Chairperson's Update - October 2023

October was Disability Employment Awareness month (October 1 – 31). In our October Update, we will share information about an employment project, Building Employment Pathways for People with Disabilities, led by the National Educational Association of Disabled Students (NEADS) that CCD is involved in, along with a number of other organizations. 

The project partnership includes: organizations of people with disabilities (Manitoba League of Persons with Disabilities, l'Association québécoise pour l'équité et l'inclusion au postsecondaire (AQEIPS) and the Council of Canadians with Disabilities), 4 post-secondary institutions (Ontario Tech University, Durham College, Nipissing University and York University), and the private sector (Canada Post) and Sustainable Livelihoods Canada.

The NEADS project manager is Katja Newman who is also a CCD Council member.

The Building Employment Pathways project offers post-secondary students and recent graduates with disabilities the opportunity to receive personalized and innovative employment readiness supports.

The project goes beyond the normal routines of employment support programs, which often leave gaps for supporting people with disabilities. When you are a job seeker with a disability, you need to know much more than how to write a cover letter — you need to have an understanding of how to navigate the systemic barriers that are complicating your job search experience. You need to gain skills at negotiating accommodations with employers; you also need to get good at resiliency when you come up against inaccessible job applications and processes; and finally, you need to cope with employers’ sometimes ignorant perceptions of the capabilities of persons with disabilities.

Building Employment Pathways program coaches work 1 on 1 with participants to develop their skills and enhance their strengths to support a successful job search.

The goals of the project are: to increase disability representation in the postal and courier services sector, and to improve capacity to address barriers to inclusion for persons with disabilities in the postal and courier services sector.

The project will be meeting its goals by undertaking the following five core activities: Identifying barriers, needs, and best practices for accessible employment in the postal/courier services sector; Working on best practices for recruiting, hiring and supporting persons with disabilities and developing disability-related employment tools and resources; Capacity building with people with disabilities; Linking job seekers with disabilities with employment; Evaluation.

We are pleased to be part of this dynamic partnership which if focused on making the world of work more accessible to persons with disabilities.