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Employment Issues Discussed in 2nd Coalition Submission to Social Assistance Review

After meeting with the Commission for the Review of Social Assistance in early July, the ODSP Action Coalition decided we should do a follow-up submission on key issues and questions that emerged during our discussion with the Commiission.  These issues include: whether people with disabilities should be divided into two groups--those who can work, and those who cannot work; whether there should be a requirement for people with disabilities to work, or to agree to treatment or rehabilitation in order to get income support; and whether the Accessibility for People with Disabilities Act is effective in removing barriers and making workplaces fully accommodating.  We also stress in this submission that there are some good things in the ODSP Act, such as a definition of disability that recognizes that disability is not just a medical issue but includes factors like social barriers.  Although the Coalition has always had lots of complaints about the way current program is run, we believe that many improvements could be made withing the existing ODSP framework.  Rather than putting in new mandatory requirments which could penalize people with disabilitiies, the government should provide better training, education and community participation opportunities, and work out a labour market strategy to find and develop good jobs for people with disabilities.