Success Story: The 8th Annual EARN Conference 2020

“I particularly liked the platform and the accessible functionality provided – ASL, Closed Captioning and the ability to save transcriptions were very helpful.”


“All of it very informative and makes me want more information. I look forward to reading the report.”

These are a few of the comments we received from the 83 guests who attended EARN’s 8th Annual Conference, “Opening Doors to Inclusion: Engaging Your Future Workforce Now”, held virtually on November 19th, 2020 via Zoom. The focus of this year`s conference was the launch of the report Improving Employment Outcomes for Post-Secondary Graduates with Disabilities.

The event began with  opening remarks from United Way East Ontario`s CEO and President, Michael Allen, followed by the sponsor address  from Natacha Lemay-Reaume, Regional Vice President, Ottawa West &Valley of RBC. The emcee of the event was United Way`s very own, Shannon Bruce, Director of Employment Initiatives. Shannon provided a summation of the report being launched explaining the barriers to employment that are faced by students and graduates with disabilities.

Next, Tara Connolly, Assistant Director of Research and Development for Carleton’s READ initiative shared outcomes of the David C. Onley Initiative at Carleton University. Julia Moran, a Consultant who started her own company, CODA Media Consulting, shared her personal story as a recent graduate with a disability and spoke about the resources available to her to accomplish her goals.

Finally, a panel discussion occurred, moderated by Award-Winning Broadcast Journalist, Anna-Karina Tabuñar. The panel had a variety of professionals: Brent Moore, Employer Relations and Job Development Specialist at the University of Ottawa; Paula Quig, Author of the Report and Senior Counsel with the Aboriginal Law Centre of the Federal Department of Justice; and Julia Moran, Consultant, CODA Media Consulting. Tara Connolly also joined the panel.

EARN would like to thank each and every supporter of this event. We also extend our thanks to RBC and to the Province of Ontario for funding the report.

For more information about the report: Breaking down barriers to employment for graduates with disabilities | United Way East Ontario (

To access content and resources from the conference: EARN | United Way East Ontario 2020 EARN Conference Resources – EARN | United Way East Ontario (


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