This paper is about work and jobs for people with an intellectual disability. This paper outlines what Inclusion Canada thinks and believes about work and jobs for people with an intellectual disability
What is the issue with work and jobs?
Most adults with an intellectual disability can work. They can have a regular job. But only about 25% have jobs.
Many adults with an intellectual disability do not have jobs. About 75% are unemployed.
There are not many adults with an intellectual disability who work or have jobs. Only 33% are working or looking for a job.
People with an intellectual disability do not make as much money. When they have a job, they earn less. They get less than half of what people without disabilities earn.
Men and women with an intellectual disability have differences when it comes to being employed. Men are more likely to have a job than women.
Many adults with an intellectual disability are left out. They are not included in society. Many live in poverty.
Many people with an intellectual disability have to use income support programs.
Jobs that are only for people with disabilities go against their rights. Models like sheltered workshops go against people’s rights. These models use up resources. They put people into situations that limit their choice for real employment.
Not being able to get a job can have a negative effect. It can affect a person’s finances and security. It also has a negative effect on their well-being. It takes away a sense of purpose and belonging. It can have a negative effect on the country’s economy.
Getting a paid job doesn’t always mean more money. It can mean that adults with an intellectual disability will have less money after they get a job.
An inclusive education is not easy to get. Many young people with an intellectual disability don’t have the chance to get an inclusive education. They do not have the opportunity for supports that will help them get a job. They are not being prepared for inclusive jobs as adults.
There is not enough access to school after high school for people with an intellectual disability.
Information that we know to be true:
Most people with an intellectual disability can work. They can have a regular job. They should be employed at the same rates as people without disabilities.
There is a lot of research and proof on how to make and maintain inclusive jobs. The Government needs to commit to proper plans, supports and resources to do this.
Government funding for wages does not lead to long term jobs.
Employers are ready to hire people. They are willing to create meaningful jobs. They want to hire people with an intellectual disability.
The government of Canada wants the economy to do well. It wants all people to be part of the economy.
Access to education after high school can help people to get a job. About 80% of those who get an education after high school also get a job.
Other factors help people to get and keep a job. This includes being able to get an education. It includes being able to get employment supports. It also includes being able to get transportation.
Most people with an intellectual disability can be supported in their jobs. This can be done in a natural way. It can be done by co-workers and employers.
There are a lot of benefits from inclusive jobs. People have more money. They have increased social contact. They have more control over their decisions and activities. They feel like they belong and their life has meaning.
The employment rate of people with an intellectual disability is very low. It has not gone up in a very long time. There needs to be more resources to change this situation. Governments need to be involved to change the current situation.
Inclusion Canada believes that work and jobs must change to include people with intellectual disability
Inclusion Canada believes that work and jobs must change so people with an intellectual disability can be included. This can happen by taking the following actions.
- Be committed to equal opportunities to have a job. Make sure employment and pay rates are the same as those of people without disabilities.
- Make sure there is choice and opportunity to get a regular job. The level of a person’s disability should not affect this.
- Increase and support the opportunity for regular jobs. Make sure there are suitable supports. Make sure there are accommodations as needed.
- Make sure that people can move from segregated job programs to regular jobs. This will also help to end segregated day programs
- Make sure that people can move out of segregated day programs. Make sure they can move to inclusive activities. This includes providing ongoing support as needed. This will also help to end segregated day programs.
- Make a new federal program that helps youth with an intellectual disability. The program would be for inclusive jobs. This includes having an inclusive job during high school. This would be outside of school hours.
- Limit the use of wage subsidies. Use subsidies only for student jobs that are for youth with and without disabilities. Use the money from the subsidies to help youth get and keep a job.
- Governments need to be leaders at all levels. They need to hire more people with an intellectual disability.
- Increase and maintain the Ready, Willing and Able program. This is a national program with federal funding. It creates inclusive jobs for people with an intellectual disability.