In March, Statistics Canada released more data from the 2012 Canadian Survey on Disability (CSD). Data from the CSD is used to present a profile of Canadian adults whose daily activities are limited because of a long-term condition or health-related problem. The new data points to significant labour and income disparities faced by those with disabilities.
The highlights from the new survey data include:
- Almost 14 percent of the Canadian population aged 15 years or older – or 3.8 million individuals – reported a difficulty or impairment due to a long-term condition or health problem that limited their daily activities.
- The prevalence of disability increased with age, with the average onset age in early 40s.
- 47 percent of working-aged adults with disabilities reported that they were employed, compared with 74 percent of those who were disability-free.
- Over 25 percent of employed Canadians with disabilities reported that their employer was not aware of it.
- The self-reported median income of Canadians with disabilities was just over 20,000 dollars.
These statistics speak for themselves and show that individuals with disabilities continue to face significant disparities compared with those who are disability free. Low labour participation rates signal a need for more employment opportunities. Further, the fact that more than a quarter of people with disabilities do not disclose their disability to their employers is a clear indication of the ongoing stigma, discrimination and fear still prevalent in the workplace.
The data also shows that chronic poverty is an everyday reality for people on disabilities and highlights the need for more attention to poverty reduction strategies such as increases to minimum wage, income security through a more robust Ontario Disability Support Program that allows people with disabilities to supplement their earnings without the risk of losing benefits if they earn more.
For more information and to read detailed findings, please visit the StatsCan website.