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Impact of New Employment Program on People with Disabilities

Summary: 
BCACL and a coalition of other provincial umbrella social service groups have developed a document describing the potential impacts of implementing the New Employment Program of BC on the represented populations.

BCACL is concerned that persons with developmental disabilities will get lost in the "one door" approach of the new employment program. We are concerned that they will not receive appropriate or equal services, and the approach will lack the expertise required to provide flexible supports that accommodate the complex needs of people with developmental disabilities.

BCACL and the coalition met with Mark Seiben, Deputy Minister of the Ministry of Social Development, to discuss the document further and made a series of recommendations. The group encouraged the Ministry to slow down, postpone and revise the implementation of the program. If this was not possible then we suggested the Ministry consider the concerns of the coalition.

While the Deputy Minister did not commit to acting on recommendations from the group, he assured us that the Ministry of Social Development is aiming for improved outcomes for all British Columbians.

Seiben urged the group to submit the document (see below) and any further documentation or recommendations to the BC Bid website so the Ministry can respond publicly and transparently. He also stated he has a vested interest in implementing a successful program within the confines of the agreement and budget.

About the Authors: The BC Provincial Social Service Associations coalition includes provincial umbrella social service groups that represent people with disabilities, immigrant, aboriginal, youth, francophone, and victimized women populations. See page 9 of the document for a complete list of contributors.

Representatives from the BC Employment Development Strategy Network (BCEDS) also provided input under the coalition. The BCEDS Network includes a number of organizations that provide employment supports and services to people with developmental disabilities.