Key Messages from End Exclusion 2011 Round Tables

Every province needs to have a centralized, “one stop shopping” information and referral system, either physical and/or virtual, that is accessible to people with all disabilities, offering alternate formats and plain language and with outreach to rural and northern communities.

There is an F/P/T advisory committee on people with disabilities that is currently co chaired by the province of BC. We need to find out who they are and what they're doing.

If we are going to do something to raise people out of poverty, we have to eradicate the “us-them” divide and allow people to ignore the income bracket and say, ”Okay, who is the person behind the income bracket?”

If we're going to do something with social media, we need to use it to address a policy issue. It is not just raising awareness; it is raising awareness in relation to a policy issue.

In the current climate, the federal priorities are investment in employment and tax policy. We should build on those priorities.

We would like the tax credit to be refundable for everyone, and this would be a first step into the compensation of the costs related to disability.

Some key messages are uniformity of programs; education; involvement at all levels of society, guaranteed annual income; and for the NGOs, restore core funding—keep the voice alive.

In this country, there is a lot of money going into labour market issues but it does not seem to be cracking the employment barriers that people with disabilities are facing. So we suggest a labour market strategy with a particular focus around youth. Can we prevent poverty for the generation that has not experienced it yet?

Improve the safety of programs and services that exist so that people live with dignity.

To have reliable data, we need to be involved in developing the data.

There should be strengthened employment equity legislation.

To increase employment opportunities, we need Incentives without penalties.

We focused on extending EI sickness benefits past the 15 weeks so that there would be a bridge between CPP-D and provincial disability benefits.

Nothing about us without us. It is really critical when we are talking about poverty, that the people who are experiencing poverty are the ones who should be speaking about it. A lot of this movement is very middle class.

Everything is achievable. There is absolutely no excuse in Canada not to do things. Canada is one of the most affluent countries in the world. If politicians really listen to people who are living in poverty, if they listen to the message that Laurie Larson gave this morning, then they will hear it and things can change.

We talked about individualized funding and we talked about youth and how it is important to have those youth that are in the school system, now in an integrated situation, move into the community and employment, ideally integrated employment.

We talked about the Registered Disability Savings Plan (RDSP) and the idea that it is a form of individualized funding. It applies best to young people. There are hundreds and hundreds of people out there that haven't started plans yet and we think that that's one of the areas we can address.

Get clear about what we want; don't do everything at once; pick the things we want to do. Instead of having 10 or 15 goals, pick 5 and achieve those 5.