Holding in the Storm - my life with autism - the purpose of this dramatic film is to build awareness, break down barriers, encourage inclusion, and engage on-going dialogue about adults with Autism -
OTTAWA, Ontario April 2, 2014 /Canada NewsWire/ - The Honourable Candice Bergen, Minister of State (Social Development), today recognized World Autism Awareness Day, addressing the crowd gathered on Parliament Hill for the second annual Autism on the Hill event.
Minister Bergen highlighted measures in Economic Action Plan 2014 that help Canadians with disabilities, specifically those with Autism Spectrum Disorders, get vocational training and access to new employment opportunities. By supporting the development of a skilled workforce, the Government is ensuring that Canadians, including those with disabilities, have the opportunity to reach their full potential in the job market.
The Ready, Willing & Able initiative will support up to 1,200 new jobs for Canadians with Autism Spectrum developmental disabilities, expand existing activities in 20 communities, and enable the Canadian Association for Community Living to host 40 employer forums.
The CommunityWorks initiative will expand a network of vocational training programs in centres across Canada to create employment opportunities for individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorders. It is estimated that approximately 1,200 youth with Autism Spectrum Disorders will benefit from this initiative each year.
- Through Economic Action Plan 2013, the Government:
- increased ongoing funding for the Opportunities Fund for Canadians with Disabilities to $40 million per year so even more Canadians with disabilities can get training for in-demand jobs;
- provided $222 million annually over the next four years, matched by the provinces and territories, through a new generation of Labour Market Agreements for Canadians with Disabilities.
"Autism Spectrum Disorders impact many families and individuals from all walks of life. Under the leadership of Prime Minister Harper, we have made it a priority to ensure that individuals with these disorders are not marginalized, but instead given the opportunity to thrive."
-The Honourable Candice Bergen, Minister of State (Social Development)
Through Economic Action Plan 2014, the Government of Canada will support two complementary initiatives that align with the findings and recommendations of the Panel on Labour Market Opportunities for Persons with Disabilities—a panel created by the Government to identify successes and best practices, as well as the barriers that employers face, in the employment of Canadians with disabilities.
The Ready, Willing & Able initiative, coordinated by the Canadian Association for Community Living (CACL), engages employers to hire and support youth and working-age adults with developmental disabilities, including those with intellectual disabilities and Autism Spectrum Disorders.
The Government encourages the inclusion of all working-age Canadians in the workforce. Canadians with disabilities face unique barriers to employment despite being willing and able to participate in the job market.
Economic Action Plan 2014 proposes to invest $15 million over three years to expand the Ready, Willing & Able initiative to help support up to 1,200 new jobs for Canadians with developmental disabilities. With additional funding, CACL can expand existing activities to 20 community-based locations across Canada and host 40 employer forums.
The CommunityWorks initiative is a vocational training program for individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder.
Economic Action Plan 2014 proposes to invest $11.4 million over four years to support the Sinneave Family Foundation and Autism Speaks Canada as they move to expand a network of vocational training programs in urban centres across Canada that will help to create employment opportunities for individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorders. The Sinneave Family Foundation estimates that once fully implemented, approximately 1,200 youth with Autism Spectrum Disorder will benefit each year. The centres will also offer regionally tailored programming for youth with Autism Spectrum Disorder.
The Government recognizes the importance of supporting the economic and social inclusion of Canadians with disabilities. To further help Canadians with disabilities in the workforce, the Government is also:
- introducing a new generation of Labour Market Agreements for Persons with Disabilities with an investment of$222 million per year to better meet the employment needs of Canadian businesses and improve the employment prospects for Canadians with disabilities;
- extending the Enabling Accessibility Fund on an ongoing basis at $15 million per year to improve accessibility in facilities across Canada, including workplaces; and
- providing funding of $7 million per year for the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, some of which will support research related to the labour market participation of Canadians with disabilities.
Other measures to connect Canadians with available jobs and equip them with the skills and training they need include the Canada Job Grant, creating opportunities for apprentices and providing support to under-represented groups, including Canadians with disabilities, Aboriginal people, newcomers and youth.