Success Story: Carleton University’s CUAEL Project

The Carleton University Accessible Experiential Learning (CUAEL) Project is in full swing, placing Carleton students who identify with having a disability into over 150 employment opportunities both at Carleton University and in the greater Ottawa community. The CUAEL Project Team tells us more about this unique project.

CUAEL has many wonderful employer partners who are actively working to create welcoming, accessible and inclusive environments for our students. We are thrilled that we have been able to place Carleton students with disabilities in over 150 employment opportunities in just over nine months and that so many employers have accessed the talent that our students bring to their workplaces!

Here are some of our employer partners at the University: the Student Experience Office; the Registrar’s Office; the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering; and the Department of History. We are excited that during the last quarter of 2018 two EARN members also hired students.

Since the Project’s inception, there have been a myriad of exciting moments – too many to mention. That said, the CUAEL Team would like to share an email we received from one of our students:

“I am doing Alternative Spring Break (ASB) this year and if it wasn’t [for] the support that you guys at CUAEL have given me, and the tools to have open conversations about accommodations, I would never in a million years have ever thought to apply for a program like this.

I have been working together closely with the [ASB Coordinator] to make sure that I can have the most amazing experience possible, while still feeling like I am contributing to the cause. I had a moment during one of these conversations where I got a little emotional because I realized that for the first time I was speaking up for myself and people were listening. Not only were they listening but they were seeing the value I can bring to a situation and because of that value, they are making darn sure that I have a place that is just as important as everyone else’s. I am going to move mountains, maybe one hill at a time, but I am going to do it, and I wouldn’t have been able to do it without you guys.

Thank you,

Rebecca has been enrolled with the CUAEL project since May 2018 and has held a placement every term with a Carleton Department. She also attended the “Women, Wine, and Wisdom” event at a table sponsored by Linda Simpson from Performance Plus Rehabilitative Care Inc., and Rebecca met with the Honourable Raymond Cho, Minister for Seniors and Accessibility, in summer 2018 when he visited the campus.  Rebecca’s words highlight just how valuable our students are finding their experiences with CUAEL.

The team continues to refer students and employers to amazing community support services in Ottawa. It is through the EARN network that many of these connections have been made and we’re grateful to have a network that supports the collaboration of employees, employers and service providers all working together to create a more inclusive employment experience.

We welcome more employers to participate in the CUAEL Project. Learn more about us and how you can access our talent pool and become an Employer Champion by visiting

Many thanks to the team at CUAEL for submitting this success story. If you would like your organization’s success story profiled in the newsletter, please contact Susan Forster at

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