Launch of a New Workplace Disability Research Centre

The Canadian OH&S News reported today that the Centre for Research on Work Disability Policy (CRWDP) was launched on February 4, 2014. The mandate of the Centre will be to develop evidence-based policy options that will create better income support and labour market attachment for injured, ill, and disabled workers under Canada’s existing disability policy system. Forty-six partners from across the country will be included in the Centre. Community organizations for disability and injured workers, federal and provincial disability program providers, labour organizations, employers, and research institutions will be represented.

At present, Canada’s disability policy system is fragmented as a result of being established over many decades with different parts of the system designed to meet different requirements. The system is, therefore, uncoordinated with conflicting and out dated criteria across disability support programs. Consequently, people move from program to program and are at risk of not receiving the proper support. The Centre will determine the number of workers with disabilities who are not getting the needed support to enter, continue in, or return to the workforce and why. The Centre will also examine what policy changes are needed to ensure all Canadians, regardless of their ability, can work. What do you think about this initiative? What difference will it make in practice?

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