Finance Minister Jim Flaherty said this includes $26.4 million to be spent over four years to help expand 2 training programs connecting individuals with intellectual disabilities and employers.
This will include $15 million over 3 years for the Canadian Association for Community Living’s (CACL) Ready, Willing and Able initiative. They encourage employers to work with young people with developmental disabilities.
Michael Bach, the executive vice-president of CACL said:
“The assumption is you graduate high school and you go on welfare. That’s the trajectory for people with intellectual disabilities in this country,”
The budget also commits $11.4 million over four years to support vocational training for individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). Sinneave Family Foundation and Autism Speaks Canada is a joint initiative that helps approximately 1,200 young people a year to access vocational training.
Richard Burelle, the executive director of Autism Society Canada said:
“Imagine going to a job interview and not being able to look at the interviewer in the eye,” Burelle said. “For sure you’re not going to get past that stage. So we need to help educate the employer, let them know that these people, if you give them the right environment, they will flourish and they will help your company flourish.”
Margaret Spoelstra, the executive director of Autism Ontario, said she hoped that employers will be encouraged to hire people on the autism spectrum.
“Having those dollars available allows us to provide that type of training that is necessary to help those individuals be competitive in getting jobs,”
The original article by Alex Boutilier on thestar.com website can be read here