Planning for Employment and Success with a Disability: Panel Discussion and Q&A

Planning for Employment and Success with a Disability: Panel Discussion and Q&A

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Hello, everyone, and welcome to today's panel. Can, everyone hear me in the back okay, is the volume all right perfect. Well welcome and my name is Jacqueline Halliwell I'm a career advisor here at the Center for career action and we. Are absolutely thrilled today to be able to partner with the accessibility services, to put on today's panel. This. Afternoon we'll have the opportunity, to hear, first-hand from industry, professionals on, the topic of planning for employment and success, with a disability. So. The format, of today's panel first we're going to start off with some self, introductions, so we'll be able to hear, a little bit more about the folks up here on the stage and then, from there we'll segue into our structured. Panel portion and we have a number of different prepared. Questions, so we'll be asking. Those and hearing from them on their takes and insights on those questions, and then, finally, we'll wrap it up with a Q&A portion so. If you, have any questions, throughout the, panel feel free to jot those down and then we'll take them up at the end I do also, want to mention that we are live-streaming this, so if anyone is tuning in to our livestream feel, free to email, any of your questions to, access, at you Waterloo CA, so, that's ACC ESS, at you or Lussier, so. Without any further ado let's learn a little bit more about, our panelists, and first we'll start with Lisa Kelly who, is with Canadian business Sensibility. Thank. You very much can everybody hear great. So my name is you, can see I can't, because I can't turn around is lisa kelly and i am the director of training at canadian business Sensibility. Sensibility. That's what I'm going to call it for short form, is the only national. Bilingual, network, of. It's. A business network that's dedicated, to helping. Both private, and public sector, companies, become more accessible, and inclusive of, people with disabilities, so, we obviously have a focus on employment, but we also have a focus on helping our members look. At their customer, journey and try, to make both products, and services, that are accessible as well my, own personal background, is I, and educational. Consulting, business for a lot of years went back mid-career. To. Retrain. As an employment specialist, where I worked with people with. Disability. To find jobs work. For a while with the Ontario, Disability Employment sent, Center, and now I am working with senseability. So. Thank, you very much and hopefully we can help you and I'll turn it over to Karen excellent. Yes yes next, we have Karen Kelsey who is the relationship, manager, at line, connect. Good. Afternoon everyone I. So. As as. Sorry. I knew it was a J Jacqueline. Just mentioned I'm.

The Relationship. Manager for Canada for. Line. Connect because we are a North American. Organization. We. Are. Focused. On rebranding. Disability, through achievement, and the. Named line connect, actually there's a bit little bit of a story so so. When we were first looking around and, and, determining. Where the real need was and, where. We wanted to focus we. Wanted, to take, a slightly, different approach to what we'd seen some. Other disability. Or, just talent. Acquisition, organizations. Were doing and so, we came up with well. Let's have a fresh approach so so. Mine. Came. To. Identify. That that perspective. The fresh perspective, we, threw out lemon and decided that probably wasn't a good a good, term to be using so so we stuck with line and then, the kinetic portion, of it really came from having discussions, with with. Organisations. And a number of them have become our corporate partners who, said they were having a really hard time connect. With. Talented. Students and grads who have disabilities, either, they were attending, their information, sessions, or they weren't meeting them at career fairs and I. Think we've learned is that there's. An, intimidation. Factor in. That in the whole recruitment, process, and so, that sort of led to people. Either not identifying. Themselves or just not not showing up and so so, the connect part really is us. Helping, the. Talent the talent to, connect with the companies, so. That people. Can find jobs that they're fully, qualified, for and the companies can find the talent that they're looking for so hands line connect we. Do it in in a few ways and, so. I won't get into a whole bunch of detail but we help first of all we attract. Candidates, on campus, through some professional, and disability. Organizations. And. Then we help to prepare them so we do a lot of things that happen, on. In your career services, group so we help people with resumes. Interviewing. Networking. Disclosure. And. A lot of what we do on the web because we are a pretty small organization, so we don't do a lot of things virtually and, then. We. Also have some scholarships, so we have a couple, ones. Really. It's, Google it's targeted, with, towards. Technology, students. And then, we've got a female capital markets which is really focused on. Business. Students. Business. Technology. Actually a number of things that are related to business and. Then finally, we connect them so so. We do, that we have a number of recruitment receptions, each year people, can also apply, through. Our web site to, positions, that are available through our corporate partners so so, that's line connect. I've. Been with the organization five. Years, my, background, is banking, I was in the banking industry for. Approximately, thirty years and half, of that I was in human resources so. When I decided to change my career stream. This blank, neck was a pretty, natural fit for me so. So. That's. Excellent. Thank you so much I'm just gonna make a quick comment at the beginning it's a can everybody here at the back with this other mic I just want to make sure and we're, okay on the recording, you can check we're, good okay excellent I just wanted to double check okay, and last but certainly not, least we, have Dave, Dame and he, is here with Scotiabank. He's the VP Enterprise, agile, leader with, digital, banking long, title there, you. Do that's. What makes me feel good the longer title they make I feel more, secure, so. My name is Dave Dame I'm the, VP of digital.

Ads At Scotia Bank, you. Know it's weird I'm as a professional, with a disability. My. Career spanned over the last thirty years started. A marketing. Computer. Program, and Quality, Assurance software. Development, and then I meant to organizational. Change so. Really I use a water diet my influencing, ability, because. Being a having, a disability, the. World is different you, always, interacting. With, it differently than most. People, can so I tend, have a higher tolerance, for change than most people, and I can be empathetic and help an organization, really, change, from where they were to. Where they want to be so what does an agile person do we. Really try to reduce, the time between an, idea, till, we get our product, in someone's, hands, because, we know every organization goes. Through many steps we, what kind of book for ideal ways to optimize that and really, align the team dynamics, in behavior, to. Really make sure we build the solutions, that are needed. I'm. Proud to be a Scotia I never thought I'd work at a bank because, I was, always in the high-tech industry cuz I loved it, when. Scotia is taking, a technology. First, the. Customer, first approach, to, how they're doing that it really resonated, well and I'm, here, today to share all my experiences. In the show I've. Worked in many different organizations, couple. Here in Waterloo Open, Text MKS. PTC. And, it's changed, over the last thirty years of. Applying. For positions and, doing those things so hopefully, I'm sharing my experiences. I'll give you information help. Give you hope a. Lot, of us, go show so. Thank. You very much it's I'm really excited, to hear more about your different perspectives, and experiences so, thank you all for coming to campus today I know a lot of these hold. These folks driven all the way from Toronto with, the weather and of course that 401, it can always be a challenge so we really appreciate you all coming into, campus today so thank you very much so. Without further ado let's jump into those questions, I'm sure that a lot of people are eager to find out more so the first couple of questions actually have to do with, career, preparation, as well, as work search so the first question that we have here is what are some things that someone with a disability should consider, when, it comes for, preparing. For their future career. So. I'm happy to start that off. If. Anybody, came to me as an employment counselor and asked about that I'd always say start with your interests. Or passions and. Then. Look and see how that applies against your skills and education, so. That. That would be just generalized, advice that's suitable, for anyone, so I wanted, to be a rock star when I was young but I didn't have the skills or abilities for, that so it's the same sort of thing so you want to make sure that what you're interested in you're prepared for both. In terms of your interest in both in terms of your. Ability. Natural abilities, beyond. That what I would say is that for. Statistically. People. With disabilities, tend, to have less work experience, going in to. The job market so that is something that you need to consider and plan, or because. Most. Job, boards, you, know how you apply to over. The Internet for a job are, actually designed, to screen, you out and.

That's. Just the way they work so if you don't have those keywords or, the, actual work experience you're, at a disadvantage. Disability. Or not so. It's, critically. Important, for you to get early. Job experience. And I don't care. If that's. Working. At McDonald's, when you're 16 or if it's volunteer. You, need some work experience, a. Lot of the data that we have, coming. Out of our members, which a couple of the banks are a part of that we've, got Bell we've got Air Canada, a. Couple government, agencies, we, hear that these soft skills are just as important, as the hard skills and you. Learn those soft skills in your first job it's when you get fired because you didn't show up at McDonald's, because he didn't want to get up at 7 o'clock in the morning well you don't want to do that when you get this great job with David and then, you don't show up and, and you lose a phenomenal. Job so, you. Need to have those work experiences to, acquire the soft skills you, need to have that so your resume doesn't, look substantially. Different than everyone else's so I think. That would be my general advice. And. So, just to add to that I think another way that that, you can demonstrate, skills. Is, it's. Through community, involvement I think certainly. You, know people are developing. Leadership, skills, coordination. Skills management skills, all through, various. Roles, that they might have played in. Through. Volunteering, with various organizations even. Sports teams so I think there are other ways to bring that to light um the, other thing that I would add is that it's, important, to, to. Find a good match. In. An organization. So is, the culture. Aligned, to to the values, and and and you. Know the the type of environment, that you want to work in and so doing, some research is really important, and and, again I as as Lisa said, it's not just a vote that's, not just for someone who has a disability anyone. Should be doing that, and. Then you need to think about as, a person who has a disability. What, are the strengths that you have and and. What limitations might, you have with. Respect to the work environment and/or. The job and. And, can, they be accommodated, because if the accommodation, can mitigate that, then, it doesn't matter but in some cases it can so I think all those things you have to to, put together and, then determine, sort. Of where you know where you want to focus your your energy. Building. On would. You. To said there's, your passion, and then their skills but, I Becca overweight, there's something that people will pay you for, because. Just because you got skills and passionate, doesn't mean people will give you money for it so make. Sure whatever it is that there's a marketable, position, for it out there. So. We always took that over way one, thing I would add is to get the early experience. Because that was the big challenge I had in. My era when I grew up it was hard to get a part-time job with a physical, disability, so. I said a disadvantage. When I did my first couple of jobs, by. Not having that experience to. Go there but. In today's world what I'd recommend to, all of you is with. Social media and everything you, have to brand yourself know. Who you are inside, a new way, do and, make sure that you connect, with different people out there because.

There's Two ways to get a job there's going, to the job bar and in a push system but, it's a different than you're always needing, to be marketing, yourself how. Do you make it a pole system, where people seek. You out and, they're, only going to seek you out the more open and available, on how you present. Yourself, so. Remember, that you yourself, is a brand you yourself, is an image just because, you went to school from one thing doesn't mean that's what you do when, I went into school they didn't have a thing called that child so, really you know what. You're studying for today it might not be what you're doing when you work and grow up so, be a continual, learner be, a continual. Engage and just put yourself out there. Actually. I want to add on to that I want to piggyback off that because I think that's an excellent point what you put out there employers. Do look at, say. It again because a lot, of times when I work with youth this is a big issue, what. You put out on social media even, if it's well-thought-out, and meaningful. And you're passionate about stays, up there forever. And employers. Look at that so. You need to be professional, in how you present your opinions, and in what in how you portray, yourself on, all social. Media elements. I. Couldn't. Have said it better myself I love the key themes that came out of that the transferable. Skills that's something that we talk about so often here at the Center for career action and finding. Those opportunities where. You can really build upon your skills that you gather and then taking it that much further doing your research on the employer, that company, culture and then finally, to make sure that you're marketing yourself. Appropriately. So, thank you all so much for that, what. Are some work, search tools, or resources that. You would recommend to someone is there anything that sticks out that you would recommend well. I'm going to take the opportunity, do a little self-promotion. Here. So. So. One of the one of the things that we offer. Is. Its. Development, and, resources. To, help people be, prepared and - and to determine. You. Know what direction they might want to go what are their interests.

And. So I mean. First you have to become a line network, member but it's. Really you just have to sign up and, create your profile and and. So we have some self-assessment. Tools, we. Do a number of webinars, focused. On on various skill. Skill. Building, and. We. Hold, we. Started holding workshops so. There are a number of tools certainly that we provide were definitely, not the only ones there are lots of other other. Things available online, but. I think it is very important, to help yourself. Figure, out what you want to do what you're good at and. And. Some of it is is even not technology, related it's you know getting some feedback like, what what, have, people told, you you're good at, what. You. Know what, do you know yourself you're good at so you, know whether it's marks in school or, a project, that you've worked, on and, you've been really successful all, of that is feedback that I think can feed into your research. Yeah. When you're getting feedback on yourself make sure you choose those people that will give you critical feedback now. I just give you a hug and you, tried your best because, you really need to hear it as hard as it is to hear it because, I used to hear feedback that, I didn't like to hear it's a natural reaction to, get defensive but. Well trying to continually, learn and get better disability. Or not but. If we're not going to choose that growth mindset and, go. Through those challenges, we're, not gonna stay unplayable, for long I. Don't. Really like this funny when I started Scotia that's when I first kind of connected, with, sensibility. And stuff exciting no all those programs existed. I'm. Very. I'm feeling, very. Excited. And happy that there's all these services, available now, that I don't, believe we're around in in my time if they were around they. Weren't well known I communicated. Because the. Barrier to entry in my day was, getting into University and education. Well, now that that barrier, has been freely, cleared now.

That's What, we've been talking about it's other, barriers, were going so, look at this services, getting that worked in it and it's, hard because I think if those services were around when. I was that age I probably would have went oh I don't need those special, services I'm going to do it myself. Be. Vulnerable but. We all get somewhere where we'll help we've all gotten jobs because we knew somebody be. Vulnerable enough, to use the services, that you're fortunate to, have in this day and age. And. I am going to be totally practical, and actually give you some tools. Okay. So there's. Lime connect obviously, there's our website sensibility, you can go on there's, some. For. Jobseekers, there. Are all of our members are open, they're listed at the bottom of the page all of them are open to, being an inclusive employer, they're, actively, seeking people and what they hear my biggest challenge, is to, create a, pipeline, for, them because, they can't find you because, you don't tell them which is why we're here talking about disclose. So, anybody, on the senseability, website is open, to you disclosing, and open to hiring people with disabilities they won't just do it because you have a disability you have to have skills and abilities but they they, are accessible. Are inclusive, employers. There's. Organizations. Like career edge that, you can go to I don't know how many of you are familiar they offer internships. Similar, to two line connect somewhat there, are a, ton of employment, centers so a lot of government employment centers and again, that's a great place for you to go in to to, get feedback, very. Honest usually about your, interview, skills your, resume, they typically, do bad resumes but it's, a good place to start. You can look go to your university, centers, the, coop centers, you can go into the. I'm, sure there's an alumni connection, as well as the Career Center's so use all those because, that's their gonna know who's hiring people who are accessible, they're gonna know what jobs are out there so you want to do that a lot, of employers like I know for instance RBC, I'm going to use them are now creating. Direct pipelines. For people so last year they hosted, a Canadian. A national, phone. In this was accessed through the employment centers where people with disabilities could talk to employees, at RBC who had a disability and then they had a disability, focused only, hiring event it, was so successful, they're gonna do it by business unit next year so. A lot of people speed, mentoring, a lot of the organizations, are using speed mentoring, to get both their employees, more familiar, with people with disability, but also get an, opportunity for you to have chances. To learn how to interview, there's. My. Favorite this. Is so boring the. Government of Canada's, national occupation. Classification. Codes because. It's going to tell you what you need to do a job and it's going to tell you what educational, qualifications, and skills you need so it's a great place to go and, start. Some, research. The, discoverability, website. Has, a disability. Portal. That is you. Can tick off that you have a disability and it, matches you with employers looking for people with disability, it. Also has a road map or how, employers, can hire someone with a disability. That it's, very simplified but it's a good start so you can go on there and sign up and use that job board there's, higher for talent which is a national, initiative and it's WW higher, for talent CA if anybody wants these websites, I've got them listed here I can share them higher, for talent I think will be a really exciting, initiative and, it links, employment. Centers with employers open, to hiring people with disabilities. There's, some great worksheets.

That Were made for, the. Employment. Counselors to go to the business and share. Why it's important, to, hire, a person with a disability use. Those as cheat sheets preparing. For your interview it's great stuff. Glassdoor.com. Is a great I don't know if you use that one yeah that's, a great one for, actually, getting crowd-sourced. Feedback, on companies, so you type in Scotiabank, disability, and up comes people's actual, lived, experience. About, what they think about that company and what their experiences, are I do, think, having said that people, who like to complain use it more than people who don't so, keep that and. Then if, you want a tip sheet that I think is really good on disclosure go, to Vann cities tip, sheet it's as good as any that I've ever seen on disclosure so, let me stop at that thank, you that was a great list I love to hear how much progression. There's been made, over the years too and hopefully we'll continue continue. To see that as a trend Lisa, you brought up disclosure. And that's what I really want to talk about next so disclosing. Information to, an employer definitely. Can feel like a daunting task. And, don't think conversation, to have as well so, what. Type of information should someone with a disability, disclose. To an employer and not only that but when is the right time to, disclose, this information. Okay. So. So. What I recommend. Is that people should share as much information, about their disability, as, is going to help them be successful so. Whether it's for, an interview, whether. It's to, get screened. Through the the initial application process. Or or. For, the job itself so. And. There isn't a right or wrong people, absolutely have to be comfortable with the information they're going to share and there are lots of different ways to go, about it, but I think. Really. To make sure that one to know what what you're going to need to, be successful because. There are some people who. Don't actually require an, accommodation, from from a company or an organization and. If they don't then they may choose not to share although. It may you know they may bring, it out over time because that's part of who they are you, know as they get, to know people and just want to share information about, themselves but but, from a. Job. Perspective, and working, in an organization, and contributing, to the organization, I think it's really what. Do you need to, be successful, what, accommodations. Have you used in school that you can, translate. Into the workforce and. And. And really I think just, you. Know knowing, what tools are out there or at least being prepared, to work with somebody in organization. To figure out what's going to help you. So. Yeah, we had a conversation about, this before, the piano started. And. This is you know in hindsight that was wrong might. Not be right or wrong like you said when, I used to apply for jobs while. I part I've been poached the last couple, times but, I, would. Never disclose, my disability and. It. Was for two folds I didn't want it held against, me and I didn't want get any preferential, treatment. Because I had a disability, so. I would do my best to, avoid disclosing. That, up until, the interview, and when I rolled into the interview room they had a pretty good idea and. I was always trying to keep that away, from them because part. Of me I wanted, to see how. The interview, interviewer. Reacted. To me but, if he was really like whoa I, don't want to work there I'll work somewhere, else that, was my government to do that now that being, sad. Once. I once, I got the job I'd be like I need Dragon, NaturallySpeaking, I, need this I need that, but. What I've learned over, the, time especially, from what let's go see is doing this, closing, it gives them a chance to, be, fully, prepared to get the best interview, experience to. Make sure they're accommodated. To let their best, self shine, so. In today's world where I think we can be a little more transparent.

Or. Feel more confident, being transparent, I would, recommend, don't. Do what I did I, would disclose it fully right away and if, it's something a company, that has a bias for it maybe. You don't want to work there anyways, but, that way you can bring your best self to. The interview, you can be prepared, and you don't have to worry about the perception, you can worry about what you can contribute to that organization, I. Think. That's so, well said so, I agree, no, right time. No. One. Right answer I do think, practically. There's things you have to consider. The type of disability and, how do people typically react, so. Is your disability visible. Or not if it's visible I would, as an employment counselor generally, encourage, people to disclose. David. And I were talking about this because you don't want to put the the. Interviewer, at a disadvantage people, may not be trying to be biased but they may be taken, aback and going oh my gosh I didn't I didn't, think about this I didn't where the washrooms, like I don't know where the accessible washrooms are and suddenly. The interviewer, is not their best selves, and it. May not be because they, don't want to hire you it may be just because you've caught them off guard so I, would, encourage, if you need an accommodation to ask for it prior to the interview, now, I would also say. If. You do disclose or if you asked for an accommodation so, disclosure is actually, asking for an accommodation, okay. It's not saying here's what I have and I was diagnosed, when I was there and it's really hard for me that is what in our industry, we call disability focused if. Your disability focused you are not going to get the job the, employer is not hiring you for your disability they're, hiring you because you're the best candidate, who, happens to have a disability so. Always keep that in mind so you need to practice if you're going to disclose how you disclose, you. Need to practice with people that will give you honest, information and. Honest. Feedback. If, you're just if you're not disclosing, puts you or anyone else at risk in that job you have to bylaw, disclose, so. You. Know you need to consider that your. Comfort level are, you going to start rambling, if you are then don't I have, a disability, it's. Not the Keen I, did not disclose until four years ago it. Made it a bit trickier, in my jobs but. I just, didn't feel comfortable disclosing, I think as we get older it becomes easier, and the and it's changed, times have changed. Are, there signals, that the employer, is, inclusive, if, they are then, yes and also, if this, isn't inclusivity. Hiring, initiative, then disclose, or you're not going to be a qualified candidate, for it so in that case always disclose. So. Thank. You for that I just. A quick, follow-up, on that, would you ever wreck someone, to disclose, in their application, documents, so in their cover letter or on their resume somewhere would, there ever be an appropriate time to do that so. We. Were talking of ham yeah, I personally. This, is just my personal opinion there's never a right or wrong I would, never disclose in the cover letter because. I think your, cover letter maximum, should be one page unless you're, the most brilliant writer, on the planet, it's going to be focused, on the disability. Right. Because by the time you do your first paragraph and then you're closing you've got one paragraph, and you don't want it to be all I agree with you but it shouldn't be about your disability you're not getting the job however.

I, Would, at. The interview, stage disclose. Your, need for accommodations, and I wouldn't disclose on my resume, unless you've done something phenomenal, like, Rick Hansen and gone around the world and it shows how, amazing, you are right you, know it shouldn't be about. The, disability it should be about you if. You, can portray that in a way that's you with a disability, great but if it's about a disability that you. Have don't. Yeah. I think, that. That is the situation, where you would I mean one that, you know that you're applying to, an organization. That. Is. Definitely, going, to be an inclusive employer. But. Also if, it's a way to highlight, an. Actual. Capability. Or strength that you have then, I think you can for achievement, yeah exactly. But. Yeah I mean certainly, not as a rule of thumb and if you're just sort of sending, off resumes, and cover letters no, I think that's probably not where you you choose to share, that information but. I've seen some fantastic cover. Letters very. Well written where it highlights, an individual's. Accomplishments. That. Are related to their disability so. Again, I think there's you know timing. It, really depends. For. My personal experience I've never put, it on the cover letter or resume cuz I didn't think it was a marketable, skill right, cerebral palsy, wasn't, in. The job description but care. Plan I don't think I could write it that elegantly. I need to get a I need, to give friends that are better writers, I. Just. I just have, it. Thank. You so much I love how it was put that the disclosure, really is that, accommodation, piece so, when. We talk about accommodations. How can someone know if that company will actually provide, them with the accommodations, or the tools to just do their job well it's. The law. Yes. It is the law, but. I think the other thing to do is is to really do some homework to do some research you, know to check out what's. Not. Just what's on their their website, because you know lots of people or organizations.

Are Great at self-promotion. But, to, talk to people to see if you can find out what their policies, are and. It's. It's, you. Know it's the, law but there are nuances to, that and so that doesn't mean that that, you're going to get the right tools or you know the best. Support. That you can to be successful, so I think doing. Some research is, definitely. Important. As well. Right. Yeah. And from, my experience. Those. Conversations. Started, after. The, out for a letter like right we choose you now, what do we need to get ready for your first day the. Only difference, was Scotiabank. They, actually used what they were going to give me for accommodations. As, a recruiting, technique, because, I was cruising between Scotia and someone, else and. When they said these are the services we can provide you wait out front to. Me that's what the memory choose them over, the, other company. I was looking at but. That was the first time there was a head of the offer it. Was more we would like you to come here this is what we can offer you. And. I'll add to the it Salah because I think Karen did that so you can ask for an accommodation the, company isn't obliged, to give you the accommodation, you asked for they. Are obliged to work. With you to find something that allows you to do your job it's not always the ideal it's not always exactly. What you wanted. So. We're. Definitely all learning with your advice. And experience that you're sharing so thank you once again, talking. About interviews, interviews, are nerve-wracking I think for anyone I don't think I've ever met anyone who says I love going to interviews, so, do. You have any interview strategies, or tips that you would recommend to someone with, a disability. So. Some advice somebody, gave me for interviewing in general, a long time ago was. Treat. It like a talk show right, think about your. Examples. Instead of when you can tell a. Fantastic. Story around it I know, there's, going to be concerns, about my disability, or, things so kind. Of like what was mentioned in the previous questions. I, did, a 5k walk, five years ago when I was in Waterloo, well. Trade for three years you know that's. The skinny my wife won to throw a cheeseburger down my throat. It. Was to train for it so I share that story in a way of you. Know when they ask a question like can, you give an example when, you've had to be resilient or, whatever I can bring, that up so that way you can tie in how. Yes you have a disability, when. You overcame, and you didn't have to do it because elephants. In the room right when, weather, you know I guess, a visible, disability. Elephants, in the room so, you might as well just kind. Of face it in a way of not that it's limiting, but, in a way that it's to their benefit, to hire that. The. Other thing I would say is and this goes for anyone prepare. Be, prepared, practice practice. Practice because. You know unless you already been for multiple. Interviews. To. Your point. It's. Most. People find it nerve-racking and so the better prepared you are the better you're. Going to be able to present. Yourself because it really is it's, an opportunity for you to sell yourself and, and. To talk about how you're going to bring something to the organization, the other side of it is it's your opportunity to interview. Company or the organization, that. You're thinking, about working for so so, don't be you, know be prepared with some questions like what are some things you want to know about the company about. Potentially. About the accommodations. That they provide. Their. Culture, so, it's you know it's a two-way street so so. That, and that that might help help to settle some nerves to is that they're, interviewing you but you're, also interviewing, that.

When. You're doing your practice, interviews, do. It in front of a mirror because, you need to know where your body language is you need to do it and it's difficult, to, tuck yourself, in in there if, you can do that you're ready for an interview. And. This is and it's also a great opportunity for any of the employment, centers that you have to be able to practice with that I, like my analogy, to this as always it's like a date, show. Your best self would you show up if. You're going, on a blind date with someone in, blue, jeans and a ripped shirt probably, not you're probably gonna you, know try to look your best, sound. Impressive. Come up with stories that are interesting you're, gonna want to show your best selves so is the company and I agree with that it is a conversation it's they're just as nervous you. Know, interviewing. Doesn't work a lot. Of times it's, very low, and a lot of interviewers, I think, it's a third of all employers out of a thousand, that were interviewed, made the decision to hire within the first thirty, seconds, that means, they're judging you on how you walk into that room and, how. You introduce, yourself and whether you're confident, and they're. Terrified they're gonna get it wrong because they you, know get assessed on that too so you, know don't be nervous it's it is a conversation where you're both trying to put your best foot forward, and. Preparation. And then preparation, and then some more preparation and, don't. Be late, five. Resumes, five copies of your resume one copy of your references, and good luck smile a lot. Thank. You and once you land that job and actually get, that offer, in, hand obviously. Succeeding, in the actual role is super important, so what strategies, are tips to you recommend, two people to ensure that they're doing a great job in succeeding in the role. So. I would ask for feedback you, know from your managers, I've, always made it a practice to come in early on a Friday morning and meet with my manager, if, there's something that you need because. Of your, disability that's arisen and you haven't shared that ask for it so knowing, what accommodations. You need and asking for them if things, change you, need to be upfront. About, this and this is why I think disclosure, is really important, because. They. Are obligated to keep that private so if you say I want this to stay between me and the hiring manager it'll go on your file but it's not open to everybody else but, it'll help them so especially in episodic, or invisible, disabilities, mental, health, it. Can be critical, for them to understand that there may be periods, where. It's more difficult for you and it. Can be difficult to talk. About this so one of the things big companies do which is amazing, they have a thing called an IEP which is an individualized. Assessment plan, and it's. Basically an agreement between you and them about what you need and then, they can just go back to that and you've decided ahead of time and if it changes they change it small companies don't do that but. What you could say if you've disclosed, afterwards, and say okay I may, need more frequent coffee breaks. That. Actually was an accommodation for me instead of one 15-minute, coffee break every. Hour. And a half I needed at the top of the hour, five. Minutes to just stretch on a mental health break they, that was easy once they understood, that and then that's just written in it went with me wherever I went so if I got a new manager, they just look at that if, that. Manager leaves a new one comes in it's written down and you don't have to re-explain, if it's just part of the process it's. Called a passport and, some companies do that as well which is a really good so, just having that clear line of communication. With your manager the other thing that I would say and it's applicable to everyone, is you need to constantly improve David. Mentioned this you need to have a continuous, learning, mindset you're, not going to stay in your job long if you think that what. You're doing now is, going. To get you anywhere. You. Know in 10 years so, think about you, know when, I was young we learned typing because you were going to be a secretary, okay. That doesn't even exist exactly. That you know and now you. Know my ability to use a typewriter has nothing it's great that I know how to type but I use it for writing. Reports, now and doing presentations. In PowerPoint it's just changed dramatically, a bell. Telephone operator, at the turn of the century doesn't, even exist anymore, so jobs.

Are Constantly, changing you need to keep up with it. Yeah. I would say the other thing is to. To. Talk to people because, most jobs are not unique so to talk to other people who are doing the job and especially if you can find out somebody who's doing doing. Really well now to you know to get some some. Tips. From them. Absolutely. To go. Through an accommodation. Assessment, especially if it's something that you're going to need from the company, and. Then. As. Far as getting feedback goes you, know can you get it from your manager or maybe you can find a mentor because. Mentorship. Is very valuable and it doesn't have to be formal. Somebody. In the company who is going to provide you some ongoing. Feedback. Suggestions. Like somebody, that is, maybe doing a job that you aspire to or someone, that you, know you that you've seen, as visible, and. They've. Got traits that that you really admire, and. And. Not. Just to give you some feedback but maybe somebody who's actually going to sponsor you sponsor. You within the organization. So. That when other. Opportunities. Come along that. They will say hey I know somebody, and you know they would be a great, person, for this job so I think you know getting, feedback is very important, and networking. Networking, again, whether, it's outside the company to get a job or within the company to get known so. Other people are aware of you who, you are and I know it's more difficult for some people than for others but, you know what you know to expand, your circle. To. The best of your ability, and to find other people that that you can learn from. This. Could be a more, blue color upbringing but just, work your butt off. Whenever. They. Say this is where you need to do to get this task and, overshoot. It don't. Be afraid to, go above, and beyond. You. Need to do I needed, to do that extra effort just to prove I felt. That I was qualified, as, anyone else and. Then leverage I would these two I, said, establish. A mentor, find, somebody an organization. That you can use as a mentor, and, build that relationship to. Go you, know what I'd like to be like you can you give me feedback, help me go through this because, you're establishing, mentors, are probably a level high or you are a different influence, an organization. That. Helps plant, seeds, for future opportunities. There's. A lot of meetups, in today's world. Meet. Up with them share what they're doing use their ideas, bring it into your organization. Don't, you just wish being asked about you asked about you what, to do things that the organization, needs because. There's two aren't always aligned. Thank. You I have one more final question, here before we move into.

Our Q&A portion so, what, do you recommend to someone who, hasn't disclose. Their, disability so, they have not done that yet but. They've been working in their job for some time and now they, feel the need or, there, is a there's. An absolute need for them to disclose it how. Should they bring this up to their employer. I'm. Gonna I'm gonna start and I'll give you an example about what not, because. And, and I. Guess. One thing you, may already know about, your disability like, you may have started the job knowing about your disability and have toe not to disclose but, situations. Change you, know people's health conditions. Change accidents. Happen so, I'll give you an example we had someone in, our network who is a financial analyst, and doing, very well, he. And. Of course as an analyst, he was looking at lots of spreadsheets. And and, he. Started he developed, a. Condition. Where he was losing his sight and so. He, tried to cover that up he was you, know using, expand. Increased. Font on on his screen, he was, printing. Things he was working, late hours he was coming in early he was doing, everything he possibly could, to cover up the fact that he couldn't he, couldn't see and I. You, know certainly not as well and so but it started to show so his. Co-workers, were wondering why I was putting on in all this extra time but they didn't seem they. Didn't see him doing and you know working on any additional projects. And. His manager started to notice a loss in his productivity. So the. Manager finally said. Like, what's going on and. So then, of course he, he, he was in a position where he had no choice he had to share the information, and. Fortunately, it was an understanding. Manager. And employer and so they were able to work it out and provide him the, accommodations. That he required of a screen, reader they changed, some of his, role but, I, think. As soon as you realize that, you are going to need an accommodation and, whether, you have to say you know I frankly. I didn't think I was going to need one so I didn't bother to share or. Things. Have changed, and I think, that soon as soon as possible, this is you. Should you should bring it up.

Explain. I. Like. To build I'm going to give you a personal example why, you should disclose it, immediately. Once you start a job. After. Trying to get my first job striking. Out many, times I finally. Got my first job, and. The building that had it didn't have a bathroom but was accessible, that I could roll when to because. I was so grateful, that I got a job for five, years I didn't go to the washroom at all during the day I would look at the water I would drink just. So I could go the whole day without going, to the bathroom, that. Didn't allow me to focus on my job because. As, much as he limit the water about 3 o'clock you, like. Think. I am there when this is done. But, I have to limit my water which meant, you know. You have lower energy have. Lower awareness. So it wasn't bringing my best self and, if I could talk to my 25. Years ago South, I would, say it's okay to ask for help it's. Okay to say this is what you need because. A, washroom, is a right not a privilege. And. I'll just piggyback. On that too, especially. Around mental health which is a big, issue in the universities, and colleges or we hear about that right now so, I get a lot, of requests, just. Through family and friends because I've got college-age, children on, kids, with dealing with anxiety and. Especially. In co-op situations. Because. They. Don't want to mess it up and you're, having problems and just sometimes, talking to the coop advisor and if you've disclosed, it it becomes so much more apparent, well you need help and it can be such simple, fixes, just. Helping you strategize, on how to address issues with the employer that, you might not come on your own to come up with on your own because you haven't experienced. Things or, you you're, just in a state of crisis. I can't, tell you I've got a young student that I worked with who had that, that situation, and. Just. Simply, coaching. Through how. To share, the need for an accommodation has, now led to that student, getting an offer for, their master's, degree to be sponsored, by the by. The. Institution. She works for and it set up an amazing that the company had never really wanted, to do a. Lot. Of coops, and that was such a successful, they love the student but, that student. Absolutely. Needed the accommodation, but did not know how to bring it up because it was mental health and, it's. Actually. Anybody. Who's being in employment, is typically trained on this and we can help you with it and it's just how to phrase, it not. To be disability, focused and just, ask for, what you need so that you can be whether, it's you know asking. For a washroom which I can't believe that that's I'm so sorry yeah. Yeah, you, know but, also you know it's real mental health is real, IDs. Is real if you need to be near a washroom, there's just so, disability. So variable, so just ask for, what you need in order to succeed. The company wants you to succeed they don't want, to have to fire you that's a terrible thing no company wants to have to do that so. You. Know yeah. And do it in a way that is you've. Practiced, is. Factual. Not. Apologetic, because, you shouldn't have to apologize to ask for a washroom but, also not confrontational. Thank. You all so much that, was super, inspiring and, just, the advice that you provided even coming from a career adviser standpoint, I feel like I've learned so much so just thank you I can't say. That enough now. We're going to transfer over to the Q&A, portion and as. A reminder if you are tuning in through the livestream, you can send in your questions to access, at uwaterloo CA. So. How we're kind of going, to make this work because I do have the mic up here it is wireless, I know depending, we have some people kind of in between it might be hard to crawl over so if you're over it to, shouting out your question after raising your hand and then I can repeat it so that everyone can hear that would be great but. For the next about. 15, minutes or so we can ask the panel some questions, so feel, free to ask away. Don't. Be shy. There's. One at the back okay you're. On the end. So. Coming from the advising. Standpoint, I'm taking, it that way how would you be able to tell the difference between if, you're, reading, something or, having the conversation, with a, student, in this case or maybe a professional.

That, Wants to disclose, that disability. How, can you tell whether it is going to be, disability. Focused or if it's focusing, more on the. Accommodation. Are there any anything. That, you can is there anything that you can look out for that did, I capture that correctly. Okay. Sorry. I'm. Just gonna reframe, the question yes so so, you, want to know how. To how. To position, it as. Requesting. The accommodation, versus, being disability. Focused. Okay. So. So. An example you, give is so. Someone who. Has, attention. Deficit disorder, is. Working at a logistics, company so this is this is an example and. He. He. Used a number of different application, on one computer, screen which, he found to be very distracting. So. What he could have said is I can't. You know I'm, having a really hard time doing my work I, find, all these applications too, distracting. I, need, I, need. Something, that's going to, allow. Me to, not. Have all these different applications up, on one one, screen at one time. But. What he said was he. Said, he. Said you know he said I've been doing this job for a little while now and I think I'd be far more productive, if, I, could. Have. Another. Screen, so, I could split my applications. And only. Have a smaller, number on each screen and then I could flip back and forth he said I think I'd be far, more productive than trying to look, at you know a number of applications or, minimizing. Them in order to see everything that I need to see in order to do the analysis, that that's required of this job, so. I think it's, well. And as it turned out actually, he made. The proposition, to his manager, who who. Agreed to, do it for him and then, because the department, was relatively, small because he, the. Individuals. Productivity. Actually had increased, he, did it for the entire department so so, I think yeah. It's you know on the one hand you could just talk about well, this is my disability, I have ADHD. It means I'm easily distracted, so too many things, caused. Me have, caused my attention, to divert you. Know I can't. Do the job he. Talked about the solution. But. You just frame that I'll frame it slightly differently, I was, interviewing, somebody, with, a, disability.

And. I asked, the question of what. Do you think makes you a great candidate, for the, job and, the. Person's, first answer, was well. You know how hard it is for disabled, people to get jobs and. I'm like. I might. Tell me how you do the role but. This, person kept going to, his disability, as, the. Focus, of the conversation. Versus. Using. It as hey I can do this too this business, for, me to do all this great work I might, need this that's. How, I would differentiate, into, where it went wrong well. I gave them the advice after the interview of you. Know you strike out here for, your next interviews. I would, highly recommend this, because. That is resume, in front of me and I actually took. The time to coach them to go for. The future what that's. An amazing answer I don't think I can top that unless you want another example. But I think that's summarizes. It I think. That's really helpful to even just to hear like it's that it's coming up with knowing. What they what, that concern, is and, coming up with that solution piece so it's not just saying I have this and, leaving, out there it's actually figuring, out really, distilling, what what, would help you and being able to communicate that. As. You, do a new job. It's kind. Of a relationship you, build with your employer to have that dialogue open. New. Needs might emerge, as. I as I progressed, up to senior leadership I need, to travel more so then I had to go look, my travel, all across the, world I need this helper to come with me so, you're gonna need to pay for their travel food. And stuff if you need me to do that job and it, wasn't, when I originally started, the company biz I progressed, out my. Needs change because, the role itself, had different. Complexities. And the previous ones I was hired for was. Andrew. Where are you in the back you're monitoring, our livestream, did we have a question I hope I can bring the mic back here oh no. Questions, okay well, I enjoy this extra step so anyway any other questions, from the audience here.

In. The back Tanya. This. Or finance, or heat, and, they have. So I'd say a couple of things one and. I was talking, to. David. About this earlier that that banking. Is more than then. I think what people sort of think of there. Are lots of different roles in a bank and there are lots of, people. Who have varying. Degrees. That. Do different, things I mean there's you know there's, people, who, work in technology, people who develop software there are people, who. Working. In market well there's even artists, and designers to, make the. Applications. Rich and beautiful and, more. User friendly than interfacing. You. Know it's where technology. More is more than art than assignments, and it ever has been so it's. You, know a little bit to the first question, is here's, my skills here's what I like to do but, what are some verticals. I don't naturally, think it would be ok, if I'm not going to be a world-class painting, error dancer. Musician. How, can I use those skills to maybe create. Music, for applications. Here's. My artwork to go into different industries to, do that for a print or whatever it's. Really looking, at where different. Verticals, you can go to. Use that artistic ability. Because, we're. Really pushing more to artistical. In every different, realm now because. We know we got to be more creative because, we're. More creative, as a as a society. Than we were during. The Machine Age in any other industry so. Look for those different, verticals, to apply those great skills for yes. Absolutely. And, then the other thing I would say about the benefit, of joining. Line connect even, if you think you don't want to work for any of the companies that we currently. Partner, with is there. Are other tools and resources that people can take advantage of, you. Know so so we, have a number of webinars assessment, tools, one. Of them is is you. Can do an online interview, like you can practice an interview. And. Then. The other thing is we're always looking for new corporate. Partners so so. I think there's still a benefit, whether ultimately they're, going to get the, job that you know the the job that they're absolutely looking, for, directly, through us I think, there are still benefits. Yeah. Networking, is so key and lime, connect would be just a great place to start with the networking if nothing else and and some of those practices, and interfaces, because it's. Just critical. So, yeah. Thank. You thank you for asking the question. Another. Hand there Richard. Yes. And.

Yes, And, especially prior, to being hired in, the interview stage you've. Got no I mean, there's the law but it's not applicable. I mean good luck trying to file, a suit yeah so really. There's. The, law after the job offer which is typically, why most I think employment counselors would say if you're going to disclose that's, the better time because they can't rescind or it makes it more difficult and. In. Particular, with smaller, businesses, that have less cash and, may, not have a human resources department, they may not be aware of the law so, it, was a somewhat, flip it to answer so thank you for letting me address it. So. You, should be aware of. Your rights are, you, should not be confrontational, not. Apologetic, but it may be up to you to help the employer, understand. Their obligations. Having. Said that I think that there's this huge shift, I think we're on the cusp of big change. So. If, you just look at CBC almost, every morning now does a piece on disability. Something. About disability, this morning was, Alzheimer's. And dementia. If, you, look at something, like Canadian sensibility. In Canadian business sensibility which is only three years old and that's all just companies. That are interested, in this and reaching. Out to try to hire. People if you, look at the federal move to a federal, piece of legislation. And. Creating. Some disability, legislation around that I think. That there definitely is a change, having, said that I, think. That there is still stigma, around some. Forms. Of disability, so, even when I go speak I'm so careful because what. Some, people consider a disability, isn't depending. On whether you're using a legal or a medical definition, within. Our organization, we say that if you need something and you self-identify, as having a disability you have one. That's. It that's what we tell our members just take. It at face value that person it. Shouldn't, be a matter of proving it. But, you know unfortunately we have legal medical, systems that do do that so. I I. Think for instance people returning, to work after injury, a lot of stigma a lot, of stigma around that, chronic. Pain as, you age back, pain a lot of stigma about that a lot of stigma about mental health probably, the biggest one and, you. Know I'd be very cautious about what you disclose, because often you're going to disclose the diagnosis. B in order to explain. Why you need the accommodations, you need and that can be tricky so. Yeah, I think there's still stigma, I think it's getting better I mean you look at the Bell let let's, talk campaign, that's amazing, you wouldn't have had that 15, years ago you're, getting more physical structure change the Rick Hansen Foundation's. Working across that there so, I do think there's movement I wish it was fast, but. It's a lot better than it used to be and I I like, David self going back giving. His you. Know 20 year old self advice because I do think it's more open and, and take advantage of what is out there to push the bar so, that we all move forward on it. Like. Like everybody, said there's companies, that are actually trying to promote it so, look for those companies that are doing it because we're. Not doing it for it just to say we're being inclusive we're. Doing it because it's a value advantage. We're, doing it because we need those kind of people because those kind of people are our customers, now just. Cuz we have a disability we're buying products, and services, so, who better to build products, and services, for people with disabilities. From, people with disabilities, themselves these. Disabled, people that do banking, they're gonna need to do it out and you. Know I think for. Physical, disability, it's probably. Gotten a lot better I think. We still got to go further for, their non-visible, disabilities. Because, unfortunately. I think there's a stigma and we got to continue hopefully.

To Get it to work physical, disability, is and even beyond that and. I don't know and I'm happy to say 25. Years later I'm, comfortable, to say I have, to go to the washroom now so I'm checking out but, I'll be back in a few minutes, best. Progress. We're. Actually wrapping, out that portion of the Q&A but for the for the next five minutes or less I, just, like to bring up welcome, Jennifer gillies who's the associate director of accessibility, services, and she just has a few words to share with the group here. First. Jacqueline the one to thank you for doing a fantastic job, moderating, the session and, thank you David and Karen. And Lisa. What. Wonderful advice and I really appreciate, it and I, also, want to thank our students, for, coming today for those of you who are viewing this live as well, as viewing it afterwards, because you're in class right now I want to thank you for being proactive really, putting yourself first and doing, taking, some time to think about how you can succeed in the workplace and thank, you as well to the, staff, in, the various units who are here today because we really care about our students and our alumni and, we're all in this together and, in helping to create communities, where, people really get to use the assets and the skills that they've developed here. At the University, of Waterloo so, just want to thank you all for, your guidance and advice and, just wanted to share too it's, just been such a journey I started, in the position, two years ago and it's been such a pleasure and over. The past around year and a half we've really been developing, our partnerships, and relationships, with. The Center for career action and, cooperative. Education. And it's been such. A journey for us to learn about this, whole world we've been kind, of you know the experts at designing and facilitating. Academic. Accommodations. And then really broadening, that to well what does that mean when the academic, environment extends. Into the workplace, and it's, really been a learning moment for us and we're, really excited to, be on this journey with our. Colleagues here on campus and we're looking forward as a unit, to pre providing, enhanced services to our students so, for those of you who. Are registered, with our office or, who are not and after viewing this thinking room maybe I should be because, I do deserve these accommodations, please. Come see us we're, really excited we'll, be offering some new co-op appointments. Now to. Offer some, supports. And guidance, to students as they're embarking on their co-op journey, not to duplicate, the wonderful, services here but, to provide a holistic. Support, plan for students that may or may not involve. Accommodations. Formally, but also just information, and awareness as, you, go on this journey so we're here for you know. Door is the wrong door wherever, you choose to get help we're all going to be here to, support you so, again just want to thank everybody for such a wonderful day we'll be all. Right here wandering. Around some of the staff here if you have extra questions, I don't know if you guys are heading off right. Now okay. Well we'll be here if you guys had some questions and maybe you were a little shy I know I'm the way I don't always like to raise my hand so if you feel more comfortable afterwards.

To Come on forward please do so or send us an email afterwards, so, thank you guys again and. A pleasure learning, from you all thank you.

2018-03-11 16:29

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