MOH focus group participants who live with disabilities indicated that the single most important challenge for them is that settlement and integration services are not necessarily designed to serve their unique needs. Meanwhile, services for those with disabilities are not specifically geared to meet the needs of immigrants. For example, participants stated that LINC does not offer classes for the visually impaired, while Canadian National Institute for the Blind (CNIB) does not offer much in the way of training or materials to those who do not speak English or French. While focus group participants were speaking about the experience of immigrants with physical disabilities, similar but unique challenges exist for those with intellectual disabilities. Based on these experiences, OCASI recommends the following:
- At the immigrant-serving agency and community levels, increase coordination and partnerships between immigrant-serving agencies and agencies that specialize in providing services to those living with disabilities.
- At the federal and provincial levels, provide funding and resource support to foster partnerships and strategic alliances between immigrant-serving agencies and agencies that provide services to those living with disabilities.
- At the federal and provincial levels, provide funding to make immigrant and refugee focused services accessible to those with disabilities.
See page 69 - 72 [PDF] for more information about funding for newcomers with disabilities.