2 Importance of Work to Individuals, Families and Advocacy Groups

In B.C., access to inclusive employment opportunities is a stated priority for local associations for community living, advocacy groups such as FamilyWorks and Inclusion BC as well as Community Living British Columbia (CLBC). CLBC has a strong mandate for inclusive employment and has developed a “Community Action Employment Plan” which was originally implemented in 2013 and then revised goals for 2016-2019 which include a focus on “local employment plans”. The CLBC website states its vision that “every person with a disability who wants a job is employed.” [1] Other employment initiatives include the “Ready, Willing and Able” strategy for “building an inclusive workforce” [2] and “The TYDE Project”  which is described as “an emerging interdisciplinary, cross-sectoral network of partners committed to improving the low employment outcomes of working age individuals with developmental disabiilites…” [3]


Work represents a pathway to participating, contributing, greater financial security, relationships, belonging, self-esteem, better mental health, confidence, identity, and even citizenship. The true measure of our success is the possibility that by advancing employment we can advance a shared vision where “employment of people with developmental disabilities in British Columbia is perceived as an ordinary occurrence” (Community Living British Columbia, n.d., p. 4), and ultimately the quality of life of British Columbians with developmental disabilities is improved.


The Canadian Association for Community Living (CACL) has a stated vision to see adults with intellectual disabilities represented in the workforce “at the same rate as the general population …and …equally represented in both unionized workplaces and non-unionized workplaces.” [4]

  1. Community Living British Columbia. (n.d.). Local Employment Plans. Retrieved December 12, 2017, from Community Living British Columbia: http://www.communitylivingbc.ca/community-action-employment-plan/local-employment-plans/
  2. Ready Willing & Able. (n.d.). About. Retrieved February 13, 2018, from Ready wiling and able: http://readywillingable.ca/about/
  3. Centre for Inclusion and Citizenship. (2018, July 5). Transitioning youth with disabilities and employment. Retrieved from TYDE: mytyde.ca
  4. Canadian Association for Community Living. (n.d.). Employment equality. Retrieved November 22, 2017, from Canadian Association for Community Living: http://www.cacl.ca/area/employment-equality


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Importance of Work to Individuals, Families and Advocacy Groups Copyright © 2021 by Nicola Soles is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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