Canada – A conference on employment for people with intellectual disability

To read on Inclusion BC website:

Employment Summit


Rooted in Values and Emerging Practice

This Employment Summit will be at the Prince George Civic Centre from Wednesday, June 22 to Thursday June 23, 2016, leading up to our Annual Conference IGNITE, co-hosted by AiMHi in Prince George from June 23-25, 2016.

As employment services throughout the Community Living Sector evolve within an Employment First mandate, it is important for practitioners to explore how personal and agency values impact the capacity to meet the ever-increasing employer demand for an inclusive workforce. While the two are not inherently contradictory and, in-fact can support the goal of employment for all people with developmental disabilities, it is essential to ensure they are aligned. As well, practice must support a values based model that is rooted in employment first.


Rooted in Values and Emerging Practice

We are excited to host front line employment staff and managers in a dynamic, facilitated conversation that links values to practice in a way that explores what can be complex environments. Staff juggle the interests of job seekers, employers and families within the context of the agencies they work in. The Summit will be a place to share, learn and develop ways of meeting the expectations of the Employment First environment that is quickly rolling across BC.

Rooted in Values and Emerging Practice creates the space to explore the relationships between values, practice, accountability and real jobs for people with developmental disabilities and autism. Our approach will be appreciative with opportunities to cultivate relationships and networks for support, self-reflection and knowledge sharing that encourage people to make connections for values based practice.

Day 1 we will be hearing from a team of experts including families, agencies, self-advocates and employers and then weaving what we hear and our own experiences into an exploration of how policy impacts our work, advise from a Human Resource expert and employment trends across Canada. A guided case study will help highlight practical strategies and approaches.

Day 2 – 9 am – 12:00 noon Steve Donahue, internationally renowned motivator and speaker will take us on a Journey through the “desert looking at the shifting sands” and how we seed lasting innovation in our work and communities with employers and job seekers. Above all, Rooted In Values and Emerging Practice provides a unique place for staff to lead, learn and contribute to the challenge of Employment First and creating sustainable employment for people with developmental disabilities knowing that employment provides the foundation for a full life, solid relationships and economic participation.

Keynote Speaker : Steve Donahue Steve Donahue Photo

Hear from renowned author, storyteller and motivational speaker on how to Tell an Epic Story. “Stories carry values, clarify your mission and build brands.  But how to tell your story and what kind of stories to share are crucial when competing for attention in a digital world.  In this interactive presentation, master storyteller and motivational speaker Steve Donahue will enthral your audience with his narratives while instructing your group to perfect and leverage their own.  Using the latest brain research he will show the science behind the art of storytelling that helps you captivate, illuminate and motivate.” 

karla-verschoor-photoKarla Verschoor, Director of Strategic Initiatives with Inclusion BC will facilitate the Summit.

Karla’s approach is thoughtful and insightful with a focus on asking the right questions while creating the space for open conversation and exploration. She has been with Inclusion BC for more than 10 years including notable work on “Woodlands Memorial Gardens”, “From the Insight Out”, “Self-Advocates Seeding Innovation (SASI)”, the “Road to Inclusion” federation dialogue and “On MY Way” our transition planning initiative. One of Karla’s current assignments is to lead Inclusion BC’s Strategic Planning Process where she will traverse a variety of conversations, processes and sessions across BC with the Board and Staff of Inclusion BC, families, self-advocates, member agencies and community stakeholders to develop a 3 year, Strategic Plan. Combined with her post-secondary study at Simon Fraser University in Dialogue and Civic Engagement, Karla brings a deep personal commitment to her work, the values of full citizenship and a style that is truly inclusive, generating key take aways for all.


Wednesday June 22, 2016

9:00-9:30              Values of Employment First with Faith Bodnar, Executive Director of Inclusion BC

In this first half hour, Faith will provide an opening keynote addressing the values of an employment first culture within the BC experience.

9:30 -10:15          Transformational Talks Series

Inclusion BC has invited a team of community leader to individually share a brief 15 minute transformational talk on the importance of an employment first culture from the perspective of their lived experience.

  • Marta Carlucci with the Family Support Institute of BC will share her insight from her experience as and mother and member of Family Works.
  • Shelley DeCoste, founder of the Diversability Campaign and longtime provincial self advocacy leader will share her thoughts on an employment first approach.
  • Richard Faucher, Executive Director of the Burnaby Association for Community Inclusion will present from the perspective of a service delivery agency.
  • Glenys Patmore, Executive Director of Claytree Society will present from the perspective of a service delivery agency as it transforms its services to address Employment First

10:13 – 10:45      Coffee Break

10:45- 11:30        Transformational Talks Series – continued

  • Annette Borrows with the Canadian Association of Supported Employment (CASE) will provide both a local perspective and the linkage to a national framework for promoting the values of employment first.
  • Shannon Wagner, UNBC — TBA (Educational Perspective)
  • Gordon Jewsbury, General Manager, Sodexo Canada will discuss their corporate Diversity & Inclusion policy related to employment for persons with disabilities and his experience implementing that on-site at UNBC

11:30- 12:00        Facilitated Reflection with Kathryn Thomson, Leadership Mind

This will be a dedicated time to explore the different perspectives each of us bring to the Summit.  We will create a space to identify the common themes from the individual presentations and explore the divergence.

12:00 – 1:00        Lunch

1:00 – 3:00           Beyond Culture with Kathryn Thomson, Leadership Mind

Using a World Café process, Kathryn will provide participants with an experience of deep engagement with their own assumptions, beliefs, fears and biases that prevent a genuine, vital and lived experience of working with diversity.

3:00 – 4:00            A year in review through an Employer-Based Demand Model (Ready, Willing & ABLE)

  • Gordon Ross, Director of Employment Initiatives with Inclusion BC and the Ready, Willing & ABLE project will provide an overview of the work to-date in the province, highlighting areas of success and key learnings with opportunities for feedback from those agency partners involved and in attendance.

Expanding beyond a Community Partner. Becoming a value-added Emplolyer partner and primary source for Inclusive Talent

                Christian Codrington, Human Resource Consultant with Forum HCM will lead a discussion on bridging the gap between the person-centred approach to employment and meeting the the human resource requirements of an employer. Combining his skills, experiences and training, Christian has recently created Forum HCM. A consulting practice committed to simplifying human resources solutions for small and medium sized businesses. He is dedicated to effective people management and will continue to research, write, speak to and deliver his experiences to make workplaces better.


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