National conference unites stakeholders striving to make the world of work more welcoming for persons with disabilities

November 20, 2017 (Ottawa, Ont.)—Improving access to the labour force for people with disabilities is the theme of an upcoming three-day conference bringing together individuals with a disability, employer and labour representatives, as well as disability support, advocacy, government and research organizations.

The Disability and Work in Canada conference takes place in Ottawa on November 27-29, 2017, at the Canadian War Museum, as part of the Canada 150 celebration. Presenters and participants will review and celebrate progress to date on opening the world of work to persons with disabilities and injured workers. They will also identify current challenges and opportunities, and develop a vision and strategy to advance the inclusion of people with disabilities in the labour force.

Featured speakers include the Honourable Kent Hehr, the federal Minister of Sport and Persons with Disabilities, the Honourable Patricia Hajdu, the federal Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour, and keynote speaker Dr. Michael Prince, Lansdowne Professor of Social Policy at the University of Victoria.

I’m delighted to meet with people who are really passionate about employment accessibility, says Minister Hehr, who is working on tabling new accessibility legislation next spring. Your dedication helps the government to ensure that the new national accessibility law will benefit all Canadians.

Our government knows that people who have health impairments or who are injured at work are looking for meaningful employment, says Minister Hajdu. This exciting event shows that we can lead in making employment equally accessible for everyone who wants to engage in the paid labour market.

Information sharing sessions will be conducted with representatives from Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC), Canadian Standards Association (CSA), Canadian Council on Rehabilitation and Work (CCRW), Canada’s Building Trades Unions, International Union of Operating Engineers Local 793, Prevention Link, Centre for Research on Work Disability Policy (CRWDP), among others. Employer representatives from Dolphin Digital, Deloitte, Giant Tiger, Jazz Aviation LP, and Sodexo will share their inclusion strategies. A panel of individuals with disabilities will highlight the diversity and uniqueness of their lived experience.

The conference is jointly hosted by the Canadian Council on Rehabilitation and Work (CCRW), Ontario Network of Injured Workers Groups (ONIWG), InclusionNL, and the Centre for Research on Work Disability Policy (CRWDP, housed at the Institute for Work & Health). Simultaneous interpretation (from English to French) will be available. To learn more about the conference, go to:

Members of the media are welcome to attend and cover the conference. Media registration onsite is available at the registration tables outside Barney Danson Theatre on Monday, November 27, 7:00-7:30 p.m., and on Tuesday, November 28, 7:30 - 8:00 a.m. Please advise ahead of time if you intend to conduct video interviews, as there may be restrictions.

About the Institute for Work & Health

IWH is an independent, not-for-profit research organization that aims to protect and improve the health of working people. Recognized as one of the top five occupational health and safety research centres in the world, the Institute provides practical and relevant findings on the prevention of work injury and disability to policy-makers, workers, employers, clinicians, and health, safety and disability management professionals.

Media contacts

Cindy Moser 
Communications Director
Institute for Work & Health
416-927-2027, ext. 2183
705-872-1939 (cell)

Uyen Vu
Senior Communications Associate
Institute for Work & Health
613-979-7742 (cell)