Supporting and encouraging meaningful employment opportunities for people with disabilities in B.C.
B.C. has the highest labour participation rate for people with disabilities in Canada by 2024.
How We Measure Success
The labour market participation gap for persons with disabilities in B.C. is the narrowest in Canada.
- Provided $240,171 to renovate buildings owned by the Kootenay Region Association for Community Living in Creston and the Trail Association for Community Living. Seven job-seekers are gaining valuable work experience in the process as part of a Job Creation Partnership
- Created access assistant jobs for people with disabilities through a Job Creation Partnership with the Rick Hansen Foundation, in partnership with the Victoria Disability Resource Centre and WorkBC Employment Services Centres. Participants will complete about 90 on-site accessibility surveys of medium- and large-sized buildings and community locations in Victoria and the Lower Mainland
- Provided $40,000 to the Applied Science Technologists and Technicians of B.C. association to study different barriers to employment, as well as new opportunities, for people with disabilities to work in the technology industry
- Providing eligible single parents on income or disability assistance, like Kirstin, with supports to assist them to overcome barriers and get back into the workforce
- Aligning post-secondary education and training with the top 100 occupations listed in the British Columbia 2025 Labour Market Outlook as well as priority health occupations, regional labour priorities, and programs for Aboriginal people and people with disabilities
- Providing open education resources to make textbooks more accessible to people with disabilities through the BC Open Textbook Project
- Providing $1 million to support students with special needs at unique independent schools
- Through the Canada-BC Job Grant, offering skills training projects that support B.C.’s regional labour-market demands and provide opportunities to youth, women, persons with disabilities, Aboriginal people, immigrants and other eligible participants to receive training, as well as industry-recognized certificates or credentials. Examples include:
- Training over 200 people with disabilities, Aboriginal people and youth for employment in the food service industry
- Providing Aboriginal students with the skills they need to care for individuals with disabilities who are living in long-term care or in their homes through a partnership with the College of New Caledonia (CNC) and the the Tl’azt’en Nation
- Investing $9 million over three years to the Technology@Work program, for assistive technologies that support employment for people with disabilities. See stories and examples from the Technology@Work program
- Invested $4 million in disability awareness training for staff and faculty, incorporating universal design principles into curriculum, and developing pilot courses specifically for persons with disabilities
- Expanded the Shoulder Tapper Program, which provides work experience for students, to all school districts in the province, with students with a disability identified as a focus area for the work
- Through the Presidents Group, encouraging employers to hire more people with disabilities and to collectively share their learning on recruitment, hiring and retention of employees with disabilities
- The Presidents Group has hired two accessibility and inclusion consultants to research, pilot and develop a toolkit of resources and processes to support B.C. businesses to become more inclusive employers
- Providing services to unemployed British Columbians who are looking for work, including people with disabilities, through the Employment Program of BC
- In collaboration with Community Living BC, providing sector training to WorkBC Employment Services Center staff focused on delivering services to people with complex, multiple disabilities
- Provided employment services to over 71,000 clients with disabilities at the WorkBC Employment Service Centres
- Through the Health Authorities, provide a range of employment and education supports for mental health and substance use clients
- Declared September as Disability Employment Month, with events and activities taking place province-wide to celebrate employees with disabilities and their employers
- Providing $892,000 over three years to Connectra Society to research the use of volunteer mentors to help people with disabilities become job-ready
- Partnered with the Rick Hansen Foundation to develop the Increasing Accessibility in BC Job Creation (PDF) Pilot Project, where people with disabilities were trained as accessibility specialists to complete site evaluations
- Through Community Living BC, launched the Community Action Employment Plan to support more individuals with developmental disabilities in realizing their employment goals
Read more about what we've done over the last year in the Year Two Progress Update.