Three Regional Projects to Expand Job Opportunities for Adults with Developmental Disabilities

March 26th, 2013

Community Living British Columbia has announced that Thompson-Cariboo, Central-Upper Vancouver Island and Simon Fraser have been selected as the three BC regions to host a community pilot project focused on increasing job opportunities for adults with developmental disabilities in BC who are able and want to work.

Today’s announcement delivers on a commitment in CLBC’s Community Action Employment Plan, released earlier this month, to establish community partnerships that are tailored to the labour characteristics of a region and that build on a region’s strengths. The projects will begin in April and identify best practices that can be expanded to other regions of the province in 2014.

Development of the pilot projects under the CLBC Community Action Employment Plan will help accomplish the following objectives:

  • Enhance co-ordination of services provided by CLBC and the Employment Program of BC.
  • Ensure youth and families are better prepared for employment as part of their future and streamline their transition from school to employment.
  • Set local employment targets – particularly for young adults transitioning to CLBC services.
  • Educate employers about safeguards and benefits of hiring adults with developmental disabilities.
  • Celebrate inclusive employers.
  • Support individuals who want to work to shift from day services to employment services.
  • Promote collaboration among CLBC, community councils, self-advocates, families, employers, service providers, schools, colleges and other community stakeholders.

“For those who are able to work, the independence that can come with earning your own pay check can benefit a person’s quality of life. The more we can do across-government to improve the hiring landscape for people with developmental disabilities the better,” said BC Minister of Social Development, Moira Stilwell, M.D. “CLBC, together with the Employment Program of BC, are committed to making sure these pilot projects are successful at opening doors and creating more opportunities for people with developmental disabilities who want to work.”

“More people with developmental disabilities are telling us they want to work,” said CLBC interim chief executive officer Doug Woollard. “While the CLBC Community Action Employment Plan that we released earlier this month is a province-wide initiative, the consultation process that led up to it confirmed that, to be successful, much of the work needs to happen locally. The local pilots we are undertaking will build on a strong local track record of success and become models for other B.C. communities in the coming years.”

The Community Action Employment Plan complements a wide range of housing, employment, inclusion and community supports CLBC provides to over 15,000 adults with developmental disabilities across BC through a network of service providers and community offices. CLBC will use existing resources to support the development and implementation of the pilot projects and the Community Action Employment Plan.

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