Employment status and commute distance of Canadians with disabilities

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

place - north america, ridership - commuting, policy - disability


disabilities, impairments, employment status, commute distance, 2006 Participation and Activity Limitation survey, Canada


Alleviating the disability challenges experienced by people with impairments is increasingly seen as an important step towards building more inclusive societies. The very definition of disability has evolved to shift the burden from people with impairments to perform at “normal” competency levels and towards a fuller recognition of the ways that society can either build or tear down barriers that hinder their full participation in society. The objective of this paper is to investigate the factors that act as facilitators or barriers to participation by people with impairments. Specifically, the study is conducted within the context of employment status and commute distance, two outcomes indicative of the ability of individuals with impairments to engage society. Analysis is based on Canada’s 2006 Participation and Activity Limitation Survey, a post-censal survey that collects information on various aspects of disabilities for a representative sample of Canadian society. The results, based on a probit model for employment status and a regression model for commute distance, provide insights into the personal, economic, and living space factors that affect the probability of being employed and traveling longer distances.