The number of students with disabilities enrolled in post-secondary education has increased in each of the last three academic years. Over the same period, there has been a 45.5 per cent increase in the number of graduating students. In the 2006-07 academic year there were 2,469 students with disabilities enrolled in post-secondary study in Nova Scotia. A full report of the first year of the study is expected to be released in April. Post-Secondary Disabilities Services, a division of the Department of Education, provides a variety of services to students, including grants, assessment, tutoring, note-taking, interpreters, attendant care and assistive technology. It also funds disability resource facilitators at 10 post-secondary institutions. Nearly three-quarters of job-seekers with disabilities who graduated from post-secondary institutions in Nova Scotia last year found work related to their field of study. Preliminary results of a study by the Department of Education found 87 per cent of students with disabilities who looked for a job had found one within 14 months of graduation. Of those, 70 per cent were employed in jobs related to their field of study. The study also found that the graduates earn salaries comparable to the general population. “Educating students to compete in today’s economy is one of our priorities,” said Minister of Education Karen Casey. “Students with disabilities face unique challenges. We want to knock down as many barriers as we can so that they can get the post-secondary education and employment they want. It is gratifying to see how well so many are doing.” The five-year study, in collaboration with the Canadian Council on Learning, is examining the graduation rate, employment and quality of life of students with disabilities. Researchers surveyed 261 graduates in Year 1. Ongoing results will help the department identify areas of success and where improvement is needed. The release of the preliminary results coincides with the United Nations’ International Day of Disabled Persons, observed today, Dec. 3. This year’s theme is Decent Work for Persons with Disabilities. The study also found: 86.8 per cent of respondents were in the labour force (working or looking for work) 46.7 per cent of those who were not in the labour force had returned to school 54.2 per cent of employed respondents indicated their job was directly related to their education; 15.5 per cent indicated there was an indirect relationship and 30.3 per cent indicated there was no relationship The average annual earnings of those employed was $27,626. University graduates employed directly in their field earned $32,941 while similar college grads earned $28,331.
SAN FRANCISCO — Pacific Gas & Electric and a group of insurers say they have reached an $11 billion settlement to cover most of the claims from the 2017 and 2018 wildfires in California.The utility said in a statement Friday the tentative agreement covers 85% of the insurance claims, including a fire that decimated the town of Paradise.A group of insurers said in a separate statement the settlement is well below the $20 billion the insurance companies had sought in bankruptcy court.PG&E Corp. on Monday released a plan to offer nearly $18 billion to victims, insurance companies and cities and public entities in California that battled fires sparked by electrical equipment.PG&E sought bankruptcy protection in January because it said it could not afford an estimated $30 billion in damages.The Associated Press