Highlighting October’s National Disability Employment Awareness Month

By: Ashley Tulio, Communications Specialist

October is National Disability Employment Awareness Month! The purpose is to promote inclusion for people who experience disability and to celebrate the various contributions of workers with disabilities. This annual awareness campaign has occurred within the United States every October since 1945 and has spread and gained attention within Canada among multiple provinces. Within these provinces, businesses and employers are encouraged to participate in the nationwide campaign that brings attention to positive contributions that employees with disabilities make within North American workplaces.

Language Disability 

There are various different types of disabilities. As a part of the language services industry it is important to bring awareness to language-based learning disability (LBLD), which refers to a spectrum of difficulties related to the understanding and use of spoken and written language. LBLD results from a combination of both neurobiological differences and also environmental factors. A few solutions may include, specialized instructions and guided practice aimed at remediating specific areas of weaknesses.

There are also two main types of language disorders:

  • Expressive language disorder: Individuals having trouble getting their messages across when they talk.
  • Receptive language disorder: Individuals struggling to get the meaning of what others are saying. Language disorders can often be developmental, starting from childhood and continuing into adulthood. Language disorders overall impact how people communicate.

Within Canada, Employment and Social Development has programs and opportunities for persons with disabilities.

1)  Opportunities Fund for Persons with Disabilities: Introduced in 1997 and assists persons with disabilities to prepare for, obtain and maintain employment, overall increasing their economic independence and participation within the labour force. This program was made to help Canadians with disabilities who have little or no labour market attachment.

2)  Employment Equity Program: The program enforces the mandatory Legislated Employment Equity Program (LEEP) which promotes, supports and enhances employment equity for four designated groups: women, Aboriginal peoples, people with disabilities and members of visible minorities.

3)  Enabling Accessibility Fund: This is a federal grants and contributions program that supports capital costs of construction and renovations related to improving physical accessibility and safety for people with disabilities in Canadian communities and workplaces.

4)  Labour Market Development Agreements: Previously called the Labour Market Agreements for Persons with Disabilities (LMAPDs), these are the single largest federal government investment to help Canadians with disabilities to obtain a job. The new generation of agreements will better connect Canadians with disabilities with available jobs.

5)  Registered Disability Savings Plan (RDSP): The RDSP is a savings plan intended to help parents and others save for the long-term financial security of a person who is eligible for the disability tax credit.

In 2016, the Government of Canada also launched a website called Accessible Canada, encouraging Canadians to share ideas on how to make Canada more accessible, which led to the success of marking the largest and most accessible consultation on disability issues that Canada has ever seen. As a result, the Accessible Canada Act was established in 2019.

For more information about any of the above programs and funding opportunities please click here.