The Discussion Paper 2 is very exciting to read as it does address concerns that have
been bantered back and forth by "welfare" case workers for many years. I have been
with the Region of Halton for 22 years. My latest incarnation will be "Integrated Case
Manager" effective April 2, 2012.
The biggest barrier to employment that people with disabilities face is the negative
attitudes and false assumptions from people they meet. There is a lack of awareness
about the employment potential of people with disabilities. The lack of awareness is
not only with John Q public, but within our own system. That is what makes this Paper
so exciting, it opens up employment opportunities and activities for all of our clients,
not just those perceived as being "employable" or easy to serve.
Educating people about with disabilities will be their greatest asset. That education
must start at home. We know that early intervention is essential for success in either a
return to employment or first time employment. Early supports improve wellbeing and
promote social inclusion.
It would be helpful to access to several assessment tools to identify barriers to
employment. I mention several assessment tools as a cookie cutter approach is
I would like to see a funding approach that would be broadened to include pre-
employment activities, not just the outcome based approach it is now. This way, we can
truly address barriers to employment by reinvesting in our clients.
Lastly, post employment supports are just as important for people with multiple
barriers, people with disabilities, newcomers and the employers they are working for. It
is here that the function of the Job Coach may be best utilized.
I would welcome any further opportunity for input and or discussion.
Ontario Works Case Manager