There are over 6.2 million people in Canada living with disabilities, accounting for roughly 22% of the population. Of the 22% of Canadians aged 15 and older living with at least one disability, many are unemployed and live below the poverty line. Approximately 2.6 million of these individuals reside in Ontario, and although most of them are more than capable, statistics show that the majority of individuals with disabilities remain unemployed.
Add to that the stagnating rates of ODSP (Ontario Disability Support Program), we see an urgent and ongoing need to accommodate this sector of the population by providing the proper access to education and training.
Therefore, these capable individuals can begin to lead more fulfilling lives and become contributing members of society. Unfortunately, the needs of individuals with disabilities are not being adequately serviced within Ontario. A lack of funding is the primary cause for this inadequacy.
We find the programs that are available are often expensive and already have extensive waiting lists. These barriers have made it difficult to reach the growing number of individuals living with disability to provide beneficial, and sometimes necessary, programs and services.