Challenge lands Education Department’s contract to find work for disabled residents

The Yukon government has found an experienced non-profit group to take over the task of helping people with disabilities find work.

The Yukon government has found an experienced non-profit group to take over the task of helping people with disabilities find work.

Challenge Disability Resource Group was recently awarded the contract by the Yukon Department of Education.

The department issued the tender earlier this year after it denied funding to the Yukon Council of Disabilities, saying that the group couldn’t meet the requirements to get the money.

Without that money the council was forced to close.

In an interview yesterday, Education Minister Doug Graham said the details of the new deal are still being negotiated.

The two sides also haven’t agreed on exactly how much it’s going to cost.

“They’ll be doing case-management services, they’ll be doing referrals to labour market programming, all for persons with disabilities,” Graham said.

Case managers will work with people to identify challenges to entering the workforce, organize aptitude testing, identify other training someone could take, and figure out what an employer would have to do in terms of accommodations.

Case managers will help clients by identifying obstacles to getting a job, lining up aptitude testing and training, and figuring out what accommodations an employer would offer.

Everything should be up and running by July. In the meantime, case management is being provided by the department’s labour market programs and service unit.

Graham said he expects the government to set targets for requirements like how many people Challenge is expected to see.

“That will be based a lot on Challenge’s experience as well as the department’s experience in that area,” Graham said.

“So they’ll agree on a number of approximately how many people they will see in a year and the fee will be basically assigned on that amount.”

Last fiscal year, the department gave the Yukon Council on Disability $302,000.

When news broke in February that the organization was closing, Graham said the group was unable to demonstrate it was operating efficiently.

Yesterday, Graham said he believes Challenge has a clear understanding of what is expected of them.

On top of that, they already have the administrative support in place, he said. That wasn’t the case for everyone who applied for the job.

“They have the bookkeepers already, they have the administrators that are necessary to move this process forward,” he said,

“and with other non-government NGOs, many of them had to ramp up their own organization in order to handle it. We’re pretty happy with Challenge actually because they won’t have to do that.”

Since 1976, Challenge has offered various on-the-job training programs. These currently include running the cafe inside the Yukon legislature, operating a woodshop and offering landscaping and greenhouse training.

Graham said this new contract is aimed at people who are not already working with Challenge.

He sees the two responsibilities as completely different.

“They’ll be working with other employers to try and find employment for persons with disabilities, and they’ll work with the department as well of course,” he said.

Contact Ashley Joannou at

ashleyj@yukon-news.com

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Dawson the dog sits next to the Chariot Patrick Jackson has loaded and rigged up to walk the Dempster Highway from where it begins, off the North Klondike Highway, to the Arctic Circle. (Submitted)
Walking the Dempster

Patrick Jackson gets set for 405-kilometre journey

Liberal leader Sandy Silver speaks outside his campaign headquarters in Dawson City following early poll results on April 12. (Robin Sharp/Yukon News)
BREAKING: Minority government results will wait on tie vote in Vuntut Gwitchin

The Yukon Party and the Liberal Party currently have secured the same amount of seats

Yukonomist Keith Halliday
YUKONOMIST: The Neapolitan election

Do you remember those old bricks of Neapolitan ice cream from birthday… Continue reading

Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Brendan Hanley. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News)
Exposure notice issued for April 3 Air North flight

Yukon Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Brendan Hanley has issued another… Continue reading

Crystal Schick/Yukon News file
Runners in the Yukon Arctic Ultra marathon race down the Yukon River near the Marwell industrial area in Whitehorse on Feb. 3, 2019.
Cold-weather exercise hard on the lungs

Amy Kenny Special to the Yukon News It might make you feel… Continue reading

lwtters
Today’s Mailbox: Rent freezes and the youth vote

Dear Editor, I read the article regarding the recommendations by the Yukon… Continue reading

Point-in-Time homeless count planned this month

Volunteers will count those in shelters, short-term housing and without shelter in a 24-hour period.

The Yukon’s new ATIPP Act came into effect on April 1. Yukoners can submit ATIPP requests online or at the Legislative Assembly building. (Gabrielle Plonka/Yukon News file)
New ATIPP Act in effect as of April 1

The changes promise increased government transparency

A new conservancy in northern B.C. is adjacent to Mount Edziza Provincial Park. (Courtesy BC Parks)
Ice Mountain Lands near Telegraph Creek, B.C., granted conservancy protection

The conservancy is the first step in a multi-year Tahltan Stewardship Initiative

Yukon RCMP reported a child pornography-related arrest on April 1. (Phil McLachlan/Black Press file)
Whitehorse man arrested on child pornography charges

The 43-year-old was charged with possession of child pornography and making child pornography

Team Yukon athletes wave flags at the 2012 Arctic Winter Games opening ceremony in Whitehorse. The postponed 2022 event in Wood Buffalo, Alta., has been rescheduled for Jan. 29 to Feb. 4, 2023. (Justin Kennedy/Yukon News file)
New dates set for Arctic Winter Games

Wood Buffalo, Alta. will host event Jan. 29 to Feb. 4, 2023

Victoria Gold Corp. has contributed $1 million to the First Nation of Na-cho Nyak Dun after six months of production at the Eagle Gold Mine. (Submitted/Victoria Gold Corp.)
Victoria Gold contributes $1 million to First Nation of Na-cho Nyak Dun

Victoria Gold signed a Comprehensive Cooperation and Benefits Agreement in 2011

Most Read