Nova Scotians with disabilities now have more support to stay in the workforce with enhancements to the Workplace Support Program.
Now people will have access to even more types of technical aids and assistive devices. Technical aids include things like office furniture modifications, speech recognition software, visual and graphic organizers. Assistive devices may include wheelchair purchases and repairs, and hearing aids.
“We want as many people with disabilities in Nova Scotia to be able to work. But we know that sometimes costs can get in the way,” said Community Services Minister Joanne Bernard. “The changes we’ve made to the Workplace Support Program will help those in need of assistive devices and technical aids to stay in their jobs by keeping money in their pockets.”
Changes to the program include:
— clients no longer have to pay upfront for devices
–- clients can now be older than 65
–- minimum working hours have been lowered to five hours/week
–- program eligibility has been expanded to include post-secondary students who require technical aids and assistive devices over and above what is provided by the Post-Secondary Disability Services Program administered by the Department of Labour and Advanced Education
–- wheelchair purchases have been added to the list of allowable assistive devices
–- the appeal process has been clarified
The Workplace Support Program provides the supports that Nova Scotians with disabilities need to stay in the workforce. Nova Scotians with a disability who need a technical aid or assistive device to maintain their employment, and who meet the program eligibility, may receive funding.
The Workplace Support Program also funds persons with disabilities who need attendant support to get or maintain employment. Nova Scotia is the only province in the country to offer these supports to ensure all Nova Scotians have access to work.
The program is funded through the federal government’s Labour Market Agreement for Persons with Disabilities. For more information, visit, https://novascotia.ca/coms/labourmarketagreement
The department is changing programs to better support vulnerable people and create a more sustainable social support system. Immediate improvements are also being made when possible.