DRIVING LOCAL INNOVATION THROUGH COMMUNITY PROJECTS

From coast to coast, the Employment Recovery Project is supporting communities across the country to undertake innovative projects that address unique and local needs of both Canadian business and job seekers/employees on the autism spectrum or with an intellectual disability in the context of COVID-19.

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Canadian Autism Spectrum Disorder Alliance

Autistic Voices Project

CANADA

What's this project about?

This project aims to put the employment-related experiences of Autistic Canadians during COVID-19 at the forefront. We are conducting interviews with Autistic Canadians to understand their experiences in the labour market pre-COVID-19, and how the pandemic has impacted their labour market experiences. The major output of this project includes an innovative, lived experience testimonial video(s) of Autistic Canadians, based on our interviews, that will be packaged and shared with Canadian stakeholders to increase knowledge and awareness of the impact of COVID-19 on employment faced by Canadians on the autism spectrum. The ultimate goal of this project is to help autism society networks and local stakeholders (job seekers and their families, employers, and employment agencies) understand the impact of COVID-19 on Autistic adults in the Canadian labour market.

Want to get involved?

We are recruiting Autistic adults to participate in an interview and share their employment experiences during the COVID-19 pandemic. Participation in this project involves participating in one, 30 minutes-to-one-hour interview, online using Zoom software. Participants will also receive a $50.00 gift card as a token of appreciation.

Project Lead: If you are interested in learning more or are interested in participating, please contact Vanessa Tomas at vtomas@casda.ca.

Canucks Autism Network

Virtual Job Fair

BRITISH COLUMBIA

Canucks Autism Network will be holding a virtual job fair in February 2021. The virtual job fair will feature info sessions and workshops from employers, service providers, post-secondary institutions, and community organizations. The virtual job fair provides a safe environment where job seekers have the opportunity to connect with emerging employers from the pandemic as well as learn about employment supports and services.

PROJECT LEAD:

Robbie Hsieh

robbie.hsieh@canucksautism.ca

Canucks Autism Network

Supporting Pre-Employment Services During COVID-19

BRITISH COLUMBIA

The project provides vital funding to service providers who provide pre-employment services to job seekers on the autism spectrum or with an intellectual disability during the COVID-19 pandemic. This funding is targeted to local service providers who have been negatively impacted financially by the COVID-19 pandemic so they can continue to engage and support job seekers during this challenging time. This funding is specific to pre-employment services only, and can only be provided where the client is ineligible for provincial funding, or if the provincial funding has been exhausted. 

PROJECT LEAD:

Robbie Hsieh

robbie.hsieh@canucksautism.ca

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Society for Treatment of Autism’s (STA) Adolescent and Adult Services

Job Searching During COVID-19: You thought it was tough before!

ALBERTA

Society for Treatment of Autism’s (STA) Adolescent and Adult Services Program is running a pilot project which aims to support Autistic job seekers (ages 15 years and up) with the unique challenges and barriers that have been brought about due to the COVID-19 pandemic.  STA program staff will support first time job seekers, those who are unemployed, laid off, as well as those who are facing changes to, or challenges within their current job due to implications of COVID – 19.  A job coach will support the client to achieve their employment goals through one on one or group information and training sessions covering related topics such as: Understanding COVID – 19 in the Workplace; Resume Building; Job Search Techniques; Interview Preparation Using Modified Interview Formats; and Adapting to Changes in the Workplace.

PROJECT LEAD:

Joanne Greig 

greigj@sta-ab.com

403-991-7823

Inclusion Winnipeg

Project Remote Job Coach

MANITOBA

COVID-19 has fundamentally altered the way in which job support is provided to people with an intellectual disability. Led by Inclusion Winnipeg, this project is a direct response to an identified need for remote job coaching for people with an intellectual disability.

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Giant Steps

Navigating the New Normal  - A Collection of Employment Experiences During a Pandemic

QUEBEC

To build a bank of bilingual, first-person testimonial videos that speak to the various challenges, barriers, facilitators and solutions involved in seeking, getting and maintaining employment, including self-employment and entrepreneurial initiatives, during the pandemic, in Quebec.

PROJECT LEAD:

Thomas Henderson

Director General

www.giantstepsmontreal.com

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KERRY’S PLACE AUTISM SERVICES

Young Adults Project: Supporting Young Adults on the Autism Spectrum To Meet Their Employment Goals During the Pandemic

ONTARIO

COVID-19 has challenged how young people find and maintain employment. The Young Adults Project (YAP) provides virtual individualized support to young adults with ASD at any point in their employment journey. YAP participants work 1:1 with an Autism Consultant to establish employment goals, attend workshops, connect with service providers, advocate for accommodations and maintain employment. Through this community project, YAP is being delivered in Wellington County, Dufferin Region, and Kitchener Waterloo Region as well as rural areas in Simcoe County, Durham Region, HKPR (Haliburton, Kawartha, Pine Ridge, including Lindsay, Kawartha Lakes and Peterborough).

PROJECT LEAD:

Stephanie Bass

Stephanie.bass@kerrysplace.org 647-296-6476

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New Brunswick Association for Community Living

Getting Back to Work

NEW BRUNSWICK

As the COVID 19 Pandemic has greatly affected the workforce for individuals with an intellectual disability or those on the autism spectrum, we are building resources for resiliency and labour force participation.  NBACL is developing easy read guides that provide the roadmap to employment during a pandemic for all involved.  NBACL is also developing an online course for Self-Employment so entrepreneurs can help rebuild the economy after the pandemic.

PROJECT LEAD:

Ben McNamara

1-506-406-0360

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Autism Nova Scotia

The Autism Works Employment Support Group

NOVA SCOTIA

The Autism Works Employment Support Group is an online discussion group for individuals with autism/autistic individuals who are working, have had their work situation change due to COVID-19, or are looking for work. The group is led by first-voice autistic staff members and has a focus on the changing nature of work and workplace environments during COVID-19, dealing with being laid off, and any other employment-related questions and experiences that members bring up.

PROJECT LEAD:

Christopher Margeson - Coordinator

cmargeson@autismns.ca

902-593-1015 ext. 3141

PROJECT LEAD:

Allison Ellis - Coordinator

aellis@autismns.ca

902-593-1015 ext. 3021

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Inclusion Nova Scotia

Starting off right – Improving employment success through plain language orientation and training

NOVA SCOTIA

COVID-19 has changed the way every single business operates. It has caused organizations to update internal documents, create and post notices with constantly evolving policies and procedures. This has highlighted the challenges faced when internal documents are difficult to understand for people with intellectual disability or low literacy rates.  Creating documents that are accessible and understandable to all employees will increase productivity and safety within the workplace. 

PROJECT LEAD:

Patricia Neves

executivedirector@inclusionns.ca

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Newfoundland & Labrador Association for Community Living, Gambo and Area Supported Employment Corp. & Sedler

Supporting Health & Safety During COVID-19

NEWFOUNDLAND & LABRADOR

This project will use virtual information sessions to provide individuals with an intellectual disability or autism with accessible and straightforward information regarding COVID-19 protocols in the context of everyday life. The goal is to increase understanding and support informed decision-making in day to day life in the context of COVID-19. This project is offered in 3 regions: Gambo and Area, Sedler and Labrador West Corp.

PROJECT LEAD:

Hope Colbourne, NLACL

Jessica Marche, Labrador West Employment Corp.

PROJECT LEAD:

Paula McDonald

Gambo and Area Supported Employment Corp

PROJECT LEAD:

Melinda Boone

SEDLER

Nunavummi Disabilities Makinnasuaqtiit Society

Nunavut Employment Recovery: Virtual Training

NUNAVUT

Nunavut’s 38,456 inhabitants are spread across 25 communities that are geographically isolated and only accessible by water or air. The community project funding will allow NDMS to create a virtual learning platform to support job readiness skill building as well as a job coach training that is specific to Indigenous people in Nunavut and rooted in Inuit societal values. The project will address a significant gap in Nunavut, as there are currently no virtual job readiness/job coach programs that reach every community in Nunavut.  In the context of covid-19, a virtual training will eliminate the need for in-person instruction and will eliminate exposure to covid-19.

PROJECT LEAD:

Nicole Diakite

Executive Director

of NDMS

Driving Local Innovation is one of four pillars of the Employment Recovery Project, an initiative aimed at improving workplace inclusion for persons on the autism spectrum or with an intellectual disability through addressing critical hiring and support needs that have emerged in response to COVID-19.

The Employment Recovery Project is delivered by Inclusion Canada (formerly the Canadian Association for Community Living) and the Canadian Autism Spectrum Disorder Alliance (CASDA) and works in collaboration with Ready, Willing and Able.