Human Resources and Social Development Canada

Human Resources and Social Development Canada
Government of Canada

Government of Canada

December 04, 2006 13:41 ET

Canada Celebrates International Day of Disabled Persons

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(CCNMatthews - Dec. 4, 2006) - The Honourable Diane Finley, Minister of Human Resources and Social Development, marked the International Day of Disabled Persons today.

In 1992, the United Nations proclaimed that December 3rd of each year would be the International Day of Disabled Persons, to help focus attention on disability issues and the contributions of people with disabilities to the societies in which they live.

"This day provides us an opportunity to recognize the important contributions that people with disabilities make to our society," said Minister Finley. "This government is committed to achieving the full participation and inclusion of people with disabilities in all aspects of life."

In honour of the International Day of Disabled Persons, Minister Finley released the fourth Federal Disability Report, Advancing the Inclusion of People with Disabilities (2006) today. The report provides an overview of the activities, results and expenditures of more than 50 federal programs and initiatives that support the needs of Canadians with disabilities.

"I'm pleased to release this report which demonstrates accountability for the federal government's investments in support of Canadians with disabilities," said Minister Finley. "This report will help all Canadians to understand the issues facing persons with disabilities and the programs and services provided by the Government of Canada to support their full participation in Canadian society."

Canada's New Government is making progress in enhancing benefits and resources for persons with disabilities, including:

- Increasing the maximum annual Child Disability Benefit (CDB) to $2,300 from $2,044 in July 2006;

- Expanding eligibility for the Child Disability Benefit, also in July 2006; and,

- Increasing the maximum amount of the Refundable Medical Expense Supplement (RMES) to $1,000 from $767 for the 2006 taxation year.

The Government of Canada has also created the Services for People with Disabilities guide, which bundles information on federal programs and services for people with disabilities, their families and their caregivers into one comprehensive and easy-to-use resource. Services for People with Disabilities is presented in a larger-than-average print size for an easy read and is also available on-line (servicecanada.gc.ca) and in alternate formats.

To order a copy of this guide or for more information on programs and services for persons with disabilities, call 1-800 O Canada or visit www.canada.gc.ca.

A link to Advancing the Inclusion of People with Disabilities (2006) is available on the Human Resources and Social Development Canada website at http://www.hrsdc.gc.ca/en/hip/odi/documents/advancingInclusion06/toc.shtml.

This news release is available in alternative formats, upon request.


Backgrounder

Advancing the Inclusion of People with Disabilities (2006)

The Advancing the Inclusion of People with Disabilities (2006) report identifies a number of areas where the Government of Canada is working to address the accessibility needs of people with disabilities. As an example, the report describes a study of the usability of the "PWD Online" website, involving an assessment by people with vision and mobility impairments. The results of the study are helping Service Canada make improvements to the website, which received over 1.2 million hits in the month of October alone.

Service Canada is also advancing in its three-year strategy to ensure that the delivery of services to people with disabilities is seamless, by improving the accessibility of its websites, forms, applications, telephone and mail services. To support this goal, Service Canada has established an External Advisory Group, which includes representation from disability organizations from across the country.

Advancing the Inclusion of People with Disabilities provides an overview of the activities, results and expenditures of more than 50 federal programs and initiatives that work to address the needs of Canadians with disabilities. Information on programs and activities is presented according to the following categories: human rights and culture; accessibility and disability supports; skills, learning and employment; income, income support and tax measures; and health and well-being.

By releasing this fourth Federal Disability Report, the Government of Canada demonstrates its continuing commitment to remove barriers for people with disabilities and to report annually on the progress made.

The Government of Canada's commitment to persons with disabilities

In other areas, the Government of Canada is furthering its commitment to promote the full participation of people with disabilities in society.

The Canadian delegation was highly engaged in the negotiation of the United Nations Draft Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, and worked to ensure that key Canadian principles of equality, non-discrimination, inclusion and accessibility were reflected in the document. On August 25, 2006, the Draft Convention, as well as an Optional Protocol to the Convention were adopted by a United Nations Ad Hoc Committee.

In Budget 2006, the Government of Canada introduced new measures to support the needs of people with disabilities, including increasing the maximum annual Child Disability Benefit (CDB); expanding eligibility for the Child Disability Benefit, and; increasing the maximum amount of the Refundable Medical Expense Supplement (RMES).

The Government of Canada has also created a guide that gathers information on federal programs and services for people with disabilities, their families and their caregivers into one comprehensive and easy-to-use resource. Services for People with Disabilities is presented in a larger-than-average print size for an easy read and is also available on-line (servicecanada.gc.ca) and in alternate formats.

By supporting a range of benefits, services, programs and initiatives, the Government of Canada plays considerable role in helping Canadians with disabilities participate fully in all aspects of Canadian society.

To obtain copies of Advancing the Inclusion of People with Disabilities (2006), please contact:



Mariam Nour
Program Officer
Office for Disability Issues
Human Resources and Social Development Canada
Tel: 613-941-9681


A link to the Advancing the Inclusion of People with Disabilities (2006) report is available on the Human Resources and Social Development Canada website at http://www.hrsdc.gc.ca/en/hip/odi/documents/advancingInclusion06/toc.shtml.

Contact Information

  • Human Resources and Social Development Canada
    Media Relations Office
    819-994-5559
    or
    Minister Finley's Office
    Colleen Cameron
    819-994-2482