The Ontario government has announced it will provide Carleton University with funding of $3-million over three years to support the second phase of the David C. Onley Initiative. The investment will support the second phase of the David C. Onley Initiative and includes an online toolkit for post-secondary institutions that will help extend supports to more students across Ontario.

“Carleton is committed to being the most accessible campus in Canada,” says Benoit-Antoine Bacon, Carleton’s president and vice chancellor.

“This investment will allow the university to continue to help graduates with disabilities enter and succeed in the working world.”

The investment was announced on December 3, recognized annually as the International Day of Persons with Disabilities.

“On this year’s International Day of Persons with Disabilities, we recognize that the pandemic has heightened barriers for an already vulnerable population who face increased difficulties connecting with employers and the job market,” says Goldie Ghamari, parliamentary assistant to the Minister of Colleges and Universities. “This investment will help take the valuable learnings from the original David C. Onley Initiative and support institutions in localizing resources to help transition students with disabilities into employment—contributing to a skilled, more inclusive workforce.”

The David C. Onley Initiative for Employment and Enterprise Development launched in 2018 as an applied research project led by Carleton University’s READ Initiative, in partnership with the University of Ottawa, Algonquin College and La Cité . Their work has helped employers become more inclusive and strengthen their businesses by leveraging diversity as a competitive edge in the marketplace, setting students with disabilities on a path towards fulfilling careers.

Actions have included:

  • Launching the AbleTo campaign to encourage employers to make workplaces accessible for employees with disabilities and support students and graduates with disabilities as they move into the workforce
  • Coordinating workshops and accessible career showcase events for students with disabilities so they can explore job options with inclusive employers
  • Facilitating recruitment opportunities and providing online resources like guidebooks, tip sheets and webinars to support job seekers, service providers, students and employers
  • Piloting innovative strategies at postsecondary institutions to actively foster the growth and accessible opportunities for students with disabilities in career preparation and employability skills

“Since 2018, Carleton University and the partner institutions have done a terrific job of supporting students and graduates with disabilities in Ottawa to find meaningful employment,” says Jill Dunlop, Minister of Colleges and Universities.

“Through this initiative, we are leveraging key talent to help to overcome critical labour shortages and strengthen our economy.”

David C. Onley is a former journalist who served as the 28th Lieutenant Governor of Ontario from 2007 until 2014 and has made significant contributions to the advancement of disability issues in Canada.

Friday, December 3, 2021 in
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