The Disability Opportunity Initiative is designed to help persons with disabilities prepare for, obtain and keep employment or become self-employed, thus, increasing their economic independence.

Any of GREAT’s employment and training programs can be utilized to remove barriers to employment, for persons with disabilities.

Program Details


To qualify for the Disability Opportunity Initiative, participants must be:
• An unemployed member of Six Nations of the Grand River, who is actively seeking employment.
• Be unemployed or working less than an average of 20 hours per week.
• No longer required by law to attend school.
• Self-identified, as having a permanent physical or mental disability that limits daily activity.
• Be legally entitled to work in Canada.
• Be in need of assistance, to prepare to enter the labour market, obtain a job or become self-employed.
• Registered with Grand River Employment and Training.


• Positions filled by the participant should be a vacant or a newly created position, which forms part of the employer’s normal operations.
• Employers must intend to provide continued employment to the participant, upon completion of the training program.
• Support and/or services provided to clients must form part of an Employment Action Plan, developed in consultation with the client. The client must be case managed and the interventions included in the action plan, must be specifically related to addressing the client’s barriers to achieving their employment goal.




Not to exceed fifty-two (52) weeks, for a purchase of training, not to exceed seventy-eight (78) weeks, for a wage subsidy or Self-Employment Assistance (SEA).

Program Supports

• Financial support to employers to encourage them to hire persons with disabilities, whom they would not normally hire (wage subsidy). Wages must be based on the prevailing wage rate of the participant’s position.
• Support projects to help persons with disabilities create jobs for themselves, by starting a business (self-employment).
• Support projects that create job opportunities to persons with disabilities, through which they can gain work experience, which will lead to ongoing employment (work experience).
• Financial assistance to persons with disabilities, to help them obtain skills for employment, ranging from basic to advanced (skills for employment).
• Financial assistance, in the form of contributions, may be made to recipients who are eligible participants to cover the following costs incurred in relation to their participation in an eligible activity
• All or a portion of their living expenses.
• All or a portion of the incremental costs of participation, such as expenses related
to specialized services, arrangements to lease equipment, dependent care,
transportation and accommodation.
• All or part of the cost of tuition, for a course or program of instruction.
• Financial assistance, in the form of contributions may be made to eligible
organizations, to cover the following costs incurred, in relation to participant
employment costs:
• All or a portion of their salaries and mandatory employment related costs.
• General overhead costs related to the position, are not eligible.

Employers, Sponsors & Training Partners

Eligible Employers

Businesses and organizations, including but not limited to profit, not-for-profit and government departments. Employers must have:
• A Revenue Canada Taxation number, to remit an individual’s Employment Insurance benefits.
• Proper bookkeeping policies and practices in place.
• Third party liability or WSIB coverage
• Willing and able to accommodate, train and employ persons with disabilities