Newcomers With Disabilities

Challenges for Newcomers With Disabilities

For newcomers to Canada, accessing services can be a challenging experience. Language and cultural barriers make it difficult for newcomers to navigate the system and understand their rights. Newcomers may also be unaware of the diverse array of services available to them, or the appropriate channels to access them. This is further complicated for people with disabilities – who are often dependent on having access to medical and caregiving services.

Newcomers With Disabilities Forum

On November 9, 2022, a total of 91 participants gathered in Downtown Vancouver to address the question:

How can we work better as a disability service community to improve services for newcomers with disabilities?

This forum, known as the “Newcomers with Disabilities Forum”, was created to illuminate the struggles of newcomers with disabilities. The data collected from the forum was compiled into a report that suggests ways in which services could improve to better assist newcomers with disabilities.

Newcomers With Disabilities Forum Key Findings

  • Newcomers require “Quality Referrals” to services.
  • Translation services should be provided across disability, immigration, and healthcare organizations.
  • The creation of newcomer support groups can help forge connections, and combat isolation.
  • There is a need for more caregivers and caregiving services.
  • There is a need to reduce the long wait times for medical services.
  • Financial assistance is needed for those who must take time off work to care for a person with disabilities.
  • Services must be adaptable and diverse to assist newcomers on a case-by-case basis

Resources For Assisting Newcomers With Disabilities

After the Newcomers with Disabilities Forum on November 9, 2022, we received several emails listing resources that could address the needs of Newcomers with Disabilities. The following list is a compilation of a wide variety of resources available in Vancouver, BC that can be utilized to assist newcomers with disabilities. The list includes resources that can assist with financial aid, mental health, volunteer/peer support, and much more.

Newcomers with Disabilities Forum (November 6, 2022)