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Helping people in Sudbury with disabilities find employment

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On Friday morning in Sudbury, the federal government announced $1.4 million in funding as part of its Disability Inclusion Action Plan.

Spark Employment Services is receiving the money to provide training and work placements for people living with disabilities and to offer support for employers taking steps to make their workplaces more inclusive.

Aliayh Clark, 21, has autism and said finding employment has been difficult given some of the challenges she faces.

“It’s hard because not every employer is willing to accommodate you in, like, a way that is helpful and so that’s what has been hard -- and getting overstimulated, getting too tired around people, things like that with my autism, it’s been difficult,” Clark said.

“But I think I am ready to work and if someone were to give a chance I think I could really flourish.”

The money will support people with disabilities as they prepare to find and maintain employment. There will also be training and support for employers.

“I hear a lot as I meet with businesses talking about a more inclusive workplace and I hear it a lot in the community, too,” said Viviane Lapointe, Sudbury Liberal MP.

“I think it’s important for employers to feel that they are supported through this,” said Chantal Makela, Spark Employment Services CEO.

On Friday morning in Sudbury, the federal government announced $1.4 million in funding as part of its Disability Inclusion Action Plan. (Alana Everson/CTV News)

“If they require supports through policy development to different ideas on how they can be accommodating for a person living with a disability. It’s nice to have that resource in the community.”

For clients living with disabilities, the program will include in-class and one-on-one training along, with a 12-week paid work placement.

“They have encountered numerous doors being slammed in their face and numerous chances to not make it, so this is going to give these people a chance to actually get into the work force without that barrier that they have encountered,” said Robin Bower, Spark Employment Services diversity equity and inclusion manager.

Officials at Spark Employment said the funding will assist 40 participants with disabilities and offer support to 130 employers over the next two years.

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