NEADS Presents CCD Award to Stephen McDonnell

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From left to right: Stephen McDonnell, Mahadeo Sukhai, Jennifer Dillon, NEADS Consultant; Jason Mitschele, NEADS Past Vice-President External.

Ottawa, Ontario (May 1st, 2008): We are proud to announce that Stephen McDonnell is the recipient of the 2008 Council of Canadians with Disabilities (CCD) Award. Stephen is being honoured for his years of outstanding support of hiring and accommodating persons with disabilities in the workplace. Stephen is also being recognized for his exemplary contribution to NEADS and its project work. He has been a speaker and active participant in the Job Search Strategies (JSS) Forums Project since 2005, attending events held across Canada. The JSS Forums, funded by BMO Capital Markets' Equity Through Education Program, support the transition of persons with disabilities from post-secondary education into the employment market.

"NEADS is proud to recognize Stephen's individual contributions toward the Job Search Strategy Forums project," said Dr. Mahadeo Sukhai, NEADS President. "It is important for us to recognize our friends and partners in the community and the private sector. As Stephen moves on in his work, we wish him well and offer this measure of thanks for all he has done in support of NEADS' mission."

Stephen is currently the Senior Advisor of External Communications for BMO Financial Group. Over a 22 year career with the bank, Stephen has worked tirelessly in the recruitment and accommodation of persons with disabilities. He is a native Torontonian who has been a community volunteer close to 20 years. Stephen is former Chair of LOFT Community Services in Toronto, offering housing, outreach, and community support to vulnerable and homeless people, seniors, youth at risk and people with disabilities. His volunteer activities have been recognized by the Toronto Chapter of the CFRA and the Canadian Red Cross Society for supporting their national strategy to provide emergency support to the homeless.

Stephen McDonnell has served on the board of directors of the AIDS Committee of Toronto, Canada's largest AIDS service organization and has consulted with them on issues relevant to workplace accommodation and employment. He also served a term on the board of the Ontario HIV Treatment Network, an initiative of the Ministry of Health, supporting their diversity initiatives. Stephen's background is in pastoral care and theology and he has worked in Ottawa, Toronto, and the nine northern counties of Mississippi in the United States.

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About NEADS: NEADS is a national organization that works to achieve full access to education for post-secondary students with disabilities across Canada. NEADS also supports the transition from school to the employment market for college and university graduates with disabilities.

For more information, please contact the NEADS National Office:
National Educational Association of Disabled Students (NEADS)
Rm. 426 Unicentre, Carleton University
Ottawa, Ontario, K1S 5B6
tel. (613) 526-8008