Materials for participants of DWC2019

This page includes links to the materials that we would like to share ahead of the Disability & Work in Canada conference 2019 with conference participants

Materials for the Parallel Discussion Session "Addressing unconscious bias and stigma at work and beyond"

What is unconscious bias? Why we don't just say "bias", "stereotypes" or "stigma", but we add "unconscious" to it? What is stigma? How are stigma and bias relevant to disability & work in Canada? Is it important to address them to implement the DWC strategy? The resources below will respond to some (but not all) of these questions. We look forward to deeper discussion on this topic in the context of strategy implementation.

WSIB/RAACWI Anti-stigma initiative

The summary of anti-stigma initiative; anti-stigma initiative was co-developed by Research Action Alliance for the Consequences of Work Injury (RAACWI) and Ontario’s Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB) working together to change the way the WSIB interacts with injured workers.

When help leads to harm: injured worker stigma in the compensation system. Presentation at the AWCBC Learning Symposium, October 7, 2010 (pdf copy). This presentation also offers background and details of anti-stigma initiative. If this file is not accessible to you, please contact us at

WSIB brochure on injured worker stigma

WSIB injured worker stigma famework

Background on what is unconscious bias (text-based materials)

"Introduction to Unconscious Bias: A quick-start guide to help you understand the basics of Unconscious Bias in the workplace." (ELI, Inc., 2015). This publication provides simple and clear message on what unconscious bias is, if it can be harmful for the workplace, what is microagression, and how to address bias and microagression at the workplace. It does not talk specifically about bias or stereotypes regarding persons with disabilities.

Unconscious Bias - Disability is a compilation of resources related to implicit disability bias, including bias towards employees and students with disabilities. It talks as well about what bias is in general.

For further reading: a deeper-level discussion on the systemic nature of bias and how to address it

Noon, M. (2018). Pointless Diversity Training: Unconscious Bias, New Racism and Agency. Work, Employment and Society, 32(1), 198-209. - open-access publication

Several videos below provide a good introduction to the topic of unconscious bias

Concepts Unwrapped | Implicit Bias, by McCombs School of Business (8 minutes 9 sec; includes subtitles and illustrations)

Disability Smart Managers: How do you overcome unconscious bias? by BBC Getin (13 minutes 35 seconds, with subtitles)

Unconscious bias: Stereotypical hiring practices. | Gail Tolstoi-Miller | TEDxLincolnSquare : (10minutes 32 sec., non-edited autogenerated captions). Once a Goth chick living in the East Village of New York City, now in the corporate world, Tolstoi-Miller shares her very personal story of bias and how recognizing her own unconscious bias taught her to say “so what”.

If you know other relevant resources and would like to share it with conference participants, send an email to