Canadian Association for Supported Employment

Innovation Lab Partners using Technology to Tackle Barriers

Progress has been made to reduce the challenges experienced by job seekers who experience disability and by the employers who want to hire them. Systemic employment barriers, however, can be more difficult to address and can often benefit from more creative and collaborative solutions.

CASE’s Innovation Lab Addressing Systemic Challenges

In 2021, CASE’s Innovation Lab was created to collaborate with partners across the country to address systemic employment challenges faced by persons experiencing disability. 

The Innovation Lab supports, promotes and shares learnings from innovations in the supported employment sector. The goal is to facilitate the full labour market participation of Canadians experiencing disability. 

Barriers: Policies, practices, procedures, physical spaces or attitudes that result in some people receiving unequal access or being excluded. Systemic Barriers: Patterns that are part of the social and/or administrative structures of an organization or sector that create or perpetuate a position of disadvantage for persons who experience disability.

Partners are supported as they pilot solutions to specific challenges in their region or nationally. Initiatives are selected partly on their potential to be replicated in other regions and scaled.

Technology to Support Employment Processes

Some Innovation Lab partners focus on using technology to tackle employment barriers.

Meticulon is a national social enterprise that empowers meaningful employment opportunities for people diagnosed with autism and all disabilities. The Meticulon Assessment Service is a web-based app with easy-to-use tools and exercises that evaluate the skills, abilities, challenges and strengths of participants. That information is used to point participants in the right direction for their unique education, employment and/or life goals. The app can be customized for organizations’ unique programs.

Meticulon logo: blue circular image beside the word Meticulon

Inclusion Winnipeg, based in Winnipeg, Manitoba, enhances the lives and status of people living with an intellectual disability, supports families, and advances their human rights and inclusion in the community. Their Remote Job Coach consists of an app, available nationally, that assists an individual throughout their workday with reminders. Text to speech reminders can be sent to a person’s phone. Through a user-friendly web interface, routines, tasks, checklists or flipbooks can be added that break tasks down to individual steps, detailed instructions and choices. An employer can be added as a support and can see how the individual is going about their day.

Inclusion Winnipeg logo: blue, green and orange swirls around the letters "in" in inclusion and the word "Winnipeg" below it.

Gateway Association is a Family Resource Centre and an Employment Resource Centre based in Edmonton, Alberta that provides education, family support, mentorship and inclusive employment. The Gateway to Digital Inclusion (GTDI) helps to build digital literacy skills so that people can engage in their online community and keep up with the digitized world. It offers the ability to use technology to create and share text, pictures, videos, ePortfolios, posters and designs online in an inclusive, safe, responsible way. Users learn to build employable digital skills, like video meetings, sending professional emails and searching online, and to create a digital presence online.

Gateway Association logo: outline of three people with body in shape of house - middle person has red heart in middle of body - beside words Gateway Association.