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DWC2020 Day 1 Presentations

Moving Forward Together
Disability and Work in Canada (DWC) Initiative

The Disability and Work in Canada 2020 (DWC 2020) Conference was held virtually this year over four days in late November and early December (November 25 & 26 and December 1 & 2). The theme for this year’s conference was the “Strategy in Action—Pathways and Impacts”, with subthemes for each day as follows:

Wednesday November 25, 2020 – The Big Picture–Challenges and Opportunities

 

Check-in and Opening Welcome (MC) – Day 1 Theme: The Big Picture–Challenges and Opportunities

 

MC: Tammy Yates, Executive Director, Realize

 

 

Indigenous Land Acknowledgement

 

Introduction: Emile Tompa, Director, Centre for Research on Work Disability Policy (CRWDP)

 

 

Speaker: Stephen Lytton, Board President, British Columbia Aboriginal Network on Disability Society (BCANDS)

 

 

 

 

Keynote: Challenges and Opportunities for Progress on the Employment of Persons with Disabilities: How the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities can contribute

 

Introduction: 

Alec Farquhar, Chair, Engagement, Centre for Research on Work Disability Policy (CRWDP)

 

 

Keynote Speaker:

Bob Rae, Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Canada to the United Nations

 

 

Commentator:

Steve Estey, Human Rights Consultant

 

 

Session Description: The finalization in 2006 of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) represented a breakthrough in the recognition of the barriers resulting from disability and the urgent need for action by governments and civil society.  Much progress has been made since 2006 internationally and in Canada.  However, we are still far from making the vision of the CRPD real on the ground for persons with disabilities.  Bob Rae, Canada’s Ambassador and Permanent Representative to the United Nations, will open the DWC 2020 Conference with a focus on how the CRPD can contribute to further progress.

Comments by Steven Estey, Human Rights Consultant and a leader within Civil Society Organizations. Steven has been a leader in Canada and internationally in the development and championing of the CRPD.

Tags: Human Rights

 

Parallel session 1: Major Initiatives from Selected Provinces

 

Moderator:

Mary Reid, Vice Chairperson, Board of Accessibility Standards Canada

 

 

Speakers: 

  • Ron Saunders, Adjunct Scientist, Institute for Work & Health (IWH)

 

 

  • Yutta Fricke, Executive Director, Disabilities Issues Office, Province of Manitoba

 

 

  • Catherine Shortall, Acting Director, Disability Policy Office, Province of Newfoundland and Labrador

 

 

  • Joseph Giulione, Director, L’Arrimage, Quebec; President of Regroupment des Organismes Spécialiseés pour l’Emploi des Personnes Handicapées

 

 

Session Description: This session provides highlights of provincial initiatives to foster employment of persons with disabilities. It includes a brief report on the DWC Policy Roundtable held in June 2020. The main part of the session is a dialogue about promising initiatives in Quebec, Manitoba, and Newfoundland and Labrador.

Additional Materials and Resources: 

 

Parallel session 2: Disability Community Experiences in Relation to Work given COVID-19 Pandemic

 

Moderators:

 Emile Tompa, Director, Centre for Research on Work Disability Policy (CRWDP) and

 

 

Maureen Haan, President & CEO, Canadian Council on Rehabilitation and Work (CCRW)

 

 

Speakers: 

  • Pamela Lahey, Research Advisor, Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC)
  • Krista Carr, Executive Vice President (CEO), Inclusion Canada

 

 

  • Mahadeo Sukhai, Head of Research and Chief Accessibility Officer, Canadian National Institute for the Blind (CNIB)

 

 

Session Description: Various surveys have been undertaken by researchers and community group during the COVID-19 pandemic to better understand the experience of persons with disabilities in relation to work and other social roles. A key concern is that many persons with disability are being further marginalized and are struggling to keep their connections to work and their communities. In this session findings from a selection of these survey efforts are profiled.

Additional Materials and Resources:

Tags: COVID-19

 

Parallel session 3: Using the COVID-19 Recovery to Increase Employment of Persons with Disabilities

 

Moderator:

Alec Farquhar, Chair, Engagement, Centre for Research on Work Disability Policy (CRWDP)

 

 

Speakers: 

  • Shawn de Raaf, Research Director, Social Research & Demonstration Corporation

 

 

  • Laura Celeste, Researcher for the evaluation of the BC Partners in Workforce Innovation – Increasing Employment Through Inclusive Workplaces

 

 

  • Elisabeth Harrison, Research Associate, University of Guelph

 

 

  • Lacey Croft, Research Assistant, University of Guelph

 

 

  • Carla Rice, Professor, Principal Investigator and Co-Director, From Invisibility to Inclusion Project

 

 

  • Max Brault, Vice President, Accessibility Consulting Services & National practice lead for Accessibility, BDO

 

 

Session Description: The COVID19 pandemic has disproportionately affected the most vulnerable in society, including persons with disabilities. This has included a significant employment impact. Effective responses are needed to ensure that persons with disabilities are not left behind in the COVID19 recovery. And can the recovery be used to increase employment of persons with disabilities? This session will explore the impacts and ideas for solutions.

Additional Materials and Resources:

Tags: COVID-19, Employment supports, Hiring

 

Break with Vignette: Vignette: Because of COVID…

 

Because of COVID… represents the new barriers persons with disabilities are now facing, because of COVID. Discover the stories of real people who are working the changes and adapting to the new realities of the pandemic in the workplace.

Tags: COVID-19, Accommodation, Disability-confident workplace, Hiring

 

 

Panel session 1: Income Security for Persons with a Disability (Part 1)

 

Moderator:

Steve Mantis, Chair, Research Action Committee, Ontario Network of Injured Workers Groups (ONIWG)

 

 

Speakers:

  • John Stapleton, Innovation Fellow, Metcalf Foundation

 

 

  • Sherri Torjman, Social Policy Consultant and Policy Associate, Maytree

 

 

  • Tom McDowell, Instructor, Ryerson University

 

 

Session Description: This session will discuss big picture information about income supports for people with disabilities. It will also examine the possible structure and aspects of the proposed federal disability benefit. As well, the Ontario Basic Income Pilot will be evaluated with reporting on the experiences of participants in the Ontario Basic Income Pilot in Hamilton, ON.

Additional Materials and Resources:

Tags: Income supports

 

Panel session 2: Driving Change: Inclusive Hiring During a Pandemic

 

Moderator: 

Shawn de Raaf, Research Director, Social Research & Demonstration Corporation

 

 

Speakers: 

  • Jamie Millar-Dixon, Inclusive Workforce Consultant, BC Partners in Workforce Innovation

 

 

  • Jasmine Marchant, Inclusive Workforce Consultant, BC Partners in Workforce Innovation

 

 

  • Magda Trespalacios Rubio, Organizational Development Consultant, ICBC

 

 

  • Susanna Tam, Organizational Development Consultant, ICBC

 

 

Session Description: Such positive momentum has been made in recent years to increase workforce representation of people with disabilities at all levels of positions in organizations. However, COVID-19 saw many workplaces across the country shut down, suspend hiring or redeploy existing staff to work remotely from home. This has resulted in decreased activities to support workplace hiring and other inclusion efforts of people with disabilities. One organization in BC did the opposite. Working with the BC Partners in Workforce Innovation (BC WiN) team, ICBC has taken significant steps to keep inclusion moving forward, driving change, even during a pandemic. The Insurance Corporation of BC reinforced its commitment to being an inclusive employer and the CEO communicated this to the senior leadership team, established a D&I Leadership Group, took the time to educate staff on how to become more inclusive and continued to reinforce learning throughout the spring, summer and fall with all leaders. Their goal is to prepare leaders now, for increased hiring in the future. All current vacancies, through small in numbers, are recruited through BC WiN. BC WiN Inclusive Workforce Consultants, along with representatives from ICBC, will share a step-by-step approach the organization undertook during COVID to strengthen their commitment to being an inclusive employer.

Additional Materials and Resources:

Tags: COVID-19, Disability-confident workplace, Initiatives, Innovation, Partnership

 

 

Presentation by the Federal Minister: The Honourable Carla Qualtrough, Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Disability Inclusion

 

Introduction: 

Maureen Haan, President & CEO, Canadian Council on Rehabilitation and Work (CCRW)

 

 

Speaker:

The Honourable Carla Qualtrough, Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Disability Inclusion

 

 

 

Closing for the Day (MC) – Day 1 Theme: The Big Picture–Challenges and Opportunities

 

MC: Tammy Yates, Executive Director, Realize

 

 

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