The Ontario Disability Network (ODEN) – a provincial network of employment service providers that assist persons with disabilities find and keep work – has published a position paper that calls on the Ontario government to move ODSP employment programming to Employment Ontario, the employment and training division of the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities (MTCU). ODEN’s positions, identified in “Improving Employment Opportunities for People Who Have a Disability,” are based on consultations with their membership, and an analysis of two papers: the Social Assistance Review Commission’s report, “Brighter Prospects,” and the Drummond Report, “A Path to Sustainability and Excellence.”
The paper contains two central positions:
- Transfer ODSP employment supports to Employment Ontario
- Separate employment supports from income supports
ODEN asserts that the transfer of ODSP employment supports will create better access to the training and skills development resources offered to other job seekers served by Employment Ontario. In addition, this transfer would increase transferability between jurisdictions while generating cost-savings and service enhancements. It would also allow for a central portal for service administration and improve program stability while still providing individualized supports for persons with disabilities.
The report also argues that employment supports should remain separate from income supports because caseworkers providing income benefits do not have the expertise or the time to deliver employment supports. If combined, ODEN believes it will jeopardize the delivery of employment services.
Read the presentation made by ODEN to the Standing Committee on Human Resources and ODEN’s position paper, “Improving Employment Opportunities for People Who Have a Disability,” available on theODEN website.