December 3 is the International Day of Persons with Disabilities, a United Nations sanctioned day, celebrated around the world. This is a day that is not only important for celebrating those who have overcome a number of obstacles, but also bringing public awareness of the barriers people with disabilities face every day. It’s also designed to highlight the need for equality and public acceptance, as well as celebrating the achievements and contributions people with disabilities bring to Canada.
Each year, the International Day of Persons with Disabilities is centred around the theme and in 2018, we celebrate the theme: ‘empowering persons with disabilities and ensuring inclusiveness and equality’.
Canada: The Facts
According to a Canadian Survey on Disability, more than 5.3 million Canadians are living with a disability of some type. That’s almost 16% of the population. 200,000 of those are children / youth.
While some are more obvious, there are many disabilities that are not visible. The most common reported disabilities in Canada include seeing and hearing, mobility, memory, flexibility, psychological or mental, pain (the most common), learning, dexterity and developmental.
According to Statistics Canada, 15% of women will report a disability, while only 13% of men will; and more than ¼ are classified as having a severe disability.
81% of people living with a disability in Canada reported that they use some kind of assisted technology, or a specialized equipment, to enable them to carry out their usual daily activities. This includes motorized wheelchairs, a porch lift, custom-designed walker, and so on. None of which are very cheap.
And when it comes to personal assistance, more than 1.4 million people with a disability aged between 15 and 64 years need help with everyday activities. For children, on average, it costs a family around $40,000 a year to care for a child who has a severe disability.
There is still a lot of work to do when it comes to inclusiveness and equality. The real key is education and awareness, which is what International Day of Persons with Disabilities aims to do this year. Here are some stats to take notice of:
Employment: people with a disability are finding it tough to get quality jobs. According to a survey by BMO Financial Group in 2016, only 39% of businesses in Canada have hired someone who has a disability. Though this was an increase on 2013’s result of 29%, it’s still not enough to cure the financial burdens.
Education: While 80% of people with disabilities (aged 25-64) had a high school diploma, only 13.9% received a University degree.
Income: According to Statistics Canada, the median income of people with disabilities, aged 15 years to 64 years, was $20,420 per annum; compared to $31,160 per annum for those without disabilities.
While December 3 is the international day to recognize the achievements of Canadians living with a disability and to discuss ways the general community can empower them; at Canada Benefit Group, we do this EVERY day. Our goal is to help people achieve financial freedom, and to assist with everything you need to know about claiming a disability tax credit. If you want to know more, get in touch.