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Ability & EnterpriseCCRW Logo2 2
Leading the way for Inclusive Employment
  November 10, 2011
Facing Challenges

In This Issue:
  • Are you ready for the AODA?
  • Getting Back to Work with WESP

Are you ready for the AODA?

Are you ready for the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA)?

The Accessibility for Ontarians with Disability Act (AODA) is designed to make Ontario fully accessible by 2025.

There are five standards included in the Act: Accessible Customer Service, Employment, Information and Communication, Transportation, Built Environment. NORMASuccessStory 2

The Accessible Standards for Customer Service came into force on January 1, 2008. If you provide goods or services and have one or more employees in Ontario, you will be required to comply with the regulation. (Ontario Regulation 429/07)

 • If you are a private business, non-profit organization, or any other service provider with at least one employee in Ontario, you must comply by January 1, 2012.


We would be glad to meet with you face-to-face or over the phone to talk with you about what the standard will mean for you.

Complying with the standard is easy and good for business. Let us help you through our individualized support. We can direct you to the many free resources available to help you understand the AODA.

For further information or to set up a meeting, contact:

Elizabeth Smith
Manager, Employer Consultations and Partnerships
416 260 3060 x228 or
1 800 664 0925 x228 or

Getting Back To Work with WESP

Resuming his career in Human Resources - Aaron shares his thoughts with us on getting back to work and the WESP Program

Aaron Mokrey came to the Workplace Essential Skills Partnership (WESP) Program in August 2011, and within 3 days of completing the pre-employability workshop, Aaron was able to resume his career in Human Resources.

So Aaron, after being unemployed for a year what are some of the challenges you faced upon re-entering the workforce?

I was surprised at how excited I was to be working again. The stresses of being unemployed with a young family really took a toll on my confidence level. Although I don't get to spend as much time with my two boys now that I am working full-time, I know their future looks that much more secure. The eagerness of being with a new company compensates for the level of fatigue I might normally have felt with the stresses of going from 0-60 in a snap.

Aaron Mokrey  What can you tell us about your new position? Responsibilities, challenges, etc….

I am a Human Resources / Payroll Manager. I have 1 employee reporting in to me. Together, we process the bi-weekly payroll for 1000 employees, and handle all HR matters. Most of my time has been spent learning the ropes to how this particular company processes their pay. Once more familiar with this aspect of the role, I will go off-site to become better acquainted with the branch General Manager's HR concerns and speak further with them in how I can assist them.

A few of my challenges are staying focused on the tasks at hand, while I become more aware of improvements I could implement to save time and energy. Payroll does not leave a lot of extra free time, so I find ways to stay grounded. One method I use (which is probably also used to keep my priorities in check), is to write down my idea on an individual sticky note. This way, I'm not concerned that I'm going to lose my idea for an improvement, and as other ideas appear, I will be better able to implement the leading ideas without having committed too much time in an idea that wasn't as value-added as I may have first realized.

What brought you to WESP?

I had become aware that WESP had partnered with Jazz Aviation. I liked the idea of attempting to try something completely new. Being a professional HR practitioner, I wasn't terribly enthused at the idea of going over resumes, and cover letters, and behavioral interviews, etc. However, I am of the ilk, there's always room for improvement in something you may have done a hundred times before. With a well thought-out and structured plan as WESP's, I found myself pleasantly surprised at how much I learned and enjoyed the program. I had seen dozens upon dozens of ways to do your resume or cover letter, or tips for how to dress, etc., but what I probably most enjoyed was how others in the program responded to the learning. Over time I could see everyone’s confidence level and optimism increase. The group became closer over time and really shared some very heartfelt thoughts on the job search process and on their respective disabilities. I finally realized that I was getting the help I needed in order to find my confidence that had been shaken over the past year.

Tell us about your WESP experience?

I met some great individuals, many in the same boat as myself, looking for work. I came to know these people and better understood the strengths that we all shared. During these particularly difficult times, it was good to know that there was a lifeboat out there to pull me to a dry dock.

What are your future career aspirations?

I will continue in this capacity and take payroll courses to obtain my CPA designation. I believe in lifelong learning.

Do you have any advice for individuals contemplating joining the WESP Program?

Just do it. It gets you motivated to do something proactive in your job search 5 days a week for 4 weeks. One accomplishes much in that time. The people at the WESP program are knowledgeable, considerate, insightful, and eager to help. You couldn't ask for a better group.

For more information on the WESP Program, please click here.

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WORKink® is Canada's most powerful online career development and employment portal for Canadians with disabilities. Visit WORKink®

Call for Article Submissions!

If you have something that would be of interest to the membership, we would be happy to consider it for a future issues of Abilities & Enterprise, please contact Monica at


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