April 17, 2013

HUMA Parliamentary Committee: April 16, 2013

On April 16, 2013 Carmela Hutchison, president of the DisAbled Women’s Network of Canada and Bonnie Brayton, Executive Director of the DisAbled Women’s Network of Canada presented at the HUMA Parliamentary Committee on employment opportunities for persons with disabilities.

DAWN Canada’s specific recommendations for employment and for women with disabilities is as follows. First off, priority across all programs must give priority to women who, as you will hear today, have the highest rates of unemployment. Within our population we understand that immigrant, racialized first nations and aboriginal women are experiencing triple discrimination.

Affordable child care is an issue for every parent in this country and for women with disabilities in particular. We must address this as part of a broader national child care strategy.

 Disability supports that make employment possible, including deaf interpreters, deaf readers, home supports, and attendant care must also be provided in order to support the role of women in the workplace. Income support programs for women with disabilities must be enhanced, flexible and transferable. EI sick benefits, in particular, represent a key support for women with disabilities who represent a significant majority of people suffering from episodic illness. Women with breast cancer deserve income supports throughout their treatment.

I refer you to a longer discussion of EI benefits and disabled women presented to Status of Women Canada on March 12, 2009, in which I commented and drew quite heavily on a report of the Caledon Institute of Social Policy.

Finally, accessible and affordable transportation is essential to successful workplace participation.

Read the full presentation here.Open in new window.