New Statscan report focuses on episodic disabilities
Using data from the 2017 Canadian Survey on Disability, Statistics Canada has taken a close look at the demographic, employment and workplace accommodation profiles of people with episodic disabilities in a report called The Dynamics of Disability: Progressive, Recurrent or Fluctuating Limitations. In the report, released in December 2019, Statscan compares relatively stable disabilities that result in consistent and unchanging limitations with three categories of episodic disabilities: those with progressive, recurrent or fluctuating limitations. It refers to the concept of different types of changing limitations as "disability dynamics."
The main findings of the report include the following:
- Of the 3.8 million people with disability dynamics (representing 61% of all people with disabilities 15 years of age and older), nearly 1.4 million (37%) experienced progressive limitations that worsened over time, over 1.5 million (41%) experienced recurrent limitations that included periods of a month or more without limitations, and over 0.8 million (22%) experienced fluctuating limitations that changed within any given month.
- The employment rate was highest for those with recurrent limitations (65%) and lowest for those with progressive limitations (40%). For those with fluctuating or continuous limitations, the employment rates were in the middle range at 53% and 59% respectively.
- Around half of employed persons with progressive or fluctuating limitations (56% and 49%, respectively) required workplace accommodations. By comparison, less than a third (31%) of employed persons with recurrent or continuous limitations required workplace accommodations.
ACED members' expertise informs federal report on episodic disabilities
ACED project director Dr. Monique Gignac of the Institute for Work & Health, as well as ACED partner members Julie Kelndorfer of MS Society of Canada and Tammy Yates of Realize, were among those who provided expert testimony in late 2018 to the House of Commons Standing Committee on Human Resources, Skills and Social Development and the Status of Persons with Disabilities (HUMA) as part of HUMA's exploration of the needs of people with episodic disabilities. Based on their and others' testimony, the standing committee made 11 recommendations in a March 2019 report entitled Taking Action: Improving the Lives of Canadians Living with Episodic Disabilities.
This report was warmly received by The Honourable Carla Qualtrough, the federal Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Disability Inclusion. She wrote the government’s response in July 2019 when she was the Minister of Public Services and Procurement and of Accessibility.
These recommendations will help inform future government policy and programs as we work to support the economic and social inclusion of persons with disabilities, including episodic disabilities, she said in her response.
ACED seeking employees with episodic disabilities to test new tool
Are you an employee receiving or needing support for an episodic disability or health condition? Or do you supervise an employee needing this support? If so, we want your input on a new tool being developed by ACED called the Job Demands and Accommodation Planning Tool (JDAPT). The JDAPT is designed to foster discussion and problem-solving between employees and their managers in order to meet employee needs for workplace supports. Your input will help make this tool practical and useful so that more workplaces can support employees with intermittent, chronic health conditions. We are testing the tool now until the end of March 2020.Find out how to get involved
ACED partner video offers advice for workers with arthritis
Feeling tired, stiff or achy after work is something many of us have experienced. But having arthritis can make these symptoms part of everyday living – during work and after. By speaking to individuals with arthritis, researchers have learned about what helps them to manage their symptoms inside and outside the workplace. Dr. Arif Jetha, a scientist at the Institute for Work & Health and a member of the ACED research team, shares these approaches in a new video from the Arthritis Society.Watch the video
ACED handout useful for sharing project information
The ACED project team has created a downloadable handout that makes it easy to share information about the project with others. Called "The ACED primer," the one-page, double-sided handout explains what the partnership is all about by asking and answering seven questions, from why the ACED project is needed to the people, organizations and funders behind it.Get the handout