DWC Partner Organizations

Disability & Work in Canada initiative logo

Moving Forward Together
Disability and Work in Canada (DWC) Initiative

In 2017, the Centre for Research on Work Disability Policy (CRWDP), Canadian Council on Rehabilitation and Work (CCRW), Inclusion Newfoundland (InclusionNL) and the Ontario Network of Injured Workers’ Groups (ONIWG)—already working together as members of a community caucus formed by the CRWDP research partnership—formed the Disability and Work in Canada (DWC) Steering Committee to host the first DWC conference. The conference gathered together people with disabilities, disability organizations, government representatives, labour/unions, employers and service providers. One of the outcomes of the first conference was a decision to develop a pan-Canadian strategy on disability and work.

After two years of consultations with persons with disabilities, injured workers, disability organizations, labour/unions, employers, businesses, service providers and government representatives from across the country – through national conferences, provincial/territorial based focus groups, and an online survey that garnered more than 400 responses – the DWC Steering Committee finalized the pan-Canadian strategy on disability and work in November 2019. The DWC2019: Strategy-in-Action conference reviewed the revised pan-Canadian strategy to improve the level of employment of persons with disabilities and identify the most important early steps in implementation. 

The DWC Steering Committee is comprised of the following partner organizations:

Centre for Research on Work Disablity Policy (CRWDP)

The Centre for Research on Work Disability Policy (CRWDP) is a transdisciplinary initiative on the future of work disability policy in Canada. Illness and disability touch most people at some point over their lifetime. CRWDP’s objective is to identify how people, when disabled, can be better retained and integrated into the Canadian labour market. CRWDP’s primary activities include: providing a forum for within- and cross-provincial and national dialogue on challenges and opportunities for improving the Canadian work disability policy system; identifying problems and challenges associated with program coordination and complexity; identifying relevant and favourable alternative approaches to system design and service provision through select comparisons with countries and small scale trials; mobilizing knowledge developed within and outside of the initiative in order to inform policy; and building capacity for research and knowledge mobilization on the topic of work disability policy and labour-market engagement of individuals with disabilities.

CRWDP contributions to the DWC Initiative include organizing the DWC annual conferences, organizing consultations to garner feedback on the draft strategy, and contributing to the development and revision of the pan-Canadian strategy on disability and work and supporting documents.

Canadian Council on Rehabilitation and Work (CCRW)

The Canadian Council on Rehabilitation and Work (CCRW) is a national registered not-for-profit organization committed to supporting and promoting the meaningful and equitable employment of persons with disabilities. CCRW’s mission is to promote and support meaningful and equitable employment of people with disabilities. CCRW helps persons with disabilities find a job or career, help employers hire persons with disabilities, and help employers support employees with disabilities. As innovators and agents of change, CCRW builds partnerships, develops skills, shares knowledge and influences attitudes.

CCRW contributions to the DWC Initiative include organizing the DWC annual conferences, organizing consultations to garner feedback on the draft strategy, and contributing to the development and revision of the pan-Canadian strategy on disability and work and supporting documents.

Inclusion Newfoundland (InclusionNL): Employer Support Services

InclusionNL: Employer Support Services provides employer support services, and is a corporate program of Empower, The Disability Resource Centre that provides supports, services, and information to businesses in Newfoundland and Labrador on accessibility, inclusion, disability confidence, and inclusive employment. InclusionNL focuses on developing partnerships with NL businesses and employers to increase access in hiring people with disabilities, interacting with employees and customers with disabilities, and increasing overall workplace accessibility and inclusion, which in turn benefits business in many ways.  

InclusionNL: Employer Support Services was part of DWC Initiative in 2017-2019. InclusionNL contributions to the DWC Initiative included organizing the DWC annual conferences, organizing consultations to garner feedback on the draft strategy, and contributing to the development and revision of the pan-Canadian strategy on disability and work and supporting documents

Ontario Network of Injured Workers' Groups (ONIWG)

Ontario Network of Injured Workers’ Groups (ONIWG) is a provincial voice for workers who have been injured or made ill on the job. They have first-hand experience of the WCB/WSIB system, knows it needs improvement and they take united action to make this happen. A democratically governed organization, ONIWG has been representing workers since 1991. ONIWG’s 18 member groups have strong community roots, working closely with other local groups and agencies to advance the interests of injured workers. These include labour councils and labour unions, and legal clinics who provide advice and support. ONIWG also works with the local Office of the Worker Advisor, their Members of Provincial Parliament, and in municipal governments.

ONIWG contributions to the DWC Initiative include organizing the DWC annual conferences, organizing consultations to garner feedback on the draft strategy, and contributing to the development and revision of the pan-Canadian strategy on disability and work and supporting documents.

 

DWC Steering Committee Members (Present and Past)

DWC Steering Committee Members (listed alphabetically by last name): Erika Del Carmen Fuchs, Canadian Council on Rehabilitation and Work; Alec Farquhar, Centre for Research on Work Disability Policy; Maureen Haan, Canadian Council on Rehabilitation and Work; Steve Mantis, Ontario Network of Injured Workers Groups; Kathy Padkapayeva, Centre for Research on Work Disability Policy; Ron Saunders, Institute for Work & Health; Emile Tompa, Centre for Research on Work Disability Policy.

DWC Steering Committee Past Members (listed alphabetically by last name): Kathy Hawkins, Inclusion NL: Employer Support Services; Monica Winkler, Canadian Council on Rehabilitation and Work.

 CCRW, ONIWG, InclusionNL, CRWDP