Message from CASDA Chair and CACL President

October 2018 UPDATE

The Canadian Association for Community Living (CACL) and the Canadian Autism Spectrum Disorders Alliance (CASDA) are very proud to be partners in the delivery of the Ready Willing and Able (RWA) initiative. RWA is designed to increase the workforce participation of people with an intellectual disability or ASD by reaching out to, and engaging, employers and increasing their understanding of the value and economic benefits to hiring job seekers with an intellectual disability or ASD.

Since its inception in September 2014, RWA has been successful in conducting initial outreach to more than 7,900 Canadian businesses, actively working with over 2,700 businesses and together with our 200+ employment agency partners throughout the country have helped realize over 2,100 employment opportunities. In addition to our outreach and engagement of employers at a local community level, RWA has also established partnerships with many local and national employers including Air Canada, Costco, Shopper’s Drug Mart, Purolator, and Deloitte, to name but a few.

Despite the overwhelming success of RWA from coast to coast, on August 31, 2018, Phase 1 of the Ready, Willing and Able project ended. Due to changes in project funding, beginning September 1, 2018, RWA will no longer be active in every Canadian province and territory. For the September 2018 to March 2019 period, RWA will be active in the following provinces – Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Ontario, Quebec, Alberta and British Columbia.

We have submitted a proposal to the Federal Government and have written to all Parliamentarians asking for  support to ensure the continued success of RWA.  We believe that it’s time for the government to find ways to expand – not limit – workplace participation for persons with disabilities – and broaden the scope of investment – and we are asking for all-party support to make this important investment happen.

You can find your local Member of Parliament via the Elections Canada website here: http://www.elections.ca/Scripts/vis/FindED/ShowStreets?L=e&PC=V0N2K0&PROV=BC&PROVID=59&QID=-1&PAGEID=21

We encourage all supporters of RWA to reach out to their local representatives to share their stories and convey the overwhelming success of this program.

Additionally, if you wish to participate in the RWA project in any of the provinces noted above, please contact a member of the RWA team (http://readywillingable.ca/find-rwa-staff/).

If you have any questions, please contact the RWA National Director, Don Gallant at dgallant@nl.rogers.com

Joy Bacon, CACL President

Cynthia Carroll, CASDA Chair