Success Stories: Shaping Accessible Employment Practices Workshop Series 2021

People in a classroom setting learning from an instructor.

On October 13, 2021, EARN launched its first Shaping Accessible Employment Practices virtual session in the community. This program is a four-part series designed to help employers increase their comfort level in recruiting and retaining persons with disabilities; remove barriers to employment; discover the benefits of building and maintaining a mentally healthy workplace; and support individuals throughout each stage of the employee life cycle. To prepare for the launch, the 4 sessions were piloted in the spring with the participation of a variety of members from the EARN Leadership Group who provided high-level feedback on the overall design and flow of content.

Over 250 virtual seats were filled across all the pilot series sessions. Employers, human resources professionals, and services providers benefited from this training and reported a substantial increase in their capacity to support and include persons with disabilities in the workplace. Participants commented on the interactive nature of the workshops and how the use of Zoom tools and facilitation methods contributed to the overall learning experience, while noting that it “was a safe space to have open communication” about mental health and disabilities that are present at work.

As a result of attending this training, participants learned about best practices that ensure inclusion is at the forefront of the employee life cycle, from recruitment to retirement. This included understanding how mental health issues can impact the workplace and being prepared to offer appropriate accommodations for those who identify a need. Participants were encouraged to assess interview and onboarding processes and were able to understand how to identify the components of inclusive recruitment. One of the common themes of these modules is that working collaboratively contributes to building a healthy organizational culture.

A human resources professional said “I learned about how I can work on making the employee life-cycle more inclusive and accessible. It was eye-opening that it is not always the recruitment or onboarding that needs be accessible but also L&D, performance management, and succession planning, etc. Moving forward, while scheduling / facilitating / designing the above programs, I will begin to look for ways we can be more inclusive and accessible or add a note to kindly let us know if anyone has accommodation requests”

Participants also learned from each other by hearing what everyone was doing to build healthy work environments in the workplace as well as how those on “front-lines of recruitment speak about the need for empathy and transparency as part of the application/interviewing process”. The series also provides employers with the tools and strategies to help increase participation of persons with disabilities in the workplace so that we can work towards ensuring that this untapped talent pool will no longer be disproportionately underrepresented in the labour market.

If you are interested in attending the 2022 workshop series, please reach out to or use the registration button below.

We hope to see you there!

Shaping Accessible Employment Practices, 2022

Module 1 – Tuesday January 18

Module 2 – Tuesday February 1

Module 3 – Wednesday February 16

Module 4 – Wednesday March 2


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