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Ability & EnterpriseCCRW Logo2 2
Leading the way for Inclusive Employment
March 14, 2012
field of crocuses
Expanding our Reach

In This Issue:
  • Welcome to our newest members!
  • Your AODA requirements - Organizations with 20+ employees
  • WESP-Fest 2011
  • Testimonial from a CCRW graduate
  • WESP learns to Raise its Voice

Welcome to our newest members!

We would like to welcome CCRW’s two most recent Member’s: Randstad and Trailblazers Life Choices Inc.

Randstad Canada is the Canadian leader for staffing, recruitment and HR Services. As the only fully integrated staffing company in the country, they understand the recruitment needs and  Randstad_with_capabilities_line_LG demands of employers and job seekers across all levels and industries. Through insightful knowledge of local markets, employment trends and global networks or recruitment experts, they are shaping the Canadian world of work. Thank you Randstad for your commitment to workplace diversity and inclusion.

Trailblazers Life Choices Inc. is a non-profit organization, based in Winnipeg, Manitoba which supports adults living with disabilities to find meaningful employment. Trailblazers is developing  trailblazersLogoSmtheir supported employment services using the CCRW Skills Training Partnership resource. Thank you for the work that you do and we look forward to an ongoing partnership.

If you are interested in learning more about the benefits of membership for your business or organization please contact Elizabeth Smith, Manager Employer Consultations and Partnerships at 1 800 664 0925 ext 228 or via email at Our services include:
• Resources to increase disability awareness
• Strategies for complying with the Customer Service Regulation 429-07 (AODA)
• Accessing qualified job seekers with disabilities
• Job Accommodation Service (JAS)®

Your AODA Requirements - Organizations with 20+ Employees

Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA) Requirements for Orgs with 20+ Employees

Source: EnAbling Nonprofit Ontario on 2/9/11

If you need help complying with the AODA standards, contact CCRW Consultations!  We offer many different levels of service to match your needs. 

How to Count Employees

All full-time, part-time, seasonal and contract employees, regardless of status, must be counted when determining the number of employees an organization has. You do not include volunteers or independent contractors in your count. (However, note that volunteers and independent contractors still require customer service training if they interact with the public or other third parties on your behalf.)
people in a meeting
In many organizations, the number of employees can vary throughout the year, or change from one year to the next. Employee size is determined by identifying the organization’s peak employee count over the previous twelve month period. If, at any point during that 12 month period, the organization’s employee size exceeded 20, then that organization would be required to comply with additional requirements.

Additional Requirements for 20+ employees
• Document your policies, practices and procedures (your plan) in writing.
• Let your customers know how to find your plan.
• Provide the plan upon request.
• File a report with the government.

Your plan should describe how your organization meets the five main compliance requirements, including policies, practices and procedures, service animals and support persons, notice of temporary disruptions, training, and feedback process.

You can create your own plan or use the Template Plan available on the AccessON portal site, which you can fill out and save. When completed, the plan can serve as your documentation “master copy” and be made available to the public upon request.

Accessible formatting

The Customer Service Standard does not specify what format your documentation should take. However, if you provide a copy of the plan to a person with a disability, you are required to take the person’s disability into account (See What is meant by communication?). Since people with disabilities communicate in a variety of ways, it would be wise to make your plan as accessible as possible.

We recommend keeping the language and the design simple. Make a hard copy and then create a large-print version for people with low vision. Some customers may prefer a digital format, such as PDF, because Adobe Reader has a Text-to-Speech (TTS) tool.
As people have different communication preferences, you may be asked for formats you have not prepared in advance. If this happens, discuss what options the individual has open to them and then come to an agreement on the best format. Your “best practice” here is to respect the individual’s abilities and serve your customer as best you can.

Notify the public

The most practical way to notify the public that your plan is available may be through your website or listserv. However, we also recommend posting a sign at reception, or in another conspicuous place, where people are likely to see it when visiting the premises.


Organizations with 20 or more employees are also required to file a report with the MCSS that describes how they have met the Customer Service Requirements. The Ministry is building an online reporting tool to streamline the reporting process.

To be notified when the tool is ready, sign up to their email notification list. If you are ready to file early, you may do so manually. Send a request to file manually through the same email notification list above and you will receive a form you can fill in and return to the ministry by email, fax or post.

While organizations with 20 or more employees have these additional requirements to fulfill, it basically comes down to documenting what you do, making that information accessible to the public, and filing a report.

The Ministry is also there to help you with any questions or difficulties you may encounter along the way.

AODA Contact Centre: 1(866) 515-2025

WESP-Fest 2011

WESP celebrates a year of successes!

The WESP program celebrated its achievements and finished 2011 off in style when we hosted WESP-Fest for all of our WESP graduates, community agency associates, and employer partners.

WESP-Fest featured the graduation of our last 2011 class along with ample networking opportunities and games with prize giveaways. WESP Fest 2011

WESP would like to thank everyone who helped to make the event such a success including the Raging Spoon ( and Yogen Früz, Duff’s Famous Wings, the Canadian National Exhibition (CNE), The Keg, the CN Tower, the Ontario Science Centre, and CHFI for their generous prize donations.

As well, a special thank you goes out to WESP graduates Dennis and David for their thoughtful prize contributions. As we look forward to 2012, we at WESP would like to thank all WESP-Fest attendees including WESP clients, community agency associates, and employer partners for their continued support of the WESP program.

For more information on upcoming WESP workshops and programs, please visit or call 416-486-2500 ext 8307.

Testimonial from a CCRW program graduate

Taylor, PWIP Manitoba

The Partners for Workplace Inclusion Program Manitoba (PWIP MB) is excited to share the recent success of one of our clients, Taylor.
Taylor, PWIP
PWIP MB had a booth set up at the Ability Axis Disability Expo this past summer where we were fortunate to meet Taylor, who had just completed high school and was extremely eager to join the workforce. PWIP MB provided Taylor with assistance with improving his resume, cover letter, interview skills.  Taylor began confidently navigating the labour market and with the assistance of the PWIP MB staff was able to obtain an interview with Impark as parkade attendant. Taylor had a great interview and was hired soon after. He particularly enjoys the structure that his new job has provided in his life as well as the opportunity to assist customers with any difficulties they may face. He has recently completed the paper work to begin receiving benefits. Taylor has finished his employment maintenance with PWIP MB and has a bright future at Impark to look forward to.

PWIP MB enjoyed working with Taylor as a client and we wish him the best of luck within his new job and in his future.

Click here for more information on the Partners for Workplace Inclusion Program (PWIP)

WESP Learns to Raise its Voice

Workplace Essential Skills Program (WESP)

“It helped me be aware of how I project my voice”, “It was an eye-opener to public speaking”, and “It taught me how to open up and have confidence” were a few of the positive comments heard from WESP clients following an energizing presentation by Cathy Sobocan, owner of Raise Your Voice Coaching.

Raise Your Voice Photo-January 2012
With over 25 years of radio and television broadcasting experience, Cathy now coaches professionals on their public speaking and presentation skills. Cathy’s workshop at WESP focused on learning methods for projecting your voice with confidence, engaging your environment and using vocal techniques to demonstrate poise. Cathy helps others to gain self-awareness, self-confidence and general ease in communication by helping them to discover their own unique voices within the professional world and beyond.

For more information on Raise Your Voice Coaching, please visit or contact Cathy Sobocan directly at 416-388-1165.

For more information on upcoming WESP programs and workshops, please visit or call 416-486-2500 ext 8307.

STP Website home page 3
Skills Training Partnership (STP)®

STP® is a Canadian Council on Rehabilitation and Work (CCRW) trademarked employment model.

It is designed to assist employers in developing training programs that prepare qualified job seekers with disabilities for employment, allowing persons with disabilities to become fully trained for real opportunities in the workforce. It is an opportunity for employers to gain expert assistance in recruiting, hiring, and training skilled employees with disabilities, while addressing barriers to employment.

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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