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Q - Employment and Vocation

Spotlight Best Practice Organization Employment Services Team – Canadian Paraplegic Association Ontario (CPA Ontario) CPA Ontario was founded in 1945, with the mission to assist individuals with SCI and other physical disabilities to achieve independence, self-reliance and full community participation. Their Employment Services Team, which includes employment counsellors, job developers and an employment information coordinator, serves the Toronto region from the Employment Resource Centre (ERC), and is located in the same building as the Brain and Spinal Cord Rehab Program in the Toronto Rehabilitation Institute - University Health Network, Lyndhurst Centre. The ERC is accessible to all clients and provides computers with adaptive technologies (such as adjustable keyboards, screen reading software, and a head and track ball mouse). Each year the Employment Services Team serves approximately 325 clients - 33% of which have an SCI. The Employment Services Team provides a full service, client- centred program, customized to meet the needs of the individual. Clients can also drop-in to the ERC to receive support from staff or peers, with an SCI, who are employed. With the team’s help, over 70 individuals with disabilities are successfully placed each year. Early in the vocational rehabilitation process, employment counsellors work with clients to identify goals and make career assessments. Clients are informed of work and educational opportunities, and provided with guidance on how to search for a job, develop a resume and cover letter, and prepare for an interview. In addition, guidance is given on disclosure of disability to an employer, and how to talk about accommodations required. The Employment Services Team works with potential employers to understand their environment, work culture and the job skills required for each position in order to to facilitate an ideal job placement for the client. In addition, staff collaborate with CPA Ontario regional services coordinators to address any other barriers to employment such as housing, health issues and equipment needs.  Finally, job retention services are offered to the clients and their employers, which include job coaching, accommodation support, training assistance for new work responsibilities, and disability awareness seminars, tailored to employers and co-workers. 182 CAPTURING CAPACITY IN CANADIAN SCI REHABILITATION


Q - Employment and Vocation
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