Federal Budget 2014 Invests in Ready, Willing & Able

The Canadian Association for Community Living (CACL) and the Canadian Autism Spectrum Disorders Alliance (CASDA) applaud the Government of Canada’s 2014 budget investment of $15 million dollars in the ‘Ready, Willing and Able’ (RWA) national employment initiative. Designed to increase the workforce participation of people with intellectual disabilities and ASD, RWA will accomplish this by reaching out to, and engaging, employers and increasing their understanding of the value and economic benefits to hiring people with intellectual disabilities and ASD.

Laurie Larson, President of the Canadian Association for Community Living said “As a mom of two sons with developmental disabilities, I can tell you our family and so many others are grateful for this commitment. Canada cannot afford the costs of exclusion. Employers cannot afford to overlook this untapped workforce. People with intellectual disabilities and ASD cannot afford to be left out of the work force any longer.”

Laurie Malwam, Chair of the Canadian Autism Spectrum Disorders Alliance said, “ Sadly, unemployment is a common phenomenon among adults with intellectual disabilities and ASD. Currently, approximately 50 percent of these adults spend their days with little community contact and in segregated work or activity settings. It doesn’t have to be this way. Ready, Willing and Able is designed to make a difference.”

CACL and CASDA have joined forces to launch ‘Ready, Willing and Able’ to engage and support employers to hire people with intellectual disabilities and ASD, and promote understanding and awareness among employers and the general public on the value of hiring people with intellectual disabilities and ASD.

With this announcement the more than half million working-age adults with intellectual disabilities and ASD who could be working are one step closer to achieving that goal.