The Canadian Association of Professionals with Disabilities became a federally incorporated non-profit in 2003.
The origins of the non-profit began when a group of professionals with disabilities felt that the voice and issues of professionals with disabilities in Canada were largely going unnoticed and unrepresented leading them to be under-supported, under-employed, and excluded from the workforce. This came from personal, professional, and community outreach experience (including their work in employment, disability supports, rehabilitation, education, and training for people with disabilities). They formed a national non-profit that would take a leadership role in addressing issues affecting professionals with disabilities.
For years before the non-profit was formed, these professionals with disabilities, as individuals, were seeking information nationally and globally on statistics, information and support solely for professionals with disabilities, but the information was meagre or non-existent, and questions posed with this topic were often met with confusion and annoyance except by professionals with disabilities who knew that their concerns were frequently going unaddressed and unrecognised. This group also realised that there was a need to provide camaraderie and support amongst professionals with disabilities, and a need for a national clearinghouse of information and support for them, no matter where they lived in Canada.
The Canadian Association of Professionals with Disabilities is a grassroots creation. It is based on a consumer controlled model and dedicated to social responsibility, collaboration, innovation, diversity, and inclusion.