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Abstract Surface
Maureen Haan & Michelle Wilson

Focus on The Talent,

Not The Disability


An Interview with

Maureen Haan

President & CEO | CCRW

Michelle Wilson

Researcher | CCRW

Abstract Surface


In this episode, Paul speaks with Maureen Haan, the President and CEO of CCRW (Canadian Council on Rehabilitation and Work) and researcher Michelle Wilson. CCRW is a national not-for-profit organization that aims to promote and support meaningful and equitable employment of persons with disabilities. In her role as a researcher, Michelle performs internal evaluations to ensure programs in place are working as they should support the community and explores ways in which barriers to fair employment can be taken down.

Maureen explains why it is important for workplaces and employers to be what CCRW calls “disability confident.” It is essential that businesses avoid pity- hiring employees with disabilities and instead look through the lens of talent acquisition. Accommodating talent will lead to job satisfaction, and employee retention, and will have a more profitable outcome all around. Maureen and Michelle discuss the potential of Canadian workers with disabilities, the biggest barriers these potential employees face, and what changes they would like to see to ensure their abilities to thrive.

Topics Discussed in this Episode:

(2:25)    Workers with disabilities want responsibility in the workplace
(3:48)    Everyone will experience disability at some point in their lives
(4:36)    Looking through the lenses of Talent vs Disability
(5:57)    Co-worker Support vs Organization Support
(7:14)    Accommodating and being inclusive leads to job satisfaction
(10:37)  Is accessibility being addressed in the same way as equity and diversity?
(13:45)  From EDI to IDEA
(14:20)  Frustrating barriers for disabled workers/those looking for work
(16:00)  Looking forward: bringing awareness, policy, value in hiring disabled workers
(17:08)  Untapped talent and employers making changes
(20:55)  Changing attitudes around disabilities
(22:00)  Job accommodation funds

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