At a rate of 75%, pervasive poverty exists among adults with intellectual disabilities, significantly restricting income security and disability supports to ensure a good life in community. The average income for working age people with an intellectual disability is less than half of that of Canadians without a disability, and nearly half of working-age people with an intellectual disability are on provincial/territorial social assistance as their primary source of income as people with an intellectual disability are discriminated against with respect to paid employment options.
People with an intellectual disability must have the income and resources they need to secure a good quality of life and fully participate in all aspects of their communities. Where income support is required to assure income security, it must provide an adequate and appropriate income in a progressive, responsive and non‐punitive manner. People with an intellectual disability must have the means to live life with dignity.
People with an intellectual disability and their families have the income and resources they need to secure a good quality of life and fully participate in all aspects of their communities.
Inclusion Canada is currently participating in the Government of Canada’s poverty reduction strategy. Inclusion Canada and People First of Canada, along with the Council of Canadians with Disabilities and other partners, undertook a five-year research initiative on ways to address persistent poverty. Our concluding recommendations to government point to the need for federal investment in a ‘basic income’ program to meet income security needs of people with significant disabilities.
The first step in the proposed program would be to make the Disability Tax Credit refundable, so that low-income Canadians with significant disabilities who do not pay tax because of limited or no income could begin to get some relief for their out-of-pocket disability-related expenses. Additionally, a reinvestment agreement with provincial/territorial governments is required so that the resulting savings in social assistance payments would be invested in expanding access to individualized and person-directed disability-related supports that enable accessibility and inclusion. Inclusion Canada continues to work with its national allies to push for this systemic change.
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