Job Seeker Resources

Summer Company

Do you imagine running your own business, but lack the knowledge base and initial start up funding to launch it yourself? Your entrepreneurial vision can become a reality if you’re a student between the ages of 15 and 29 years through the Government of Ontario’s Summer Company program. Summer Company provides you with hands-on coaching, business mentoring, and up to $3,000 to help you launch and run your own business.


Upon acceptance to Summer Company, you’ll be eligible to receive up to $1,500 to get you started, along with business training and mentoring. You’ll receive an additional $1,500 when you successfully conclude the program.

Learn more at:

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The New Green (The Economist)

The new green

Business may find disability as important as environmentalism

IF CHIEF executives won medals, Justin King of J. Sainsbury, a British supermarket chain, would be sporting a gold in the marketing marathon for his prescient decision to concentrate sponsorship on the Paralympics rather than the glitzier Olympics. The plaudits he and other companies have received for backing what was previously seen as a sideshow could help change corporate attitudes to disability. (Click to read more:

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Invitation to Participate in Consultations for People with Disabilities in Ontario via Cathexis Consulting

Want to share your thoughts and ideas about your quality of life of people with disabilities in Ontario?
 There are two ways you can share your experiences: an online survey or joining an in-person meeting in Toronto (June 8th, 2012), Ottawa (June 14th, 2012), London (June 13th, 2012), Thunder Bay (June 11th, 2012), or Huntsville (June 6th, 2012).
Cathexis Consulting  are also hosting in-person sessions for family and caregivers of people with disabilities to share their ideas.
The purpose of the project is to find out from people with disabilities in Ontario what is important to them about their quality of life. What makes your day easier and better? Is it important to have:

  • Good public transportation?
  • Readable web pages?
  • Friendly and respectful customer service?
  • Stable jobs?
  • Accessible parks?

The project – conducted by Cathexis Consulting – will use your input to find the best way for determining the impact of Ontario’s accessibility standards in the future.
Cathexis Consulting  would like to hear about what is most important to you and what makes your life better. Your participation will ensure that the Ontario Government knows what is most meaningful to people with disabilities when they review the standards in the years to come.
For more information, or to participate, please contact Mathew Gagné at or by phone at 1-877-469-9954 ext. 231. For those requiring TTY, dial 711 or #711 from a mobile phone.
Find us on Facebook by searching: Public Discussion on Quality of Life for People with Disabilities
There are many ways to participate:
¦                 A face-to-face consultation: please visit to RSVP
¦                 On-line survey: go to
¦                 Blog: go to our Facebook page at
¦                 Email questionnaire: contact Mathew at to request one.
¦                 Mail-in questionnaire: contact Mathew at to request one.
The Dates for the In-Person Meetings are as follows.
Toronto: June 8th, 2012 at the Delta Chelsea Hotel
¦                 9:00 – 11:00 Older adults with disabilities (age 60 and up)
¦                 1:00 – 3:00    Adults with disabilities (age 18-59)
¦                 4:00 – 6:00    Caregivers/family of people with disabilities
Ottawa: June 14th, 2012 at the Travelodge Hotel Ottawa and Conference Centre
¦                 9:00 – 11:00    Francophone consultation with adults with disabilities
¦                 1:00 – 3:00      English consultation with adults with disabilities
¦                 4:00 – 6:00      Caregivers/families people with disabilities (English)
London: June 13th, 2012 at the London Convention Centre
¦                 9:00 – 11:00     Older adults with disabilities (age 60 and up)
¦                 1:00 – 3:00       Adults with disabilities (age 18-59)
¦                 4:00 – 6:00       Caregivers/families of people with disabilities
Thunder Bay: June 11th, 2012 at the Valhalla Inn
¦                 10:00 –  12:00   Adults with disabilities
¦                 2:00 – 4:00       Caregivers/families of people with disabilities
Huntsville: June 6th, 2012, at the Deerhurst Inn
¦                 10:00 –  12:00   Adults with disabilities
¦                 2:00 – 4:00       Caregivers/families of people with disabilities 


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Canada Summer Jobs 2012

Canada Summer Jobs 2012
“Creating jobs, strengthening communities”

Canada Summer Jobs is a Government of Canada initiative that provides funding to help employers create summer job opportunities for students. It is designed to focus on local priorities, while helping both students and their communities.

About Canada Summer Jobs 2012

Canada Summer Jobs:
* provides work experiences for students;
* supports organizations, including those that provide important community services; and
* recognizes that local circumstances, community needs and priorities vary widely.

Canada Summer Jobs provides funding to not-for-profit organizations, public-sector employers and small businesses with 50 or fewer employees to create summer job opportunities for young people aged 15 to 30 years who are full-time students intending to return to their studies in the next school year.

The application period for Canada Summer Jobs 2012 is from February 1 to February 29, 2012.

NOTE: To obtain more information please call 1-800-935-5555 or see criteria.  The criteria to assess the proposals focus on:

* service to local communities;
* jobs that support local priorities
* jobs that provide career-related experience or early work experience;
* jobs with a salary that contributes to the student’s income;
* employers who provide supervision and mentoring;
* project activities that are directed toward members of, and support the vitality of, an Official Language Minority Community; and
* employers who intend to hire priority students (students with disabilities, Aboriginal students and students who are members of visible
minority groups).

How to apply for Canada Summer Jobs

Before completing an application, employers must consult the Canada Summer Jobs Applicant Guide and review the local priorities for their constituencies. To help employers complete their application, the Canada Summer Jobs Applicant Guide and the local priorities are available online at: , by calling 1-800-935-5555, or by visiting any Service Canada Centre.

The Applicant Guide contains the following information for employers:
* eligibility criteria;
* instructions for completing the Canada Summer Jobs application;
* the assessment process; and
* the approval process.

Employers can apply online or print an application from the website. They can also get an application by visiting any Service Canada Centre. The deadline for applications is February 29, 2012.

Apply online:
The online application process is quick and easy. An electronic confirmation number of successful receipt will be generated once the online application is submitted.  Employers must keep this number for future reference.

Download a paper application form:
Employers can download a printable form. Completed applications may be submitted in person, by mail, or by fax, at any Service Canada Centre.

Completed applications may be submitted using one of the following methods:

Online: Applications must be submitted on February 29, 2012, 23:59 Pacific Time. Applying online is quick and easy.
In person: Applications must be received before the closing time of the local Service Canada Centre on February 29, 2012.*
By mail: Applications must be postmarked on or before February 29, 2012.*
By fax: Applications must be faxed to a Service Canada Centre by February 29, 2012, 23:59 local time.*

*An employer submitting a paper application in person, by mail or by fax will receive a letter of acknowledgement.

Application Deadline

The deadline for applications is February 29, 2012. Applications received or postmarked after the closing date of February 29, 2012, will not be assessed.

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Scholarship supports promising research careers of graduate students with disabilities via Toronto Rehabilitation Institute

November 28, 2011 – Making public parks more accessible and understanding how the human body compensates after the loss of an eye are what Jason Angel and Stefania Moro hope to accomplish with their research. The two graduate students are the latest recipients of a unique scholarship aimed at helping burgeoning scientists living with a disability to pursue and advance a career in rehabilitation research.

Called the TD Grant in Medical Excellence: A Scholarship in Rehabilitation Related Research for People with Disabilities, the award provides funding for students with disabilities pursuing a career in rehabilitation research. The scholarship is administered by Toronto Rehabilitation Institute (Toronto Rehab) and is open to students from several universities in Ontario: McMaster, Ryerson, University of Toronto, Waterloo, York and Wilfrid Laurier.

Among the first of its kind in Canada, the scholarship will provide $20,000 each to Jason and Stefania, who now join a growing list of 12 graduate students who have received one-time and renewed awards since the scholarship’s inception. Since 2006, TD Bank Financial Group has pledged $550,000 to support the program, which was created by Toronto Rehab and its foundation to engage people with disabilities in a meaningful way in rehabilitation research.

“This scholarship enhances the relevance and quality of rehabilitation research and breaks down the barriers that students with disabilities often face when pursuing higher education,” says Dr. Geoff Fernie, Institute Director of Research, Toronto Rehabilitation Institute, University Health Network, who developed the idea for the scholarship. “This is important because out of the four million people living with a disability in Canada, only about eight per cent complete a bachelor’s degree, and even fewer complete a graduate degree.”

Having grown up in the rural woods of Maine, Jason has always had a love of the outdoors and travel. This passion continued after a car crash in 1990 which left him with a spinal cord injury.

“My spirit of adventure didn’t end when I started using a wheelchair,” says Jason. “I realized how environmental barriers can prevent people with disabilities from participating in travel, employment, and everyday life. With the right knowledge and a bit of effort, many of these barriers can be eliminated or minimized.”

Jason’s determination led him to the field of research. In 2001, Jason enrolled at Salem State University in Salem, Massachusetts to study what he loves – travel and tourism. After graduating, Jason along with his wife, Patty, moved to Canada in 2010 to complete a master’s degree at the University of Waterloo in the Environmental Studies Tourism Policy and Planning program.

Recognizing the importance of accessibility for people with disabilities and its enormous potential economic impact on the tourism industry, he is currently auditing accessibility at five parks in southern Ontario and plans to make recommendations to improve accessibility particularly for people with limited mobility or who use wheelchairs.

For Stefania, the scholarship will advance the graduate student’s already groundbreaking work. She is the first researcher to study auditory and visual processing in a rare group of patients – those who have had one eye surgically removed at a young age due to cancer.

She believes that people with a sensory deficit can be trained to adapt, which in turn will result in rich perceptual experiences and less stress on their remaining senses. Her research explores crossmodal plasticity – or how people with one eye adapt – and whether other senses are enhanced and thus compensate for the loss.

“There is evidence of cortical plasticity. People with one eye have enhanced senses as a form of compensation,” says Stefania, who suffered a traumatic injury to her left eye as a child. “This gives researchers and medical practitioners useful information to teach people how to improve their lives. My life experiences and my knowledge of the importance of maintaining my seeing eye and complementary senses have driven me to advocate for vision research and the resulting clinical applications which will improve patients’ lives.”

Stefania’s research has previously been supported by the Canadian National Institute of the Blind’s (CNIB) Baker award which was presented to her supervisor, Dr. Jennifer Steeves of York University’s Perceptual Neuroscience Laboratory. In 2005, the CNIB also awarded Stefania the Walter and Wayne Gretzky Scholarship to support her undergraduate studies.

Stefania plans to explore her findings further through the use of functional magnetic resonance imaging at York University and intends to pursue a doctoral program in Vision Science research. The scholarship will help her advance this area of research.

For Jason, through the scholarship and his ongoing support from family, friends and his wife, “I have every opportunity to achieve my goal of changing the world.”

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Achieving Social and Economic Inclusion, from segregation to ‘employment first’ (CACL)

Links to the study entitled "Achieving social and economic inclusion"CACL has  completed a research study on employment supports for people with intellectual disabilities. The study looks at effective policies and practices for transitioning from sheltered and enclave based employment services for people with intellectual disabilities to supports that enable inclusion in the labour market. The research study follows on a renewed international interest in what have been dubbed “employment first” or “employment focused” approaches marking the first major Canadian contribution to this dialogue.

Click here to view the study

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Achieving social and economic inclusion: from segregation to ’employment first’ (

Law Reform and Public Policy Series

– June 10, 2011

Over 50 years ago parents started meeting in communities across Canada to share their concerns that their sons and daughters with intellectual disabilities were not being given the opportunities to fulfill their potential; that they had no valued place in society. Denied access to public education that their own tax dollars were helping to fund parents began demanding a different future, began making a claim on governments and society for what we now call full citizenship and inclusion.

These courageous parents faced closed doors and incredulity at every turn. So they took matters into their own hands, and in the name of a more promising future for their children, they began their own schools. As children grew into young adults, and workplaces and the labour market remained similarly closed to the possibilities, parents formed local associations and created activity centres and sheltered workshops. Their adult children had somewhere to go during the day, the chance to learn some life and social skills they had been unable to develop because of exclusion in their early years, and the chance for some respite for their parents. Through the 1950s and 1060s our associations for community living built an impressive infrastructure of special education, sheltered workshops and activity centres, and residential care arrangements, inspired by a vision that people with intellectual disabilities were as deserving of support and a chance in life as anyone else.

By the 1970s, there were some voices among families and leaders of our movement which began to challenge whether this was enough. Was our sole purpose to build this kind of service capacity, on the assumption that since so many doors were closed – and people didn’t seem to belong in regular education, or works places, or with access to regular housing markets – all that people with intellectual disabilities deserved were special, separate services? As a human rights discourse began to grow, these assumptions were questioned. Over the last thirty years, we have worked to ensure that people with intellectual disabilities take their rightful place in society, alongside their brothers and sisters, classmates, peers, co-workers, and other citizens. Our vision of belonging, inclusion, dignity and equal respect has most recently been expressed in the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, ratified by Canada in 2010, and which recognizes in Article 27 “the right of persons with disabilities to work, on an equal basis with others; this includes the right to the opportunity to gain a living by work freely chosen or accepted in a labour market and work environment that is open, inclusive and accessible to persons with disabilities.”

Our challenge now is that our vision outstrips the service capacity we have built. It’s time to catch up with ourselves. The Canadian Association for Community Living undertook this study to look at how we might chart a path from the infrastructure we have collectively built for sheltered workshops and activity centres, to supporting people to access the labour market and fully inclusive workplaces like other Canadians, within the context of what we have termed an ‘employment first’ policy framework. Some visionary local associations and leaders are showing the way forward. We have immense know- how in local associations across the country. Our mission must now be to turn this knowledge and infrastructure we have built in the direction of securing social and economic inclusion for people with intellectual disabilities.

We hope this study and its recommendations for the federal and provincial/territorial governments to take leadership for an ‘employment first’ policy and program approach for labour market inclusion of youth and adults with intellectual disabilities gets traction. We look forward to working with all our partners in supporting and resourcing the necessary local leadership and capacity to make it a reality.
Michael Bach Executive Vice-President Canadian Association for Community Living

Click here to view original

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Assessment of Debt Load and Financial Barriers Affecting Students with Disabilities in Canadian Postsecondary Education – Ontario Report for the Higher Education Quality Council of Ontario

Assessment of Debt Load and Financial Barriers Affecting Students with Disabilities in Canadian Postsecondary Education – Ontario Report

Prepared by Tony Chambers, Mahadeo Sukhai and Melissa Bolton for the Higher Education Quality Council of Ontario (Read Study Here)
 Click here to access original source.

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Disability in the Workplace: Part 1 (Joe Dale)

Disability in the Workplace: Part 1 – by Joe Dale, CIM

At almost 16% of the population, people who have a disability represent the largest minority in Canada yet face a 49% unemployment rate. Increasing workforce participation rates for this segment of the population can positively impact your bottom line and help address Canada’s projected labour shortage.

Are Ontario Businesses Missing Out on a Valuable Labour Source?

Part One: The Economic Case

Demographic Overview
Statistics Canada pegs people who have a disability at 15.9% of the Canadian population. That’s Canada’s largest minority at almost 5.3 million people – equal to the combined populations of Alberta, Manitoba and Saskatchewan.

Furthermore, disability is a factor of aging and 43% of seniors have disabilities growing to 56% for 75 year olds. Statistics Canada has projected that by 2021 Canadians over the age of 65 will grow from the 2006 level of 13.7% to between 20 and 24% of the population.

Currently there are almost 1.8 million working age people who have a disability in Ontario alone. According to Statistics Canada this group faces an unemployment rate of 49% although we know that if people who have never been able to access the labour market were included this figure would be considerably higher.

Besides a 2001 Royal Bank study that showed Canadians who have a disability control over $25 billion in disposable income we must surely be concerned that as many people who have a disability as possible contribute to the workforce and the tax base. The alternative, that these people live on social assistance payments, is untenable.

Labour Shortage and Decline in GDP
The Conference Board of Canada predicts a labour shortage of nearly one million workers in Canada by 2020 and economic think tank Global Insight forecasts this acute labour shortage will cause a decline in Canada’s GDP from the current 3.2% to 2%. Canada is second of all industrialized nations in the severity of this problem, surpassed only by Mexico.

This decline in GDP will adversely affect the standard of living for all Canadians. Yet it seems that governments and corporations look primarily to immigration and expensive foreign worker programs as a solution to this problem. Clearly, consideration as to how we can increase participation rates of people who have a disability in the workforce must be part of the solution to what Prime Minister Steven Harper calls Canada’s number one economic problem.

High Cost of Employee Turnover
San Francisco based Taleo – Workforce Management Solutions estimates the cost of employee turnover ranges from 30% to as much as 150% of the annual salary of each position that turns over. Even a conservative estimate that the average turnover cost is equal to a worker’s annual salary has a huge financial impact on a business. Taleo gives this example: “for a company with 100,000 employees at an average salary of $40,000 and a turnover rate of ten percent, the cost of that turnover equals $400 million. A reduction in turnover of one-half percent would result in savings of $2 million dollars”.

According to a Pizza Hut Corporation study, workers who have a disability are five times more likely to stay on the job than workers without disabilities. Toronto-based Tim Hortons franchise owner, Mark Wafer cites the average tenure of his employees who have a disability as just over 6 years on the job compared to an average of just under one year for his non-disabled employees.

The Innovation Factor
In business, innovation can be defined as the successful exploitation of new ideas. And where better to look for innovation than the human capital within a diverse workforce. There are endless examples of innovation resulting from disability and disability-based research. In his latest novel Design Meets Disability, Graham Pullin cites Apple’s new i-Phone Shuffle based on voiceover interface research for people with visual disabilities and British fashion designer Paul Smith’s work on re-designing hearing aids as fashion accessories. But innovation as a response to meeting the needs of people who have a disability is not new. One only has to look at Thomas Edison who invented the gramophone to record books for his mother who couldn’t read to know that there are great innovations and profits to be made in meeting the needs of this market segment.

The Competitive Advantage
All of these items roll up to giving businesses with pro-active hiring practices a significant advantage over the competition. Developing the expertise of this important market segment is key to future success. Ensuring managers and employees have an understanding of their product and service needs and a comfort level in dealing with people who have a disability as customers will add to the bottom line. At the same time, accessing a largely untapped labour pool with a reputation for superior employer loyalty and lower turnover rates will cut costs.

Future Articles
Employer Awareness and Acceptance on the Rise
Best Practices in Employment Services
Government Policy – Enabler or Added Barrier

To provide feedback or to contact the author email

Access PDF of “Disability and Employment: Part 1” Here
Go to Part Two: Employer Awareness and Acceptance on the Rise
Go to Part Three: Best Practices in Employment Services

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