Labour market integration of persons with disabilities

Current and Completed Projects:

Long-term Case Studies of Work Integration Social Enterprises (WISE) in British Columbia

The BC Centre for Employment Excellence (CfEE) is conducting a five-year demonstration project to evaluate the role of WISEs in supporting the labour market transitions of populations facing barriers to developing their career potential. The project is partnering with a minimum three WISEs in locations outside of Vancouver and Victoria to provide transitional employment opportunities for different groups of vulnerable populations, including people with disabilities, immigrants, and Indigenous people. The pilot involves a series of case studies to provide a better understanding of WISE capacity to serve barriered job seekers as well as the employment outcomes of participants who receive placements with the project's WISE partners. By combining research that examines both WISE capacity development and participant long-term employment outcomes, this study is designed to offer unique insights into the needs of WISEs who serve job seekers facing significant barriers to employment, as well as the benefits that accrue to participants whom they employ.

Start-end date: June 2017 - March 2022
Sponsor: Employment and Social Development Canada

Developing Provincial/Territorial Capacity for Innovation in Employment and Training Services

Following a Fall 2016 Best Practices session convened for the Forum of Labour Market Ministers (FLMM), SRDC is meeting with provincial and territorial labour market officials to share knowledge about labour market programming. The meetings, which include presentations highlighting innovation in the design and delivery of programs, aim to identify opportunities to promote innovation through learning exchange and collaboration among jurisdictions.

Start-end date: April 2017 - March 2018
Sponsor: Employment and Social Development Canada

Employer tools for workplace mental health

The Mental Health Commission of Canada (MHCC) has been leading efforts to establish a mentally healthy workplace culture in Canada, starting with the National Standard for Psychological Health and Safety in the Workplace. There are many resources to help employers implement the Standard and support workplace mental health more generally, but these may be difficult to locate and use. MHCC is leading an initiative to develop a free, online, bilingual electronic tool to bring these resources together and make them easy for employers to use. SRDC has been engaged to conduct a curated inventory of relevant resources, advise on current gaps, and to provide recommendations on how to address these.

Start-end date: January 2017 - March 2017
Sponsor: Mental Health Commission of Canada

Feasibility Study of the Ontario Community Employment Loan Program

The BC Centre for Employment Excellence received a grant from the Vancouver Foundation to conduct a feasibility study of the Ontario Community Employment Loan Program (CELP). In 2006, Social Capital Partners introduced CELP, a social finance instrument, aimed at facilitating access to subordinated debt financing to the private sector – small business owners and franchisees – who agree to hire individuals with disadvantages in the labour market. The program was designed to achieve twin objectives: 1) borrowers received beneficial financing terms and free services from CELP to find pre-screened job candidates; and 2) job seekers supported by community agencies had opportunities for real employment. The Centre conducted the study in collaboration with Vancity Community Foundation and MSDSI Accessibility Secretariat to gain a better understanding of CELP that is currently underway in Ontario to support a discussion among the study partners to establish its potential for implementation in BC.

Start-end date: September 2016 - January 2017
Sponsor: Vancouver Foundation

Forum of Labour Market Ministers' Senior Officials – Best Practices Session

SRDC was responsible for organizing a half-day session to share innovative approaches, lessons learned, and research and evaluation on labour market programs and service delivery strategies. It featured presentations from a number of jurisdictions on recent projects and initiatives to identify best practices, improve program effectiveness, and foster innovation. SRDC staff presented on three SRDC projects in this area, teaming up with provincial Senior Officials who provided context on how the projects respond to their respective program and policy objectives. SRDC was also responsible for producing an Event Report summarizing the discussion.

Start-end date: September 2016 - September 2016
Sponsor: Employment and Social Development Canada

Labour Market Transfer Agreements summary report

Employment and skills training programming and services in Canada are supported and delivered by federal, provincial, and territorial governments. The federal government provides almost $3 billion annually to provinces and territories through four major bilateral transfer agreements to support training and employment programming for Canadians. The design and delivery of the programs and services funded under these agreements are the responsibility of provinces and territories. This includes programs and services for unemployed workers eligible for Employment Insurance (EI), individuals without recent or sustained labour market attachment (non-EI insured), low-skilled workers, employers, persons with disabilities, and older workers. The 2016 Federal Budget announced new investments for 2016-17 totaling an additional $175 million. This is the first step in a plan to boost support for skills and training through the transfer agreements. To further ensure that these agreements continue to be relevant, flexible, and responsive to new and emerging labour market needs and priorities, the federal, provincial, and territorial governments have collaboratively embarked on a process in the summer 2016 to gather stakeholder input on these important investments. SRDC summarizes the outcomes of the consultations related to the labour market agreements renewal in this report.

Start-end date: August 2016 - September 2016
Sponsor: Ministère du Travail, de l’Emploi et de la Solidarité sociale du Québec

Personal income information for disabilities assistance recipients

This project develops a state-of-the-art income calculator website for British Columbians receiving disability assistance (PWDs) and trains employment services centre case managers in its use. The site is designed to improve access to accurate income information for PWDs, including (a) income estimations for specific job opportunities and (b) a personal account where they can keep track of their earning exemption totals and see the effect that earnings have on their Disability Assistance payments. Case managers introduce their PWD clients to the tool and help them to enter the required information. The project aims to improve clients’ understanding of the effect that earnings and moving in and out of work will have on their Disability Assistance Benefits and overall income. It should raise their confidence in the financial consequences of their employment decisions and reduce financial apprehension when moving into employment. The project is designed as an experimental demonstration to quantify the impact of implementation of the Income Calculator on PWDs’ financial security, their willingness and motivation to seek employment opportunities, and improvements in their medium-to long-term employment outcomes.

Start-end date: February 2016 - January 2019
Sponsor: British Columbia Ministry of Social Development and Social Innovation

HR Policies and Best Practices Toolkit for Restaurants

The BC Centre for Employment Excellence (CfEE) with its partner, MacLeod Silver HR Business Partners, developed an HR Policies and Best Practices Toolkit for Restaurants Canada's 30,000+ members. The toolkit produced supports the objectives of Restaurants Canada to provide its member restaurants with tools on how to recruit and retain employees, particularly those from underrepresented groups such as people with disabilities, aboriginals, new immigrants, and youth. The ultimate aim of this project is to produce an accessible and practical set of tools and resources to enable small- and medium-sized restaurants to achieve the workforce benefits of being more inclusive employers.

Start-end date: November 2015 - March 2016
Sponsor: Restaurants Canada

Identifying leading disability-confident companies in Vancouver

The project aims to develop a list of leading companies that have implemented inclusive practices and made their workplaces welcoming to persons with disabilities. The list will be shared with service providers in the employment services sector in BC, with a view to increase labour market access for persons with disabilities.

Start-end date: November 2015 - May 2016
Sponsor: Vancouver Foundation

The Employment Navigator Pilot Project

The project involves new cross-systems partnerships working collectively to improve employment opportunities for individuals in supportive housing. The proposed model is a new and untried approach that pairs two distinct evidence-based approaches in housing and employment — Housing First and Customized Employment. The approaches place an "employment navigator" in the supportive housing location to link housing with Customized Employment and other employment services for tenants who are in stable and permanent housing. This is consistent with an underlying principle behind Housing First, which is that people are better able to move forward once housing is stable. The project will operate in two residences in Vancouver’s downtown eastside. The evaluation strategy involves both implementation research and case studies. The BC Centre for Employment Excellence is partnering with the Lookout Emergency Aid Society and the Open Door Group to develop and implement this project.

Start-end date: October 2015 - September 2018
Sponsor: British Columbia Ministry of Social Development and Social Innovation

Women Gaining Ground Research Study

SRDC was engaged by the United Way of Greater Toronto to inform the further development of their Career Navigator program to better meet the needs of young women facing multiple barriers to employment, by gaining a deeper understanding of the challenges and service/support needs of this group. The study includes a systematic literature and evidence review, and interviews and focus groups to identify and understand: the main barriers (environmental/external and personal) that young women facing multiple barriers are experiencing while transitioning into the labour market; evidence-informed and promising approaches for serving young women with multiple barriers; how the current Career Navigator program is addressing barriers and where there might be gaps; and how adjustments to program design/delivery can be implemented in a way that works for both jobseekers and employers.

Start-end date: September 2015 - January 2016
Sponsor: United Way of Greater Toronto

Incremental cost of living as a result of being a person with a disability in Ontario

SRDC conducted empirical research to estimate the incremental cost of living as a result of being a person with disability, relative to the cost of living experienced by non-disabled adults, for Ontario. This data analysis is based on a literature review of research (particularly in methodology development) on measuring the additional needs for people with disabilities; analysis of applicability of identified models to the Ontario context; and investigation of internal/external data available to estimate incremental cost of living for disabled people in Ontario. The final product is a report that (a) reviews the most commonly adopted methodologies in evaluating the additional direct costs incurred by people with a disability, including pros and cons of each method, (b) evaluates the robustness or applicability of each method using Canadian data, and (c) evaluates the potential additional cost of living for people with a spectrum of disabilities living in Ontario using the best currently available data.

Start-end date: June 2015 - December 2015
Sponsor: Ontario Ministry of Community and Social Services

BC Partners in Work Innovation Pilot Project

This project has dual labour market objectives of supporting the workforce needs of BC businesses and improving employment outcomes for people with disabilities. The pilot is applying a business “demand-based” approach, using a recruitment model to work directly with BC employers in specific industry sectors with high employment demand to match them with qualified candidates. The recruitment activities are performed by a Recruitment Specialist, who works on behalf of employers to interface with partnering employment agencies to recruit suitable candidates. This project is designed to provide important insights into establishing innovative partnerships between employers and disability serving agencies to facilitate the employment of people with disabilities. This project is conducted by the BC Centre for Employment Excellence and its partners, including: Community Living BC, Open Door Group, Neil Squire Society, Burnaby Association for Community Inclusion (representing the BC Employment Network), Flaherty and Associates, MacLeod Silver HR Business Partners, London Drugs, CREW Management (Century Plaza Hotel & Absolute Spa Group), Seaspan, Edgewater Casino, and the Canucks Autism Network (CAN).

 

Start-end date: March 2015 - March 2018
Sponsor: British Columbia Ministry of Social Development and Social Innovation

The Face-to-Face Project: Bringing Youth with Disabilities and Employers Together

The Face-to-Face Project: Bringing Youth with Disabilities and Employers Together aims to find creative solutions that improve labour market integration for youths with disabilities. The project is an initiative of the BC Centre for Employment Excellence with financial support from the Vancouver Foundation’s Disability Supports for Employment Fund. Youths with disabilities (ages 18-25 years old) who have little to no work experience are matched with local employers of various sizes and sectors to engage in mock interviews and networking scenarios. Following this first connection, the employers refer the youth to a second employer. In addition to recruiting the youth and employers, the Centre provides resource materials and orientation for participating employers and youths. The project wrapped up in spring 2015 with a mini-forum and an evaluation that captures lessons learned and effective practices. This project is managed by the BC Centre for Employment Excellence, a division of SRDC.

Start-end date: November 2014 - April 2015
Sponsor: Vancouver Foundation

Review of Manitoba Employment Assistance Service Providers

SRDC conducted an evidence-based analysis of Manitoba’s Employment Assistance Service (EAS) providers to inform future funding decisions of the Manitoba government intended to promote an effective and efficient service delivery network. SRDC’s analysis provides indications of where changes in EAS programming are needed so that the program can “do more of the things that help, and less of the things that do not.” The analysis addresses five key questions: To what extent is EAS programming aligned with provincial and federal policy objectives? To what extent is current programming responsive to the needs of key population groups and communities? To what extent are programs responsive to the changing dynamics of Manitoba’s labour market? How effective is current programming in achieving results for job seekers, employers, and communities? What is the relative value for money of the existing EAS program, and are there opportunities for service improvements?

Start-end date: April 2014 - September 2015
Sponsor: Manitoba Department of Jobs and the Economy

Episodic and Moderate Disabilities and Employment

This project identifies key characteristics of populations with episodic and moderate disabilities, and the nature of their respective attachments to the labour market. A literature review and environmental scan identify policies and practices that are supportive to the labour market participation of those with episodic disabilities, as well as barriers to work. Prevalence rates and indicators of labour market attachment are calculated based on the 2013 Canadian Survey on Disability, while trends in the receipt of income assistance among those with occasional work limitations are based on the Survey of Labour and Income Dynamics.

Start-end date: January 2014 - August 2014
Sponsor: Ontario Ministry of Community and Social Services

Manitoba Works! evaluation

The purpose of the research is to test the Government of Manitoba’s Manitoba Works! employment service model in the real-world setting of Manitoba’s new and evolving employment continuum and to assess its effectiveness for improving the labour market success of individuals who are receiving EIA and/or have complex needs. The research will assess gains on outcomes of interest among participants compared to non-participants, model cost-effectiveness, model implementation, and identify key success factors.

Start date: November 2013
Sponsor: Manitoba Department of Jobs and the Economy

Mapping Experiences with Inclusive Employment

A pilot project delivered in partnership with researchers at UBC to evaluate the use of an online mapping tool to document positive experiences with inclusive employment for 30-35 people with developmental disabilities (self-advocates) across BC. The project is designed to collect first-hand knowledge from self-advocates, their families, employers and service providers regarding the factors that contribute to positive, inclusive employment for individuals with developmental disabilities. It informs the BC Centre for Employment Excellence (CfEE), its partners and other stakeholders about best practices in providing supports and creating inclusive workplaces for individuals with developmental disabilities. Based on the success of the pilot, the CfEE and its partners continue to host the map and explore options for extending this approach to other populations of job seekers facing significant barriers in the labour market. This project is managed by the BC Centre for Employment Excellence, a division of SRDC.

Start-end date: November 2013 - September 2015
Sponsor: British Columbia Ministry of Social Development and Social Innovation (with financial support from Community Living British Columbia)

CPP Disability Vocational Rehabilitation Business Case Analysis

This project provides an analysis and critique of the VR program and its business components, including its overall cost effectiveness, human resources model, regional delivery process, client participation, outcomes, and other relevant issues. It provides recommendations for re-design to support program and departmental objectives, i.e., for providing modernized, focused, and efficient services to people with disabilities to support their return to work.

Start-end date: October 2012 - March 2013
Sponsor: Human Resources and Skills Development Canada

Mental Illness as a Disability over the Life Course in Canada

This project examines mental illness experiences over the life course, among the full spectrum of Canadians from very young children through senior adults. It uses secondary data from the 2006 Participation and Activity Limitation Survey (PALS) data set and from the 2009 Canadian Community Health Survey (CCHS) to investigate the prevalence and characteristics of mental illness as a disability among each age group.

Start-end date: November 2011 - March 2012
Sponsor: Human Resources and Skills Development Canada

Employees’ Perspectives on Intermittent Work Capacity: What Can Qualitative Research Tell Us in Ontario?

The purpose of this project was to better understand the experiences and needs of people with disabilities in Ontario who are able to work intermittently (i.e., not full-time). Focus groups, interviews, and personal stories were used to identify the conditions and supports that make it possible for people with disabilities to stay attached to the labour force.

Start-end date: July 2010 - March 2011
Sponsor: Human Resources and Skills Development Canada

City of Vancouver Four Pillars Supported Employment Pilot Project

A project designed to provide long-term unemployed individuals with past addictions with a supported and gradual return to employment. The evaluation involves case studies of four participants and their experience with the program from start to end.

Start-end date: May 2007 - December 2007
Sponsor: City of Vancouver, Social Planning Department, Jobs Policy

Increasing Access to the Labour Market for Persons with Disabilities Who Experience Episodic Periods of Wellness and Illness: Options for Research Demonstration Projects

Start-end date: November 2006 - March 2007
Sponsor: Canadian Working Group on HIV and Rehabilitation

Proposal to Develop a Personal Supports Model for People with Disabilities and Evaluate the Impacts on Community and Labour Market Participation

Start-end date: June 2006 - December 2006
Sponsor: BC Ministry of Employment and Income Assistance

Disability Supports Feasibility Study

A 16-participant pilot project in Ottawa and Vancouver to test the feasibility of providing wider “consumer control” over the acquisition of disability supports that facilitate employment.

Start-end date: December 2001 - June 2003
Sponsor: Human Resources Development Canada

Coordination of a Consultation Process to Develop Options to Increase the Proportion of Canadians with Disabilities in Sustained Employment

Start-end date: March 2001 - March 2001
Sponsor: Human Resources Development Canada (Applied Research)