In Ontario, only 1 in 4 individuals with an intellectual disability are employed. The ultimate goal is to support individuals and their families, create a vision and articulate it, and utilize a family network around evidence-based approaches to advocate for, demand, and acquire employment for their family member with a disability.
Based on extensive research and lived experience, the FSNE has concluded that an Employment First approach as the most effective way to transform the current system. Families and individuals with an intellectual disability need to be consulted and heard on issues that affect their lives.
From 2018-2020 with support from the Ministry of Children Community and Social Services (MCCSS),and in collaboration with Brockville and District Association for Community Involvement (BDACI) and Lulo films Inc., we have developed the Family Support Network for Employment(FSNE). FSNE is an Ontario family-based advocacy group of families who have a member with an intellectual disability seeking employment in the community. In the process of finding and implementing solutions, the FSNE provides recommendations from experts and best practices to achieve employment for individuals with disabilities who need “third party” support. We found the present employment system in Ontario is failing people with an intellectual disability who need “third party representation” support in finding, accessing and retaining meaningful and competitive employment opportunities in the community.