People With Disabilities Deserve Jobs: Official

Posted Mar 2, 2010

With the help of a new community support campaign, it's going to be easier for people with disabilities to showcase their talent as part of Ontario's workforce.

"We want to ensure that all Ontarians have the opportunities and tools they need to reach their full potential," said Kristen Tedesco, communications coordinator for the Ministry of Community and Social Services.

Provincewide, more than 150 service providers have signed on to help hundreds of people with a wide range of disabilities find jobs.

The campaign aims to create employment opportunities for Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP) clients, while working to change attitudes toward the value of disabled community members in the workplace, both from the perspective of potential employers as well as from disabled people themselves.

"The campaign is two-fold: it helps employers identify talent and create a more inclusive workplace, while at the same time helping people with disabilities discover and apply their skills in the workforce," Tedesco said.

Through the campaign, employers and potential employees can connect with employment support agencies that offer a range of employment services, including job matching and help with training and retention.

The majority of these services are free of charge.

People who leave the ODSP for paid work may be eligible for a $500 Employment Transition Benefit, as well as automatically receiving a $100 work-related benefit to help with costs, such as transportation or clothing.

"We also increased the maximum deduction for informal child-care costs from $390 to $600 per month per child to provide another child-care option for working parents," she said.

In addition to these measures, in April 2009, the ministry exempted as income and assets the earnings of social assistance recipients attending full-time post-secondary education.

"We simplified rules around earnings exemptions, so for people on ODSP, the more you work, the more money you keep," Tedesco said.

For more information on the campaign, visit

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