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Inclusive Employment Advocacy Project (Toronto Chapter)

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We are currently seeking participants with disabilities who are looking for employment to attend a Focus Group. The dates and times for the five focus groups are below.

The intention of the Focus Groups is two-fold: to help identify barriers that people with disabilities experience in finding and keeping meaningful employment; and, to use the insights learned from the participants to create education/training sessions which will come later in 2017 so they better understand their rights under the AODA and Human Rights Legislation to help develop and improve their self-advocacy skills.

We want to identify from Focus Group members:

  • Their initial knowledge (if any) of the AODA, and whether people see it as having a benefit in their lives;
  • Whether there are any gaps in the AODA Standards related to assisting individuals seeking meaningful employment;
  • Their experiences with prejudice and discrimination (if any);
  • Their prior experiences related to receiving employment support and/or being employed;
  • How they deal with disclosing their disability to others; and
  • What we should address in the Education/Training Sessions to maximize the effectiveness and helpfulness of these sessions.

March 28, 2017 Focus Group @ 519 Community Centre

The first focus group [Downtown] will be at The 519 Community Centre (519 Church Street), Room 304, on March 28th from 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm.

April 4, 2017 Focus Group @ CNIB

The second focus group [North York] will be at CNIB (1929 Bayview Avenue), Room MR-220, on April 4th from 10:00 am to 12:00 pm.

April 7, 2017 Focus Group @ Variety Village

The third focus group [Scarborough] will be at Variety Village (3701 Danforth Avenue), Barall Centre, on April 7th from 1:30 pm to 3:30 pm.

April 12, 2017 Focus Group @ Community Centre 55

The fourth focus group [East York/Beaches] will be at Community Centre 55 (97 Main Street), Upper Nursery, on April 12th from 6:30 pm to 8:30 pm.

April 28, 2017 Focus Group @ Loblaws

The fifth focus group [Etobicoke] will be at Loblaws (380 The East Mall), Community Room, on April 28th from 1:30 pm to 3:30 pm.

If interested, please RSVP with your accessibility needs at least a week before the start of the focus group you plan to attend. Please contact Michael McNeely, Project Coordinator at michaeldmcneely@gmail.com. If you have any other questions, please contact Michael as well.

About the Project

Toronto is a growing and changing community and its diversity has been celebrated as a key factor in ranking the city as a desirable place to live, visit and do business. Grants help the City of Toronto achieve its social, economic and cultural goals for its residents. The City’s goals are better achieved by supporting the work of organizations that are closer to the communities they serve. Access, Equity and Human Rights (AEHR) program is one of these grants and it provides time-limited funding to community-based organizations and residents to act on human rights, accessibility, equity, discrimination and hate crime concerns in their neighbourhoods and communities.

We are launching a peer engagement and poverty reduction project which fills an unmet need to equip people with disabilities, especially blind and partially sighted, to advocate for equal access to employment services, programs and opportunities. Project activities include advocacy resource gathering/development, education, and training and mentoring. Project outcomes include the presentation of a case for inclusion and systemic change in the employment service sector.

Learn more about the Inclusive Employment Advocacy Project plan

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