April-June 2019


CRWDP E-Alert is issued by the CRWDP National Office. Our contact email addresses are and

Disability and Work in Canada (DWC) Initiative

  1. SAVE THE DATE! The third Disability & Work in Canada conference will take place on December 4th and 5th at the Delta Hotels by Marriott Ottawa City Centre. This conference will focus on the revised Pan-Canadian Strategy on Disability & Work and the next steps forward towards the implementation process. Stay tuned for more information. You can subscribe to DWC distribution list here, to stay up-to-date on DWC Conference news.
  2. If you didn’t have a chance to participate in last year’s Disability & Work in Canada conference, you can watch videos of most of the presentations at CRWDP webpage for this conference. Some of these videos do not have captions yet, and it may take us some time to develop them. We will make it a high priority if you contact us about a video for which you would like captions.
  3. Engagement and Consultation on the Pan-Canadian Strategy on Disability and Work (DWC) has been extensive, and this phase is now almost complete. Over 425 people have responded to DWC Survey since it was launched on April 8th. We have held over 15 in-person and webinar consultations on the draft DWC Strategy across the country for different stakeholder groups, focusing on reaching out to diverse disability groups, and seeking input on how best to incorporate intersectionality perspective into the updated strategy.
Thank you to those who have participated in the survey and consultations! It has helped to ensure that your voice is heard and that the revised strategy will be relevant to you and your group or community. If you did not have a chance to submit your comments yet, you can submit them to Visit DWC Initiative webpage (pour Français cliquez ici), or contact the CRWDP National Office or one of our Provincial Cluster Coordinators for more information.


Events Recap

  1. Three more CRWDP Student/New Researcher webinars have been hosted since the previous E-Alert issue.
  • Webinar #9 looked at “How accommodation practices and social capital shape the employment experience of workers with mental illness” with Sabrina Hossain.
  • Webinar #10 covered “How creative partnerships can fund academic pursuits” by Aleksandra Stefanovic-Chafe.
  • Webinar #11 presented on “Leaving welfare for work: parallels to a hostage negotiation” by Pam Lahey.

If you missed any of these webinars, you can catch them on YouTube

  1. 2019 Federal-Provincial Policy Roundtable on the Pan-Canadian Strategy for Disability & Work was held on May 28, 2019 in Gatineau, QC. The policy roundtable gathered policy feedback from government and broader public sector policy officials across Canada and focused on several policy questions to help guide the governments moving forward. We will publish an Executive Summary from the Roundtable towards the end of August 2019.
  2. Engagement and consultation with stakeholders have been substantial in the past few months for the Disability & Work in Canada (DWC) Initiative. These consultations have been an opportunity for stakeholders from a broad range of organizations and communities to provide input on the draft Pan-Canadian Disability & Work strategy. Some communities included in the consultations were the Ontario Network of Injured Workers’ Group, people with episodic disabilities and HIV, people with developmental disabilities, the Indigenous community, and employers. Consultations were held in all four CRWDP provincial clusters. We are planning to release the consultation report in Fall 2019.
  3. CRWDP ON cluster meeting from November 2018 is summarized in a report found at the following link: the 2018 Ontario Cluster Meeting for the Centre for Research on Work Disability Policy.

Operations News

  1. Congratulations to Dr. Pam Lahey on her new position of Research Advisor at Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC)! We thank her for all of her valuable contributions to CRWDP and the DWC Initiative. Pam’s contributions to building CRWDP Student Community, her volunteering and participation at many of CRWDP and DWC events, and to the Engagement and Consultation phase of Disability & Work in Canada initiative, are greatly valued and have been an essential part of the success of these initiatives. Pam will continue leading CRWDP Student/New Researcher webinars.
  2. We are pleased to welcome CRWDP’s newest partner, Saint Mary's University, and we extend our warm welcome to the new CRWDP Co-Investigator Dr. Firat Sayin. Firat was a CRWDP student fellow between 2013 and 2018 while pursuing his Ph.D. He is currently an assistant professor at Sobey School of Business, Saint Mary’s University.
  3. Due to limited resources, captioning for webinars and video sessions from the DWC conference 2018 and Student/New Researchers Webinars are still in progress. We thank you for your patience!
  4. Summer break for CRWDP Student/New Researcher Webinars – to be resumed in September 2019.

Students and New Researchers News

  1. Congratulations to the students who have been awarded CRWDP stipends:
  • Marie-Evé Rioux-Massie, Université Laval, Département des Relations Industrielles (New, Master’s)
  • Aleksandra Stefanovic, Department of Community of Health and Humanities, Faculty of Medicine, Memorial University (Renewal, PhD)

CRWDP Publications and Resources

  1. Two new reports from CRWDP Seed Grants are available on our website:

You can find these and other reports at CRWDP Reports web-page.

  1. Dr. Ellen MacEachen has edited a book called “The Science and Politics of Work Disability Prevention”. This book addresses social and political economic contexts driving state work disability reform in 13 countries. It details how work disability policies have evolved with jurisdictions, why these take their current shape, and where they are heading. Click here for more information and to order the book.

CRWDP Research and Knowledge Translation Activities

  1. Dr. Arif Jetha, a scientist at the Institute for Work & Health and CRWDP C0-Investigator, is a co-author of the article published earlier this year in the Journal of Business and Psychology. Led by University of Ottawa Professor Dr. Silvia Bonaccio, this study examined employer concerns about people with disabilities, and provides evidence-based responses. Read the full open access article, and University of Ottawa media release posted on May 16 2019, to learn more about how the myths and stereotypes about employees with disabilities can be challenged.

Community and Partner News and Events

  1. Launch of the Canadian Accessibility Network. Carleton University is establishing the Canadian Accessibility Network (CAN) to lead a national partnership in advancing accessibility for persons with disabilities through Research, Design and Innovation, Education and Training, Policy, Employment, and Community Engagement. This follows the passing of Bill C-81, the Accessible Canada Act, by the Federal government, representing a focus on accessibility for all. Through CAN, Carleton is hoping to advance the accessibility agenda (i.e. the built environment, products, and services) and realize a national vision for a more accessible and inclusive Canada. CAN will help mobilize the many potential partners dedicated to issues of accessibility across Canada and build on the momentum of the Accessible Canada Act.
  2. Research Opportunity! The Canadian Council on Rehabilitation and Work (CCRW) has recently posted a job opportunity for a Lead Researcher in the field of work disability. CCRW is testing the idea that a balanced approach of services to both employers and job seekers with disabilities will result in an employment landscape that is more accessible. The Lead Researcher is well versed in areas of disability, employment inclusion and employment accessibility. The Lead Researcher has an in-depth understanding of the UNCRPD, DRPI, and other accessibility legislations and frameworks. The duration of this position is September 1, 2019 – March 31, 2021. Apply to this position

News from Our Partner, Institute for Work & Health (IWH)

  1. Two new IWH handouts offer evidence-based, practical advice on supporting RTW. How can workers with musculoskeletal or mental health conditions be supported to return to work (RTW)? Based on findings from a series of systematic reviews, the Institute has put together a two-page handout that offers practical solutions for workplaces, insurance and workers’ compensation agencies, and health-care authorities. Get the handout. A second IWH handout, “5 things we think you should know about RTW,” sums up five recommendations for improving your return-to-work and stay-at-work practices, based on recent research from IWH. It’s a new variation of the Institute’s popular “5 things we think you should know,” a summary of five research findings from the previous year that can make a difference to workplace injury and disability prevention programs. Download the new “5 things we think you should know about RTW”.
  2. Psychosocial work conditions linked with both positive and negative mental health outcomes, IWH study finds. Better psychosocial work conditions—greater job control, social support and job security—are linked with workers having reduced risks of mental disorders such as depression and anxiety. But a new study by IWH suggests they’re also linked with a greater likelihood of workers having flourishing mental health. Indeed, psychosocial work factors have a stronger link to positive mental well-being than to the likelihood of poor mental health. Get the study highlights.
  3. What an aging workforce means for injury and RTW outcomes. As the average age of Canadian workers continues to rise, employers may wonder about the effects on work injury, recovery, return to work and remaining at work. Some may expect that risks of injury are higher among older workers, that their injuries are more severe, or that timelines to recover and return to work are longer. However, findings from recent studies, including several conducted at IWH, paint a more nuanced picture. An article by IWH published in the Ontario Occupational Health Nurses Association (OOHNA) Journal sums up the research to date. Read the article.
  4. Dr. Arif Jetha, Associate Scientist at IWH, has been awarded a grant from the Government of Canada’s New Frontiers in Research Fund. The grant, sponsored by Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC), Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) and Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC), will support Jetha in a new project examining the future of work and how the changing labour market may impact young people with disabilities. The New Frontiers in Research Fund supports high-risk, high-reward and interdisciplinary research. It seeks to inspire highly innovative projects that defy current paradigms and use different perspectives to solve existing problems. Learn about this project.
  5. When and how do financial incentives work to encourage hiring of people with disabilities? Wage subsidies and other financial supports are widely used by Canadian governments to encourage employers to hire people with disabilities. Yet, employers, disability advocates, service providers and people with disabilities hold strong and often polarized views about the merits of these incentives. What’s more, the research on the effectiveness of these policy instruments is surprisingly scarce. That’s why a research team from IWH and McMaster University, co-led by Drs. Emile Tompa and Rebecca Gewurtz, in a project launched in late June, has set out to produce guidelines and resources on the best use of financial incentives. Read the media release.


  1. Check The Globe and Mail articleWhere to start when you need a mental health accommodation at work” (Bill Howatt and Camille Quenneville, May 8, 2019), for information on workplace accommodation.
  2. Dr. Jon Breen, Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the Department of Occupational Science & Occupational Therapy, Faculty of Medicine, University of British Columbia, reached out to us to share his research on issues of workplace attitudes toward employees with disabilities. As a part of his PhD study, Jon developed Co-worker Acceptance of Disabled Employees Scale to measure these attitudes. Workplace attitudes are important for the success of people with disabilities at work, since they influence accommodation efforts and inclusion strategies. Read Jon’s PhD dissertation, openly available at the University of British Columbia library.
  3. The Government of Canada launched its first ever accessibility strategy for the public service of Canada, “Nothing Without Us.” Guided by the principles in the proposed Accessible Canada Act and informed by extensive consultations, the strategy aims to prepare the public service to lead by example and become a model of accessibility, in Canada and abroad. Read more about the strategy here.
  4. Stratégie nationale pour l'intégration et le maintien en emploi des personnes handicapées was launched by the Government of Quebec in June 2019. Access Quebec’s strategy here.

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