PROJECT RELAY

BACKGROUND

 

The impact of COVID-19 on the Canadian economy has been profound with staggering job and wage losses experienced across demographic groups, industries and sectors. The pandemic and resulting economic shutdown has – and will continue to have - a significant impact on the labour force participation of individuals on the autism spectrum or with an intellectual disability. 

In particular, the delivery of employment services and supports to job seekers and employees on the autism spectrum or with an intellectual disability has been profoundly impacted. Physical distancing and other health and safety protocols have challenged traditional methods of providing in-person and on-site supports such as job coaching. Employment agencies across the country have had to pivot service delivery in order to meet new demands.

But what tools, technologies,

solutions and approaches work best?

THE PROJECT

  

This is where Project Relay comes in. Offered in 6 communities across the country, Project Relay aims to:

 

  • Drive the development and application of innovative methods of supporting job seekers and employees on the autism spectrum or with an intellectual disability in finding and maintaining employment in the context of COVID-19 e.g. virtual job coaching, use of accessible technology.

  • Build employment agency capacity to effectively implement innovative approaches and digital solutions to employment services and supports

  • Develop a virtual community of practice among employment service providers

 

Each virtual community of practice is comprised of a “hub team” and participants from across the participating 6 provinces.

The Hub Team

 

  • Comprised of a group of labour market stakeholders who bring service providers and other labour market stakeholders together to facilitate information-sharing and exchange on a variety of practical approaches and tools to supporting persons on the autism spectrum or with an intellectual disability in navigating employment in the COVID-19 context (and beyond!)

  • The Hub Team hosts 2-3 virtual sessions, bringing participants across the province together to learn and apply innovative approaches to employment supports through a series of virtual didactic and interactive sessions on topics such as virtual job coaching and accessible technology

 

The Participants

  • Project Relay is open to any service providers (e.g. job coaches, employment specialists) interested in contributing to the development and application of innovative approaches of supporting job seekers and employees on the autism spectrum or with intellectual disability in finding and maintaining employment in the context of COVID-19

  • All participants earn a certificate of completion

THE IMPACT

  

  • In response to COVID-19, Project Relay: 

    • Brings together labour market stakeholders and service providers to generate and mobilize new and innovative approaches to providing needed supports to job seekers and employees on the autism spectrum or with an intellectual disability in the context of COVID-19

    • Builds capacity within employment agencies to adapt or modify services and supports to meet the needs of job seekers and employees on the autism spectrum or with an intellectual disability and Canadian businesses

Project Relay 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.

 

British Columbia’s Project Relay Team

Corey Walker

Corey Walker is an autistic self-advocate from Prince George, BC. He was diagnosed with Asperger's in 2001, and since then he has made it his life's mission to empower autistics to live the best life possible. In addition to leading Project Relay for the Canucks Autism Network, Corey also serves as the Project Lead for The Sinneave Family Foundation on the Success in the Workplace: Strategies from Autistic Employees toolkit project. Corey is also a dynamic and engaging motivational speaker, who is available to speak on various autism related topics.

Tamara Shaw

Hub Team Member

An outspoken and driven advocate, Tamara is a passionate leader who looks for opportunities to connect people for mutual benefit. Tamara strategically engages key stakeholders at community and provincial levels to meet shared outcomes. Tamara’s love for travel has provided her entry to understanding and owning the lived experience of diverse worldviews. She enjoys finding opportunity for personal and professional development and strives to ensure others benefit from her efforts.

Rebekah Kintzinger

Hub Team Member

Rebekah has been a prominent Autistic self-advocate from Kelowna, BC and a champion for Autistic Canadians, since she was diagnosed autistic in 2012. Since then, she has published an article, been quoted at the Senate, presented at the LATA Conference in BC, structured a key document on Language and autism and has joined AIDE Canada as a project officer and the Canadian Autism Spectrum Disorder Alliance as a Board Member. She spoke at the United Nations last December and is currently a part of the Canadian Journal of Autism Equity’s Editorial Board.

Andrea Conkin

Hub Team Member

Hi, my name is Andrea Conkin. I’m 25 years old and work as a slide attendant at the North Peace Leisure Pool. I love working and making a difference in people's lives.

Robin Friedlander

Hub Team Member

Robin Friedlander is a Clinical Professor and Director of the Neurodevelopmental Disorders Program in the Dept. of Psychiatry at the University of British Columbia (UBC). He established and heads the BCCH SIB (self-injurious behavior) clinic. Dr Friedlander is past  head of the Neuropsychiatry clinic at BC Children’s Hospital as well as  previous clinical director of the Developmental Disability mental health teams in the lower mainland of BC.

Dr Friedlander trained in medicine and psychiatry in South Africa. Since moving to Vancouver, BC in 1993, clinical, academic and teaching pursuits have been in the field of Developmental Psychiatry.

James Miller

Hub Team Member

In his role as Employment Service Assistant Manager at posAbilities Association of BC, James supports a team of Employment Specialists to assist people with diverse-abilities to find and sustain competitive employment in their communities.  He has been working in the field of supported employment for the last 9 years, both in Canada and the UK. 

 

Ontario's Project Relay Team

Kristen Stokl

Kristen Stokl is an Autism Consultant at Kerry’s Place Autism Services and Project Coordinator for Project Relay in Toronto. She supports individuals on the Autism spectrum in overcoming employment barriers to achieve their goals, and is using her expertise to build a community of practice for supported employment professionals.

Ali Dussault

Hub Team Member

Ali joined auticon Canada in 2019, and holds the dual role of National Director of Recruitment and Regional Director of Employment in Ontario. She has been supporting individuals on the autism spectrum in home, academic, community and employment settings for nearly two decades, and holds a Master of Special Education in Autism and Developmental Disabilities. Prior to joining the auticon team, Ali served as Clinical Director of the Gold Centre’s Abili-T and Abili-T+ programs, as well as Manager of Services and Programs at ISAND.  These experiences enabled her to integrate her clinical skills with a strong, strategic approach to management.   With a passion for Positive Behaviour Support, and for celebrating neurodiversity, she enthusiastically supports her colleagues on the spectrum, as well as Toronto’s business community to embrace neurodiversity in the workplace. Outside of work, Ali enjoys spending time with her family, including her daughter, who is proudly on the autism spectrum. 

Todd Simkover

Hub Team Member

Todd Simkover has an M.A. in Critical Disability Studies from York University in Toronto. Driven by his own lived experiences on the autism spectrum, he understands first-hand what the life challenges are. 

Todd is a strong advocate for creating greater acceptance of those with neurological differences and promotes a neurodiversity-based model of autism, focusing on strengths and talents as opposed to deficits. In addition to being a motivational speaker with international aspirations, Todd's completed Master’s thesis entitled “[Addressing] Barriers to rewarding work: Employment issues among people on the autism spectrum” is soon to be published in an upcoming book co-edited by Dr. Kevin Stoddart and Dr. Anne Fudge-Shormans. 

Belinda Deenik

Hub Team Member

Belinda Deenik is the National Training Coordinator with the Canadian Association for Supported Employment. She brings a robust knowledge base and awareness, acquired through 20 plus years of working alongside individuals who experience disability. Throughout her career, she has fulfilled extensive training, consultation, coaching and facilitation roles.  Mid-point in her career, she served as a Solution Focused Coach and Autism Spectrum Disorder Consultant with an Autism Program at a Paediatric Centre, working extensively with school boards. All of these positions solidified her understanding around the critical role that core gifts, talents, and interests, play as pivotal pathways to career development. She recognizes the largely untapped labour pool of skilled individuals who experience a disability and the need for enhanced diversity and inclusion practices.  Belinda is passionate about developing relationships with key-stakeholders, creating responsive resources and participating in a paradigm shift around supported employment.

Sarah Southey

Hub Team Member

Sarah is a Social Worker (M.S.W.), and is an affiliate of The Redpath Centre. She see’s clients in Mississauga, Toronto and virtually. She has over 12 years experience working with adolescents and adults with ASD, ADHD, learning disabilities and mental health issues. Sarah helps clients with job searching, planning and organizing, accommodations, and how to manage/prevent burnout.  Sarah uses solution-focused, trauma-informed and cognitive behavioural therapy techniques in her sessions to address pre-employment and employment issues.

Lisa Marie Clinton

Hub Team Member

Lisa Marie Clinton, has over 13 years of in-depth, hands on experience in the field of education and skills for individuals with developmental and learning disabilities. While working in education, employment and directly with many families in their home environment, she witnessed the challenges in providing and obtaining the right supports for individuals.

Fueled with her passion, drive and vast real-life expertise, Lisa Marie set about creating a revolutionary digital tool to promote lifelong learning, focusing on young adults to live an independent life or reach a point that they are able to fulfil their maximum potential. Through further study in a Masters and Dissertation, Lisa Marie researched the underpinning data for avail® in 2015.

Since then, Lisa Marie as Founder and CEO has continued to research and develop avail into the revolutionary support it is today, supporting and implementing the program with Schools, employment agencies and service providers across Europe and North America.

March of Dimes

Hub Team Member

March of Dimes Canada provides a wide range of services to people with disabilities throughout the country. March of Dimes Canada Employment Services exists to ensure that people with disabilities find and keep meaningful jobs. We are Canada’s leader in matching people who have disabilities with employers seeking qualified job candidates.

Quebec's Project Relay Team

 

Julie Choquette

Certified Professional Coach and consultant, Julie supports individuals on the autism spectrum in their work environment, to promote job inclusion and retention. She is the Project Relay coordinator for the Province of Quebec.

Martine Asselin

Hub Team Member

For the past 20 years, Martine has been writing and producing documentaries on a range of social issues. An activist filmmaker advocating the embrace of difference, she uses her art to generate reflection and dialogue. Her entrepreneurial bent led her to found a production company and develop her business contacts. As the mother of a child on the autism spectrum, since 2015 she has been co-producing a virtual reality project to put the audience  in the shoes  of a person  on the  autism spectrum. The project led her to work in partnership with adults on the autism spectrum for the past four years and made her see the profound  lack of job  opportunities available to them, despite their enormous potential.

Enabling access to employment among people on  the autism spectrum or with an intellectual disability is what prompted her to join the Quebec Intellectual Disability Society team in May 2019 as Provincial Coordinator, Employment Initiatives - Ready, Winning and Able.

Kelly Bron Johnson

Hub Team Member

Kelly Bron Johnson is an Autistic and Hard of Hearing (HoH) self-advocate and founder of Complètement Inclusif, a social enterprise focused on workplace Inclusion and Accessibility.​

As a Black nonbinary individual of mixed heritage, Johnson brings her lived experience and intersecting identities to all her work, and challenges people to see Disabled People, LGBTQA+, BIPOC, and all oppressed or marginalized peoples in a positive light. Johnson is also the author of How to Parent Like an Autistic.​

Emmanuelle Ladouceur

Hub Team Member

Emmanuelle Ladouceur has held the position of "integration advisor" for people with autism and/or intellectual disabilities since 2010 with Action Main d'oeuvre. She has been involved in various projects and conferences concerning employment for individuals with autism.

Lucy Rodrigues

Hub Team Member

As part of her duties, Lucy-CRHA, is responsible for all activities related to talent acquisition and development at Metro Inc.,  as well as diversity and inclusion for the Province of Quebec. Ms. Rodrigues has a Bachelor's degree in administration and a master's degree in management and organizational development. She is involved in several boards of directors, including the integrated University Center for health and social services of Nord-de-l’Île-de-Montréal, where she chairs the board of directors and the human resources committee.

Martin Caouette

Hub Team Member

As part of the work of the Self-Determination and Handicap Chair, Mr. Caouette is interested in three areas of research: 1) housing, 2) socio-professional and community activities, 3) schools. His work sheds light on the self-determination of people with disabilities, in particular those with an intellectual disability or autism spectrum disorder, as well as the practices of those working with them. Present in Quebec and in France, the Chair offers training activities aimed at different audiences (practice environment, scientific community, academia, people with disabilities and their relatives, general public).​

Élodie Lebeau

Hub Team Member

Research officer at the Self-determination and Handicap Chair, she contributes to the establishment and updating of several research projects. Élodie also has experience as a planning, programming and research agent at the CIUSSS de la Mauricie and Center-du-Québec, where she held the positions of techno-clinical advisor and coordinator of the infrastructure of University Institute research in ID and ASD.​

Martin Dubé

Hub Team Member

At the age of 16, Martin joined the big Metro family as a packer, a student job that gave him a passion for food and which, subsequently, allowed him to touch all departments. He quit his studies to be a fruit manager. He went on to be a grocery store manager, fruit and vegetable technician, store manager and, ultimately, operations manager, a position he has held for 14 years now. After 33 years at Metro, he still enjoys doing the work he does and is still motivated to mentor, train and grow people in stores with his experience. The greatest value he has is seeing the people on his teams grow and thrive in their work. 

Faïza Mahallem

Hub Team Member

Faïza Mahallem holds a recent master's degree in management science from the University of Quebec in Montreal (2020). Her thesis deals with Psychological processes and aptitudes for opening up to ethnocultural difference: The case of managers responding to reasonable accommodations. Currently a recruiter at METRO Inc., she helps store managers and franchisees in their recruitment process. Faïza is also responsible for the inclusive hiring project in the stores. In collaboration with Ready, Willing and Able, this project aims to integrate people with autism or with an intellectual disability at METRO Inc. She is delighted to contribute to a diverse and inclusive work environment. 

 

New Brunswick's Project Relay Team

Erika King

Erika is a Project Coordinator at NBACL who is currently facilitating the launch of Project Relay in New Brunswick. She believes strongly in the importance of inclusion and loves fostering connection between like-minded individuals who share a similar passion. She is excited to contribute to the creation of a virtual community of practice within her home province’s bilingual supported employment network.

Michel Vienneau

Hub Team Member

Michel Vienneau is from Fredericton, New Brunswick. He is a graduate of NBCC and has taken the Administrative Professional French Second Language Training course. He is currently employed by the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development for the Government of New Brunswick as an administrative assistant.

Sean Wiltshire

Hub Team Member

Sean Wiltshire is an award-winning diversity expert and international speaker. For the past 28 years, Sean has been the Chief Executive Officer of Avalon Employment Inc. Sean is a past President of the Provincial Regional Economic Development Association and was a member of the Ministerial Committee on Regional Renewal for the Government of Newfoundland & Labrador. Sean has also been a member of two Federal Ministerial Advisory Committees; is an Alumnus of The Governor General’s Canadian Leadership Conference (2000), and is currently a member of the GGCLC National Executive Committee.

Sean is the author of a recent Autism Employment pilot project that received the International Zero Project, awarded at the United Nations in Vienna. In 2012, Sean was the inaugural recipient of the CASE “Wiltshire Award of Excellence in Supported Employment”; an award named in his honour.

Corinne Arseneau

Hub Team Member

Corinne has been the Labour Market Facilitator (LMF) for New Brunswick for over 2 years. As LMF at NBACL, she is responsible and accountable for the successful planning and delivery of the Ready, Willing and Able (RWA) Initiative for the province. Before coming to NBACL, Corinne was a Workplace Essential Skills Trainer for the NB Department of Post-secondary Education, Training and Labour. This rewarding role reinforced her belief in advocating for inclusion for persons with a wide range of disabilities.

Corinne has a university degree from Mount Saint Vincent University in Halifax, Nova Scotia, with a focus in psychology, and a keen interest in cognitive development and human behaviour.  She has over 20 years experience working as a small business owner, heavily involved in the not-for-profit sector. She has additional work experience in both the private and government sectors and has also worked as a consultant for Fredericton businesses looking to support their staff and management teams in developing successful workplace skills.

Brittany Black

Hub Team Member

Brittany joined the Community Employment Agency (CEA) in Moncton, New Brunswick, in 2018. Her role as a Job Coach at CEA is her first formal role in supportive employment. She is a graduate of St. Thomas University (2010) and initially entered the field as a family support worker. She also has experience working as a registered behavior technician and a family support services manager.

Peggy Hudson

Hub Team Member

As the employment coordinator for the Community Employment Agency (CEA), Peggy has been connecting individuals and employers throughout the southeast region of New Brunswick for the past 11 years.  Peggy works with both parties in order to meet their employment needs and ensure a successful outcome for all.  Peggy brings to this position not only 30+ years in the field of human services, but a passion and commitment to her role that is second to none.  Peggy is passionate about educating employers on the importance of hiring persons with disabilities and creating positive connections between all involved parties to ensure success.    

Charles Levasseur

Hub Team Member

Charles is a bilingual certified Assistive Technology Specialist (California State University, Northridge) with an Applied Learning Disability Specialist certification (LSLD/ATLD (LDED)) from Cambrian College.

Charles has worked closely with the New Brunswick government via the departments of Early Education and Childhood Development and of Post-Secondary Education, Training and Labour, to establish several projects in the field of Assistive Technology. These projects have focused on the assessment, training and support of individuals who use assistive technology, and their support providers. Charles sits on the Easter Seals NB AT Loan Program Committee, is a member of the New Brunswick Association of Occupational Therapists, and consults on assistive technology matters with various provincial and government committees In 2017, Charles was presented with the Disability Awareness Week Provincial Award for his continued work with the Neil Squire Society and his involvement in the field of assistive technology.  In 2020, Charles also received an award from the Learning Disability Association of New Brunswick for his dedication to helping individuals with a learning disability in using assistive technology.

Sarah Walsh

Hub Team Member

Sarah Walsh is currently employed as a Target Case Manager with the Department of Social Development for the Government of New Brunswick. Prior to accepting her position in 2019, she worked for three years as an Employment Counsellor for NBACL in the Miramichi region. During her time with NBACL, she was responsible for supporting job seekers with intellectual and developmental disabilities in preparing for, securing, and maintaining meaningful employment. Using a person-centered approach was a cornerstone to her practice and much of her focus was directed toward employer outreach and education, emphasizing the countless benefits from a business perspective in hiring individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

Lisa Robichaud

Hub Team Member

As Transition Facilitator at NBACL, Lisa assists high school youth with intellectual disabilities in making successful transitions from high school to their adult life. She helps to bridge the gap between school and work while also building a network of support for her students. Lisa has a bachelor degree in recreation, sport and tourism management from l’Université de Moncton and has worked with youth all of her career and adult life. She is also a busy mom of three children.

Bruno Wicker

Hub Team Member

Bruno is the National Director of Recruitment and Research for Auticonsult Canada. He holds a PhD in Neuroscience and is a contributing researcher for the Centre National de Recherche Scientifique (France). Since 2010, a large portion of Bruno’s professional focus has been on the implementation of projects aimed at improving the daily lives of people with Autism Spectrum Disorder, particularly in terms of socio-professional integration. He lives in Montreal with is wife Dr. Isabelle Hénault, Director of the Autism & Asperger Clinic of Montreal.

Michael Bennett

Hub Team Member

Michael Bennett has been actively involved in supporting persons with disabilities in the Peel/Halton/Dufferin Regions since 1993. For the past twenty-seven years, Michael has worked both as a Residential Counsellor, working with persons with developmental disabilities, as well as owning and operating a business focused on both Job Development and Retention practices.  Michael has played a key role in the development of employment programs in the region and is particularly dedicated to helping clients to obtain and maintain lasting and meaningful employment. Mike’s projects have included delivering group and individual life-skills training and job coaching assistance for clients, and the development of innovative job search programs, such as employer focus groups and local job fairs. He has partnered with many local employers to match their recruitment goals with his clients’ strengths and is focused on developing lasting relationships both with clients and with employers.  Michael has enjoyed sharing his personal experiences via training and development sessions both with employers and service providers.

Michael possesses keen insight into what it takes to reduce barriers to employment and works with clients and employers to ensure these are overcome. With a high level of determination, Michael works tirelessly to maximize clients’ chances for success and to ensure that they get the very most out of the job development process.

Danny Soucy

Hub Team Member

Danny Soucy has spent much of his life working with, and advocating for, people with disabilities and their families. His career experience includes working for the Council of Canadians with Disabilities as well as the Easter Seals, formerly the Canadian Rehabilitation Council for the Disabled. He also runs his own business, "Consultation Soucy Consulting", which provides training and consultation on disability related issues in areas such as employment, education, sexuality, community living.

In 2010, Danny was elected to represent Grand Falls – Drummond – Saint-André as a member of the provincial government. While in this role, he co-chaired the first working group for the  New Brunswick Employment Action Plan For Persons with a Disability. He was later named Legislative Secretary to the Premier for Disability Issues, as well as the Minister of Social Development.  In 2012 he was sworn in as Minister of Post-secondary Education Training and Labor. 

In 2016, Danny received the Honorable Andy Scott Award for his outstanding contribution to advocacy for the inclusion of persons with disabilities across New Brunswick. He currently works for the New Brunswick Association of Community Living as the Program Manager of Inclusive Education and Transition to Adult Life. 

 

Nova Scotia's Project Relay Team

Mike Silvester

Project Coordinator/Team Lead

Autism Nova Scotia

msilvester@autismns.ca

Michael Silvester is currently a Project Coordinator with the Project Relay Team, which is part of The Employment Recovery Project of Canada. Prior to joining this project, he was working as a Red Seal Certified Chef in the Culinary Industry for the past 20 years. In 2019 he joined the Employment Team at Autism Nova Scotia and there was able to lend life and work experience to participants seeking employment. In 2020, through a partnership with Autism Nova Scotia, Michael joined the Ready, Willing and Able Team as a Labour Market Facilitator assisting employers with hiring inclusively. He currently resides in Halifax with his family, two labradoodles and enjoys the time spent close to the ocean.

Laura Godsoe

Hub Team Member

Laura is the Executive Recruiter for Dalhousie University, where she is responsible for the recruitment of leadership positions at the university.  Prior to joining Dalhousie, Laura was a Partner at the human resources consulting firm KBRS where she also served as the firms’ Diversity & Inclusion Lead. Laura’s focus throughout her career in recruitment has been on inclusive hiring practices, and she is excited to offer any expertise she can to the Hub Team. Laura holds a Bachelor of Arts Honours from Mount Allison University and both a Master’s and PhD from York University. She is a Canadian Certified Inclusion Professional™ through the Canadian Centre for Diversity and Inclusion.

Thomas Sykes

Hub Team Member

Thomas Sykes is currently the Early Professional Talent Acquisition Partner for IBM Halifax. He has a Bachelor of Arts in business and math from Maryville College, USA, as well as an MBA from Dalhousie University. Thomas has been involved with Ready, Willing, & Able for over a year, and continues to be an advocate for employment inclusivity. He is involved with multiple projects within IBM that are focused on employment and employee equity. 

Erin Miller

Hub Team Member

Erin is an accomplished recruitment and human resource professional with over 15 years’ experience in the private and public sector demonstrating leadership delivering both corporate and professional service human resource solutions. She currently serves as the Human Resources Business Partner of Recruitment for Halifax Regional Municipality in charge of recruitment services, policy, and strategy within a complex, publicly accountable organization with over 4500+ employees. Erin specializes in connecting organizations with top talent through the development of strategic sourcing, selection, and talent management solutions.

Wanda K. Deschamps

Hub Team Member

Wanda's ultimate goal is to increase the participation level of members of the neurodiverse population in the workforce with a special focus on autism due to her own diagnosis at midlife. Prior to founding Liberty Co, Wanda enjoyed a twenty-five year career in the philanthropic sector, serving as a consultant for KCI (Ketchum Canada Inc.), a leading fundraising consultancy, as well as an institutional development leader. A champion for inclusion, she enjoys writing and speaking under the banner of the Inclusion Revolution - a worldwide movement launched in 2018 to spearhead broader thinking about disability, especially disability employment. Wanda is also the catalyst behind the #women4womencollective focused on gender equality through supporting other women. Combining these two goals provides an avenue for Wanda to be an advocate for women with autism, including as a participant in research into autistic women's experiences in the workplace. As a means to further help create safer and healthier workplaces, she is the co-founder of the National Day of Conversation about sexual harassment in the charitable sector. Outside of work she relishes time with friends, exercising and reading biographies, as well as books about history and current affairs. Recently she was appointed to The Charity Report’s Literary Review Circle which has given her a new forum to indulge this love of learning. Wanda lives in Waterloo, Ontario with her husband and their two sons.

Melanie Karas

Hub Team Member

Melanie is an Employment Facilitator with the Canadian Council on Rehabilitation and Work. She works with the Youth the Future Halifax program where she supports youth with disability with the skills and training needed to succeed in the workforce. Melanie also works closely with local businesses to recruit new talent and support inclusive hiring practices. Melanie has a Bachelor of Education and Bachelor of Arts from York University. She is an organizing member of CCRW's Diversity and Inclusion committee and is passionate about creating spaces that prioritize diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility. Melanie believes that our communities and businesses are stronger when there's a space for everyone to be represented and contribute.

 

Newfoundland & Labrador's Project Relay Team

Taylor Cassell

Taylor recently completed a Master of Science in Experimental Psychology at Memorial University of Newfoundland. He is experienced in working with individuals with intellectual disabilities and autism through his previous work as a Child and Youth Care Worker. He is passionate about creating inclusive spaces that allow every individual to excel to their full potential and he is ecstatic to work with the Project Relay team!

Kem Young

Hub Team Member

My name is Kem Young. I am the president of the local association for community living in Springdale. We have a very active community living group. I am the manager of the Green Bay Community Employment Corporation. I was the founder of our office, I built it from the ground up. It’s very successful and has come along way in inclusion, partnership, and supported employment, we’ve been here for 19 years. I am excited to be a part of the Project Relay team!​

Samantha Strong

Hub Team Member

My name is Samantha Strong. I am from Labrador West and work for the Labrador West Employment Corporation as the Autism Employment Facilitator.  I am looking forward to collaborating with individuals from across the province to create innovative approaches to expanding virtual employment services in order to create a more accessible Newfoundland and Labrador in response to Covid-19 protocols.  

Sarah White

Hub Team Member

Sarah White is the Manager of Programs and Services for the Autism Society, Newfoundland and Labrador (ASNL). While her role at ASNL began in 2009, her passion for supporting people with ASD and their families sparked in 2004 when she started volunteering at Newfoundland and Labradors Therapeutic Riding Facility" Rainbow Riders". After seeing the benefits to both the participants and caregivers taking part in recreational therapy, Sarah turned her passion into a career. Currently, Sarah manages a staff of 13 and a growing volunteer base of 95.​​ Sarah also contributes to the organization 3 provincial pre-employment programs and is committed to supporting inclusive practices where every person has the opportunity to reach their full potential.​

April Broomfield

Hub Team Member

My name is April Broomfield and I am from Gambo, NL.​ I work full time at Gill’s Grill and have done so for 5 years. In addition to working, I volunteer at The Salvation Army Foodbank and The Breakfast Program at Smallwood Academy. I also Co-Chair our Gambo Inclusion Wellness Initiative (GIWI) which is a skills group for individuals with disabilities. I love being active and to help people. I look forward to sharing my experiences with regards COVID-19, so it may benefit others.​

Project Relay 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.

Funded by the Government of Canada’s Opportunities Fund for Persons with Disabilities.