Breaking it Down: Dialogues on Removing Barriers for People With Disabilities in the Workplace (Toronto, Ontario, Friday, October 30)

The National Educational Association of Disabled Students (NEADS) invites post-secondary students and graduates with disabilities, career educators and representatives from federally regulated private sector employers to a one day innovative and interactive workshop "Breaking it Down (BID):  Dialogues on removing barriers for people with disabilities in the workplace”, to be held in Toronto on Friday, October 30th, 2015 from 8:00am - 4:30pm at Kruger Hall, Woodsworth College, University of Toronto, 119 St. George Street, Toronto, Ontario.

Register online now:

  • Student Registration- 
  • Non-Student Registration -\?id=2015 

The BID workshop is part of “Breaking Through Barriers”: An Employment Project To Support Persons With Disabilities, a national two–and-a-half year project funded by Labour Canada through its Workplace Opportunities: Removing Barriers to Equity program -- aimed at connecting recent graduates with disabilities and employers in the federally regulated sector, through in-person workshops and a web portal designed to create on-going relationships and resource sharing between graduates and employers.

During this event, students and employers will have the opportunity to hear from both lived experience and employer experts on topics such as:  Personal Branding and Social Media; Disclosure and Accommodation in the workplace; Job Interviews; Culture of Accessibility in the Workplace; Professional Development; and, Career Transitions.  Unlike most employment workshops that rely on a one-way flow of knowledge from employer to potential employee, student and employer participants will have the opportunity to engage in facilitated discussions about the issues aimed at creating a knowledge exchange process between employers and potential employees.

Come join NEADS and representatives of our valued project partners (see below), for an employment workshop that will bring job seekers and job makers together, who will learn from each other by……….Breaking it Down.

This event is free to post-secondary students and recent graduates with disabilities (within less than 5 years after graduation). The registration fee is $50 for professionals. You must complete all fields in the registration form.

All speakers will be announced soon.

Featured speakers include:

Dr. Mahadeo Sukhai, Senior Advisor, NEADS - Keynote

Sarah Jama, Ontario Director, NEADS - Welcome and Introductions

Dr. Eliza Chandler, Tangled Art + Disability/Ryerson University - Career Transitions, Professional Development and Moving On From Entry Level

Sana Khan, Workplace Essential Skills Partnership (WESP)/ Canadian Council on Rehabilitation and Work - Personal Branding and Social Media

Karen Kelsey, Lime Connect Inc. - Disclosure and Accommodation In the Workplace

Louie DiPalma, Director, SME Programs, Ontario Chamber of Commerce - Career Transitions, Professional Development and Moving on From Entry Level

Samantha Walsh, Training Coordinator, Inclusive Design Research Centre, OCAD - Culture of Accessibility in the Workplace

Laura Dottori-Attanasio, Senior Executive Vice-President and Chief Risk Officer, CIBC

Garrett Everding, University of Waterloo

NEADS Breaking Through Barriers Employer Awareness Workshops


8:00 a.m. – 9:00 a.m.   Registration/Networking / Meet & Greet at Assigned Tables (each table will have student, employer, service provider and career educator participants)

9:00 a.m. – 9:15 a.m.    Welcome and Introductions: Opening Remarks - Sarah Jama, NEADS' Ontario Director

Housekeeping Announcements, Accessibility and Fire Safety

9:15 a.m. – 9:30 a.m.  Keynote Speech - Dr. Mahadeo Sukhai, Senior Advisor, NEADS - Employment, Education and Accessibility: The Importance of Persons With Disabilities to Canada's Future

9:30 a.m. – 9:40 a.m..  Ice-Breaker & Getting to Know You (Table Activity)

9:40 a.m. - 10:00 a.m.   Introduction to Session 1: Personal Branding and Social Media (2 speakers, 10 minutes each)

10:00 a.m. – 10:45 a.m.  Table Discussions – Session 1 (3 questions)

10:30 a.m. – 10:45 a.m. Health Break

10:45 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. Introduction to Session 2: Disclosure and Accommodation in the Workplace (2 speakers, 10 minutes each)

11:00 a.m. – 11:45 a.m. Table Discussions – Session 2 (3 questions)

11:45 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.  Pre-Lunch Energizer: Myth Busters

12:00 p.m. – 1:00 p.m.    Lunch & Networking

1:00 p.m. – 1:15 p.m.     Introduction to Session 3: Interviews and Culture of Accessibility in the Workplace (2 speakers, 10 minutes each)

1:15 p.m. – 2:00 p.m.     Table Discussions – Session 3 (3 questions)

2:00 p.m. – 2:15 p.m.     Health Break

2:15 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.     Introduction to Session 4: Career Transitions, Professional Development and Moving on from Entry Level (2 speakers, 10 minutes each)

2:30 p.m. – 3:15 p.m.     Table Discussions – Session 4 (3 questions)

3:15 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.    NEADS Programs, Services and Volunteer Opportunities (NEADS Board Host)

3:30 p.m. – 3:45 p.m.    Wrap-up, Evaluations and Conclusions

3:45 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.     Networking

Continental breakfast and lunch will be served. American Sign Language (ASL) interpretation will be provided. Disability accommodations and dietary restrictions/allergies can be identified upon registration for the event.

Project Partners:

Canadian Council on Rehabilitation and Work (CCRW)
Canadian Association of Career Educators and Employers (CACEE)
Career Edge
Enbridge Liquid Pipelines
Ryerson University
Brock University
University of Toronto

For further information contact: Jeremiah Bach, Event Producer, NEADS:

or our national office:

Frank Smith, National Coordinator
National Educational Association of Disabled Students (NEADS)
Rm. 514 Unicentre, Carleton University
Ottawa, Ontario, K1S 5B6
tel. (613) 380-8065 ext. 201,

"Supporting access to post-secondary education and employment for students
with disabilities"