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Released on October 24, 2022
October is Disability Employment Awareness Month in Saskatchewan.
This year, the Government of Saskatchewan has committed $10.8 million for Employability Assistance for Persons with Disabilities (EAPD) programming and services. The EAPD provides funding for a broad range of supports that assist individuals with disabilities, allowing them to succeed in the workforce.
“Our government is proud of the effective and compassionate work performed by our career and employment service organizations from around the province,” Immigration and Career Training Minister Jeremy Harrison said. “Our goal is to ensure all those who wish to enter the workforce have the skills and knowledge necessary to succeed.”
The funding provided by the province supports 73 agreements with 52 different service providers, with examples such as:
SaskAbilities, founded in 1950, provides specialized career and employment services for individuals facing employment challenges. Through the Partners in Employment (PIE) program, SaskAbilities assists over 1,800 persons pursuing careers, developing skills, and seeking training to enhance their lives. The PIE program promotes equitable opportunities and prepares participants for a transition to successful employment.
Independent Futures, based in southeast Saskatchewan, operates enhanced employment services for both students and adults facing challenges in career development. Through its Transition from School to Work program, Independent Futures provides numerous career and employment services such as vocational counselling, job search and interview supports and preparing individuals for post-secondary education opportunities.
“Independent Futures has a close working relationship with the Government of Saskatchewan and through that, we are able to provide that extra-hand needed to assist individuals to get back on their feet and working,” Supported Employment Consultant and Transitions Coordinator with Independent Futures Makyla Stender said. “Our program is unique and has had great success helping people find long-lasting employment. We are very grateful to continue to do what we do, and it is a very rewarding job.”
Vision Loss Rehabilitation Canada (VLRC) provides career and employment services to nearly 100 participants who are blind or partially sighted to access specialized services to prepare for, secure and maintain employment. By providing specialized assistance, VLRC provides participants with advice and guidance on furthering their career development. With education and training opportunities and additional coaching supports, participants see increases to their capabilities with aid from assistive technology and low vision aids, reducing the impact of their disability.
“Finding employment for persons with disabilities can be very challenging. Nationally the employment rate for people with vison loss is lower than other disability groups,” Executive Director of Manitoba and Saskatchewan for Vision Loss Rehabilitation Canada Dan Vodon said. “The Career Services program and supports greatly increases the chances of success for people in Saskatchewan with vision loss to gain meaningful and successful employment.”
The Neil Squire Society delivers programming to assist adults with disabilities, facing employment challenges and barriers to career growth. By offering a wide variety of programs such as the Group Employment Skills Program, Computer Comfort, and Assistive Technology Assessments and Supports, Neil Squire is able to assist approximately 80 participants from around Saskatchewan.
The provincial government will continue to support Saskatchewan’s various service providers who provide these vital and effective supports. For more information on EAPD, please visit: https://www.saskatchewan.ca/employability-assistance.
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