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National Disability Policy: A Progress Report - October 2017

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A bearded male amputee sits on a wood bench against a wood wall on a wood platform with his arms around Canadian crutches, which he has clutched to his chest. His chin rests on a crutch. He is wearing a camouflaged baseball cap that obstructs his eyes and a faded and torn blue plaid jacket with hoodie on, with the hood pulled over the hat. He wears pocketed gray sweatpants, which are also dirty and torn. He wears one gray athletic shoe, and his left pant leg is folded up under where his leg was amputated.

October 26, 2017


SCOPE AND PURPOSE: The 2017 edition of this report, which fulfills NCD’s statutory mandate to report annually on the state of disability policy in key areas, uses the intersection of disability and poverty as its organizing theme. The Council focused on poverty because it is the common thread that continues to compound many of the core concerns for people with disabilities. The report focuses on seven factors that are crucial for enhancing the economic independence of people with disabilities in our society: education, employment, financial assistance and incentives, health care, long-term services and supports, transportation, and housing.

This report addresses why people with disabilities are often destined to live in poverty and experience high unemployment despite existing federal regulations and public policies that are geared toward improving the lives of people with disabilities. The report also highlights opportunities to improve existing policy as well as the need for forethought to ensure that any proposed policy changes in the fight against poverty do not inadvertently cause harm to people with disabilities but rather further our common goal of achieving economic self-sufficiency for all.

The report concludes with an overview of several emerging and promising practices for achieving economic self-sufficiency, as well as recommendations for policymakers.