Ontario unveils employment strategy for people with disabilities

Ontario's new employment strategy for people with disabilities includes a call for all businesses with more than 20 employees to hire at least one additional person with a disability.

The Liberal government's call to action released on Monday is not binding, but Minister of Accessibility Tracy MacCharles says it could create about 56,000 jobs for a population currently twice as likely to be unemployed as their able-bodied counterparts.

The multi-pronged employment strategy also highlights the need to create early career opportunities for young people and says it will be investing in more apprenticeships and other early career experiences for youth.

The strategy also announces the roll-out of a ``supportive employment'' model that allows both employers and those looking for work to tap into help at every stage of the job-seeking process.

The model will be tested in a pilot project starting next year that will run in three Ontario communities Timmins, Cornwall and Belleville.

MacCharles says the government's request to Ontario businesses comes as it tries to address the needs of a growing population the provincial and federal governments currently estimate one in seven people has a disability and expect the number will rise as the population continues to age.