Ontario introduces employment plan for people with disabilities

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long term disability lawyers

The long term disability lawyers at Neinstein Personal Injury Lawyers work hard to improve their clients’ lives through a variety of measures. Our team’s primary aim is to ensure victims’ access to leading medical care and compensation for their injuries. The end goal is to help clients regain control over their lives. Finding employment is an important part of that process.

Ontario’s disabled population suffers from high levels of unemployment. According to estimates from the provincial government, approximately 60,000 disabled people between the ages of 18 to 29 currently receive monetary assistance. To fight this problem, Queen’s Park revealed on June 5 a new strategy called Access Talent: Ontario’s Employment Strategy for People with Disabilities. Neinstein’s long term disability lawyers strongly support efforts by the province to improve the employment opportunities for Ontarians living with disabilities. However, the plan remains imperfect.

The province’s plan

“People with disabilities are underrepresented in Ontario’s labour market and that needs to change,” said Minister Responsible for Accessibility Tracy MacCharles in a provincial release announcing the plan. “By accessing the diverse talents of people with disabilities, businesses and our economy as a whole will become more competitive. That’s why this strategy is so important.”

Access Talent includes four key initiatives that the province believes will help increase employment for people with disabilities and connect businesses to talent. These include:

  • Helping students and young people reach their employment goals through the launch of a new pilot that provides individualized and coordinated services and support.
  • Enlisting businesses as partners through an online platform that will make it easier for employers, people with disabilities, and the public to connect and share their knowledge.
  • Introducing a new Supported Employment program through Employment Ontario to help streamline employment and training services in order to meet the needs of both job seekers and employers.
  • Leading by example. The government will aim to raise awareness and influence public attitudes through education.

Concerns with the plan

While most accessibility experts and long term disability lawyers are happy to see the government take action to help Ontarians with disabilities, several have noted areas for concern. Pina d’Intino, who lost her vision following an unsuccessful surgery, was disappointed with the lack of focus on older individuals with disabilities. She told the CBC that the government should consider “how that mature work force can actually help youngsters coming into the workforce by providing them some really strong mentorships, coaching, some skills.

In an email to the CBC, David Lepofsky of the Access for Ontarians with Disabilities Act Alliance said the strategy is “mainly high-level, long-term concepts, that could take years before there are any results.”

“After years of waiting,” he continued, “what we need instead is a plan to hit the ground running now, with immediate, practical action.”

Contact Neinstein’s long term disability lawyers

Despite its deficiencies, Neinstein Personal Injury Lawyers is pleased with the Government of Ontario’s action plan, and looks forward to further provincial efforts to improve the lives of people living with disabilities. If you or a member of your family has suffered a serious accident, contact Neinstein’s long term disability lawyers to learn how we can help you on your road to recovery.

Greg Neinstein, B.A. LLB., is the Managing Partner at Neinstein Personal Injury Lawyers LLP. His practice focuses on serious injury and complex insurance claims, including motor vehicle accidents, slip and fall injuries, long-term disability claims and insurance claims. Greg has extensive mediation and trial experience and has a reputation among his colleagues as a skillful negotiator.
Greg Neinstein
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