CAD Demands Action on Deaf Employment

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CAD Demands Action on Deaf Employment

March 10, 2013

On March 5th, 2013, CAD Executive Director Jim Roots made a presentation to the federal government’s Standing Committee on Human Resources, Skills and Social Development and the Status of Persons with Disabilities.

The subject of the Committee’s agenda was “Employment Opportunities for Persons with Disabilities”.

In 1988, the CAD reported that only 20% of Deaf Canadians were fully employed. In 1998, the CAD discovered that nothing had changed over ten years: the rate of full employment was still 20%.

Since that time, the government has refused to provide funding to collect updated data on Deaf employment. Apparently, they are afraid of learning that after 25 years the employment rate might still be only 20% in 2013.

After the CAD’s 1998 survey, we negotiated project funding agreements with the federal government that made it possible for the CAD to create 150 new jobs and training opportunities for Deaf Canadians. This five-year program was called the National Deaf Jobs Strategy.

All of those funding programs have been eliminated by the government. They have not been replaced by any new funding programs.

The CAD called upon the Standing Committee to recommend a new National Deaf Jobs Strategy with appropriate funding support. We pointed out that the Internet has opened up whole new worlds of employment opportunities for Deaf Canadians, especially in self-employment and entrepreneurship. The federal government needs to be pro-active in supporting Deaf Canadians to find jobs and training in the “New Economy”.