This archived Web page remains online for reference, research or recordkeeping purposes. This page will not be altered or updated. Web pages that are archived on the Internet are not subject to the Government of Canada Web Standards. As per the Communications Policy of the Government of Canada, you can request alternate formats of this page on the Contact Us page.
HRDC Update on Disability Issues
Also available in [PDF 152 KB]
P. Myre, Director
Policy coordination and knowledge management
Office for Disability Issues
Human Resources Development Canada
April 6, 2003
Purpose of the presentation
- Provide members of the Council with an update of recent disability-related or relevant activities within the Government of Canada:
- Advancing the Inclusion of Persons with Disabilities;
- Participation and Activity Limitation Survey;
- Assistant Deputy Minister on the Federal Disability Agenda;
- HRDC Renewal Agenda;
- ODI's new strategic plan; and
- Budget 2003.
Federal Disability Report: Advancing the Inclusion of Persons with Disabilities (Dec. 2002)
- First federal disability report to bring together information from over 30 departments and agencies.
- In its 1999 Response to Standing Committee Response in HRD, the GOC committed to report regularly on its progress on disability issues.
- Provides an accountability framework based on GOC disability agenda document Future Directions and FPT vision document In Unison.
- Progress is measured in five outcome areas:
- Disability supports;
- Skills development, learning and employment;
- Injury prevention and health promotion; and
- Capacity of disability community.
- Describes key issues facing persons with disabilities, and government action including some key programs and initiatives.
- A technical report was produced as an on-line supplement to provide additional information about many of the topics discussed in the main report.
Participation and Activity Limitation Survey
1. Release of PALS data
- Dec. 3, 2002:
- Population profile of adults and children with disabilities:
- Disability rates.
- Nature and severity of disability.
- Age and sex distribution.
- March 25, 2003:
- Disability supports:
- Met and unmet needs for various disability supports
- Providers of help
- Housing and transportation requirements
- Future release (summer 2003 and winter 2004):
- Education, employment, income, leisure, out-of-pocket costs and other issues.
- Public use micro data file.
- Data available on Statistics Canada Web site (type PALS in search function).
2. Key findings - Demography
- In 2001, 12.4% of people living in households reported having a disability (3.6 million):
- 180,930 are 0-14 (5%);
- 1,968,490 are 15-64 (55%);
- 1,451,840 are 65 and over (40%).
- Disability rates increase significantly with age - most Canadians can expect to experience a disability if they live beyond 75.
- Among adults, women are more likely to have a disability than men.
Graphic: Disability rate by age and sex, 2001.
3. Key findings - Types of disabilities
- As people age, they are more likely to acquire physical disabilities (difficulties with mobility, agility, hearing, vision and pain).
- Among children age 0-4, the most common disability is developmental delay.
- 65% of children with disabilities age 5 to 14 have learning disabilities.
- About 80% of adults with disabilities age 15 and over report more than one type of disability.
Types of disabilities among people with disabilities age 15+
(Sources: PALS 2001)
4. Key findings - Help with everyday activities
- Among the 2.2 million adults with disabilities 15 and over who need help with everyday activities:
- Nearly 30% have help but need more.
- 6% report having none of the help needed.
- Among the 1.6 million needing technical aids and devices:
- About 29% have some aids but need more.
- About 10% do not have any needed aids.
- The percentage of unmet need increases with severity of disability.
- High cost or lack of insurance coverage are the main reasons for not having needed aids and devices.
Graphic 1: Help with everyday activities 2001
|Number of people who:
|Need help but have none
|Have help but need more
|Have the help they needed
Graphic 2: Aids or devices for everyday activities
|Number of people who:
|Need aids but have none
|Have aids but need more
|Have the aids they needed
Assistant Deputy Ministers Steering Committee on the Federal Disability Agenda
- Established in Jan. 2000 as part of the GOC Response to Standing Committee report that called for "the horizontal management of disability issues across all federal departments and agencies".
- To strategically lead and direct the implementation of the Federal Disability Agenda.
- 30 representatives from 26 federal departments and agencies.
- Last meeting on February 24 2003 was chaired by Mr. Andrew Treush, the new ADM for Human Investment Programs in HRDC.
- ADMSC agreed to revisit its role and structure with a view to improve its effectiveness in advancing the disability agenda.
- Next meeting planned for May 2003.
HRDC Renewal Agenda
- HRDC is looking at the way it does business with Canadians.
- Reviewing current programs and services to ensure that they are relevant and effective and to anticipate future demands.
- Focus on three fundamental transformations:
- Create a more client-focused relationship-based organizational culture (meeting the needs of citizens always at the centre of what the department does);
- Modernize program and services delivery;
- Establish integrated and cohesive policy framework (better balance between social policy and labour market responsibilities).
ODI Strategic Plan
- Five year plan (2002-2007) to guide ODI in providing leadership on disability issues within HRDC and across GOC
- Key Objectives:
- To facilitate improved coherence and integration through effective horizontal management of disability policies and programs within HRDC and the Government of Canada;
- Through strategic investment, to improve the capacity of national disability organizations to partner with government to achieve shared policy and program goals;
- To develop and maintain a cohesive, action-oriented network of current and new partners;
- To develop and provide sound knowledge on disability issues, to inform policy and program development and build awareness;
- To achieve excellence in all ODI's policy and program activities.
Key disability announcements:
- New Child Disability Benefit for low income families caring for children with severe disabilities.
- Tax-free Rollovers of RRSPs or RRIFs for financially dependent infirm children or grandchildren.
- Expansion of list of expenses eligible for the Medical Expense Tax Credit.
- Evaluation of Disability Tax Credit (DTC) in light of the incoming data from PALS.
- Technical Advisory Committee on Tax Measures for Persons with Disabilities.
- Investment ($25 million in 2003-04 and $80 million per year after that) toward the improvement of assistance measures for persons with disabilities based on DTC evaluation and Technical Advisory Committee advice.
- Amendments to the DTC eligibility criteria.
- Renewal of Employability Assistance for People with Disabilities (EAPD) funding at $193 million a year, starting in 2003-2004.
- Establishment of the Rick Hansen Leadership Fund to find a cure for paralysis and improving the health and quality of life of people with spinal cord injuries ($15 million over the next seven years).