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A recently released report by Cameron Crawford of the Institute for Research on Inclusion and Society (IRIS) provides a demographic snapshot of the employment situation of people with intellectual disabilities. The report draws from the 2006 Participation and Activity Limitation Survey (PALS), which was Statistics Canada’s ‘flagship’ survey on disability.
The report shows how the education level of people with intellectual disabilities is much lower than that of others with disabilities and people without disabilities. Two-thirds have no formal educational accreditation, not even high school graduation. Only about one in eight (12.7%) with intellectual disabilities who were active in the labour force in the five years before PALS was conducted have taken work-related training.
The full report shows some of the barriers to employment facing people with intellectual disabilities who are not in the labour force. More than three-quarters have faced at least one barrier, such as information about jobs not adapted to needs, discrimination, inadequate training, worries that other workers will isolate them on the job, and concerns about losing disability income or other benefits.