Data on People with Disabilities

Disability rarely affects a person’s ability to make meaningful contributions in the workplace. In fact, you may not even be aware that you have people with disabilities in your workforce because they don’t need, or haven’t requested, accommodation. These employees bring invaluable knowledge, experience and reliability to your business. It is worthwhile learning more about their needs and finding creative ways to help them contribute their skills and abilities to the success of your business.

Many disabilities are associated with aging. As our population grows older, the number of people living and working with a disability will steadily increase. Here are some interesting statistics about disability in Canada:

Approximately one in seven Canadians – 4.4 million adults and children – are living with a disability.2

Between 2001 and 2006, the number of people reporting a disability increased from 12.4% to 14.3%. This increase was reported in all age groups and was largely due to the ageing population, as well as to an increase in reported learning disabilities.2

The Canada-wide disability rate for adult women is 17.7% and the rate for adult men is 15.4%

In 2006, 74.6% of working-age adults with disabilities obtained a high school diploma or higher educational certification.2

Since 2001, the employment rate for working-age Canadians with disabilities increased by 4%, reaching 53.5% in 2006.2

As the population grows older, we may encounter more age-related disabilities in the workforce. In 2006, one in seven Canadians was over the age of 65.3.

Between 2001 and 2006, our working population began rapidly aging. The number of people aged 55-64 increased over 28%, growing 5 times faster than any other age group.4 By 2016, this age group will represent over 20% of the population.5

References 1 Statistics Canada. Living with disability series: Defining disability in the Participation and Activity Limitation Survey. MacKenzie A, Hurst M, Crompton S. 2009. (Canadian Social Trends Number 88) (11-008-x). 2 Human Resources and Skills Development Canada. 2009 Federal Disability Report: Advancing the Inclusion of People with Disabilities. 2009. 3 Statistics Canada. 2006 Census: Portrait of the 2006 Canadian Population by Age and Sex. National Portrait – A record one in seven Canadians is 65 years or older. 2009 (2006 Census: Analysis Series). (97-551-XWE-2006001). 97- 4. Statistics Canada. 2006 Census: Age and Sex: The Daily. Tuesday, July 17, 2007. 5 Statistics Canada. 2006 Census: Portrait of the 2006 Canadian Population by Age and Sex: National Portrait – Rapid aging of the working- age population. 2009. (2006 Census: Analysis Series). (97-551-XWE-2006001).