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DWC2020 – Day 2 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:

Thursday November 26, 2020 – Progress in the Workplace

 

Opening Remarks (MC) – Day 2 Theme: Progress in the Workplace

 

MC: Evelyn Huntjens, National Coordinator, British Columbia Aboriginal Network on Disability Society (BCANDS)

 

 

 

 

Keynote: Equity, Diversity and Inclusion at Canada Post

 

Moderator:

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

 

 

Speakers: 

  • David Soltis, Director, Talent Acquisition and Employee Policy, Canada Post

 

 

  • Jannet Nguyen, Advisor, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion, Canada Post

 

 

Session Description: This presentation will focus on Canada Post’s effort to co-create an Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Strategy in collaboration with their unions. Since launching their integrated Equity and Diversity Committee in January of this year, the corporation has made progress in developing a vision, mission, and Anti-Racism Action Plan. Through key partnerships, effective governance and relationship building, Canada Post has made equity, diversity and inclusion a priority and business strategy that is essential to their success.

Additional Materials and Resources:

Tags: Disability-confident workplace, Human rights, Initiatives, Intersectionality

 

 

Vignette: Vignette by Samuel Benamron

 

Vignette by Samuel Benamron. CASE – Profiles of Employment Success. Our thanks to the Canadian Association of Supported Employment for the vignettes.

Tags: Accommodation, Disability-confident workplace, Hiring

 

 

Parallel session 1: Workplace Guidance for COVID-19 Responses and Return to Work: A focus on the needs and experiences of workers with disabilities

 

Moderator:

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

 

 

Speakers: 

  • Vignette on new employment barriers and opportunities created for persons with disabilities by COVID19
  • Victoria Arrandale, Assistant Professor, University of Toronto, Dalla Lana School of Public Health

 

 

  • Emile Tompa, Senior Scientist, Institute for Work & Health (IWH) and Director, Centre for Research on Work Disability Policy (CRWDP)

 

 

  • Michelle Demery, Chief Operating Officer, Accessibility Standards Canada
  • Meghan Kelly, National Manager, Business Solutions, Canadian Council on Rehabilitation and Work (CCRW)

 

 

Session Description: Much work has been undertaken by policymakers, researchers, and other stakeholders to formulate evidence-informed best practice guidance for protecting workers from exposure to COVID-19 as they return to work while the economy re-opens. Some guidance has been designed specifically to support return-to-work in various economic sectors, while other guidance draws on existing best practices and standards interpreted with a COVID-19 lens. This session will present a selection of these efforts with a focus on the needs and experience of persons with disabilities.

Tags: COVID-19, Return to work

 

 

Parallel session 2: The Community Journey to Work: Unpacking Indigenous, Newcomer and Mental Illness Experiences

 

Moderator: 

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

 

 

Speakers: 

  • Mario Calla, Executive Director, COSTI Immigrant Services

 

 

  • Sultana R. Jahangir, Executive Director, South Asian Women’s Rights Organization

 

 

  • Rachelle Nimegeers, Employment Engagement Coordinator, BCANDS

 

 

  • Joseph Giulione, Executive Director, L’Arrimage

 

 

 

Session Description: COVID -19 has hit the disability community harder than non-disabled people. The additional intersection of indigeneity, being a newcomer to Canada, having a mental illness or being a person of colour are all factors that intensify the precariousness of employment during this time. The panel will unpack their experiences during this unprecedented time to allow the delegates to understand additional barriers and ways to overcome the barriers.

Additional Materials and Resources:

Tags: COVID-19, Intersectionality, Lived experience, Partnership

 

 

Parallel session 3: Tools for Return to Work with Mental Health Challenges

 

Moderator:

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

 

 

Speakers:

  • Tamira Loewen, Senior Risk Management Professional

 

 

  • Louise St-Arnaud, Professor, Laval University

 

 

  • Ellen MacEachen, Professor and Interim Director, University of Waterloo

 

 

Session Description: This session will focus on two guides that have been developed in both Quebec and Ontario on Return to Work with Mental Health Challenges. Louise St.-Arnaud from Laval University worked with stakeholders to research & develop a “Guide to an integrated practices program for supporting a return to work and job retention – Facilitating an employee’s return to work following a mental health problem”. Ellen MacEachen from University of Waterloo developed a guide on – “Return to work and mental health: Canadian RTW Coordinator’s accounts of challenges and practical strategies”. The session will also include reflections from Tamira Loewen – a person with lived experience.

Additional Materials and Resources:

Tags: Lived experience, Return to work

 

 

Parallel session 4: School-to-Work Transitions (Part 1): Promising Practices to Support Transitions into the Labour-Market

 

Moderator: 

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

 

 

Speakers: 

  • Aryeh Gitterman, Adjunct Professor, Ryerson University

 

 

  • Tanya Kett, Career Counsellor, McMaster University

 

 

  • Jenna Lambert, Student Advisor, ACT to Employ, Carleton University

 

 

  • Judith Wright, Principal, B.G.& E. Consulting

 

 

  • Barry Pervin, Trustee, Bloorview School Authority

 

 

Session Description: This one-hour parallel session is comprised of three short presentations by panel members presenting on three different programs/initiatives for young adults seeking meaningful employment experience during and following their studies.

Additional Materials and Resources:

Tags: Accommodation, Career advancement, Employment supports, Hiring, School-to-work transition

 

 

Break with Vignettes: Vignettes by Holly Mastrogiacomo and Colin

 

Vignette by Holly Mastrogiacomo CASE – Profiles of Employment Success. Our thanks to the Canadian Association of Supported Employment for the vignettes.

Tags: Accommodation, Disability-confident workplace, Hiring

 

Vignette by Colin. CASE – Profiles of Employment Success. Our thanks to the Canadian Association of Supported Employment for the vignettes.

Tags: Accommodation, Disability-confident workplace, Hiring

 

 

Panel session 1: Promoting Inclusion in the Workplace and in the Research Process

 

Moderator:

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

 

 

Speakers:

  • Sandra Small, Professor, Memorial University

 

 

  • Arif Jetha, Scientist, Institute for Work & Health

 

 

  • Laurie Proulx, Canadian Arthritis Patient Alliance

 

 

Session Description: This session features presentations on two different projects, each of which relates to the theme of promoting inclusion. One project provides a systematic review of qualitative research on barriers and facilitators arising from work disability policy to the employment of individuals with chronic physical illnesses. The other project (about which we have two speakers) describes how to integrate lived experience of people with disabilities and researcher expertise in the scientific process.

 

 

Panel session 2: Financial Incentives for Employers to Promote Hiring and Retaining People with Disabilities: When and how do they work?

 

Moderators:

 Rebecca Gewurtz, Associate Professor, McMaster University and

 

 

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

 

 

Speakers:

  • Tova Sherman, CEO, reachAbility

 

 

  • Mathias Durnford, Director of Human Resources, Farnell Packaging Limited

 

 

  • Michael MacDonald. Manager, Health Services, Jazz Aviation

 

 

Session Description: Financial incentives for employers are widely used to address low employment among people with disabilities. However, there has been little research examining how and when they work to improve employment opportunities, and little documentation on their current use and availability in Canada. Understanding how to effectively use financial incentives for employers is a critical component of strengthening evidence-based employment supports people with disabilities.

This panel will include the perspectives of key stakeholders involved in the provision of financial incentives for employers to hire and retain people with disabilities, including an employer, a job seeker or worker with a disability, and an employment support service provider. Panelists will share their perspectives on the potential and risks involved in providing financial incentives for employers, as well as reflections on what has been most effective for improving employment outcomes. The panel will also include a review of the evidence, drawing on both the peer-reviewed literature, and interviews with experts and decision-makers across Ontario and within other Canadian provinces. The panel will showcase the diverse ways in which financial incentives are being used and document conflicting perspectives on their merit, as well as potential uses and misuses within the employment support cycle. Each panelist will share their perspective while responding to key questions, and the moderators will highlight key findings from the existing and ongoing research. Discussion between the panelist will focus on ongoing tensions, as well as priorities to ensure people with disabilities are adequately supported as they pursue their employment goals.

Additional Materials and Resources:

Tags: Hiring

 

 

Panel session 3: Measuring Attitudes – Beyond the Business Case; Unpacking Artificial Intelligence Systems

 

Moderator:

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

 

 

Speakers: 

  • Melissa Egan, National Lead, Episodic Disabilities, Realize

 

 

  • Jon Breen, Postdoctoral Fellow, Dept. of Occupational Science & Occupational Therapy, Faculty of Medicine, University of British Columbia

 

 

Session Description: Employment for people with disabilities has been reliant on the social model of disability. By understanding how to best support people with disabilities and the businesses that employ them, we can make a change. This panel will focus on two areas: understanding attitudes and changes in attitudes in the workplace, as well as unpacking artificial intelligence systems and their intrinsic bias.

Additional Materials and Resources: 

Tags: Accommodation, Disability-confident workplace, Employment supports, Technology

 

 

Panel session 4: The Union Advantage in Strengthening Workplace Integration Programs for Persons with Disabilities – and the importance of Collective Bargaining

 

Moderator: 

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

 

 

Speakers: 

  • Emmanuelle Lopez-Bastos, Human Rights, Equity & Diversity Coordinator, UFCW Canada

 

 

  • Léo Lavoie, Directeur CFACQ, Centre de Formation de l’Alimentation et du Commerce du Québec

 

 

  • Josée Moreau, Administratrice et Directrice générale Action Main D’oeuvre – QC

 

 

  • Erin Selby, Director of Education and Training, UFCW local 832 – Manitoba

 

 

  • Roberta Hoogervorst, Union Representative, UFCW local 832 – Manitoba

 

 

Session Description: Unions are vital partners in efforts to increase the recruitment, retention and career advancement of persons with disabilities. This session will highlight very impressive initiatives by the United Food and Commercial Workers union in Quebec and Manitoba. These initiatives include innovative partnerships with employers, governments and disability service organizations. They also show how unions can mobilize mentors and co-workers within the workplace to maximize support and inclusion for workers with disabilities.

Tags: Disability-confident workplace, Employment supports, Hiring, Human rights, Initiatives, Partnership

 

 

Closing for the Day (MC) – Day 2 Theme: Progress in the Workplace

 

MC:Evelyn Huntjens, National Coordinator, British Columbia Aboriginal Network on Disability Society (BCANDS)

 

 

 

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