Equality of Rights of People with Disabilities
Monday, July 09, 2012
The Canadian Human Rights Commission has released a ground breaking new study which highlights the opportunities and barriers people with disabilities face in Canada. The study, The Equality of Rights of People with Disabilities, compares people with disabilities to those without across many different categories like education, employment, health, housing and economic well-being.
"This is the first comprehensive examination of how disability affects equality of opportunity in daily life," Acting Chief Commissioner David Langtry said. "It provides a benchmark that will enable Canadians to track progress and identify barriers that deny people with disabilities the full opportunity to make for themselves the lives they wish to have.
The entire report is an excellent read and definitely worth looking at. The dataset is rich and provides an in-depth view of many of the issues facing people with disabilities. As we are a career centre, we found the section on employment and disabilities particularly interesting. Here are some of the highlights:
"Proportionately, 19.9% fewer adults with disabilities are employed all year than adults without disabilities. In addition, proportionately 23.4% more adults with disabilities are not in the labour force all year."
People with disabilities who are looking for work are significantly under-represented both in the labour force (looking for work) and those who are not in the labour force (not looking for work).
For people below the age of 55, the proportion of men and women with disabilities who hold permanent employment is significantly less than people without disabilities. However, for people over the age of 55, the opposite is true as people with disabilities stay permanently employed in the workforce longer.
Moving beyond labour force participation, the study also reported on how people with disabilities experienced discrimination in finding and keeping employment. Highlights include:
"A noteworthy proportion of adults with disabilities report being disadvantaged in employment due to their condition in each labour force category."
"A notable proportion of adults with disabilities report believing that an employer would likely consider them disadvantaged in employment."
"The proportion of adults with disabilities who report believing that an employer would likely consider them disadvantaged is particularly high for those who are not in the labour force."
Many people with disabilities are still reporting discrimination in their job search and also at their place of employment. But it is people who are out of the labour force who report very high levels of discrimination in employment, with almost 30% believing that an employer would consider them disadvantaged in employment.
We highly recommend anyone interested in the status of persons with disabilities in Canada give the entire report a read. The Report on Equality Rights of People with Disabilities can be obtained from the Commission's website at chrc-ccdp.gc.ca.