In 2016, the Calgary Employment First Network (CEFN) has played a central role in working with community partners/businesses to host a variety of events to promote awareness of the benefits of having a diverse work force. During the month of October, the following events were held to recognize and celebrate the unique contributions that employees with disabilities bring to their respective work environments: 

  • Mayor Nenshi’s Proclamation of October formally recognizing the month of October as Disability Employment Awareness Month for the City of Calgary (October 4th)
  • Calgary Economic Development (CED) hosted the Let’s Talk Employment conference: This event featured an employer panel sharing personal experiences, challenges and success stories of creating a more engaged and productive workplace for people with disabilities.
  • The DEAM Film Festival- this event focused on films related to employment, developing an inclusive community that recognizes and accommodates ‘visible and invisible disabilities’ within the work force.
  • DEAM 2016 Employer Awards – celebrating this year’s DEAM Employer Award nominees and award recipients.

DEAM’s vision is to create a stronger, more diverse workforce that includes skilled employees with disabilities. Building off the success of DEAM 2015, and in consideration of the current and future economic/labour market, this year DEAM has focused on increasing employer engagement and highlighting the contributions skilled employees with disabilities have made to the workforce through the following strategies:

  1. Raising awareness of employers and industry in how to build a productive workforce that includes employees with disabilities; ensuring employers are aware of and able to easily access resources as required.
  2. Educating employers on integrating employees with disabilities into the workforce by collaborating with employers and capacity building organizations.
  3. Recognizing industry/employers who are integrating employees with disabilities into their workforces.
  4. Profiling employers in leadership roles as it relates to building an equal opportunity and productive workforce.

We are so proud of the work that the CEFN has done through partnerships with organizations, business leaders, and community members to make this October a significant success in terms of building capacity in the community and getting new organizations to support the DEAM’s vision! Thank you all for your support!   

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