May 26, 2022 Gatineau, Quebec Employment and Social Development Canada
On May 29th, Canada will kick-off National AccessAbility Week (NAAW). This week is a time to recognize and celebrate the contributions of persons with disabilities, to lift up individuals and organizations who are removing barriers, and to recommit the work ahead to make Canada a truly disability inclusive country.
In advance of the nationwide celebrations for NAAW, the Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Disability Inclusion, Carla Qualtrough, joined the disability community and opened the Government of Canada’s first Canadian Congress on Disability Inclusion (CCDI). The CCDI is taking place May 26 and 27, 2022, with the theme of “Innovating Together: Celebrating and Driving Disability Inclusion in Canada.”
In her remarks, the Minister spoke about the realities and experiences of persons with disabilities today, the advancement of disability rights, and the work ahead to realize disability inclusion in Canada. The Minister gave updates on the Government of Canada’s Disability Inclusion Action Plan and the Canada Disability Benefit. Specifically, the Minister noted that the Action Plan will be released during NAAW and that the Government will re-table Canada Disability Benefit legislation before the end of June.
The CCDI is an accessible, virtual and interactive two-day event, open to all. It offers a variety of activities, including: networking sessions, an innovation showcase, and a career fair. Featuring some of Canada’s most diverse and inclusive employers on the lookout for talent, the CCDI career fair provides a unique opportunity for persons with disabilities in search of meaningful work opportunities. Congress participants and attendees also have access to panel discussions and presentations from leading motivational speakers who are bringing fresh perspectives on accessibility in the 21st century.
As National AccessAbility Week draws near, this week serves as a reminder for all Canadians to acknowledge the remarkable efforts made by individuals and communities to advance accessibility and disability inclusion in Canada. All Canadians are encouraged to visit the following link for more information, where they will also be able register in advance to watch this important and exciting event: https://pheedloop.com/CCA2022/site/home/.
“Persons with disabilities are still far too excluded from society in Canada, but as a community, we are changing that. Every piece of progress we have made, from the Accessible Canada Act to the upcoming Canada Disability Benefit legislation is the result of the advocacy and ground work of the disability community. The Canadian Congress on Disability Inclusion is a chance to celebrate that progress, and to recommit to the work ahead to realize real, meaningful disability inclusion in Canada.”
– Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Disability Inclusion, Carla Qualtrough
- According to the 2017 Canadian Survey on Disability, more than 6 million Canadians aged 15 and over (22% of the population) identify as having a disability, and more than 1 in 10 youth in Canada have one or more disabilities. Despite being ready and willing to work, the employment rates among persons with disabilities are much lower than those of Canadians without disabilities—59% versus 80%.
- Improving the lives and livelihoods for persons with disabilities is a key priority for the Government of Canada. Budget 2022 proposed to provide an investment of $272.6 million over five years to support the implementation of the Employment Strategy for Persons with Disabilities to help address labour market shortages and make workplaces in Canada more disability inclusive and accessible.
- On September 23, 2020, the Government committed in its Speech from the Throne to create Canada’s first-ever Disability Inclusion Action Plan.
- National AccessAbility Week is taking place May 29 to June 4, 2022. This is a nationwide week of recognition, celebrating the many social, economic, cultural and political achievements of persons with disabilities. It is also a time to amplify the efforts underway to ensure persons with disabilities have the supports and tools that they need to participate fully in all aspects of Canadian society. The theme for NAAW 2022 is: “Inclusive from the Start. Imagine a Canada where no one is left out. A Canada that doesn’t just accommodate disability, but one that is disability inclusive from the start. That’s the Canada we deserve. That’s the Canada we are creating – for everyone”.
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