Today’s CCRW began to emerge with the passage of the Federal Employment Equity Act in 1986.
The CCRW cultivated relationships with companies adapting to new obligations to increase the number of persons with disabilities and other designated groups in their workforces. During this time, the CCRW Employer Advisory Committee (EAC) was formed, and national conferences were held to establish links between the business community and agencies that provide employment services to persons with disabilities.
At the same time, the CCRW took on increasingly broader projects and activities related to improving mainstream employment opportunities for persons with disabilities. This included an innovative study of supported employment (a model for providing real jobs for persons with intellectual disabilities). These new relationships, commitments, and activities provided the CCRW with a more pronounced and unique identity.
Until the late 1980s, there was little training available for Canadians assisting persons with disabilities who were looking for employment. There was also a notable shortage of disability-related training programs for employers. Recognizing these needs, the CCRW became a major source of training workshops related to the employment of persons with disabilities in Canada.
Since 1987, the CCRW has presented dozens of workshops across Canada, which have included training for human resources personnel of major Canadian corporations:
- 1989-1990: TREND (the Training and Education Network on Disability), a series of seminars and events focused on the employment of persons with disabilities
- 1993-95: teleconference seminars
- 1993-95: CTAP (Corporate Training Access Program), which provided access for persons with disabilities to internal training courses of major Canadian corporations;
- 1996: Working Solutions, which were workshops on interviewing and supervising persons with disabilities
In conjunction with Canada’s National Strategy for the Integration of Persons with Disabilities (1991-96), the CCRW expanded its Programs and Services to include:
- JANCANA – a toll-free phone consultation service for general job accommodation information
- Skills Training Partnership (STP) Program – an employment training program for persons with disabilities, which was based on innovative partnerships with businesses and community organizations
- Wide Area Employment Network (WAEN) – a resume database and job bank specifically for job seekers with disabilities, which was launched as a pilot project in southern Ontario
- The CCRW also coordinated Human Resources Development Canada’s Self-Employment Assistance (SEA) pilot project for persons with disabilities (1994-96).
Publication activity grew substantially in the late 80s and early 90s, and a variety of authors wrote numerous research reports and other major publications. In 1994, the CCRW began marketing its publications and a full range of books and products on employment and disability from Canadian and U.S. publishers; these were contained in the Emerging Workforce Catalogue. The CCRW newsletter, “”Ability and Enterprise””, is currently available as an electronic newsletter and remains a key Canadian periodical on employment and disability issues.
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