Community Update: Changes to the Employment and Assistance Act and the Employment and Assistance for Persons with Disabilities Act

Dear Community Partner,

On January 1, 2020, a number of changes to the Employment and Assistance Act and the Employment and Assistance for Persons with Disabilities Act took effect.

As outlined in the Ministry of Social Development and Poverty Reduction’s (MSDPR) news release, these positive changes include:

  • Ending the requirement for people on PWD, PPMB or regular Income Assistance to pursue Canada Pension Plan retirement benefits before the age of 65;
  • Removing the limit to the number of security deposits for Ministry clients
  • Introducing a repayable pet damage deposit with the same requirements as a security deposit
  • Changing the definition of spouse so that people can live together for 12 consecutive months (instead of 3) before being considered spouses
          – Married spouses who separate but are not yet divorced can live
    together in the same home and be treated as separate family
    units even if they are still legally married
          – Adults will no longer be considered dependents of each other on
    the basis of demonstrating a parent role towards the child
  • Eliminating the two-year independence rule, which states that young adults must be financially independent for two years before being able to access income assistance.

For more information, please read MSDPR’s news release (linked above) or contact our Advocacy Access Program at 604-872-1278/1-800-663-1278 or

Designing Art for Cultural Inclusion

On Tuesday, January 28 CCEL is hosting an event on how art can be used for social change and to break down stereotypes.

Event Details:

At this event, Founder and Director of BlackArtGastown, Nya Lewis, will talk about how art can be used to facilitate social change and raise awareness, and will offer some principles and promising practices to designing art through a lens of racial and cultural inclusion, diversity and equity.

Designathon Project:

This event is part of a city-wide poster campaign on ethnicity, immigration, race, religion, and culture for the Burnaby Together Coalition Against Racism and Hate intiative led by Burnaby Family Life.

Attendees will have the opportunity to opt-in to form teams of 3 to 4 people to designing a poster. Design teams will have up to a month following the event to design a poster. $500 cash prize for the first team, gift cards for the second and third, and a free social justice workshop for all teams. *Note: Wanting to join a design team is not a requirement to attending this event. All are welcome.

Date: Tuesday January 28, 2020
Time: 6pm to 8pm
Location: Community Hall at Kitsilano Neighbourhoods House (2305 W 7th Avenue, Vancouver) (click here for map)

For more info and to register:

Her Heart Matters: Uncovering the Cardiac Pain Experiences of Women with Disabilities through Patient Journal Mapping

DABC has received the following information from the University of Toronto:

Women with physical disabilities have 6.6 times higher chance of developing heart disease and 5.9 times higher chance of having cardiac pain compared to women without disabilities. We are partnering with the Network of Women with Disabilities (NOW), the Canadian Council of Disabilities (CCD) and the DisAbled Women’s Network (DAWN) of Canada to learn how to improve decision-making, access and quality of care for women who have disabilities and cardiac pain through patient journey mapping.

We would like to recruit 10-16 English-speaking women over 40 years of age living with a mobility disability (e.g., paraplegia, quadriplegia, osteoarthritis, etc.) and cardiac pain/cardiac symptoms (e.g., shortness of breath). Women will be eligible if they respond ‘yes, sometimes’ or ‘yes, often’ to any of the following three questions: ‘Does a long-term physical condition or health problem, reduce the amount or the kind of activity you can do’ (Q1), ‘at home?’ (Q2) ‘at work?, and (Q3) ‘in other activities (e.g., transportation, leisure)?’ We will ask potential participants to have a 10-20-minute telephone call with us where we will explain our study and project and then we will ask screening questions. The next step will involve an individual interview to discuss your experiences, either face-to-face or by telephone or using the internet. Patterns and connections discovered in the interviews will inform the creation of storyboards/patient journey maps. If you choose, you can participate in a discussion group with other women and health care providers. You will have a chance to review and comment on the storyboards/patient journey maps in the discussion group.

We will provide a lay summary about the study and its findings to all those who participated and indicated that they wished to receive a copy. Travel costs will be reimbursed if you live near Toronto and participants will receive a $25 honorarium for participating in an individual interview or a discussion group. If women participate in both they will receive $50.

If interested please contact Monica Parry at or 416-946-3561