Welcome to the Ontario Disability Employment Network’s Centre for Excellence
The Centre for Excellence has been established to help Ontario build and maintain the best possible employment service delivery network for Ontarians who have a disability. Our ideal employment delivery network is responsive to the employment needs of job seekers who have a disability, and achieves the best possible outcomes by fostering and promoting the highest standards of practice for employment service providers across the province.
The Centre for Excellence focuses on 5 key areas:
1) Training and Development
a. For staff of employment service agencies
b. For employers and other stakeholder groups
2) Consulting Services
a. For agencies looking to improve their employment service delivery and/or to transition from alternate day programs in favour of establishing a community employment program
b. For businesses looking to establish strategies to recruit, accommodate and/or retain employees who have a disability
3) Marketing and Employer Engagement
a. Increasing awareness of the opportunities to include people with a disability in the business sector
4) Innovation & Best Practice
a. Identifying and promoting best practices and replicating these across the province
b. Create a provincial recognition program
5) Building Community Networks and Outreach Initiatives
a. To establish communities of practice and build collaboration within the employment service sector
Meet Our Team
The Centre of Excellence is a small, diverse team that provides consulting, training and education for service agencies, consumers and employers.
Joe Dale is the Executive Director of the Ontario Disability Employment Network’s Centre for Excellence in Employment Services for People with a Disability. The Centre for Excellence focuses on engaging and educating businesses about the benefits of hiring people with a disability and on ensuring Ontario has a strong and effective employment service delivery network.
Joe has worked in the field of disability for over 35 years and spent much of that time addressing issues related to employment for people with disabilities. Before becoming the Executive Director, Joe operated Vision Consulting, assisting both businesses and not-for-profit organizations interested in helping people with disabilities obtain jobs in the workforce. Prior to this, he was with Community Living Ontario as the Director of Membership services.
Joe is also the founder of the Rotary at Work initiative, a program focused on educating businesses about the benefits of including people with disabilities in their workforce.
Joe is a member of Former Lieutenant Governor David C. Onley’s accessibility team and participates on several provincial consultation teams related to policy creation and focus on disability matters. He is an internationally renowned speaker, speaking to business, governments, and not-for-profits on the issue of strategic engagement of people with disabilities in the workforce.
Bob Vansickle is the Training Coordinator for the Ontario Disability Employment Network’s Centre for Excellence. He has worked in the field assisting persons with a disability to find employment for more than twenty years in his role as the Manager of Employment Options at Community Living Sarnia-Lambton. He has been a speaker at numerous provincial and national conferences. In addition to supporting many companies to successfully onboard candidates who have a disability, Bob has worked closely with many business owners to provide accessibility training and consulting.
Bob has developed and delivered Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA) training for several Chambers of Commerce and their members. Bob assisted the Sarnia-Lambton Chamber of Commerce and Tourism Sarnia-Lambton to kick-off their Accessible Sarnia – Business to Business initiative to promote accessibility as a way to increase profits.
In 2012, Bob was awarded the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal for significant achievement and remarkable service for his work in promoting workforce inclusion for persons with a disability. In September of 2014, the Province of Ontario awarded Bob the Lieutenant Governor’s Community Volunteer Award.
Thanks to Community Living Sarnia, the Centre for Excellence has seconded Bob for the duration of their Employment and Modernization Fund pilot, until March, 2017.
Bob lives in Errol Village outside of Sarnia with his wife Ann and three sons along with the newest edition to their family, a border collie named Stan.
Lisa Bondy is the Communications Strategist for the Ontario Disability Employment Network and its Centre for Excellence. She has won awards on behalf of her clients in both the nonprofit and business sectors, and she brings with her in-depth knowledge and a unique skill set.
Lisa looks forward to continuing and expanding her focus in the area of employment for persons with disabilities with ODEN. She has worked with the Ability First Coalition in furthering their mandate of “Business professionals motivating and supporting employers to hire and retain persons with disabilities” and continues to be involved with the StopGap Foundation, a groundbreaking national accessibility initiative.
During the past year Lisa has also served as a member of The Conference Board of Canada’s Making Ontario’s Workplaces Accessible Advisory Committee, as well as the Ontario Business Improvement Area Association’s Accessibility Smart Business Project Advisory Committee.
Sue Dafoe is the Administrator for the Ontario Disability Employment Network’s Centre for Excellence. Sue brings her wealth of knowledge and technical skills to the team.
Sue has worked in the not-for-profit world for over 15 years in various capacities. She has held positions with large and small not-for-profits growing her skills as a communications and fundraising professional. Sue can also be found lending her expertise to organizations through SD Consulting, providing board training, event management, marketing and volunteer management services. Sue has worked with organizations such as Kawartha Participation Projects, Industry Canada, Osteoporosis Society of Canada, among others.
In her spare time, Sue can be found at various sporting venues watching or coaching her children’s various sports teams or walking the many dogs her family fosters throughout the year. She plays soccer year round and enjoys an active lifestyle with her family.
To contact the Centre for Excellence, please call 1-866-280-6336 or reach out to us by clicking the name of the person you want to email.