Government of Canada helping to improve access to the workforce for people with disabilities in Halifax, Nova Scotia

Halifax, Nova Scotia - Providing support to help people with disabilities obtain gainful employment is a key part of the Government of Canada’s plan to create a more inclusive and accessible Canada.Today, the Honourable Carla Qualtrough, Minister of Public Services and Procurement and Accessibility, announced that TEAM Work Cooperative in Halifax, Nova Scotia is receiving support through the Opportunities Fund for Persons with Disabilities (OF) for their employment support project that will encourage greater participation for Canadians with disabilities in the labour market.

Over three years, TEAM Work Cooperative will seek to increase the employability, economic participation, and independence of 95 people living with a permanent physical or mental disability in the Halifax, Truro, and Amherst areas of Nova Scotia.

The Opportunities Fund for Persons with Disabilities administered by Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC),supports a wide range of programs and services, including pre-employability services, job placements, hands-on work experience, access to assistive devices and wrap-around services to help persons with disabilities increase their labour market participation and independence.

As a result of a competitive Call for Proposal process that ran between January and March 2018, ESDC will be working with more than 70 organizations across Canada on projects that support persons with disabilities in preparing for, obtaining and maintaining employment or becoming self-employed.

Through programs like the OF, the Government of Canada works collaboratively with partners in both the public and private sectors to create opportunities for the full participation of people with disabilities in their communities and workplaces, and to help change the way society thinks, talks and acts about disability and accessibility.

“Our country is at its best when governments and organizations work together to ensure all Canadians have an equal opportunity to succeed. This is why the federal Opportunities Fund supports partner organizations such as the TEAM Work Cooperative, that are working to assist people with disabilities in getting the support they need to find and keep good jobs. Everyone benefits when we’re all included, can contribute, and have a chance to earn a living.”
– The Honourable Carla Qualtrough, Minister of Public Services and Procurement and Accessibility

“Today’s announcement is another example of how the Government of Canada is taking action to improve work opportunities and employment outcomes for Canadians with disabilities. I want to thank TEAM Work Cooperative for applying for funding through the Opportunities Fund for Persons with Disabilities and encourage employers to become fully engaged in this program.”
– Andy Filmore, Member of Parliament for Halifax

Quick facts
The Opportunities Fund for Persons with Disabilities (OF) has an annual budget of $40 million.

The Government of Canada is investing an additional $18.4 million over six years to enhance OF program activities through matching services and in-house recruitment and retention strategies for small- and medium-size enterprises with the aim of improving the labour market participation of people with disabilities.

The OF provides financial support to community organizations that assist people with a permanent physical or mental disability that restricts their ability to perform daily activities.

Since its inception in 1997, the OF has helped approximately 110,000 people with disabilities across Canada.

In 2017-2018, 5464 people with disabilities were served through OF programming with 2,447 participants finding employment, 333 returning to school and 3,570 enhancing their employability.