability to earn an
adequate income can be influenced by a
number of factors, among them health,
access to education and training,
employment opportunities in the community
and transportation. For persons with
disabilities, the added costs of disability can
reduce the amount of income available for
other needs. Low household income can
affect long-term financial security, including
retirement income.
Some individuals with disabilities may be
unable to support themselves sufficiently or
at all, and live in poverty. Governments have
acknowledged the need for an income
safety-net that recognizes individual work
efforts as much as possible and that
provides financial help if self-support is
impossible or insufficient to meet
basic needs.
For people with disabilities in rural and
remote areas, and especially for many
Aboriginal people, the lack of opportunity to
earn enough income is a major and
ongoing issue.
T
44
Persons living in low-income households
Major source of personal income
Household income
orking-age adults with disabilities
who cannot work, or who work
limited hours because of their
condition, may have their income supplemented by private or public income support
plans. Low-income families, which can be
doubly disadvantaged by the extra costs
related to disability, may be assisted through
income support measures.
One way to measure the income of adults
with disabilities is to compare their
household income to that of persons without
disabilities. To make a fair comparison of
household income, it is customary to adjust
actual income according to household size.
This adjustment takes into account, for
example, that it is normally not twice as
expensive for two people to live together
since expenses such as rent and utilities
don’t double. Research shows that on
average, adults with disabilities live in
slightly smaller households than others. The
household income comparison in this report
accounts for this difference.
The Survey of Labour and Income
Dynamics shows that in Canada there is an
income gap between households of people
with disabilities and households of people
without. Between 1993 and 1998, the
adjusted household income of working-age
persons with disabilities was about
74% of the household income of those
W
Advancing the Inclusion of Persons with Disabilities
without disabilities.50 The adjusted household
income of seniors with disabilities was
86% of the household income of seniors
without disabilities. Many seniors with
disabilities are eligible for the same
government programs and pensions as
seniors without, producing more similar
income levels.
The percentages above are based on
household income before taxes. Figure 18
compares household incomes after taxes.
The smaller gap between after-tax incomes
is due to Canada’s progressive income tax
rate structure and the tax credits available to
persons with disabilities.
18. Percent of after-tax household
income of persons with disabilities
versus those without disabilities
92%
79%
1993
84%
88%
77%
77%
1994
1995
93%
81%
1996
88%
89%
78%
76%
1997
1998
Source: Survey of Labour and Income Dynamics (1993-1998).
16–64
65 and over
Figure 18 description – A comparison of
adjusted household income after taxes
(1993–1998) shows that working-age
persons with disabilities average 78% of
the household income of persons without
disabilities. Seniors with disabilities average
89%. These percentages varied only
slightly over the survey period.
The household income of Aboriginal
persons with disabilities is well below that of
other Aboriginal people and non-Aboriginal
people. Analysis of the 1996 census data in
Figure 19 shows that the households of First
Nations and Métis people with disabilities
50
51
19. Household Income: As percentage
of overall non-Aboriginal (1996)
On
Reserve
Without Disabilities
Disabilities
51%
Off
Reserve
Without Disabilities
Disabilities
51%
Metis
Without Disabilities
Disabilities
Inuit
Without Disabilities
Disabilities
Total
Without Disabilities
Disabilities
61%
68%
74%
53%
82%
66%
68%
52%
Source: 1996 Census
Figure 19 description – The household
income of Aboriginal persons with
disabilities is about half the income of
the average non-Aboriginal household,
while the household income of
Aboriginal persons without disabilities is
just over two thirds of the income of
non-Aboriginal households. The
household income of First Nations
people with disabilities both on and off
reserve, as well as that of Métis people
with disabilities, is half the household
income of non-Aboriginal people.
The household income of Inuit persons
with disabilities is about two thirds of the
income of non-Aboriginal households.
take in about half the income of nonAboriginal households in Canada, and about
three quarters of the household income of
Aboriginal people without disabilities.
The
Organisation
for
Economic
Co-operation and Development (OECD) has
compared household income for those with
and without disabilities as a measure of
economic inclusion.51 In the OECD analysis,
Canada’s performance is similar to that of
the European Union but better than that of
the United Kingdom and the United States.
These data are from the Survey of Labour and Income Dynamics (1993–1998), special tabulation by Human Resources Development Canada.
The relative income of households with children with and without disabilities is not measured in this survey.
Able to Work? How Policies Help Disabled People in 20 OECD Countries, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, 2002. The source
of Canadian data in the OECD study is the National Population Health Survey (1998–1999) conducted by Statistics Canada.
Advancing the Inclusion of Persons with Disabilities
45
√ Government Action
In Canada, income security and social
assistance for persons with disabilities is
mainly the responsibility of the provincial
and territorial governments. The
Government of Canada supports their
programs through the National Child
Benefit, discussed on page 48, and also
through the Canada Health and Social
Transfer. On-reserve social assistance
programs funded by the Government of
Canada mirror those of the provinces
and territories.
The Canada Pension Plan (CPP) is
under the joint stewardship of federal and
provincial governments. The Government of
Canada administers the CPP disability
program, an income security program for
Canadians with disabilities. Eligible
contributors with severe disabilities who can
no longer work regularly can receive
replacement earnings based on the level
and duration of their CPP contributions.
In 2001–2002 some 280 000 contributors
whose disabilities prevented them from
working received a monthly income through
this program. In addition, about 93 000
dependent children of CPP disability
recipients received monthly benefits. Total
payments under CPP disability were just
over $2.8 billion in 2001–2002.
Similar benefits are provided under the
Quebec Pension Plan (QPP) ($487 million
in 2000–2001). In 1998 CPP/QPP
payments represented over 60% of the
income of beneficiaries. This clearly shows
the important contribution made by the
CPP/QPP disability program.
In Future Directions, the Government of
Canada promised to continue improving the
administration of CPP disability, including
improving and increasing communication
52
with clients. For example, applicants who
apply for disability benefits now get a
follow-up telephone call. Applicants who are
ineligible also get a telephone call to
explain the decision. When appropriate,
information is given about other income
support programs and services.
In 2001, in response to A Common
Vision, the fourth report of the House of
Commons Standing Committee on Human
Resources Development and the Status of
Persons with Disabilities, HRDC created a
CPP disability round table to gain clients’
perspectives on service delivery. The
round-table has met twice and has
provided valuable insight into improving
program delivery.
Persons living in low-income
households
esearch by the Government and other
organizations has shown that people
and families with low incomes may be
unable to participate fully in society. People
with both low incomes and disabilities face
even greater barriers to taking part in the
social, economic and community activities
most Canadians take for granted.
One of the most widely used measures of
low income in Canada is Statistics Canada’s
low-income cutoff (LICO). There are other
measures of low income, and in recent years
there has been debate about which is the
best.52 Nevertheless, the LICO is the
principal low-income measure used in
this report.
The LICO is the threshold below which a
family is likely to spend 20% more of its
income on food, shelter and clothing than the
average family. The LICO can be reported
based on before-tax or after-tax income.
Since after-tax income better shows how
R
Statistics Canada has stated that the LICO is not a “poverty line,” but that persons with incomes below the LICO are likely to experience restricted
financial circumstances. See The National Child Benefit Progress Report: 2001 for more low-income measures: http://www.nationalchildbenefit.ca
46
Advancing the Inclusion of Persons with Disabilities
much money is actually available to people
and families to meet their needs, after-tax
income is the primary focus of
this report.
Some 25% of people living in
low-income households are people with
disabilities. As shown in Figure 20, through
most of the 1990s working-age adults with
disabilities were more than twice as likely to
live in low-income households (below the
LICO) as those without disabilities. Seniors
with disabilities were also more likely to live
in low-income households than were seniors
without disabilities.
No data sources show after-tax LICO
information for children with disabilities.
However, using before-tax income, the
National Longitudinal Survey of Children and
Youth found that children with disabilities are
slightly more likely to live in families with
income below the before-tax LICO.
According to the 1998–1999 survey, the rate
of low income among families of children
aged four to 11 with disabilities was
22%, compared to 18% among families of
children without disabilities. It is likely
that these before-tax low-income rates are
higher than they would be on an
after-tax basis.53
Besides knowing how many people live
with low income, it is important to know how
low their income actually is. This is called the
depth of low-income. “Depth” means how far
below the low-income cutoff a family’s
income falls. Depth is often expressed as a
percentage of the LICO. For example, if the
LICO is $30 000 and a family’s income is
$22 000, the depth of the family’s low income
would be $8 000, or 27% of $30 000. Figure
21 shows the depth of low income between
1993 and 1998 for adults with and
without disabilities.
53
20. After-tax household incomes
below Low Income Cut Off (LICO)
27%
26%
26%
24%
25%
25%
12%
11%
10%
10%
12%
11% 11%
10% 10%
11%
9%
9%
9%
8%
8%
8%
1993
1994
1995
16-64 With Disabilities
16-64 Without Disabilities
1996
8%
7%
1997
1998
65+ With Disabilities
65+ Without Disabilities
Source: Survey of Labour and Income Dynamics, (1993-1998)
Figure 20 description – From 1993 to
1998, an average of 25% of working-age
adults with disabilities were living in
low-income households (below the LICO),
compared to an average of
10% of those without disabilities.
The rate of low income among seniors
with disabilities averaged 10%, compared
to eight% for seniors without disabilities.
Among low-income households, those of
persons with disabilities are slightly closer to
the LICO than those of persons without
disabilities. But this small relative advantage
is likely to be absorbed by the extra
disability-related expenses faced by persons
with disabilities. Overall, the depth of low
income worsened slightly for working-age
adults with and without disabilities
between 1993 and 1998, while remaining
stable for seniors.
Finally, in addition to frequency and depth
of low income, it is useful to examine how
long people continue with low incomes.
Research has shown that staying in the lowincome bracket for a number of years makes
it harder to escape the situation. An analysis
of the Survey of Labour and Income
For example, The National Child Benefit Progress Report: 2001 shows that overall rates of low income for children are about three to four percent
lower on an after-tax basis.
Advancing the Inclusion of Persons with Disabilities
47
21. Income of low-income households
– percent below LICO
39%
37%
38%
36%
34%
37%
32%
35%
35%
37%
31%
20%
19%
19%
18%
18%
14%
19%
16%
1993
37%
1994
14%
1995
16-64 With Disabilities
16-64 Without Disabilities
14%
1996
16%
15%
1997
1998
65+ With Disabilities
65+ Without Disability
Source: Survey of Labour and Income Dynamics (1993-1998)
Figure 21 description – The depth of low
income for working-age adults with
disabilities averaged 35% between 1993
and 1998, compared to 37% for those
without disabilities. The depth of low
income for seniors with disabilities was
about 16%, compared to 18% for
seniors without disabilities.
Dynamics from 1993 to 1996 found that
adults with disabilities were over four times
more likely to experience four successive
years of low income than were persons
without disabilities.54 Nearly 17% of adults
with disabilities experienced low income for
all four years, compared to under 4% of
adults without disabilities.
√ Government Action
In keeping with its commitment to help
children get the best possible start in life,
the Government of Canada provides direct
financial assistance to eligible families with
children through the Canada Child Tax
Benefit (CCTB).
The CCTB is a key element of federal
assistance to families. It is an incometested benefit that has two components: the
54
CCTB base benefit, for low- and middleincome families; and the National Child
Benefit (NCB) supplement, which gives lowincome families additional benefits on top of
the CCTB base benefit. The NCB
supplement is the federal component of the
National Child Benefit Initiative, a joint
federal-provincial-territorial initiative
established in 1998. The initiative has three
main objectives: to combat child poverty,
to promote workforce attachment and to
harmonize program objectives and benefits
across governments.
As of July 2002, combining the base
benefit and the NCB supplement, the
maximum benefit for a first child was
$2 444. This amount will rise to more than
$2 500 by 2004. Under the CCTB base
benefit, low-income Canadian families
received $2.8 billion in 2000–2001, an
amount projected to increase to $3.2 billion
in 2002–2003. Under the NCB supplement,
low-income families received an additional
$1.9 billion in 2000–2001, projected to
increase to $2.6 billion in 2002–2003.
According to the National Child Benefit
Progress Report: 2001, in 1999, as a direct
result of the National Child Benefit, an
estimated 1.2 million families with
2.1 million children benefited from an
increased income. Low-income families saw
an average increase of $775, and the
number of low-income families with children
was reduced by 2.4% or 16 500 families
with 33 800 children. In the 2002 Speech
from the Throne, the Government of
Canada promised to again enhance significantly the national child benefit for poor
families and to implement measures that
target low-income families caring for
children with severe disabilities.
Most provinces and territories have
allowed these increased federal payments
to replace part of their social assistance
René Morisette and Marie Drolet, “To What Extent Are Canadians Exposed to Low Income?” (Ottawa: Statistics Canada, 2000). Available as a free
publication from Statistics Canada: http://www.statcan.ca/cgi-bin/downpub/listpub.cgi?catno–11F0019MIE
48
Advancing the Inclusion of Persons with Disabilities
“Being a parent, in the generic
sense, is a natural aspect of our
humanity. We tend to love our
children with fierce intensity. We
fight for their well-being. Those
instincts are no different if our child
has a disability. What’s different is
that the fight just never ends.”
Audrey Cole, testimony to Parliamentary
Subcommittee on the Status of Persons with
Disabilities, November 2001
payments to families with children. In turn,
they have reinvested the savings in
programs and services that assist lowincome families with children, including
children with disabilities. Some jurisdictions
have made additional investments in
programs that meet the goals of the
National Child Benefit Initiative. Total NCB
reinvestments and initiatives by provinces
and territories in 2001–2002 were estimated
at $735 million.
About six hundred First Nations
participate in the National Child Benefit
Initiative. First Nations determine their own
local priorities in line with the NCB’s overall
goals. In 2001–2002, NCB reinvestments
by First Nations totalled about $59.5 million.
First Nations and the Government of
Canada are working together to evaluate
the success of these reinvestments.
Veterans are another important group of
Canadians who may live with disabilities.
Veterans Affairs Canada (VAC) awards
pension benefits to qualified individuals for
death or disability that arose from, was
directly connected with or was aggravated
by military service. The disability pension is
compensation that recognizes the loss of
life or, in the case of disability,
acknowledges the veteran’s inability to
normally perform the activities of daily life.
As of August 2002, the VAC Disability
Pension Program covered some 95 000
veterans and 63 000 survivors, for a
total of 158 000 clients (excluding
dependent children).
VAC’s forecast spending for 2001–2002
is over $1.3 billion. This amount includes
additional pension for dependants, survivors
pension, prisoner of war pension, exceptional incapacity allowance, attendance
allowance and clothing allowance. In 2001
VAC published a five-year strategic plan for
2001–2006. Over this period, VAC will
concentrate on improving services to its
current clients and on adapting its programs
to meet changing needs.
Major source of personal income
or many adult Canadians, paid
employment is a way of measuring
their inclusion in society. However,
Figure 22 shows that working-age adults with
disabilities are only half as likely as others in
their age group to have work-related earnings
as their major source of income.
Not shown in Figure 22 is that women with
disabilities are three times more likely than
women without disabilities to rely on
government programs for their main source
of income. They are also more likely than
men with disabilities to rely on government
programs. Across the period, men with
disabilities were five times more likely than
men without to have government programs
as their major source of income.
F
Advancing the Inclusion of Persons with Disabilities
49
22. Major source of personal income
81%
76%
76%
76%
76%
78%
45%
46%
48%
40%
39%
40%
49%
48%
48%
36%
36%
15%
13%
13%
13%
12%
11%
1993
1994
1995
1996
1997
1998
33%
With Disabilities – Earnings
With Disabilities – Government
programs
Age 16-64
Without Disabilities – Earnings
Without Disabilities – Government
programs
Source: Survey of Labour Income and Dynamics (1993-1998)
Figure 22 description – In 1998, 81% of
working-age adults (aged 16–64) without
disabilities had employment or selfemployment earnings as their major source
of income. This compares to 40% of
working-age adults with disabilities.
For persons with and without disabilities,
reliance on earnings as the major source of
income increased between 1993 and
1998 by about four%. In 1998, 48% of
adults with disabilities had government
programs as their primary source of
income, compared to 11% of adults
without disabilities.
√ Government Action
The Federal Workers’ Compensation
Service makes sure that federal workers
and other eligible individuals do not suffer
undue financial hardship when they cannot
work because of a workplace injury. If such
an injury results in death, the worker’s
dependants are also protected from undue
financial hardship.
The Federal Workers’ Compensation
Service provides compensation benefits and
services to Government of Canada
employees, merchant seamen, federal
50
penitentiary inmates and their dependants
for work-related injuries and occupational
diseases. The service, which works
through provincial workers compensation
programs, compensates recipients for loss
of earnings, medical care and other
expenses. Among the benefits are rehabilitation services to help eligible workers return
to work and resume earning an income.
About 300 000 employees of the federal
government and Crown agencies are
covered by the Federal Workers’
Compensation Service. Roughly 19 000 new
claims are filed annually, most of them of
short duration (under a month), and an
average of 13 000 claims are active at any
given time. Benefits paid to and on behalf of
injured employees totalled $97 million in
2001–2002. These benefits consisted of
income replacement, reimbursement of
medical and rehabilitation expenses as well
as pensions where applicable. The administrative fees paid to the provinces for their
services total about $20 million a year.
PRINCIPAL INCOME PROGRAMS
AND INITIATIVES
Canadian Forces
• Service Income Security Insurance Plan
(SISIP)
Human Resources Development Canada
• Canada Pension Plan disability benefit
• Federal Workers’ Compensation Service
Veterans Affairs Canada
• Attendance Allowance
• Disability Pension Program
• War Veterans Allowance Program
Advancing the Inclusion of Persons with Disabilities
Outcomes and Indicators
Injury Prevention and
Health Promotion
his section looks at five indicators that
measure progress in reducing injuries
and preventable diseases and
conditions, as well as progress in promoting
well-being. The section also describes the
Government of Canada’s commitments and
actions in these areas, including highlights of
specific programs and services.
The World Health Organization defines
health as “a state of complete physical,
mental and social well-being and not merely
the absence of disease or infirmity.”55
Health and well-being are important not only
for people’s own quality of life but for that of
their children, family and community.
People with disabilities can take many
positive measures to promote their physical
and mental well-being. Preventing injuries,
diseases and conditions that can lead to
disabilities is an important goal. For people
with disabilities, this may mean taking action
to prevent further injuries or to keep
conditions from worsening.
T
“The enjoyment of the highest
attainable standard of health is
one of the fundamental rights of
every human being without
distinction of race, religion,
political belief, economic or social
condition.”
Preamble to the Constitution of the World
Health Organization (1946)
55
56
FIVE INDICATORS OF PROGRESS
Disability-free life expectancy
Injury-related hospital admission rate
Occurrence of major diseases and conditions
that may cause disability
Physical activity
Opportunity for athletes with disabilities
DISABILITY-FREE LIFE EXPECTANCY
ife expectancy in Canada is among the
highest in the world and has been for
many years. Canadian life expectancy
has increased steadily over the past several
decades, along with that of other developed
countries. However, greater life expectancy
may increase the number of years a person
lives with disability. Medical improvements
that enable people to live longer with
disabling conditions may do the same.
Disability-free life expectancy (DFLE) is
an estimate of the number of years a person
can expect to live without a serious activity
limitation.56 Some people with disabilities
have expressed concern that focusing on
disability-free life devalues persons who
already have disabilities. They contend that
emphasizing prevention reflects society’s
discomfort with disabilities. But from another
perspective, the DFLE is useful both to
measure efforts to prevent increasing levels
of impairment and to help plan the resources
and services that people with disabilities
need to live full, active lives.
L
“About WHO,” World Health Organization Web site, 2002, http://www.who.int/m/topicgroups/who_organization/en/index.html
“The Health of Canada’s Communities,” The Daily (Statistics Canada), 4 July 2002, http://www.statcan.ca/Daily/English/020704/d020704b.htm
Advancing the Inclusion of Persons with Disabilities
51
Assisted human reproduction (AHR)
and related research are complex and
important issues. Canadians have
made it clear that they want to benefit
from safe AHR procedures and
important medical discoveries, but not
at any cost. Some Canadians with
disabilities have expressed particular
concerns on this subject.
23. Disability-free life expectancy (years)
Women
Life Expectancy
Disability-Free Life Expectancy
81
70
Men
75
Life Expectancy
Disability-Free Life Expectancy 67
Total
78
Life Expectancy
Disability-Free Life Expectancy 69
Source: 1996 Census
The Government of Canada has
proposed AHR legislation that clarifies what
Canadians find acceptable. The proposed
legislation contains a parliamentary
declaration setting out principles that not
only govern the legislation itself, but also
apply to all regulations flowing from it and to
the independent regulatory agency it sets
up. Among these principles, it is clearly
stated that human individuality and diversity
must be preserved, and that human dignity
and rights must be protected and promoted.
Figure 23 shows disability-free life
expectancy for Canadians in 1996. Other
analyses of the 1996 census data have
found that disability-free life expectancy for
Aboriginal people is lower than for the
Canadian population overall.57
√ Government Action
Statistics Canada, in partnership with the
Canadian Institute for Health Information,
continues to collect and analyze information
that will enable Canadians and policymakers to understand the risk factors
associated with incurring a disability.
Government health promotion programs,
as well as injury and disease prevention
programs, are designed to help Canadians
Figure 23 description – In 1996 the
average disability-free life expectancy
for a newborn Canadian was 69 years.
For men it was 67 years and for women
it was 70 years. Comparing DFLE to
overall life expectancy at birth shows
that men could expect to spend
11% of their life with a disability, and
women nearly 14%.58
use this information wisely as they make
choices that may affect their physical and
mental health.
Injury-related hospital admission rate
n some cases, injuries can lead to longterm impairments and disabilities. In the
1998 National Population Health Survey,
one in four persons with a disability said that
the disability was due to an injury.
As shown in Figure 24, the total number of
hospital admissions for serious injuries has
been declining steadily. In 1995–1996 there
were 74 injury-related hospital admissions
for every 10 000 Canadians, a figure that
declined to 62 per 10 000 in 1999–2000.
Falls and motor vehicle collisions were the
leading causes of injury-related admissions
in Canada throughout this period.
In 1999–2000, falls accounted for 54% of
I
57
Norbert Robitaille and Ali Kouaouci, “Disability-Free Life Expectancy of Status Indians 1986–1996” (unpublished paper, University of Montreal, 2002).
58
Health Indicators, Statistics Canada http://www.statcan.ca:80/english/freepub/82-221-XIE/00502/tables.htm DFLE in Figure 23 is based on a positive
response to the census question “Is this person limited in the kind or amount of activity he/she can do because of a long-term physical condition, mental
condition or health problem at home, at school or work, in other activities . . . ?”
52
Advancing the Inclusion of Persons with Disabilities
hospital admissions due to injury,
and motor vehicle collisions accounted
for 15%.
Falls represent a significant risk to public
health and can lead to long-term disabilities,
especially for seniors. Falls make up
85% of injury-related hospital admissions
for seniors, and the majority of them
are preventable.59
Canadian workers are also at high risk for
injury and potential disability. On average in
Canada, one worker is injured every nine
seconds worked and every workday three
workers die as a result of accidents
on the job.60
The rate of injury for Aboriginal people in
Canada is higher than for the rest of the
population. Aboriginal people experience
three times the injury death rate of
Canadians at large, and a high proportion of
disabilities among Aboriginal people are
attributable to injuries. Among the Aboriginal
population, the most common causes of
death from injury are motor vehicle crashes,
suicide and accidental drug overdose.61
√ Government Action
In Future Directions, the Government said it
would expand prevention activities to
reduce the number of injuries in all age
groups. It was suggested that this be done
in consultation with the provinces and
territories and non-governmental organizations, including injury groups.
Canadians want safe, healthy
workplaces and expect the Government to
work with partners to achieve this goal. In
September 2002, to help reduce the
number and severity of injuries in federally
59
60
61
62
24. Injury-related hospital admissions
215 013
207 147
204 532
195 117 197 002
1995-1996
1996-1997
1997-1998
1998-1999
1999-2000
Source: CIHI National Trauma Registry, 2002
Figure 24 description – As reported by the
Canadian Institute for Health Information
(National Trauma Registry), the number of
injury-related hospital admissions in
Canada fell from 215 013 in 1995–1996 to
197 002 in 1999–2000. The final figure is a
slight increase from 195 117 in 1998–1999.
regulated workplaces, the Government
amended Part II of the Canada Labour
Code to give workplace partners a stronger
role in identifying and resolving health and
safety concerns. The amendments clarify
the right to know about hazards in the
workplace and how to deal with them, to
participate in health and safety matters and
to refuse dangerous work.62
The Canada Labour Code covers
federally regulated industries, about 10% of
the Canadian workforce. But the
Government of Canada is working to
improve health and safety in other
Injuries are the leading cause of death
for children and youth after age one
and the second leading cause of
hospitalization.
Healthy Development of
Children and Youth (1999)
“Falls Leading Cause of Injury Admissions to Canada’s Acute Care Hospitals, Reports CIHI,” news release, Canadian Institute on Health Information,
27 February 2002, http://secure.cihi.ca/cihiweb/dispPage.jsp?cw_page=media_27feb2002_e
North American Occupational Health and Safety Week 2000: Work Safely for a Healthy Future, HRDC, Labour Branch, http://info.load-otea.hrdcdrhc.gc.ca/~oshweb/naoshstats/naoshw2000.pdf
A Research Agenda for Injury Prevention and Control, Canadian Injury Research Network (CIRNet), March 2002, p. 54.
See HRDC’s Occupational Health and Safety Web site for more information on the Canada Labour Code: http://info.load-otea.hrdcdrhc.gc.ca/~oshweb/overen.shtml
Advancing the Inclusion of Persons with Disabilities
53
workplaces as well. The Occupational
Health and Safety Branch of HRDC collaborates with provincial and federal workers
compensation systems and with others to
reduce work-related injury and disease.
To assist employers, the Canadian Centre
for Occupational Health and Safety
maintains a free information service for
employers in a range of sectors.63
Agriculture and Agri-food Canada funds
the Canadian Agriculture Safety Program,
which strives to reduce the number of
agriculture-related deaths and injuries
through prevention.64 With funding of
$4 million for four years, the program
supports awareness, monitoring,
prevention, information exchange,
data gathering and analysis, and
development and promotion of agriculture
safety standards. The program is
administered by the Canadian Agricultural
Safety Association.
Young people account for one third of all
injuries resulting in lost time in Canadian
workplaces. Some of these injuries lead to
long-term disabilities. The Government of
Canada worked with youth, industry and the
labour movement to sponsor the first
national conference on youth health and
safety in the workplace in October 2000.
The conference focused on identifying the
problems young people experience in the
early years of their working careers.
After this conference, the Canadian
Association of Administrators of Labour
Legislation (CAALL) was asked to consider
how federal, provincial and territorial
governments could address the recommendations that arose from the session. Two
initiatives were proposed. The first was to
establish the Cross-Canada Youth Advisory
Committee. The committee, which held its
63
64
65
66
first meeting in May 2002, is composed of
young people from 18 to 28 who represent
youth-serving organizations and youth
health and safety committees. The
committee has a two-year mandate to
focus on public awareness and community
outreach. The second proposed initiative
was to develop a young workers’ Web
site that could link users to health and
safety information.
In July 2000 the Health Canada /
Veterans Affairs Canada Falls Prevention
Initiative was established as a communitybased health promotion strategy to identify
ways of preventing falls among seniors and
veterans. Veterans Affairs Canada has
committed $10 million over four years to
pilot projects at the national level and in
three regions: Atlantic Canada, Ontario and
British Columbia.
Family violence seldom leads to hospital
admissions and frequently goes unreported,
but it is a serious source of physical injury
as well as psychological and emotional
harm. People with disabilities experience a
much higher rate of family violence than
those without disabilities, including physical,
emotional and sexual abuse. Women with
disabilities are particularly vulnerable to
threats to their physical safety, and to
psychological and verbal abuse and
neglect.65 Men with disabilities are twice as
likely as men without to be sexually abused
in their lifetime.66
The National Clearinghouse on Family
Violence (NCFV), operated by Health
Canada, is a national resource centre that
distributes publications and videos about
family violence, including against persons
with disabilities. Through its activities, the
NCFV raises awareness, promotes
understanding and helps workers in
The Centre’s Web site is http://www.ccohs.ca
The program’s Web site is http://www.agr.gc.ca/progser/casp_e.phtml
Family Violence against Women with Disabilities: Information from The National Clearinghouse on Family Violence.http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/hppb/familyviolence/pdfs/fvawd.pdf . Also see the Disabled Women’s Network for information about violence against women with
disabilities.http://www.dawncanada.net
Roeher Institute, Harm’s Way: The Many Faces of Violence and Abuse Against Persons with Disabilities in Canada (Toronto: The Institute, 1995).
54
Advancing the Inclusion of Persons with Disabilities
relevant sectors recognize how to prevent
and reduce family abuse. Status of Women
Canada also funds a number of projects
and research initiatives concerning violence
against women, including women with
disabilities given the obstacles they face
regarding their physical safety.
Occurrence of major diseases and
conditions that may cause disability
here are a number of preventable
diseases and conditions that can
cause long-term disabilities. These
disabilities, when developed at a young age,
can be serious and lifelong. Type 2 diabetes,
fetal alcohol syndrome / fetal alcohol effects
(FAS/FAE) and human immunodeficiency
virus / acquired immunodeficiency syndrome
(HIV/AIDS) are all preventable health
conditions. Governments and health care
experts recognize the importance of
continued public education and health care
efforts to prevent and treat these and other
debilitating diseases and conditions.
T
DIABETES
The National Diabetes Surveillance System
reports that there are over one million
confirmed cases of diabetes in Canada.
In addition, up to one third of those with
diabetes are unaware of their condition.
Diabetes is a serious disease that can lead
to life-threatening complications.
Diabetes interferes with the body’s ability to
produce or properly use insulin, a hormone
that is essential for the proper use of the
energy contained in the food we eat. Over
time, diabetes can lead to life-threatening
and debilitating complications, which include
high blood pressure, heart disease, loss of
sight, nervous system disorders, and
limb amputations.
The World Health Organization (WHO)
estimates that four to five% of health
budgets are spent on diabetes-related
illnesses. . . A person with diabetes
incurs medical costs that are two to five
times higher than those of a person
without diabetes. This is due to more
frequent medical visits, purchase of
supplies and medication, and the
higher likelihood of being admitted to a
nursing home.
Canadian Diabetes Association
http://www.diabetes.ca/Section_
About/prevalence.asp
There are three types of diabetes:
Type 1, gestational diabetes and Type 2.
Type 1 diabetes occurs in 10% of all cases
and requires lifetime management with
insulin. Almost one in 20 pregnant women
have gestational diabetes. In this case, a
pregnant woman can usually manage her
diabetes through diet and exercise. Once the
baby is born, her blood glucose usually
returns to normal.
Type 2 diabetes, which represents 90% of
cases, is on the rise, despite the fact that it is
preventable through healthy lifestyle
choices. Typically, Type 2 diabetes is
diagnosed in mid-life, but early cases have
also been reported. According to the World
Health Organization, Type 2 diabetes has
reached epidemic proportions. Therefore,
primary prevention programs are essential to
prevent the disease. Both prevention and
treatment measures following the onset of
diabetes are essential to prevent or delay the
occurrence of serious debilitating complications. Figure 25 shows the rapid increase
of diabetes in Canada as reported by the
Canadian Community Health Survey.
The figure shows the number of people
who state that they have diabetes, and
thus does not include an estimate of
undiagnosed cases.
Advancing the Inclusion of Persons with Disabilities
55
25. Number of cases of diabetes
1 060 830
860 250
721 110
785 700
561 180
425 970
482 620
367 260
353 850
1994–1995
499 650
359 730
1996–1997
377 630
1998–1999
2000–2001
Age 15 and over
With Disabilities
Source: National Population Health Survey,
1994-95, 1996-97, 1999-98
Without Disabilities
Canadian Community Health Survey: 2000-2001
Total
Figure 25 description – There are now
over one million Canadians aged 15 and
over who indicate that they have been
diagnosed with diabetes.This is up from
700 000 in 1994–1995. The number of
cases has risen among people with and
without disabilities. In 2000–2001 there
were about 500 000 cases among
persons with disabilities and 561 000
cases among persons without.
Diabetes has been increasing rapidly in
Canada, particularly among Aboriginal
people. Diabetes among First Nations
people is more than three times the national
average. Among Métis and Inuit people as
well, diabetes occurs more frequently
than in the non-Aboriginal population.
Virtually all diabetes among Aboriginal
people is Type 2.67
According to Health Canada, the
estimated lifetime cost of the extra
health care, education and social
services associated with caring for an
individual with FAS is $2.1 million.
67
FAS/FAE
Fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS) is a major
preventable cause of birth defects in
Canadian children. It is diagnosed only when
prenatal use of alcohol has been confirmed.
Fetal alcohol effects (FAE) is diagnosed
when some, but not all, of the features of
FAS are present. FAE is often identified
during a child’s first school years.
It is estimated that in Canada one child is
born every day with FAS. In some Aboriginal
communities, the rate of FAS/FAE may be
significantly higher than average. FAS can
cause permanent, lifelong disabilities. FAS
children usually have growth deficiencies;
developmental
delays;
neurological,
behavioural and intellectual difficulties;
skull or brain malformations; and
facial abnormalities.
The degree to which a child will
experience the effects of FAS/FAE can be
influenced by factors besides the level and
frequency of exposure to alcohol. Prenatal
health, nutrition, other drug use, lifestyle and
socio-economic factors can all contribute to
a baby’s chance for a healthy start in life. In
addition, early identification, screening and
diagnosis are critical in preventing many of
the secondary disabilities that people with
FAS/FAE may develop. These measures
also help individuals with FAS/FAE, their
families and their communities to cope with
this lifelong disability. For Aboriginal women
and their families, culturally appropriate
approaches within their communities
are essential.
HIV/AIDS
The human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) is
the virus that causes acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS). HIV attacks the
immune
system,
causing
chronic,
progressive illness and leaving infected
people vulnerable to infections and cancers.
For a discussion of diabetes in Aboriginal communities, see Diabetes Among Aboriginal People in Canada: The Evidence, Aboriginal Diabetes Initiative,
Health Canada, 2000, http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/fnihb/cp/adi/publications/the_evidence.pdf
56
Advancing the Inclusion of Persons with Disabilities
Once contracted, HIV can lead to AIDS and
can be fatal. The median time from
HIV infection to AIDS is now over ten years.
HIV infection and AIDS can result in many
disabling conditions that greatly alter the
quality of life of those affected, their families
and their communities. The number of
people living with HIV in Canada is on the
rise, but thanks to better drug and therapy
programs, the number of new AIDS cases
has declined. In Canada it is estimated that
4 200 people become infected with
HIV every year. Among Aboriginal people,
AIDS has been rising; among cases in
1993-1996 where ethnicity was known,
5.6% of cases were Aboriginal people.
OTHER MAJOR DISEASES AND
CONDITIONS
In addition to the above diseases and
conditions, the Government is involved in
activities aimed at preventing other diseases
and conditions including Hepatitis C.Heart
disease, other circulatory diseases and
respiratory diseases, can limit a person’s
ability to work and participate in activities
and are important targets for prevention and
health promotion. About one in five
Canadians with disabilities say their
activities are limited because of conditions
arising from such diseases.68 Preventing and
treating serious mental illness is also
important, as is improving the health of
persons with debilitating mental conditions.
Rheumatoid disorders, as well as arthritis
and related conditions, can have a serious
impact on the quality of life of many
Canadians, especially seniors. The
government is funding research in these
areas along with programs that promote the
health and well-being of Canadians with
arthritis and rheumatoid disorders.
√ Government Action
The Government of Canada, through Health
Canada, is addressing prevention through a
variety of initiatives in partnership with
provinces, territories, First Nations
and others.
The Canadian Diabetes Strategy (CDS)
announcement in the 1999 Federal
Budget created a five-year, $115 million
strategy to develop the measures needed to
prevent, control and combat diabetes in a
coordinated way. The CDS has four
components: the National Diabetes
Surveillance System, Prevention and
Promotion, the Aboriginal Diabetes Initiative
and National Coordination. The Aboriginal
Diabetes Initiative (ADI) allocates $58
million of this funding to help address
diabetes in Aboriginal communities.69
To help prevent FAS/FAE, Health
Canada is working with many partners to
educate women about avoiding alcohol
during pregnancy. In the 1999 federal
budget, the Government increased funding
for FAS/FAE through the national FAS/FAE
Strategic Project Fund. The increased
funding of $11 million over three years
has enabled a number of activities to
expand, including public awareness and
education, FAS/FAE training and capacity
building, early identification and diagnosis,
coordination, integration of services
and surveillance.
The December 2001 federal budget
provided another $25 million over two years
to the FAS/FAE Strategic Project Fund to
address these difficult issues in First
Nations communities. In October 2002 the
Government announced that it would
allocate $320 million over five years to
improve and expand early childhood
development programs and services for
68
National Population Health Survey (1994–1999), Special tabulation by HRDC.
69
See the Aboriginal Diabetes Initiative Web site for more details: http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/fnihb/cp/adi/index.htm
Advancing the Inclusion of Persons with Disabilities
57
First Nations and other Aboriginal children.
This investment will enable the Government
to intensify its efforts to address FAS/FAE
with First Nations on reserve.
To help reduce the incidence of
HIV/AIDS, in 1998 the Government of
Canada announced annual funding of
$42.2 million to support the Canadian
Strategy on HIV/AIDS (CSHA). CSHA grew
out of extensive consultations with
volunteer and community groups, First
Nations, Inuit and Métis organizations,
researchers, the private sector, the
academic community, professional associations, health and social care providers and
governments—and, most importantly,
individual Canadians living with HIV/AIDS.70
The CSHA is delivered by three federal
partners. Health Canada is the lead federal
department and is responsible for coordinating the strategy. Correctional Service
Canada plays a national leadership role in
addressing HIV/AIDS in the correctional
environment. The Canadian Institutes of
Health Research administer most of the
non-government research component
of the strategy.71
Physical Activity
egular physical activity is fundamental
to healthy human development. There
are few human conditions that cannot
be improved by increased physical activity.
Maintaining or improving strength, flexibility
and endurance can reduce the risk of many
disabling conditions and related injuries,
including diabetes, falls, heart disease,
osteoporosis, arthritis and depression, or
can improve a person’s ability to live with
them. People with disabilities can especially
benefit
from
an
active
lifestyle.
R
Being as active as possible can help people
with disabilities, and seniors as well, to
perform daily activities better, thus
increasing their independence.
Active living is a way of life in which
physical activity is an integral part of a
person’s daily routine. It can incorporate,
among other things, walking, gardening,
doing household chores, swimming, and
exercising at home or at a gym.
For people with disabilities, active living
can include a similar range of activities in
keeping with their individual capabilities and
interests. Full inclusion means that
communities and society as a whole support
and value the choices by persons with
disabilities to enjoy active living in the same
way as those without disabilities.
The Canadian Fitness and Lifestyle
Research Institute reports that the majority
of adults (55%) aged 20 and over are
physically inactive, as are a slightly greater
percentage of youths aged 12 to 19.72
As Figure 26 shows, among those aged
15 and up, persons with disabilities are
somewhat more likely to be physically
inactive than persons without disabilities.
Furthermore, while Figure 26 shows a slight
drop in physical inactivity since 1994–95
among those without disabilities, this
improvement did not occur among persons
with disabilities.
Only a small percentage of adults with
disabilities are unable to participate in any
significant amount of physical activity. For
the rest, barriers to participation are the real
issue. The 1991 HALS found that almost
50% of adults with disabilities encounter one
or more barriers to regular participation in
physical activity. The most common
obstacles are cost, distance and
inaccessible facilities.
70
“Canadian Strategy on HIV/AIDS,” Health Canada, revised 3 October 2002, http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/hppb/hiv_aids/can_strat/index.html
71
“Canada’s Domestic Response,” Health Canada, December 2001, http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/english/media/releases/2001/2001_130ebk3.htm
72
2001 Physical Activity Monitor, Available at http://www.cflri.ca/
58
Advancing the Inclusion of Persons with Disabilities
26. Physically Inactive
59
56
1994-1995
With Disabilities
Age 15 and over
62
59
55
1996-1997
56
51
1998-1999
48
2000-2001
Without Disabilities
Source: National Population Health Survey,
1994-95, 1996-97,1998-99
Canadian Community Health Survey, 2000-2001
Figure 26 description – People with
disabilities are more likely to be
physically inactive than people without
disabilities. In 2000–2001, 56% of
persons with disabilities were physically
inactive, compared to 48% of persons
without disabilities.
√ Government Action
In Future Directions, the Government of
Canada promised to promote opportunities
for and reduce barriers to a healthy lifestyle
for Canadians with disabilities. Through
Health Canada, the Government supports
the Active Living Alliance for Canadians with
a Disability.73 The Alliance represents a
broad range of organizations for, or made
up of, people with disabilities. These
include, among many others, the Canadian
Red Cross Society, the Canadian
Paraplegic Association, the National
Network for Mental Health, the Canadian
National Institute for the Blind, the
Canadian Wheelchair Sports Association
and the Canadian Cerebral Palsy
Sports Association.
73
The Alliance’s mission is “to promote
inclusion and active living lifestyles of
Canadians with disabilities by facilitating
communication and collaboration among
organizations, agencies, and individuals.”
By working to overcome barriers and
expand opportunities for active living, the
Alliance tries to ensure that people with
disabilities can enjoy physical activity as a
basic right and an essential element of
good health.
The Active Living Alliance is guided by a
national strategic plan for active living
among persons with disabilities. Entitled
“A Blueprint for Action,” the plan includes
guiding principles and priority goals. In
1998, when setting its goals to 2003, the
Alliance estimated that reducing physical
inactivity among Canadians with disabilities
by 20% over the next five years could save
well over $1 billion in health care costs.
In the summer of 2002, in partnership
with Canadian Heritage, Exchanges
Canada, the YMCA and others, the Active
Living Alliance sponsored a national youth
exchange to allow young people with
disabilities to experience some of the many
ways of enjoying an active lifestyle.
“I am still recovering from the past six
days, but enjoying the high that
I experienced. I want to thank you
for allowing me to be a part of
something so amazing!”
Participant in 2002 youth exchange
for youth with disabilities.
See the Alliance Web site for more information: http://www.ala.ca
Advancing the Inclusion of Persons with Disabilities
59
“The Canadian Paralympic team
would not exist today if it weren't for
the funding from Sport Canada. In
addition, access to the National
Sport Centers has enabled my
teammates and I to achieve
our goals as high performance
athletes.”
Lauren Woolstencroft, Medallist 2002 Paralympic
Games at the April 15, 2002 Federal Reception
Opportunity for athletes with
disabilities
port encourages activity, which
contributes to the health of
Canadians. Canadian athletes with
disabilities participate in an array
of competitive sports organized by
provincial, national and international
sport organizations.
Canada has participated in every
Paralympic Games since 1968. Most
recently, Canadian athletes with disabilities
competed at the 2002 Winter Paralympics in
Salt Lake City. The Canadian team of
29 athletes brought home 15 medals, tying
the Canadian medal count at the 1998
Nagano Winter Paralympics while upping
the number of gold medals from one to six.
Canada finished sixth out of 36 countries in
Salt Lake City.
At the 2000 Summer Paralympics in
Sydney, Australia, Canadian athletes with
disabilities competed against 4 000 athletes
from 123 countries. The Canadian team
finished fourth overall with 96 medals,
including 38 gold.
The Canadian Special Olympics are
supported by hundreds of coaches and other
volunteers who donate their time to help
S
60
Canadians with mental disabilities enjoy
sport as an expression of full citizenship.
At the 2001 Special Olympics World Winter
Games in Anchorage, Alaska, 72 Canadian
athletes competed in speed skating, figure
skating, floor hockey, snowshoeing, and
nordic and alpine skiing, bringing home over
100 medals for Canada.
√ Government Action
As part of its commitment to an inclusive
society, the Government of Canada
supports opportunities for athletes with
disabilities to develop their performance
and to compete.
Sport Canada, part of Canadian
Heritage, is committed to increasing access
and equity in sport for persons with
disabilities. Sport Canada assists athletes
with disabilities through three programs:
the National Sport Organization Support
Program, the Athlete Assistance
Program and the Hosting Program.
With over $6 million in annual funding,
these programs are helping highperformance athletes with disabilities
improve their performance. They are
also supporting broader participation
and better coaching, training and
competitive opportunities.
Advancing the Inclusion of Persons with Disabilities
PRINCIPAL INJURY PREVENTION AND
HEALTH PROMOTION INITIATIVES
Human Resources Development Canada
• Occupational Health and Safety Division
Canadian Centre for Occupational
Health and Safety
• Information service
Transport Canada
• Safety and Security Group
Canadian Heritage
• Sport Canada—Athletes with Disabilities
Canadian Institutes of Health
Research
• Administration of non-government
research projects
Correctional Service Canada
• FAS/FAE and learning disability initiatives
Health Canada
• Aboriginal Diabetes Initiative (includes
both on and off reserve)
• Aboriginal Head Start
• Active Living Alliance for Canadians with a
Disability
• Brighter Futures Initiative—First Nations
and Inuit component and solvent abuse
component
• Canada Prenatal Nutrition Program
• Canadian Diabetes Strategy
• Canadian Strategy on HIV/AIDS
• Community Action Program for Children
• HIV/AIDS among Aboriginal people in
Canada (includes both on and off reserve)
• National Clearinghouse on Family
Violence, Family Violence Prevention
(various publications)
• National FAS/FAE Strategic Project Fund;
FAS/FAE information service
• Nobody’s Perfect
• Population Health Fund
• The Canadian Working Group on HIV
Rehabilitation (facilitates multi-sectoral
coordination)
• Workplace Health Bureau
• Workplace Health and Public Safety
Programme
Veterans Affairs Canada
• Alzheimer Wandering Registry Program
for Veterans
• Assistance service for former Canadian
military members and their families
• Falls Prevention Initiative (joint initiative
with Health Canada)
• Gerontological Advisory Council
• Health promotion
• Networks of Excellence:
- Ste. Anne’s Centre, specializing in
assessment and treatment of
psychological injuries
- Canadian Forces Operational Trauma
and Stress Support Centres
• VAC post-traumatic stress disorder
protocols (support to clients with PTSD,
other psychological injuries and other
undiagnosed disorders)
Advancing the Inclusion of Persons with Disabilities
61
OUTCOMES AND INDICATORS
Capacity of the Disability
Community
SEVEN INDICATORS OF PROGRESS
his section looks at seven provisional
indicators for measuring progress in
building the capacity of the disability
community. In doing so, it presents some key
findings from the research project on
community capacity conducted by the
Canadian Centre on Disability Studies
(CCDS) on behalf of HRDC. The section
also describes the Government of Canada’s
commitments and actions to build capacity.
Canadians with disabilities across the
country are served by, and are members of,
a wide variety of disability organizations.
Collectively, individuals with disabilities and
these organizations are sometimes called
the “disability community.”
Some disability organizations provide
services for people with disabilities; others
advocate improved policies, programs and
services. Some are involved in both service
and advocacy. Some organizations are
national in scope, while others operate at the
provincial or regional level. Some organizations focus on a single disability; others
have mandates that cross disabilities.
Together, individuals with disabilities and
disability organizations are building the
capacity of their community to work cooperatively with governments to develop policies,
programs and services that lead to full
citizenship and participation for persons with
disabilities. Capacity includes not only skills,
people and plans, but also commitment,
resources and all the other elements that
help make policy and program development
successful. Community capacity building is
T
74
74
Involvement with elected and non-elected officials
Human resource capacity
Financial resource capacity
Organizational partnerships
Media relations
Quality information about disability
Responsiveness to clients and members
based on the idea that all these elements
can be improved over time.
Measuring the capacity of the disability
community is still in its early stages.
There are no national statistical indicators
yet. Therefore, to assess community
capacity at this early stage, HRDC funded
the CCDS to conduct a qualitative research
study in the spring of 2002. For the purposes
of this research, HRDC defined community
capacity as “the extent to which persons with
disabilities participate as partners in
identifying issues and in the development of
policies and programs, both as individuals
and through involvement with voluntary
organizations representing their interests.”
While
most
organizations
were
comfortable with this definition, some
suggested looking at capacity from other
perspectives as well. It was suggested, for
example, that the definition of community
capacity could include families and their
ability to support individuals with disabilities.
It was also noted that it is important to look
These are provisional indicators based on a qualitative research study conducted by the Canadian Centre on Disability Studies in the spring of 2002.
The full report on the CCDS study is available at http://www.disabilitystudies.ca/rescompleted.html
62
Advancing the Inclusion of Persons with Disabilities
62
at the capacity of the broader community
and of governments to support persons
with disabilities.
Among Aboriginal organizations, it was
suggested that community capacity be seen
from both the individual and the community
perspective. Aboriginal organizations,
including Inuit, First Nations, Métis and
women’s groups, believe that the strength of
individuals and the strength of the entire
community are intertwined. Development is
viewed in relation to the settings in which
people live and learn. Development is a
process that fosters the well-being of both
individuals and entire communities in a
holistic and participatory way. Community
development is community-based and
community-directed.
The first part of the research by the CCDS
involved setting up a framework for
assessing
community
capacity.
The framework identified seven provisional
indicators that may, over time, help to
measure progress in building community
capacity. The CCDS then used this
framework to assess community capacity
among 18 national and provincial
organizations across the country, including
organizations
representing Aboriginal
persons with disabilities.
say that responses from elected and nonelected officials are positive. They believe
that as discussions continue, a common
understanding of disability issues is
emerging. Organizations find there is a
willingness among elected and non-elected
officials to work with disability organizations
to move the disability agenda forward.
Human resource capacity
he research indicates that most
disability groups and organizations do
not have enough human resources.
Their staff work long hours, often for wages
that are not competitive with those in the
private sector. In some organizations the
staff are overworked and burned out. When
funds are tight, human resources is the
easiest area to cut back on, leaving a
reduced staff or volunteers to try to
maintain service.
Many groups believe their organizational
capacities have decreased or stayed the
same over the past year. The funding climate
as a whole has prevented them
from carrying out their mandates in
advocacy, research and service, as well as
their
communication
with
members
and constituents.
T
Involvement with elected and
non-elected officials
Financial resource capacity
he CCDS’s qualitative research
suggests that the majority of disability
organizations are highly involved with
elected and non-elected officials. This is true
for both service organizations and advocacy
groups. The communication methods they
use are wide-ranging, as are the issues they
deal with—among them health, taxation,
income support, education, employment,
social services and transportation.
For the most part, disability organizations
irectly tied to human resource
capacity is financial resource capacity.
Of the 18 organizations surveyed,
only one said it had both the financial and
human resources it needed to do its part in
policy development.
Without financial resources, a disability
organization is severely limited in its ability to
carry out its mandate. While many
organizations in the voluntary sector have to
some degree been able to diversify their
T
D
Advancing the Inclusion of Persons with Disabilities
63
sources
of
funding
(government,
foundations, private sector, fundraising), the
sector as a whole still relies heavily on
government funding. Disability organizations, which represent a largely marginalized population, may depend on
government funding more than the average
volunteer organization.
Human and financial resources
[in the disability community] are
stretched to the limit. This is not a
sustainable situation, and it is a
critical time in which to develop
support to enhance the capacity of
the disability community.
Organizational partnerships
Disability Community Capacity: A Framework
For Preliminary Assessment – May 31, 2002
isability organizations partner with
others for a variety of reasons. Many
form partnerships to work on disability
issues at the federal and provincial levels
and to communicate and share information
among
organizations.
Others
form
partnerships to work together on contracts or
projects. Disability organizations collaborate
among themselves, with other equalityseeking groups, with governments,
corporations, businesses, the banking
industry, service clubs, and universities.
Disability organizations are sometimes
reluctant to enter into partnerships because
they worry that their potential partners,
especially those from non-disability sectors,
will not understand their issues. These
organizations sometimes believe it will take
much effort to bring the partners onside.
Geographic distance can also make
partnership building more challenging.
D
Media relations
key way to educate Canadians about
disability issues is through the media.
And the best spokespersons for
disability issues are persons with disabilities
and their organizations.
Working with the media to expand
awareness of disability issues is very timeconsuming, particularly in larger cities where
the competition for media coverage is
A
64
strong. For groups and organizations in
smaller centres, getting media coverage
may be easier, but the time involved is still a
consideration. For many organizations with
limited human and financial resources, other
tasks take priority over this important
communication channel for educating
the public and attracting volunteers
and supporters.
Quality information about disability
o carry out their mandates, disability
organizations need quality information
about disability policies, services,
statistics and other information. However,
the community’s ability to develop and
acquire quality information is uneven. Some
disability organizations have no difficulty
getting information. Others may lack the time
to locate information, or may have the
information but no time to deal with it.
With the advent of the Internet, and with
their work with government officials,
disability organizations have fewer problems
acquiring quality information about disabilityrelated issues than they once did.
But information overload and information
exchange and dissemination, especially
to clients and consumers, are still
major concerns.
T
Advancing the Inclusion of Persons with Disabilities
Responsiveness to clients
and members
o be fully responsive to its clients and
members, an organization must find
out directly from them how it is doing.
Armed with that knowledge, the organization
can then design ways of responding to
clients’ and members’ needs. Among the
disability organizations consulted for this
report, few have formally surveyed their
members. Most rely on informal sources of
feedback, such as meetings, newsletters
and Web sites, to gather opinions.
According to the disability organizations
interviewed, their clients and members are
satisfied with the organizations’ ability to
carry out their mandates but wish more could
be done in advocacy or service provision.
As well, clients and members have targeted
improved communication, both with
themselves and with society as a whole, as
important to giving persons with disabilities a
stronger voice.
T
√ Government Action
The Government of Canada recognizes that
the voluntary sector, including the disability
community, plays a critical role in Canadian
society. The voluntary sector includes more
than 175 000 charities and non-profit
organizations. Some 7.5 million people
work as volunteers, and the sector employs
1.3 million people.
In June 2000 the Government
announced the Voluntary Sector Initiative.
With funding of $94.6 million over five
years, the initiative will sponsor research,
consultations and projects that will help the
Government streamline its rules and
regulations, give volunteer organizations a
stronger voice in shaping public policy and
increase access to new technologies,
training and research.
One of the Voluntary Sector Initiative’s
first priorities was to develop an agreement
between the voluntary sector and the
Government of Canada to guide their
relationship. In December 2001 a draft
accord between the Government and the
voluntary sector was introduced. In the
2002 Speech from the Throne, the
Government promised to put this
accord into action to “enable the sector
to contribute to national priorities and
represent the views of those too
often excluded.”
The Voluntary Sector Initiative supports
the Government of Canada’s commitment
in Future Directions to support the disability
community and to support partnerships
involving disability organizations, other
voluntary groups and the private sector.
Work is now underway on a national
project to build the disability community’s
capacity to participate in and contribute to
the policy development process. Led jointly
by the Council of Canadians with
Disabilities and the Canadian Association
for Community Living, this project is
bringing the Government of Canada
together with the voluntary disability sector
to identify two or three areas for joint
work by a government–voluntary
sector partnership.
In another effort to strengthen community
capacity, HRDC oversees the Social
Development Partnerships Program.
The disability component of this program
is intended to help maintain and build the
capacity of national disability organizations.
The program funds research projects to
identify, develop and promote best
practices and innovative models of service
delivery. Some 70 disability organizations
receive a total of $12 million in funding each
year for basic operational needs and for
specific projects.
Advancing the Inclusion of Persons with Disabilities
65
Indian and Northern Affairs Canada
provides Aboriginal organizations with a
total of $1 million annually for public
education on disability issues. The groups
funded include such non-profit organizations as the B.C. Aboriginal Network on
Disability Society, the Aboriginal Disabilities
Society of Alberta and other regional
Aboriginal organizations across the country.
In addition to these initiatives, the
Government has provided capacity-building
assistance internationally. The Canadian
International Development Agency (CIDA),
through its Canadian Partnership Branch,
supports Canadian and international
non-governmental organizations and
professional associations concerned with
disability issues. Specifically, CIDA supports
partnerships that foster improved
performance among stakeholders in
developing countries, at the individual,
organizational, network/sector or broader
system level.
66
PRINCIPAL COMMUNITY CAPACITY
BUILDING PROGRAMS AND INITIATIVES
Canadian International Development
Agency
• Canadian Partnership Branch—funding
for development cooperation activities by
disability organizations
Human Resources Development Canada
• Aboriginal Reference Group on Disability
Issues
• Office of Learning Technologies project
funding
• Social Development Partnership
Program – Disability
Indian and Northern Affairs Canada
• Disability Initiative
Veterans Affairs Canada
• VAC-Canadian Forces Advisory Council
Advancing the Inclusion of Persons with Disabilities
OUTCOMES AND INDICATORS
Conclusion
uch has changed in Canada since
the United Nations International Year
of Disabled Persons was declared in
1981. Persons with disabilities, individually
and collectively, have taken action to
demand their right to be fully included in
Canadian society. In turn, society has
evolved greatly in the way it thinks about and
treats persons with disabilities. Canada has
moved from seeing segregation and institutionalization of persons with disabilities as
desirable outcomes to believing in the value
and promise of a fully inclusive society.
For its part, the Government of Canada
has enacted important legislation to protect
the rights of persons with disabilities as
citizens. In addition, over these two decades,
federal,
provincial
and
territorial
governments have worked together
to enhance existing programs that provide
benefits to persons with disabilities.
Governments have also introduced new
programs that respond to changes in social
conditions and in the needs of persons with
disabilities. Recently In Unison, issued in
1998 with the provinces and territories, and
Future Directions, issued in 1999,
declared the Government of Canada’s
commitment to full inclusion of all Canadians
with disabilities.
This report has highlighted many of the
Government of Canada’s programs and
initiatives in support of this commitment.
Major programs such as the Canada
Pension Plan disability benefit and the
Veterans Disability Pension Program help
eligible Canadians with disabilities and their
M
families meet their income needs.
Employability Assistance for People with
Disabilities and the Opportunities Fund help
people with disabilities succeed in the labour
market, while Canada Study Grants provide
assistance in getting the post-secondary
education so important in today’s
knowledge-based economy. Low-income
Canadians with disabilities can get financial
assistance
through
the
Residential
Rehabilitation Assistance Program for
Persons with Disabilities, and through the
Home
Adaptations
for
Seniors’
Independence initiative, to modify their
homes to improve accessibility and mobility.
These are but a few examples of the many
Government of Canada programs this report
has discussed.
In addition to program benefits, the
Government provides tax assistance that
recognizes the additional expenses related
to disabilities. Some of these tax provisions
focus on costs associated with working or
going to school; some acknowledge other
costs. The Government has increased tax
assistance substantially over the past
five years, reaching about $1.1 billion
a year in 2002.
The Government has extended its role in
the prevention of injuries and diseases that
may lead to disabilities. This report has
described important new initiatives such as
the Falls Prevention Initiative, administered
jointly by Veterans Affairs Canada and
Health Canada, and the Canadian Diabetes
Strategy. The Government has also
recognized the particular needs of Aboriginal
Advancing the Inclusion of Persons with Disabilities
67
people through investments in the Aboriginal
Diabetes Initiative and the FAS/FAE
Strategic Project Fund.
Table 1 provides an overview of the
Government of Canada’s principal disabilityrelated benefits and programs for the fiscal
year 2001–2002. The total of over
$6.5 billion underlines the considerable
resources the Government makes available
to meet the needs of persons with
disabilities. This total consists of approximately $1.1 billion in tax assistance and over
$5 billion in program expenditures.
With Table 1 it is also important to note
that funding for some initiatives was
increased in the 2001 budget. For example,
funding for the Canada Study Grants
increased to $24 million; an additional
$30 million over two years was announced
for the special education needs of First
Nations and Inuit students; and $25 million
over two years was provided for a First
Nations initiative under the FAS/FAE
Strategic Project Fund.
Besides providing benefits and services,
either by itself or in partnership with
provinces and territories, the Government is
responsible for legislation and regulations
that make sure important services meet the
needs of all Canadians, especially those with
disabilities. This report has highlighted the
work of the CRTC in regulating the
broadcast medium and the Canadian
Transportation Agency and Transport
Canada in regulating national transportation.
It has also shown the impact of employment
equity legislation and policies in federally
regulated industries.
While the Government of Canada has
worked hard to realize the vision of full
inclusion of people with disabilities, many
obstacles remain. As this report has shown,
many Canadians with disabilities do
not have the same opportunities or quality
of life as others.
68
In recent years the disability community
has stated that progress toward full inclusion
has slowed, and in some cases even
eroded, and that governments are not doing
enough to resolve the many issues faced by
Canadians with disabilities. Some of these
issues, including concerns about the
disability tax credit and the Canada Pension
Plan disability benefit, have been examined
by the House of Commons Subcommittee on
the Status of Persons with Disabilities. With
other issues, such as community capacity,
the disability community has directly
approached the Government in seeking
solutions. On the ongoing employment
challenge faced by people with disabilities,
the Government of Canada is collaborating
with provincial and territorial governments
and consulting with the disability community
to develop a comprehensive strategy to
ensure that persons with disabilities can find
and keep jobs in today’s workplace.
There is still much work to be done, and
this report has highlighted many areas
where progress is needed. The Government
acknowledges its responsibility to continue
working with all its partners—including
provinces,
territories,
the
disability
community, Aboriginal people and veterans
organizations—to achieve the full inclusion
of Canadians with disabilities.
This report was compiled to fulfill the
Government’s promise to begin regularly
reporting to Canadians on its progress on
disability issues. In order to do this, the
report has assembled a wide range of
information and structured it into an accountability framework. This framework is based
on the fundamental idea that the
Government’s commitments, programs and
initiatives should be judged on the basis of
their results for Canadians with disabilities.
The framework presented here is only a
beginning. Future reports will build on this
framework by improving it in several ways.
Advancing the Inclusion of Persons with Disabilities
Full results from the 2001 Participation
and Activity Limitation Survey will become
available in 2003 and 2004. PALS will permit
detailed analysis of the current needs of
persons with disabilities at both the national
and provincial level. The information from
PALS will help governments, the disability
community and Canadians at large to more
clearly identify disability issues and to find
policy approaches to resolve them. Future
Government of Canada reports on disability
will contain information from PALS to
support this ongoing development.
As mentioned in this report, the new
approach to identifying persons with
disabilities developed for PALS is being
incorporated into other major national
surveys. Thus, in addition to information
from PALS, new findings from these other
surveys will be reported as well.
To take full advantage of the new
information provided by PALS, the
Government of Canada anticipates
producing its next report on disability in
2004. The timing of future reports
is still undetermined.
Information about Aboriginal persons with
disabilities is lacking at this time. In
partnership with Aboriginal organizations,
the Government will gather more information
on the special circumstances facing
Aboriginal persons and will incorporate this
information into future reports.
The Government is committed to
ensuring that its disability programs and
initiatives have the desired results for
persons with disabilities. But the link
between the Government’s programs and
societal outcomes is not always clear, since
many factors outside the Government’s
control can affect outcomes. Besides
informal feedback from clients and others
about program results, formal evaluation
research can supply evidence that a
75
program is working. Future reports will
include evaluation results as they
become available.75
This report has focused largely on
Government of Canada programs and
initiatives that specifically address the needs
of persons with disabilities. Full inclusion of
persons with disabilities in programs
targeted at the general population is another
extremely important issue. Assessing how
persons with disabilities fare in comparison
to other Canadians in such areas as
employment insurance, the federal justice
system and health promotion programs will
be a part of future reports. The Government
is currently working on a “disability lens”
framework to ensure that all government
policies and programs are designed and
implemented in a fully inclusive way.
Finally, the framework presented in this
report is based on a set of indicators that
measure progress toward full inclusion. This
framework can itself be improved in several
ways. For one thing, a better understanding
of the relationships between issues may lead
to new indicators, and more importantly may
support possible changes in policy. For
example, since the availability of some
disability supports is fundamental to
achieving other outcomes, disability
supports outcomes might be analyzed in
more detail in future reports.
The Government welcomes suggestions
from the disability community, researchers
and all Canadians on how to improve this
accountability framework and how to build
on it. By working together, Canada can move
forward towards full inclusion of persons with
disabilities in society.
Some evaluation results are presented in the technical report: http://www.hrdc-drhc.gc.ca/bcph-odi
Advancing the Inclusion of Persons with Disabilities
69
TABLE 1.
GOVERNMENT OF CANADA PRINCIPAL DISABILITY-RELATED
BENEFITS AND PROGRAMS (2001–2002)
Program/Initiative
Disability Supports
Residential Rehabilitation Assistance Program
for Persons with Disabilities a
Home Adaptations for Seniors’ Independence a
Veterans Health Care Program
Tax Support b
—Disability tax credit (including supplement for children)
—Medical expense tax credit
—Caregiver tax credit
—Infirm dependant tax credit
Skills Development, Learning and Employment
Opportunities Fund
Employability Assistance for People with Disabilities
Canada Study Grants for students with disabilities
Canada Pension Plan—Disability Vocational Rehabilitation Program
Office of Learning Technologies (disability-specific projects)
Tax Support
—Refundable medical expense supplement
—Attendant care deduction and child care expenses deduction
Income
Canada Pension Plan disability benefits
Federal workers compensation benefits
Employment insurance sickness benefits
Veterans Disability Pension Program
Injury Prevention and Health Promotion
Sport Canada funding for athletes with disabilities
Canadian Diabetes Strategy
FAS/FAE Strategic Project Fund
Active Living Alliance for Canadians with a Disability
Falls Prevention Initiative
Capacity of the Disability Community
Social Development Partnerships Program
Indian and Northern Affairs Canada Disability Initiative
TOTAL c
$ Million
11.4
8.4
388.0
400.0
580.0
48.0
10.0
30.0
193.0
14.0
4.6
0.5
52.0
less than 2.5 each
2 800.0
97.0
523.0
1 335.0
6.0
23.0
5.0
0.4
2.5
12.5
1.0
$6 547.8
Notes a: RRAP-D and HASI amounts are for calendar year 2001
b: Tax expenditures are for 2002
c: Total includes $2.5 M for combination of attendant care and child care expense deductions
70
Advancing the Inclusion of Persons with Disabilities
Appendix 1: Chronology of Legislation
and Initiatives
anada has gradually developed a framework of legislation to protect those rights of
persons with disabilities that are within the Government of Canada’s jurisdiction.
As well, a number of important initiatives have helped bring a sharper focus to the
Government’s efforts to make progress on disability issues. The following timeline
summarizes key legislation and initiatives. For more information, please see the Web-based
technical report at www.hrdc-drhc.gc.ca/bcph-odi
C
2002
In Unison 2000 was released.
2000
Successive budgets announced improvements
to tax measures to support persons with
disabilities between 1996 and 2000.
1999
Social Services Ministers signed the Framework
to Improve the Social Union for Canadians.
1999
The Government of Canada, in partnership
with the provinces and territories, issued
In Unison, described as a blueprint to promote
the full participation of persons with
disabilities.
1998
The Auditor General’s report
recommended making the human rights
system more effective.
1998
The Treasury Board Secretariat published a
revised Duty to Accommodate policy
2001
The Canadian Human Rights Act (CHRA)
Review Panel released its final report,
Promoting Equality: A New Vision.
2000
The Minister of Justice announced a one-year
comprehensive review of the CHRA.
1999
The Government of Canada released Future
Directions, which set forth its disability agenda.
1998
Employability Assistance for People with
Disabilities (EAPD), a joint federal-provincial
initiative, was established to help working age
adults with disabilities prepare for, obtain and
maintain employment
1998
Bill S-5, An Act to amend the Canada Evidence
Act, the Criminal Code and the Canadian
Human Rights Act as they affect persons with
disabilities, was enacted.
Advancing the Inclusion of Persons with Disabilities
71
1997
The Federal Task Force on Disability Issues
(led by Andy Scott, MP) released its report,
Equal Citizenship for Canadians with
Disabilities: The Will to Act.
1995
The House of Commons passed an omnibus bill
that addressed access to the electoral system,
access to information in multiple formats,
acquiring citizenship, and testifying in criminal
court, and added the words “accessible” and
“persons with disabilities” to the policy section of
the National Transportation Act, 1987.
1991
The Treasury Board Real Property Accessibility
Policy for the Government of
Canada was released.
1988
The first Employment Equity Act was passed.
The Act covered the federally regulated private
sector and Crown corporations.
1982
Obstacles, the report of the special
Committee on the Disabled and
Handicapped, was released.
1981
The Canadian Human Rights
Commission was established.
1977
72
Budget announced $30 million funding
for opportunities Fund to assist persons
with disabilities to prepare for find and
maintain employment.
1996
The 1995 Employment Equity Act replaces the
1986 Employment Equity Act.
1992
The National Strategy for the Integration of
Persons with Disabilities was announced.
1990
Modifications to the National Transportation Act
gave the National Transportation Agency new
powers to make regulations and to resolve
complaints regarding the removal of undue
obstacles within Canada’s federally regulated
transportation network.
1986
The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms
came into effect as part of the Constitution Act,
1982, and prohibited discrimination based
on disability.
1981
The House of Commons Committee on the
Disabled and Handicapped was established
out of respect for the United Nations
International Year of Disabled Persons.
1978
The Canadian Human Rights Act
was passed.
Advancing the Inclusion of Persons with Disabilities
Appendix 2: Glossary of Terms
Aboriginal peoples: These are the
descendants of the original inhabitants of
North America. The Constitution Act, 1982,
recognizes three groups of Aboriginal
people: Indians, Métis and Inuit. They are
three separate peoples with unique
heritages, languages, cultural practices and
spiritual beliefs.
Disability:
Following
the
approach
suggested by the World Health Organization,
people are considered to have a disability if
they have a physical or mental condition or
impairment that restricts them in their ability
to perform activities that are normal for their
stage of development and in their cultural
environment. For Canadian adults these
activities might include such things as
personal care, working, travelling, shopping,
using a telephone or doing daily tasks
around the home. There have been two
dominant approaches to understanding
disability over the past decades. The first
locates disability in the individual and
proposes medical or technical interventions
to treat the disability or provide rehabilitation
so that the individual can function “normally.”
The second locates disability in the
social/cultural environment and argues that
social arrangements make some forms of
human differences into disabilities by failing
to provide the necessary flexibility
and resources.
Disability severity: Statistics Canada
constructed an index to measure severity of
disability based on answers to the 2001
76
Participation and Activity Limitation Survey.
Severity is determined based on the intensity
and frequency of the activity limitations
reported by the respondent.
Since the survey questions differed
depending on the respondent’s age, there
are separate severity ratings for adults
15 years and over, for children under five
and for children aged five to 14. For adults
and for children aged five to 14 severity is
classified into four groups (mild, moderate,
severe and very severe), whereas for
children under five it is divided into two
groups (mild to moderate and severe
to very severe).
The 1991 HALS followed a similar
approach but assigned only three categories
of severity: mild, moderate and severe.
Disability supports: These are goods and
services that assist persons with disabilities
in overcoming barriers to participating fully in
daily living, including economic and social
activities. These supports include, for
example, technical aids and devices;
adaptive equipment; homemaker, attendant
or interpreter services; life skills supports;
physiotherapy and occupational therapy;
home
and
vehicle
modification;
transportation; brokerage and planning
assistance; and respite care. Some people
with
disabilities
prefer
a
more
person-centred term such as “supports for
persons with disabilities”; however, the term
“disability supports” has been most
commonly employed in policy-making.
76 Definitions of Aboriginal people are based on information from the Web site of Indian and Northern Affairs Canada: http://www.ainc-inac.gc.ca
Advancing the Inclusion of Persons with Disabilities
73
Effective practices: These are examples of
initiatives that show promise in supporting
the full inclusion of persons with disabilities.
Some initiatives have proven successful
over the years; others represent new
directions being explored.
First Nation: This term came into common
usage in the 1970s to replace the word
“Indian,” which many people found offensive.
Although the term “First Nation” is widely
used, no legal definition of it exists.
Among its uses, the term “First Nations
peoples” refers to the Indian people in
Canada, including status, non-status and
treaty Indians.
ICF: This stands for the International
Classification of Functioning, Disability and
Health, released by the World Health
Organization in 2001. The ICF is also known
as ICIDH-2 (International Classification of
Impairments, Disabilities and Handicaps)
because it replaces the first ICIDH.
The ICF organizes information about
human experience using three dimensions:
a) The Body (B) dimension classifies
information about body functions and body
structure. Body functions are physiological
or psychological functions of body systems,
while body structures are anatomic parts of
the body such as limbs and organs.
b) The Individual Activities (A) dimension
classifies information covering the complete
range of activities performed by individuals.
Examples include feeding oneself, walking,
driving a vehicle, planning one’s daily
routine, finding a place to live, shopping,
attending school and travelling to work.
c) The Social Participation (P) dimension
classifies areas of life in which individuals
are involved, to which they have access, or
in which they encounter societal opportunities or barriers. Examples are being
74
included in school activities, having access
to public transit for individuals with mobility
impairments, and encountering systemic
barriers to employment based on
gender or ethnicity. Society hinders
participation
by
creating
barriers
(e.g., inaccessible buildings) or by
failing to provide facilitation/services
(e.g., no assistive devices).
The ICF also looks at environmental and
personal factors. Environmental factors
focus on individual/personal environments,
services (formal and informal social
structures and services in the community)
and the overall approach and systems
established in a particular society. Personal
factors include features of the individual that
are not part of functional state or health (e.g.,
age, race, gender, aptitudes and lifestyle).
Indicators: This term refers to two kinds of
indicators, or measures of performance:
societal indicators and program indicators.
Societal indicators are statistical measures
that present information about societal
conditions, such as income distribution and
employment, where it is possible to quantify
how persons with disabilities are faring
in comparison with Canadians without
disabilities. Program indicators provide
information (qualitative or quantitative)
on the extent to which a program,
policy or service is achieving its results. In
this first report on disability programs and
services, the term “indicators” refers to
societal indicators.
Inuit: An Aboriginal people in northern
Canada, who live above the tree line in the
Northwest Territories, and in Northern
Quebec and Labrador. The word means
“People” in the Inuit language-Inuktitut.
The singular of Inuit is Inuk.
Advancing the Inclusion of Persons with Disabilities
Métis: These are people of mixed First
Nation and European ancestry who identify
themselves as Métis people, as distinct from
First Nations, Inuit or non-Aboriginal people.
The Métis have a unique culture that draws
on their diverse ancestral origins, which
include Scottish, French, Ojibway and Cree.
North American Indian: The Constitution
Act, 1982, specifies that Aboriginal people in
Canada consist of Indians, Inuit and Métis
people. The term “Indian” describes all the
Aboriginal people in Canada who are not
Inuit or Métis. In addition, three legal
definitions apply to Indians in Canada: status
Indians, non-status Indians and treaty
Indians.
Statistics
Canada
data
sources such as the census and the
Aboriginal Peoples Survey ask respondents
to identify themselves according to these
legal classifications.
Outcomes: These refer to the differences
that policies, programs and services actually
make in the lives of persons with disabilities.
They also refer to the overall benefits that
the Government’s disability agenda provides
for the community and society. Outcomes
are clear, tangible consequences that are
attributable to the programs or services
provided. They can be immediate, short-term
or long-term. In reporting outcomes, it is
important to recognize that they may be only
indirectly or partially attributable to federal
programs and services, since many other
factors can influence outcomes. Careful
evaluation research is required to
demonstrate and measure the specific
contribution of particular programs.
Advancing the Inclusion of Persons with Disabilities
75
Appendix 3: Program Definitions of Disability
in Selected Programs
he eligibility criteria for programs and
services for persons with disabilities
vary. These criteria are often found in
the programs’ definitions of disability. Some
of the most important definitions of disability
used in Government of Canada programs
are included here. At the request of
Parliament, the Government of Canada is
currently studying the definitions used in
different
legislation
and
programs.
A synthesis document is being developed as
part of this initiative.
T
Canada Pension Plan
Disability Benefits (CPP-D)
(Human Resources Development Canada)
To qualify for CPP Disability, a person must
have made sufficient contributions to CPP
and have a mental or physical disability
which is both severe and prolonged.
“Severe” means that an individual is
incapable of pursuing any substantially
gainful occupation. “Prolonged” means the
disability is long-term, continued and of
indefinite duration or is likely to result in
death. CPP obtains medical evidence from
physicians, but evidence of other aspects of
the disability may be supplied by nurses,
employers, vocational rehabilitation reports,
therapists,
self-reports
and
others.
CPP disability benefits replace a portion of
the earnings of contributors who cannot
work because of a severe and
prolonged disability.
Disability Tax Credit (Canada Customs
and Revenue Agency)
The disability tax credit (DTC) provides tax
assistance to individuals who, because of
76
the effects of a severe and prolonged
impairment, require extensive therapy to
sustain a vital function, or are markedly
restricted in their ability to perform a basic
activity of daily living as certified by
a qualified medical practitioner. Individuals
are markedly restricted if, even with therapy
or the use of appropriate devices and
medication, they are blind or unable
to perform a basic activity of daily living, or
if they require an inordinate amount of time
to perform the activity, all or substantially all
of the time. The basic activities of daily living
are walking; feeding and dressing oneself;
perceiving, thinking and remembering;
speaking;
hearing;
and
eliminating
bodily waste.
Eligibility for the DTC is not based on the
diagnosis of an impairment; rather, it is
based on the severity of the symptoms and
the effect of the impairment on the person’s
ability to carry out a basic activity of daily
living over a continuous and prolonged
period of time. In addition, eligibility for the
DTC is not dependent on an individual’s
qualification under another program, such as
Canada or Quebec Pension Plan disability
benefits, workers’ compensation benefits, or
other types of disability or insurance
benefits. Different programs are designed for
different purposes, and consequently may
have different criteria.
Employment Equity
(Public Service Commission/Treasury
Board)
The Treasury Board, acting on behalf of the
Government of Canada, is a major employer
with obligations under the Employment
Advancing the Inclusion of Persons with Disabilities
Equity Act. Both the Treasury Board and the
Public Service Commission, each acting
within the scope of its powers, duties and
functions under the Financial Administration
Act and the Public Service Employment Act
respectively, are responsible for carrying out
the obligations of an employer under the
Employment Equity Act.
The Employment Equity Act states that
persons with disabilities are persons who
have a long-term or recurring physical,
mental, sensory, psychiatric or learning
impairment and who:
• consider themselves to have reduced
capability to carry out a job function; or
• believe that they risk being placed in this
category by their employer or potential
employer by reason of that impairment.
This includes persons whose functional
limitations owing to their impairment have
been accommodated in their current
job or workplace.
Veterans Disability Pension
(Veterans Affairs Canada)
Veterans may be eligible for disability
pension benefits if they have a permanent
disability resulting from an injury or disease
from the First World War, the Second World
War, the Korean War or a Special Duty Area.
They may also be eligible for a disability
pension if they have a permanent disability
connected with peacetime Regular or
Reserve Force service in the Canadian
Forces. In order to establish the existence of
a disability VAC relies on diagnosis made by
medical doctors and other qualified health
care professionals. Once the relationship to
military service is established, and the extent
of the disability is determined, the resultant
compensation is paid to the client in an
amount related to the extent of the disability,
and in accordance with guidelines
established in the Table of Disabilities.
Advancing the Inclusion of Persons with Disabilities
77
Appendix 4: Key Acronyms
ADI
AHRDS
APS
CCD
CCDS
CCHS
CCSD
CCTB
CDS
CHRA
CIDA
CMHC
CPP
CPP-D
CRTC
DFLE
DTC
EAPD
EEPMP
FAS/FAE
HALS
HASI
HIV/AIDS
HRDC
ICF
INAC
LICO
NCB
NCFV
NIHB
OECD
OF
PALS
PSC
RRAP-D
VAC
WHO
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Aboriginal Diabetes Initiative
Aboriginal Human Resources Development Strategy
Aboriginal Peoples Survey
Council of Canadians with Disabilities
Canadian Centre on Disability Studies
Canadian Community Health Survey
Canadian Council on Social Development
Canada Child Tax Benefit
Canadian Diabetes Strategy
Canadian Human Rights Act
Canadian International Development Agency
Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation
Canada Pension Plan
Disability component of the Canada Pension Plan
Canadian Radio-Television and Telecommunications Commission
Disability-Free Life Expectancy
Disability Tax Credit
Employability Assistance for People with Disabilities
Employment Equity Positive Measures Program
Fetal Alcohol Syndrome/Fetal Alcohol Effects
Health and Activity Limitation Survey
Home Adaptations for Seniors’ Independence
Human Immunodeficiency Virus/Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome
Human Resources Development Canada
International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (2001)
Indian and Northern Affairs Canada
Low-Income Cutoff
National Child Benefit
National Clearinghouse on Family Violence
Non-Insured Health Benefits Program
Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development
Opportunities Fund
Participation and Activity Limitation Survey
Public Service Commission of Canada
Residential Rehabilitation Assistance Program for Persons with Disabilities
Veterans Affairs Canada
World Health Organizations
Advancing the Inclusion of Persons with Disabilities
Contributing Departments and Agencies
s this report has shown, many Government of Canada departments and agencies
have programs and services for persons with disabilities. The departments and
agencies listed below directly contributed information to this report and assisted with
reviews and comments. Their participation is gratefully acknowledged.
A
• Human Resources Development Canada (coordinator)
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Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada
Canada Customs and Revenue Agency
Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation
Canadian Forces
Canadian Heritage
Canadian Human Rights Commission
Canadian Institutes for Health Research
Canadian International Development Agency
Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission
Canadian Transportation Agency
Citizenship and Immigration Canada
Department of Finance
Department of National Defence
Environment Canada
Health Canada
Indian and Northern Affairs Canada
Industry Canada
Justice Canada
National Library of Canada
National Research Council
Privy Council Office
Public Service Commission of Canada
Public Works and Government Services Canada
Social Science and Humanities Research Council
Solicitor General Canada
Status of Women Canada
Statistics Canada
Transport Canada
Treasury Board Secretariat
Veterans Affairs Canada
Western Economic Diversification Canada
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