Disability Accessibility and Inclusion Issues
“I have been with my organization for 20 years and this is the best training I have ever been to.”
“This was a real eye opener and a must do for everyone in life.”
“Stories through experience were extremely helpful in understanding the content of the course.”
“Wonderful facilitators, made the content much more meaningful.”
EMPOWWORD client quotes
Sandi’s education, experience and knowledge in the areas of disability, access and inclusion, makes every workshop and encounter with her an unique and unforgettable learning opportunity. As a school trustee in Hamilton her work involved spearheading initiatives aimed at addressing the needs of students with disabilities; in this capacity she was chair of the Special Needs Task Force. In addition, she has first hand knowledge of disability issues in her ongoing participation in the community of persons who have disabilities, as an advocate for disability issues, as a part time member of the Canadian Human Rights Commission, and as a member of the Mental Health and Law Advisory Committee of the Canadian Mental Health Commission.
EMPOWWORD has specialized in disability issues for decades; it closely monitored the inception of the disability legislation. When the Ontarians with Disabilities Act (ODA), and Accessibility of Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA) and the standards were introduced Sandi and her team (many of who are also people with disabilities) have provided clients with guidance on complying with the legislation as well as comprehensive material and hands-on training for municipalities as well as other corporations and agencies.
Other noteworthy contributions by Sandi related to disability issues include providing subject-matter expertise to companies to help them understand and meet employment equity targets for people with disabilities; to assist them to develop accommodation polices and procedures; and provide guidance when they were either about to face or had faced human rights grievances. In all instances EMPOWWORD Inc. endevours to provide assistance and tools to ensure that companies comply with legislation.
In addition Sandi has held positions as:
- Chair of ARCH, a Legal Resource Centre that addresses precedent setting cases, many in the human rights sphere
- Founding Member and co-chair of the Equity Council which aims to ensure equality of health services to people who have been historically marginalized.
- Founding Member and Advisor of ERDCO (Ethno-Racial People with Disabilities Coalition of Ontario)
- Director of the Ontario March of Dimes
- Member of the guiding committee for the Festival of International Conferences on Disability, Aging and Technology. This Festival includes four important conferences that will run concurrently and share special events, and includes topics such as: Growing Older with a Disability; Technology and Aging; Advances in Neuro-rehabilitation; and Caring for the Caregiver. (Ontario March of Dimes)
- Instructor in community development at Ryerson University in the Disabilities Studies Program
- Chair of CAMH (Centre for Addictions and Mental Health) Disability Working Group. Planning Committee Member, International Conference Committee on Health and Equity. (CAMH).
- Hamilton Accessibility Advisory Committee, including the Transportation Committee
- Member of the Inaugural Board, Citizens with Disabilities – Ontario (CWD-O)
- School Trustee, Hamilton Board of Education; Chair of the Special Needs Task Force
- Council Member, Ontario College of Teachers
- Member of the Provincial Learning Advisory Committee of Legal Aid Ontario
EMPOWWORD Services include:
- Guidance in compling with all AODA Standards
- Just Ask workshop related to disability issues that provides:
- An overview of the legislation and its requirements
- Discussion about the range of disabilities, visible and non visible
- Practical, appropriate and constructive ways to engage with people with disabilities
EMPOWWORD workshops are highly interactive! All participants engage in experiential learning, as a person with a physical disability – for a brief moment in time.
For our AODA specific training, all participants will receive a comprehensive training manual which can be used for further learning and as an on-the-job reference guide.
Each participant who completes the course will be provided with an employee certificate, as required by the AODA.