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22 Inspiring through dance

In the b-boying world, some of the best dancers, or even whole crews, merge to form super crews. Montreal-born, Luca “Lazylegz” Patuelli, decided he wanted to form a super crew of dancers with disabilities. He came up with the idea of ILL-Abilities. We profile the crew members and talk about how they defy the law of gravity and inspire crowds around the world while doing so.

who’sHIRING IFC 03 07 09 09 13 14 14 14 18 21

CSIS Bank of Montreal TD Bank Financial Group Canadian Pacific Imperial Oil The Home Depot Air Canada Jazz FINTRAC Domtar Target Export Development Canada


Wood Manufacturing Council of Canada

WHOELSE? 05 10 21 30 IBC OBC

Rogers Wireless NEADS Media Job Search Canada Humber, The Business School, Alternative Dispute Resolution Career Edge Humber, The Business School, Global Business Management

Images: Ben Li, Raw Edge Photography

CONTENTINDEX 04 Success story

Elizabeth Novak, a historical interpreter for the City of Toronto, tells us how her career path landed her a rewarding museum job. Sponsored by Rogers Wireless.

06 CAREER CUPID Bacon. It’s not just for breakfast anymore.


How do you adapt to a word-heavy culture when you have dyslexia or hearing loss? Mary Michaela Weber talks about innovative adaptation.

11 COMMUNITY. HEALING. GROWTH. and A ROUNDHOUSE PUNCH. A karate club in British Columbia is teaching self-defence to survivors of brain injury. Strength, focus, and inner peace: you can find it at the Leonard Cheshire Budokai Karate Club.

15 Finding confidence in your abilities

We chat with motivational speaker Alvin Law, who talks about how employees with disabilities can make superior employees and how he used to play the trombone with his feet.

19 Self-defining your job hunt

You have a disability. Your job search shouldn’t. Here’s how to search for jobs and find an employer who sees YOU, the professional.

29 Speak your mind

Assertiveness training isn’t about bullying — it’s about communicating what you need at work and creating positive change.

31 Recognizing ability

We profile the companies who are doing their part to create an inclusive (and equitable) work environment for employees with disabilities. 2012 | JOBPOSTINGS.CA



publisher Nathan Laurie

associate publisher Mark Laurie

editor david tal @DavidTalWrites

graphic designer anthony capano

web editor Mark TEO


Mary Michaela Weber, Michelle Hampson,

national account managers Sarah-Lyn Amaral, Mary Vanderpas Shannon Tracey


Amir Ahmed, Chantelle Rodrigo

on the cover

Ill-Abilities Photo by Ben Li, Raw Edge Photography

Published by Passion inc. 25 Imperial Street, Suite 100 Toronto, ON M5P 1B9 1-877-900-5627 ext. 221

jobpostings publishes disability issues twice a year. Issue dates are September and January. 20,000 copies are distributed to over 100 universities and colleges. Available by subscription: 2 issues for only $8.00 (plus HST). Contents of this publication are protected by copyright and may not be reprinted in whole or part without permission of the publishers.


EDITORS NOTE No excuses. That’s unique perspective on has gone on to lead what this issue’s life. In fact, it gives you successful and fulfilling lives, lives that don’t an edge. all about. In life, there are many who limit themselves, who stop themselves from reaching out for those goals they dream about. It happens to the best of us. It happens to the able-bodied. And it happens to persons with disabilities. Unfortunately, the odds of this happening to the latter group are higher. Growing up with a disability isn’t easy. But at the same time, growing up not being able to do what others may take for granted gives you a

We live in a world where the majority of able-bodied people only use a fraction of their potential. It’s easy to see. And for persons with disabilities, you’re in the unique position to recognize that best. What better motivation then to get out there and apply yourself, to achieve those things society says you can’t do?

In this issue, we profile a variety of individuals who do just that. While each has their own personal disability, each

just inspire those with disabilities, but everyone. We also profile a selection of Canadian employers who have done a great job of fostering an inclusive environment for their employees with disabilities and their surrounding community. Read on, friends.

Turn your potential into performance At our company, we have been helping our customers and communities for over 190 years. Working with us means being part of a team of talented, passionate individuals with a shared focus on working together to deliver great customer experiences. We stand behind your success with the support you need to turn your potential into performance. BMO速 Financial Group is committed to an inclusive, equitable and accessible workplace. By embracing diversity, we gain strength through our people and our perspectives.

Now hiring: Customer Service Representatives **Opportunities for People with Disabilities** If you are a person with a disability, please email your resume and cover letter to and include Job Postings in the Subject line. Visit to discover other opportunities with our team today.

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Sponsored by

Elizabeth Novak Company: Todmorden Mills Heritage Site Position: Historical Interpreter Length of employment: 2 years Degree: Masters of Museum Studies – U of T, Faculty of Information (2012), Hon BSc – University of Guelph (2006)

What drew you to your current position?

them want to come again.

When I was accepted into the museum studies program, I thought [the position at Todmorden Mills] was a really great fit. It just worked really well for me as I pursued my academic studies.

What accommodations do you use to help you succeed on the job?

Tell us a bit about your responsibilities. With most museum positions, you have a hand in pretty much everything. I’m doing educational programming for groups, running a variety of environmental and historical education programs about the history, heritage, and ecology of the Todmorden Mills site and the Don Valley. What is the most challenging aspect of your position? The most challenging thing is the current financial climate for museums and trying to stay adaptable, while meeting the needs of the public. No shift is ever the same. There are so many interesting people coming onto the site with different needs and wanting to learn different things. What is the most rewarding part of your job? One of the most rewarding things is when visitors tell you at the end of a tour, “Thank you so much for the information. I learned a lot!” For me, it’s really rewarding if I’ve inspired somebody to learn more and make


At Todmorden Mills, I don’t really need that many accommodations. When I worked for Scotiabank, there was a lot more deskwork and being in front of a computer, so I had ZoomText and the office lighting was adjusted for me. I have a visual impairment, so lighting is very challenging sometimes. Can you tell us about the history of your disability and how it has affected your career? I was born with low vision, which has really restricted my ability to drive. My past career goals involved working in the environmental field where you really need to have the ability to drive to do biology field work. This has really structured and changed my career path and the sectors I’ve looked into. Working in the museum field, you don’t necessarily need to drive a car, but you still have to be flexible and adaptable. Is there one accomplishment you are most proud of to date? I’ve just completed a master’s degree, which has always been a dream of mine. I’m also really proud that I have a job that is giving me lots of valuable experience as I come

out of an academic program. Just finding your career path is a huge challenge, so being at this stage of my life and knowing what job field I’m really passionate about and suits my skill set is really rewarding. What advice do you have for students looking to land their first job? For any person who has a disability going into an employment situation, you need to be prepared to come in and say, “Here are the techniques and strategies I can bring to help accommodate my disability.” If you come [to a job interview] with those strategies in mind, it shows initiative and that you can work with your disability. Is there anything else you would like to add? I went through the Workplace Essential Skills Program (WESP), which connected me with the Ability Edge internship program. Seeking employment as a person with a disability can be really challenging and WESP really helped me develop job searching techniques. It’s all about timing, networking, and putting yourself out in the community as much as possible. I’m a year-round volunteer with the Toronto Zoo and I’ve found that volunteering can provide valuable networking opportunities while also adding experience to your résumé.









































































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Career Cupid



it’s not just for breakfast anymore “YOU don’t have a disability!” my friend’s wife scolded me in a shocked and horrified voice, as we ate breakfast at a local greasy spoon one morning.

be quite invisible. Take me out of my accommodated environment, however, and even I am sometimes startled by how quickly my so-called invisible disability becomes visible.

When my friend’s wife looked at me, she saw a woman chowing down on her heart-attack-on-a-plate breakfast: no evidence of a (dis) ability in sight. Further discussion revealed she was distressed that I would label myself ‘that way.’ After all, I didn’t look as if I had anything “wrong” with me.

Perhaps because of the seeing is believing principle, people with invisible disabilities can also struggle to have their disability and accommodations recognized and supported. My brother-in-law was in a severe car accident 10 years ago. Once his physical injuries had healed, many people commented how amazing it was that he was “back to normal.”

But what does a person with a disability look like? Apparently, on that sunny Saturday morning, I didn’t fit the image of disability my friend’s wife had in her head. The vast majority of students with disabilities who attend university or college don’t either. They have a so-called “invisible” disability, just like I do. I often think of my own disability as “invisible” because, with the right accommodations in place, I am able to go about my life without having to think about my disability too much. With daily medication, accommodations and evasive manoeuvres, my disability can JOBPOSTINGS.CA | 2012

However, he sustained a traumatic brain injury that affects his life (and the life of his family and work) substantially to this day. He looks perfectly ‘normal,’ so it has been difficult for him to get the appropriate ongoing accommodations at his job after the initial crisis stage. Maintaining his performance is extremely stressful, which makes the effects of his brain injury even more invasive to him. Yet, because his physical wounds have healed to the outside observer, he continually

faces people who doubt his need for accommodations. Having a disability can run the gambit from being a complete nonissue, to being invasive, to being an opportunity and a proud part of one’s identity. With appropriate accommodations and a supportive world that is more aware of them, all people with invisible disabilities can contribute their full potential. My friend’s wife was shocked when I comfortably revealed that I had a disability. She was even more shocked to realize that I was being successfully accommodated that very day at breakfast, so that it was “invisible”—to her. My heart-attackon-a-plate breakfast was doctor recommended: all that salty food helps me avert fainting episodes. Bring on the bacon. Christine Fader works as a career counsellor at a Canadian university and is the author of the book, “Career Cupid: Your Guide to Landing and Loving Your Dream Job”. She was a member of the Ontario Government’s Employment Standards Development Committee which created new legislation to increase accessibility in Ontario by 2025. Visit her at



How modifying your situation can develop your career, even while overcoming special needs By: Mary Michaela Weber

Much of our culture revolves around words and speaking. But how do you become a successful professional speaker if you were hearing impaired or dyslexic? Two of my clients face these unique challenges. Peggi Lepage, a model scout and former cover model for Vogue, is dyslexic. Craig Lund, CEO of Marketing Talent Inc. and president of AMA Toronto, is hearing impaired. Craig is smart, dynamic, and has quick smile. But most of the people he interacts with don’t know that he’s also hearing impaired. He reads lips and wears a hearing aid. During a video shoot, Craig had to ask the cameraman to be a little clearer when he spoke. The cameraman realized that his mumbling even affected someone who reads lips! Public speakers usually rely on their ears to know what their voice is doing. Craig has to know from how he feels in his body when he “gets it right.” That’s an example of kinesthetic awareness. Kinesthetic awareness is your internal sensation-based awareness of your JOBPOSTINGS.CA | 2012

body. We created a kinesthetic roadmap for Craig, so he would know when he was nailing it onstage. Peggi Lepage is another success story. Dyslexia is Peggi’s challenge. Dyslexia can make people mix up similar-looking letters like d’s and b’s when reading or writing. Peggi laughs a lot at herself when she fumbles words and makes jokes about it. In fact, her boyfriend loves the “Peggi Quotes” her dyslexia creates. For example, instead of the expression, “Hook line and sinker,” Peggi said one day, “sink line and hooker.” When I coached her, we stayed away from written materials and did most of our coaching in a verbal exchange. A couple of years ago, I coached a musical where one child was dyslexic. I told her about Peggi, and how well she’s done as a model. While writing out a list of roles, the little girl was scribbling out some mixed-up words. So I pulled her over beside me. I heaped on praise if the word looked close to what she was trying to do. Gradually the scribbled words diminished and she

was writing words out well and moving along with everyone else. I paired her up with another child to help her learn her lines verbally. Patience and a warm, loving sense of humour helps when handling an ongoing issue like dyslexia. Get a proofreader on documents and find a buddy or coach to help you in critical times. For those facing unique challenges within our word-heavy culture, the most critical element is creating an environment that provides constructive support, within and without. 1. Be positive. Laugh at yourself 2. Applaud yourself daily 3. Modify situations Mary Michaela Weber is one of Canada’s top communications consultants, known for using wit and a smart sense of strategy. Her company, Voice Empowerment Inc., brings her background of over 20,000 hours of training to CEO’s and Executives in Fortune 100 and Fortune 500 companies, Ivy League University professors, and up-and-comers across North America and the Caribbean.

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The class, dressed in black karate gis, lines up on the blue mats of Centennial Community Centre’s dojo. Together, they face John Millard, who stands at the front of the room. The class bows to John. John bows back. By day, John Millard is the executive officer at the Cheshire Homes Society of British Columbia. Here, he is sensei of the Leonard Cheshire Budokai Karate Club. The group, meeting Mondays in New Westminster, B.C., and on Wednesdays in Surrey’s Semiahmoo House Society, is not a typical karate club. For one, it’s free. For another, every student on the mats is a survivor of a brain injury.

The Leonard Cheshire Budokai Karate Club teaches self-defence for survivors of brain injuries By: Amir Ahmed

“How can a survivor like me learn self defence?” That was the question posed to John by a friend of a friend — a woman in college who had experienced a brain injury. In his 40s at the time, John had practised Judo and Karate for about 20 years. It was a good question. There were bad people in the world, and — depending on the extent of their injury — a survivor of a brain injury might have a hard time defending themselves in an attack. John approached his own karate instructor and together the two of them put together a 16-week self-defence course for the Lower Mainland Brain Injury Association. 2012 | JOBPOSTINGS.CA



It was a hit. “[The course] went over very well,” John says. “We probably had about 25 people and they loved it.”

been volunteer,” John says. “It’s a wonderful thing to give back and provide the info that’s been provided to me.”

The course paired traditional karate techniques with combat avoidance. “It was much more focused on self-defence techniques — what do you do if you’re grabbed, for instance. And a lot more practicals, like where you walk at night and how you project yourself. We even had an imitation bank machine and we were working around making people recognize how easily you can be mugged.”

“In another club, I wouldn’t have the opportunity to advance,” says Randi, a blue belt at the club. “There, past a certain point, you won’t be able to keep up. But here I can excel.” At 11, Marco survived a collision with a car. It was on the last day of school before Christmas break. He flew thirty feet into the air and landed headfirst. After the accident, Randi had to learn how to talk, walk, and focus his mind again. At 34, he can still feel the repercussions of that accident.

But after the course ended, John and his instructor realized they could put together a club to teach even more. The two developed a curriculum from white belt to black “The club has made such a huge impact on my life,” says belt and began training students, adjusting traditional Randi. He joined the club four years ago and plans to get karate teaching for survivors of brain injury. “In brain his black belt one day. He doesn’t let anything get in the way of his training: Randi is curinjury, we have a lot of people rently dealing with a knee injury, who are challenged by short-term but he keeps on coming. “The memory,” John explains. “We John Millard surgeon said he’d never seen a leg added a lot of pieces for that — uses funny banged up like mine. But unless for example, when we do a par- names to help my legs are broken, I’m going to ticular move we’ll label it with a his students come and train.” funny phrase to trigger memory.” remember techniques. John describes one technique that The club members come for diflooks like a waiter serving a plate. ferent reasons: self-defence, fit“We labelled that ‘serving rice’.” was the name for a ness, and strength. There are

serving rice

The club also modifies karate strike that techniques to work for people resembles a waiter who are partially paralyzed. “I serving a plate. can tell you that in a lot of movements, often they’re done with two hands and two arms — when you have to break free from a choke, for example. With a person with one able side, you really have to look at adapting the moves. Leading with one side always, for example, so you’re never putting the weak side at risk.” John’s daughter — a survivor of brain injury herself and John’s head student — is currently working to teach selfdefence techniques for people in wheelchairs. Classes run twice a week. After bowing in, the students warm up, practise stretching and balance, and practise blocks and punches. They usually end with katas — a series of choreographed techniques. John observes it all. Now 55 — “a young 55!” — he has practised Japanese martial arts for more than 30 years. He holds a brown belt in Judo and a black belt in naha-te, a style of karate from Okinawa, with roots in Chinese kung fu. As mentioned, membership in the club is entirely free. This is the way John was taught and he believes its the purest form of martial arts. “From the very beginning it’s JOBPOSTINGS.CA | 2012

obvious physical benefits to the exercise. “For a lot of people with brain injuries, our balance is really affected,” Randi says. “And martial arts is great for balance.” After stance training, Randi says his left leg — weaker since his accident — has grown much stronger. There are mental benefits as well. “For people who have problems focusing, it’s a big help,” Randi says. “Shortterm memory too.” When I was first starting out, Millard Sensei told me ‘Marco, practise makes permanent, man.’” After training rote movements for so long, the lessons stick. Despite memory problems, the techniques find a way into the muscles. “Someone grabs you, you just react to it — boom.” But the most important part of this program — the element that makes the Leonard Cheshire Budokai Karate Club really something — is the confidence and the connection that comes from being with people, pursuing a passion, and improving a skill. “When you’re brain-injured, you feel quite alone,” Randi says. “Knowing martial arts, being with people — it’s great. I can talk to them. I’m not nervous.”

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Finding confidence in your abilities

By: Michelle Hampson

Feature interview with Alvin Law − ONE OF CANADA’S MOST SOUGHT-AFTER MOTIVATIONAL SPEAKERS Like many kids in the 1970s, Alvin Law was into music. He excelled at the trombone, piano, and other instruments, even if he played rather uniquely. With the instrument mounted on a chair in front of him, Alvin used his right foot to move the slide. But performing with his feet, and performing well, was not something Alvin did to show off. Images: © ISTOCK.COM

Alvin is one of the 13,000 babies born in the 1960s affected by what mothers thought was a safe morning sickness pill: Thalidomide. His mother, not knowing how dangerous the drug was, took these pills. A few months later, Alvin was born with no arms. As you can guess from his trombone talents, Alvin continued his life with confidence and determination. With a musical career in mind, Alvin visited his high school guidance counsellor to discuss career options. “My guidance counsellor was much more practical,” says Alvin, now 52. “And he understood the challenges I would face.” After their discussion, Alvin decided to pursue broadcasting. It was practical and still involved music. After completing a two-year program at Mount Royal University, he became a radio station disc jockey. Despite liking radio and working one year as a DJ, Alvin then joined a company that conducted disability awareness seminars in schools across Alberta. After years in advertising, public relations, and the civil service, Alvin became a full-time motivational speaker and created AJL Communications Ltd. in 1988. How did Alvin find such a successful career path?


“I tended to — as I have always done

May-Aug 1979:

News and sports announcer, CJGX Radio, Yorkton, Sask.


Jan-Mar 1980:

Sports announcer, CBC Radio, Calgary, Alta. (Part-time in college)

May 1980-Mar 1981: Disc Jockey at CFMQ-FM Radio, Regina, Sask.

Mar-June 1981:

Special educational ambassador for the UN International Year of Disabled Persons, Alta.

June 1981-Sept 1983:

Community relations & fundraising director, Saskatchewan Abilities Council, Saskatoon, Sask.



When you have confidence in yourself, it’s very hard for people to turn you away. In fact, Alvin says the only accommodation he required at work was an elevated chair on wheels for discjockeying to allow access to the turntables, mixing board, and album library. For his job as a motivational speaker, his wife Darlene works with him at their home, assisting with office tasks for their company. Alvin was never really a fan of dictation software. He sits on the floor and, using a laptop or iPad, can type 30 words per minute with his toes.

Sept 1983-June 1985: Community relations & fundraising Manager SAC, Regina, Sask.

Some employers may be uncomfortable addressing the needs of an employee with a disability, but why? “A lot of times, what people with their own disability have to understand is that society doesn’t necessarily have a built-in knowledge or understanding of how they function,” says Alvin. “So making sure we’re aware of our own limitations is one thing, of course. But also, recognizing that we need to find a place of employment where we can sit comfortably within their culture (is important).” As always, people are predictable. They are timid around what they are unfamiliar with. So what can you do to change their perceptions? Alvin’s advice in the job interview: stay one step ahead of the potential employer and be ready to discuss any accommodations you may need. “If someone is too embarrassed to ask a question of a potential employee with a disability, you have to be almost ready to answer the question before it’s asked,” says Alvin. “Instead of waiting around to see what the company can do for you, ask: ‘What can I do for the company?’ And when you take in that attitude, it’s amazing how far you can get.” In his talks with employers, Alvin even argues that people with disabilities can make superior employees. “Your ability to solve problems, your ability to analyze situations,

June 1985-May 1988:

Account executive, Dome Advertising, Regina, Sask.

Sept 1985-Oct 1986: Ran for seat in Saskatchewan Legislature (Lost)

May-Sept 1988:

your ability to adapt to situations, and use your own intellect to overcome things are rather obvious, but not easy fixes — this makes you a very, very, well-rounded employee.” “When I talk to companies, I say, ‘Why would you consider hiring a person with a disability? Is it out of sympathy? Do you do it out of a sense of moral obligation, or do you do it because you can find the right fit for an employee?’” Alvin points out that people with disabilities can not only be the most efficient employees at an organization, but they can also be the most loyal because of the difficulties some people with disabilities have in finding jobs. It comes down to finding a career you’ll be happy with and can adapt to make your own. Anticipate any concerns your potential employer may have and prove to him or her that you’re more than capable. The final ingredient to success: Confidence. Alvin’s wife often tells him that when they first met, she was unprepared for how confident a man with no arms could be. Yet confidence is something Alvin has worked on all his life. “And I’ll tell you, when you have confidence in yourself, it’s very hard for people to turn you away.”

Manager, Disability Directorate, Government of Saskatchewan

Sept 1988-Present:

President & CEO, AJL Communications Ltd., Regina, Sask.


in my life — take control of the situation, so that people weren’t trying to figure out how to handle me,” says Alvin. He explains he’s had few problems because he understood he was going to do things differently. People quickly found that the accommodations he required were minimal.


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Hey, You may have a disability. don’t disable your job search By: Mark Teo

Will Smith — think of the Fresh Prince era, not Men in Black II — said it best: “Oh hell naw.” You might have a disability, but your career requirements are like anyone else’s. You want to align your work with your passions and skill set. You want fair compensation. You want a position conducive to personal and professional growth. So, should your disability, whether cognitive, developmental, or physical, stop you?

Oh, Hell Naw!

And if you’re a person with a disability (PWD), you’re not alone. In Canada, 4.4 million people reported having a disability, including 4.7 percent of people aged 15 to 24. Meghan Hines, a fourth-year bachelor of commerce student at McMaster University, is part of that cohort. Born with muscular dystrophy, a neuromuscular disability, she’s parlayed her skills into an external recruitment position at TD Canada Trust — allowing her to earn valuable career-related experience while completing her degree. “I would encourage other PWDs searching for employment to not get discouraged,” she says. “It took me about three to four months before I was able to find an employer who (really appreciated) at my abilities and transferable skills.” Among those prospective employers, Hines says, was a hiring manager who focused on Hines’ reliance on her wheelchair — they asked how she’d file paperwork, how she’d enter the office, how she’d use elevator buttons. Such employers can overlook qualified candidates, and, Hines adds, the intangible ethics which accompany many PWDs. Hines succeeded and will continue to succeed, because she promoted her skills to prospective employers — not her disabilities. You can, too. How, you ask?

RESEARCH Start by digging up the dirt on your employer. Indentify employers who have strong equity policies (or even quotas) and employee resources for hiring people with disabilities. Among them are CIBC, BMO, and Scotiabank, says Sharon Myatt, an employment development consultant for the Ontario Job Information Network (JOIN). “Some employers have portals,” she says. “You’ll get a look-see if you dis-

close — not what your disability is, but just that you have one. You’ll get fast-tracked in the application process.”

ADDRESS MISCONCEPTIONS According to Myatt, it’s time to destigmatize employer perceptions about disabilities. “The biggest thing is shifting the mindset,” she says. “Employees with disabilities are just as skilled, educated, and capable as their non-disabled counterparts, as long as they’re provided

with the right accommodations and, sometimes, different coaching techniques.” And employers are beginning to catch on. RBC, for example, published a study declaring that a whopping 90 percent of workers with disabilities scored better-than-average performance scores at work. For Hines, she believes it’s also time for employers to get creative. For example, TD allows her to work remotely, allowing her to focus less on transportation, and more on her job. “I 2012 | JOBPOSTINGS.CA



don’t have to worry about going to an office during the year when I’m in Hamilton (at school),” she adds.

NETWORKING Of course, networking is important to everyone. But for PWDs, a personal network can be even more valuable: aside from providing access to the hidden job market, networking is all about personal connections. And those connections are more likely to recognize your abilities, not your disability. Your network, says Frank Smith, national coordinator for the National Educational Association for Disabled Students (NEADS), is bigger than you think. “Everyone has at least 200 people they can count on,” says Smith. “Most people only think that people with high positions in a company are good contacts.” Not true. “It can be family, friends, teachers,

Disabilities mythbusters

or disability service providers.” And, of course, there are additional resources. JOIN, for example, has a program pairing PWDs with mentors from Deloitte, Sheraton, AirJazz, and more. NEADS, meanwhile, lists nation-wide workshops, career fairs, and conferences on their website’s events calendar. Go forth, friends, and network.

DISCLOSURE This, of all, is one of the stickiest job-hunting questions: should I tell my employer about my disability? If so, how much should I share? “Be honest. Present your disability as much as you need to,” says NEADS’s Smith. “The biggest mistake is that people conceal information from an employer, because some don’t want to identify with their disability. But in the process, you could set yourself up for failure at the job.”

It’s a sentiment JOIN’s Myatt echoes. “Disclosure is critical to be successful. You have to be comfortable about talking about your requirements. It can be a benefit at some large companies, but it can depend for medium or small-sized companies.” But, adds Hines, disclosure isn’t necessary if workplace accommodations aren’t. “In my opinion, disabilities should be disclosed only if it’ll affect an employee’s performance. It shouldn’t be used as an excuse, but rather as a way for employer and employee to work together to ensure an individual can effectively contribute to their role.” So don’t be shy if you require extra software, equipment, or training to actualize your skills. Because you might have a disability, but is it a hindrance? Oh. Hell. Naw.

It’s a sad reality, but there are employers who — whether through previous experience or simple discrimination — hold misconceptions about PWDs. Don’t get bummed. Instead, go all Jamie Hyneman on their asses by tackling these common myths.



Hiring people with disabilities costs too much.

Workers with disabilities take more sick days.

Turnover is higher for disabiled WORKERS.

False. According to the Ontario Disability Employment network, two-thirds of workplace accommodations cost less than $500. Employers needn’t call in Mike Holmes for an office reno.

Say what? According to a 2007 study by RBC, 86 percent of disabled workers possessed better-than-average attendance scores. Consider this myth bunksauce.

Oh, hell naw! Don’t make us bring Will back out here. Staff retention for PWDs, according to RBC, was actually higherthan-average for 72 percent of disabled workers.

Images: © ISTOCK.COM

Export Development Canada | Exportation et Développement Canada Interested in international trade, global markets and the impact of Canadian exports? EDC offers you a unique and rich opportunity, and is recognized as a global centre for trade expertise. Our employees are among the most accomplished trade experts in the world. What we look for: Bachelor of Commerce/Business Administration and/or MBA with a concentration in Finance, Accounting, International Business or related field (Sales, IT, HR etc.); individuals who have a desire to work in a fast-paced environment with competing priorities and deadlines; ability to interpret financial statements and strong analytical skills; commitment to providing excellent customer service; ability to communicate effectively in both official languages and must be legally eligible to work in Canada (Canadian Citizen or Permanent Resident). EDC is committed to employment equity and actively encourages applications from women, Aboriginal people, persons with disabilities and visible minorities.

Vous vous intéressez au commerce international, aux marchés mondiaux et aux répercussions des exportations canadiennes? EDC vous offre alors la chance de vivre une expérience riche et unique. En effet, EDC est un centre d’expertise du commerce extérieur reconnu à l’échelle mondiale, et nos employés sont au nombre des plus grands spécialistes du domaine. Ce que nous recherchons : baccalauréat en commerce/Administration des affaires et/ou MBA (finances, comptabilité, affaires internationales) ou dans un domaine connexe (ventes, RH, informatique etc.); désir de travailler dans un milieu affairé, où les priorités peuvent être divergentes, et les échéances, serrées; très bon esprit d’analyse et capacité d’interpréter des états financiers; engagement à fournir un excellent service à la clientèle; aptitude à communiquer dans les deux langues officielles et aptitude légale à travailler au Canada (citoyen canadien ou résident permanent). EDC souscrit au principe de l’équité en matière d’emploi et invite les femmes, les Autochtones, les personnes handicapées et les membres d’un groupe de minorités visibles à poser leur candidature. |

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Whether it’s physical, emotional, intellectual, or financial, we all have some sort of challenge that we face. But it’s that minute we create excuses for why we can’t do something, that’s where the real limitation comes in.

Image: Ben Li, Raw Edge Photography JOBPOSTINGS.CA | 2012



The abilities of this b-boying crew will

blow your mind Break dancing attracts crowds. There is something fascinating about watching people flip in the air in a controlled way that pushes their limits. It tends to get an audience cheering. But the b-boying crew ILLAbilities sometimes gets an unusual response out their audience though. Sometimes their audience cries. It’s not because ILL-Abilities are bad at what they do. Quite the opposite. People cry because the members of ILL-Abilities are so good at what they do. In the b-boying world, some of the best dancers, or even whole crews, merge to form super crews. Montreal-born Luca “Lazylegz” Patuelli decided he wanted to form a super crew of dancers with disabilities. He came up with the idea of ILL-Abilities. Patuelli started the five-member group in 2007. Since then, the group has evolved from a b-boying group to an educational movement, shattering misconceptions surrounding the limitations of people with disabilities. 2012 | JOBPOSTINGS.CA



“at that moment I felt like a rockstar. I lifted my crutch up in the air and the audience roared with applause”

“The thing is, at that same time (that I was forming ILL-Abilities), I was getting into motivational speaking,” says Patuelli. “And I was realizing that as I shared my story with people, it was making a difference in peoples’ lives. I figured these guys have the same inspirational message. “I just told them this is what we’re doing. Follow me. And what’s so amazing is they believe in it and I can see the difference that all the members are making.” Patuelli, 27, was born with arthrogryposis, a rare muscle disorder that limits motion in the joints. It primarily affects his legs, so he uses crutches to walk around. When it comes to dancing, he incorporates his crutches into the moves, creating his own style. “Sometimes I face insecurities about not being able to accomplish certain moves because of my physical limitations,” says Patuelli. “But at the same time, that challenges me to reinvent or adapt a move I see and do it my own way. It’s a challenge, but it’s a fun challenge.” The crew has done tours in Montreal, Toronto, Edmonton, Halifax, and Quebec City. Internationally, they’ve performed in the U.S., France, Holland, Sweden, the U.K., Japan, and Hong Kong. However, the members of ILL-Abilities have noticed a lot of change over the course of their tours. The crew is no longer just about dancing, but pushing limits and educating people on the abilities of people with disabilities.

Luca Patuelli






Tommy LY


Redouan “Redo” Ait Chitt, 22, an ILL-Abilities member from Holland, was born with no right hip, a shorter right arm and leg, no right elbow joint, and only two fingers on his right hand, and three fingers on his left hand. He says dancing not only gives him confidence, but allows him to change people’s initial perception that he can’t do something because of his disability. “I basically changed that whole thing by doing something that other people really can’t do,” says Ait Chitt. “People around me started to believe in me.” This much was evident from Ait Chitt’s first time dancing with ILL-Abilities. During his first show with the crew in Sweden, Ait Chitt noticed that audience members were crying. “People came up to me after the show and said, ‘You guys just changed my life after watching your performance.’ You can have such a huge impact on people just by dancing.” Images: Ben Li, Raw Edge Photography

“It’s changed from just a crew, until last year, I think we became a movement,” says crew member, Tommy Ly. He says the crew is educating, “not only people with disabilities, as we had first believed it would, but also regular people just believing that we’re all the same.” Ly, a 26-year-old from San Francisco, Calif., had been break dancing for about two years before he was diagnosed with osteosarcoma, a malignant bone tumour, in his right leg. Ly was still in high school. After chemotherapy, the doctors gave him a choice: amputation or prosthetic implants. Ly chose amputation, because there were potential complications with getting an implant, and if he chose amputation he could still do high impact activities. He continued dancing until he met Patuelli in 2007, and eventually joined ILL-Abilities. 2012 | JOBPOSTINGS.CA



Sergio Carvajal


Sergio “Checho” Carvajal, was born with his feet at his knees. You may have assumed this means he has trouble getting around, but he uses his skateboard, named “Marcia,” to get from point A to point B. You might think his disability makes it extra hard to dance, but Carvajal, like the rest of ILL-Abilities, can do dance moves most people can’t. Growing up in Valdivia, Chile, Carvajal says it was especially difficult because people with disabilities weren’t accepted in the community. At the age of six, he was first exposed to break dancing when he saw his neighbours doing it. He says dancing has helped him discover life. With Patuelli translating from Spanish, Carvajal says, “People in general will face discrimination at one point in their lives, but they can’t let that hold them back. Break dancing gave me that escape. It told me I’m not disabled. It told me I’m amazing. I’m incredible. And now when I walk into a battle, anywhere in the breaking dancing world, it’s not ‘That poor guy with a disability.’ It’s ‘Oh no! That’s Checho, don’t mess with him.’” JOBPOSTINGS.CA | 2012

Jacob Lyons


Jacob “Kujo” Lyons, the final ILL-Abilities member, was born with sensorineural hearing loss in his right ear, causing him to be deaf on that side. Hearing in his left ear has deteriorated on several occasions, from poorly performed surgery to an ear infection when he was four-years-old.

“People came up to me after the show and said, ‘You guys just changed my life after watching your performance.’ You can have such a huge impact on people just by dancing” Lyons originally started out as a hip-hop dancer. He says as soon as he started to get kind of good, everyone started saying he was doing things wrong. “There was lots of friction. A lot of it stemmed from the hearing loss because I couldn’t hear the music in the same way they could. So I danced differently from everyone else by default. It led me to create my own style based on the way I heard the music, sometimes disconnected from the music.” Images: Ben Li, Raw Edge Photography



Each crew member has his own way to adapt moves and make them his own. In one YouTube clip, Patuelli pushes off his crutches from balancing in a handstand to flipping in the air and landing via somersault. The audience goes crazy. Some of the ILL-Abilities members can hang 90 degrees off of horizontal poles, parallel to the ground. Again, these guys can do things most people can’t.

Behind the B-Boy

The five members of ILL-Abilities have faced their share of challenges in life, but they have all found a way to make dancing their own. Now, as they tour the world inspiring others, they spread their message: “No excuses. No limits.”

In 2010, I was honoured with the opportunity of being the headline performer for the opening ceremonies of the Vancouver Paralympics. It was the biggest show of my life in front of 65,000 people. I was so nervous and don’t remember too much of it except that at that moment I felt like a rockstar. I lifted my crutch up in the air and the audience roared with applause.

“Whether it’s physical, whether it’s emotional, financial, we all have some sort of challenge that we face,” says Patuelli. “But it’s that minute we create excuses for why we can’t do something, that’s where the real limitation comes in. “The minute you try, the minute you do something — even if you have to adapt it — that’s when you say ‘Alright, I won’t limit myself.’” Patuelli has noticed a change within the group since ILLAbilities formed. They’ve all grown as speakers and by spreading their message. “It’s like watching your baby grow. Just seeing the differences in the past five years, from the first show we ever did until now.” As amazing as their dancing is, there’s one more thing that makes this group stand out. It’s something that the audiences doesn’t always get to see — the infectious, positive atmosphere that the crew creates when they’re together. When ILL-Abilities isn’t performing, the crew is a group of close friends, who rarely get to see each other in person unless they are on tour. They support each other. If anyone is feeling down, a crew member will be there to pick him up. With Patuelli translating, Carvajal said, “It’s like being with brothers, even though I didn’t grow up with them, and they’re from different countries. It’s like I’ve known them all my life.” After a show in Toronto last December, Ben Li, a photographer, liked the crew so much he invited them to come back to his place for a photo shoot. The crew piled into their van, laughing and joking the whole way there, the air electric with post-show adrenaline. As everyone poured out of the van into the parking garage, Li asked, “Does anyone need a hand with their stuff ?” “Yeah, and a leg would be nice,” said Lyons, with a grin. The group proceeded upstairs for the photo shoot and spent the evening laughing at each other as they were one by one airbrushed with make up. While their dancing is amazing, the crew’s jokes about Ait Chitt’s Ken-doll appearance are truly limitless.

LUCA “LAZYLEGZ” Patuelli WHAT IS YOUR Biggest B-Boy Achievement?

Redouan “REDO” Ait Chitt WHAT IS YOUR Favourite Move?

I like to put on my sweater and slide on my elbow across the floor. It’s always a surprise how far I will slide. Actually we should test it out one time! Then I need those curling sweepers in front of my slide, sweeping the floor.

Tommy “TOMMYGUNS” Ly WHAT WAS YOUR Favourite show?

The San Francisco Hip Hop Dance Fest. It was Lazy, Kujo, and myself performing the ILL-Abilities theatre show concept for the first time. We received a standing ovation at the end of our show and that’s when I first realized the impact that ILL-Abilities could have on others. I remember feeling inspired and thinking to myself how incredibly powerful our message could be.

Sergio “CHECHO” Carvajal What do you do when you’re not b-boying?

At home (in his hometown of Valdivia, Chile) I work as freelance electrician. But outside of that, go out with friends, ride my skateboard named “Marcia.” I love wrestling, and just plain having fun.

Jacob “KUJO” Lyons WHAT IS YOUR Biggest B-Boy Achievement?

I was the “star” (according to the director) of the music video, Run DMC vs. Jason Nevins: “It’s Like That” in 1997. This was one of very few music videos featuring b-boying released in the 1990s, but it proved to be so popular that it was literally played around the clock in every country on earth that had MTV, or a similar music TV channel. To this day, everywhere I go, I meet bboys who started dancing precisely because they saw that video. 2012 | JOBPOSTINGS.CA

Wood Employee Readiness Curriculum

WERC In Advanced Wood Manufacturing ENTRY-LEVEL CAREERS FOR FIRST NATIONS, METIS, INUIT, PERSONS WITH DISABILITIES AND NEW IMMIGRANTS The WMC WERC Skills Development program is designed to prepare individuals for entrylevel occupations in advanced wood manuincluding First Nations, Inuit and Métis, new immigrants and persons with disabilities. Participants of the program are provided with skills upgrading in the following areas: • • • •

Job Readiness Essential and Life Skills Introduction to Basic Wood Manufacturing Safety Training, Job Shadowing and Job Placement

Successful candidates of the minimum 8 week program will be better able to seek long term career opportunities in cabinet making, furniture, manufactured housing and other advanced wood sectors across Canada. If you are interested in participating in the WERC program in your area or are a manufacturer looking for new entry level woodworkers, please visit or contact: Wood Manufacturing Council 1016 -130 Albert Street Ottawa, ON, Canada K1P 5G4 Tel: 613-567-5511 * Fax: 613-567-5411 Website:

130 Albert Street, suite 1016 Ottawa, ON K1P 5G4

T 613-567-5511 F 613-567-5411

Funded by the Government of Canada’s Sector Council Program

“I” STATEMENTS: Use “I” statements to voice your personal point of view without expressing a judgment against someone else or blaming them for your feelings.

DISCLOSURE: Be honest and upfront about something you feel the listener may not fully be aware of or understand. It helps frame the conversation and makes you more in control of it.

Speak your mind

A little assertiveness will go a long way in securing and enjoying your career By: Amir Ahmed We don’t often hear about assertiveness. When your campus career centre talks about soft skills, they usually mean networking. And it’s rare to see “must be assertive” on a job posting. That’s because assertiveness doesn’t necessarily benefit your employer. Instead, assertiveness benefits you. When you’re assertive, you use your communication skills to get what you need and deserve. Most people think assertive is the same as aggressive. But that’s not the case. To find out more about assertiveness, we spoke with Ashima Suri, director and co-founder of Building Bridges Association of Canada, a company that organizes career-related projects and events to promote inclusion in the workforce. Suri teaches workshops on assertiveness training, she says “By being assertive, you hold yourself with confidence and integrity.” “You respect the other person’s opinions. You’re honest. You’re direct. It’s a very different way of communicating.” If you ever feel guilty saying “no” to people or just don’t bring up issues for fear of being noticed, you’ll probably benefit

Images: © ISTOCK.COM

from some assertiveness. This is especially true if you need accommodations to do your job. “If you go into an office, there will be a computer and chair,” Suri says. “That’s a form of accommodation. What if that wasn’t there? Would you be able to do your work?” Probably not. Suri recommends to assert your needs, even before the interview. “That comes from knowing yourself, trusting yourself, and having the confidence to say, ‘Well, I’m coming by wheel-trans, so I might be late.’ Or if the employer is requesting a test in the interview, being able to communicate the need for large print or specific software.” Assertive communication training covers different communication strategies for stating your needs with confidence. (A few techniques are noted in the sidebar.) As young people entering the workforce, we often feel glad just to have a job, given the economy. But that doesn’t give other people the right to deny you reasonable accommodations or professional respect. Be assertive. Be positive. And be strong.

FOGGING: When someone criticizes you, try to find some part of the critique to agree with (if not all of it). By doing this, you transform the critique into feedback that diffuses the verbal attack and supports your assertiveness.

THE BROKEN RECORD: When you’re being prodded to agree to some argument or sales pitch, a technique that might help is to state clearly what you want (or don’t want) and when you meet with resistance repeat again and again until the matter is resolved.

BODY LANGUAGE: Maintain eye contact. Stand upright or sit up straight. Don’t cross your arms or legs. Adjusting your tone of voice to be lower, harder, and slower. Doing these things makes the listener feel like you respect them and makes you look more confident overall.




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Recognizing REAL ability THE ONTARIO PUBLIC SERVICE The Ontario Public Service (OPS) carries out tasks related to the different ministries of the Ontario Provincial Government. The OPS directly employs 64,000 employees in 30 ministries across the province. The organization serves a population of more than 13.4 million in a province that is one of the world’s most culturally diverse jurisdictions.

Commitment to diversity “When people with disabilities can find work in an accessible environment, the number of qualified applicants increases,” says Shamira Madhany, chief officer of diversity and accessibility at the OPS diversity office. “So we’re focusing our at-

Images: © ISTOCK.COM

Companies are waking up: across Canada, businesses are benefiting from the innovation, hard work, and alternate viewpoints offered by professionals with disabilities. At Jobpostings, we celebrate organizations where everyone has the ability to work and excel. For this reason, we’ve profiled some companies that work hard to create workplaces that are inclusive, equal, and barrier-free.

tention on embedding accessibility in our employment practices — how we hire people, how we treat them on the job, and how we ensure they can comfortably and effectively stay on the job. Accessibility is, quite simply, good for our business.”

Supporting ability at work The OPS is implementing a number of programs to contribute to a welcoming work environment. These programs include a comprehensive policy framework that promotes a barrier-free employment strategy, policies, guidelines, and tools to support managers to be barrier-free. The OPS promotes a diversity mentorship program that pairs deputy ministers with individuals from historically disadvantaged groups, including people with disabilities.

As well, the OPS has developed an accessibility and awareness campaign designed to make it easy for staff to integrate accessibility considerations into day-to-day business.

Advice for graduates with a disability Be prepared to work hard and find effective ways to demonstrate all your skills, knowledge, and abilities to prospective employers. You’re graduating at the cusp of a “war for talent” brought about by our aging demographic. Employers who welcome and leverage diversity will have a definite advantage.

TD BANK Toronto Dominion Bank Group (TD) is one of North America’s largest banks. 2012 | JOBPOSTINGS.CA



With offices around the world, TD provides a full range of financial products and services to approximately 21.5 million customers through four key business lines: Canadian personal and commercial banking, wealth and insurance, wholesale banking, and U.S. personal and commercial Banking.

Commitment to diversity “TD is committed to building an inclusive, barrier-free environment where every customer and employee feels valued, respected, and supported,” says Stefanie Marinich Lee, senior manager of corporate diversity at TD. “We are determined to be a place where all employees have the opportunity to leverage their talents and achieve their full potential.”

Supporting ability at work TD has created employee-driven programs such as an employee’s with disabilities network, scheduled networking events, access awareness forums, an employee advisory group, and a central accommodation fund. TD also pioneered a team that researches and delivers information technology (IT) accessibility best practices. This allows TD to provide websites, applications, and end user tools so that everyone can have easy and effective access to these resources.

Deloitte Deloitte, a leading professional services firm, offers clients services in accounting, assurance and advisory, tax, risk management, business, financial, and human capital consulting. Their client services teams create powerful business solutions for Canadian organizations. Their global, integrated approach combines insight disciplines with business and industry knowledge to help their clients excel anywhere in the world.

Commitment to diversity “The strength of our business depends on the collective and individual strengths of our people,” says Corinne Warwaruk, director of talent, at Deloitte. “As we respond to future talent shortages, it is imperative that Deloitte’s workforce be a microcosm of the broader, diverse CaJOBPOSTINGS.CA | 2012

nadian society, reflecting the markets we serve. Embracing diversity and inclusion enables Deloitte to better respond to our client’s needs and support our people to excel. The benefit of working with a diverse group of people (including people with disabilities) is that it allows a diversity of thought, innovation, and perspectives in our workplace.”

Supporting ability at work Deloitte has established a national diversity council comprised of partners and senior managers from across the nation that meets ten times a year. It appointed a chief diversity officer to manage the development and implementation of Deloitte’s diversity strategy. Deloitte’s diversity team also authored a white paper entitled The Road to Inclusion, that spawned the creation of a four month mentoring program for persons with disabilities, offered in partnership with the Job Opportunity Information Network.

Advice for graduates with a disability Graduates should focus on selling their skills, capabilities, and the value they will bring to a potential employer. Graduates should also willingly discuss any accommodations they may need to support a successful work arrangement. Align yourself with an employer that encourages and celebrates diversity, and understands how they will ultimately benefit from the talents and skills of people from all communities, including people with disabilities.

KPMG KPMG LLP (KPMG) is the Canadian member firm of KPMG International that provides audit, tax, and advisory services. They work closely with their clients, helping them to mitigate risks and grasp opportunities. Their clients include business corporations, governments, public sector agencies, and not-for-profit organizations. KPMG has offices in 32 locations across Canada, with more than 600 partners and nearly 6,000 employees.

Commitment to diversity “At KPMG, our people come first,” says Michael Bach, director of diversity, equity, and Inclusion at KPMG. “We value the

diversity of our people. Having exceptional people allows us to deliver outstanding service to our clients. And yes, diversity is sometimes about the things you can see. But it’s also about the things you can’t see. It’s about diversity of thought and experience. We recognize that people living with disabilities bring a depth of perspective and experience that is valuable to us as a firm and to our clients.”

Advice for graduates with a disability Come to work and be yourself. It is incumbent upon a graduate to bring their whole self to work. If you have to leave something at the door in order to work for a certain employer, is that really the employer you want to work for?

CSIS The Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS) offer careers at the forefront of national security to the most talented people in the country. Their role is to investigate threats, analyze information and produce intelligence. CSIS reports to, and advises the Canadian goverment to protect the country and its citizens. Key threats include terrorism, the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, espionage, foreign interference, and cybertampering affecting critical infrastructure.

Commitment to diversity “At CSIS we recognize the role Canadians have given us in protecting our national security,” says Mark Cosenzo, assistant director of, human resources, at CSIS. “Our workplace is very diverse, representing the rich mosaic of Canada. We are committed to ensuring that all employment policies, practices, and standards are fully inclusive and provide all Canadians with equal and fair opportunities. Our policy on workplace accommodation, for example, provides support for people with disabilities, from recruitment to ongoing employment. “At the heart of CSIS’s ongoing initiative towards a fully inclusive workplace is our unwavering commitment to create a high-performance culture for all employees. This determination energizes CSIS and allows us to reap the benefits of an engaged and diverse workforce.”




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(dis)ability (2012) by jobpostings Magazine  

The 2012 issue of (dis)ability addresses career-related issues unique to students and recent grads with disabilities. The cover story featur...

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