Many Canadians experience a disability over the course of their lives, whether it is a physical barrier, learning disability, or mental health issue.
Some individuals experience a temporary disability, while others live with permanent disabilities that will affect them their entire lives.
L’Arche Winnipeg Inc. supports adults living with intellectual disabilities in many ways in our community. Through social enterprises like the L’Arche Tova Café, the L’Arche residents have the opportunity to work and interact with our community while gaining valuable work experience. L’Arche Winnipeg also provides supportive housing and recently celebrated 40 years of service in the community.
People with disabilities have a tremendous amount to offer our community. To maintain a strong and prosperous Elmwood-Transcona, we must ensure that everyone who wants to participate in our community has the opportunity to do so. While there can be obstacles, people with disabilities and their families can overcome these challenges. One avenue of support is accessing the various government programs that are available to them.
The Government of Canada offers a variety of tax benefits to people with disabilities. The Disability Tax Credit (DTC) helps offset the additional expenses associated with having a physical or mental condition that affects basic activities of daily living. One of the features of this credit is that if you failed to claim it for a particular taxation year, you can refile for up to 10 years and receive full benefit for each of those years. This can result in a considerable amount of money for people with disabilities or the people who have provided support to them.
The Opportunities Fund for Persons with Disabilities is a program designed to help people with disabilities prepare for and obtain employment or self-employment.
Last year, Work and Social Opportunities Inc. (WASO) received more than $97,000 from the federal Opportunities Fund to help people with disabilities in Elmwood-Transcona overcome barriers to employment. Program participants received job coaching to help them reach their employment goals and benefited from job placements with local employers. Through its various programs, WASO is helping more people with disabilities gain the hands-on experience they need to find jobs.
Partnerships with local employers and community organizations like WASO and L’Arche are important to encourage the personal growth and community engagement of all individuals with disabilities. Together we can make a real difference in improving the lives of people with disabilities in Elmwood-Transcona.