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LiveWorkPlay Team Shines At Ontario Disability Employment Network Annual Conference

Members of the LiveWorkPlay team had the pleasure of attending and speaking at the annual conference of the Ontario Disability Employment Network (ODEN). Keenan Wellar and Anna Nelson hosted a session about the LiveWorkPlay Federal Public Service inclusive hiring initative, our unique Emplyoment Supports Model, and our growing national network of provider partners. Julie Kingstone, Sarah Nkanza, Jennifer Broad, and Richard Landry were also in attendance, fanning out between the different sessions and also networking with other service providers, businesses, and government. They also offered up some challenging questions for panels comprised of Service System Managers and Ontario government represetatives drawn from different ministries involved with employment supports.


“There are still some issues and inconsistencies with respect to employment supports and people with intellectual disabilities” said Julie Kingstone. “We are concerned that government continues to fund segregated programs while at the same time, funding for authentic employment is transitioning to what appears to be a new profit-motivated system that is even less accommodating of people with intellectual disabilities than the current fee-for-performance model under the Ontario Disability Supports Program.”

Although written from a Toronto perspective, the issues of concern identified in this Maytree article resonate with organizations like LiveWorkPlay across the province. Like many other employment supports providers with a human rights foundation, LiveWorkPlay expressed concerns about the new system restrictions against workers who are employed for less than 20 hours per week. “They haven’t thought this through” said Julie. “There are many reasons why part-time employment may be the only suitable possibility for certain individuals, and there are better ways to deal with any issues relating to part-time employment than deliberately discouraging it.”