Canadian Association for Supported Employment

National AccessAbility Week 2023 - May 28 - June 3

Text: May 28 to June 3. National AccessAbility Week 2023. Disability Inclusion: From Possibilities to Practice. Visual: photo of a little boy hugging a little girl, both smiling. Canada Wordmark.

Disability Inclusion: From Possibilities to Practice

This year, National AccessAbility Week takes place throughout Canada from May 28 to June 3. This year’s theme is “Disability Inclusion: From Possibilities to Practice.”

Different levels of government and accessibility organizations will shine a light on accessibility in diverse environments. The goal of National AccessAbility Week is to create awareness of barriers of all kinds and to celebrate those who work to eliminate and prevent them.

The Government of Canada offers information about National AccessAbility Week.

Case Study: Positive Impact of Disability Inclusive Mindset at Biotech Company

A 2021 case study sought to understand the impacts of a disability inclusive workplace at a biotechnology corporation. The researchers discovered the following:

  • An inclusive workplace approach has increased this company’s financial bottom line and organizational culture.
  • The company has benefitted from working with and learning from a range of perspectives.
  • Equal emphasis on 1) hiring a diverse workforce and 2) prioritizing supports and wellness practices led to greater productivity and innovation.
  • Significantly, the company lives its value-driven mission that is focused on their employees. This inclusive mission is embedded in all areas, from recruitment to retirement and from mindset to policies. For every employee, they ask, “What does that person need to be successful here?”
  • Because employees feel respected and are comfortable working at the company, they have positive perceptions of it, which are often directly connected to job satisfaction and a desire to stay.

The entire case study is available free of charge at this link. It includes suggestions on how other companies could replicate this approach.

Free Webinar on Accessibility in the Workplace for Employers

As part of National Accessibility Week, the Canadian Council on Rehabilitation and Work (CCRW) has partnered with INNoVA to offer a free webinar for employers. During “Talking About Accessibility: A Session for Employers,” the importance of accessibility in Canada will be discussed. They will also be sharing practical tips, information and ideas that can inform employers’ approach to accessibility in the workplace.

The webinar takes place on Thursday, June 1 from 10 – 11 a.m. (PDT). You can read about the webinar and register on the CCRW website here.

Red Shirt Day of Action for AccessAbility and Inclusion 

Red Shirt Day is an Easter Seals initiative that occurs every year on the Wednesday of National Accessibility Week. This year, it will take place on Wednesday, May 31.

On Red Shirt Day, people across Canada wear red to create a visible display of solidarity with people experiencing disabilities and their families. The achievements of persons experiencing disability [SA1] [SA2] [BP3] are celebrated and people pledge to help create an accessible and inclusive society.

On Wednesday, May 31, post a selfie or a group photo proudly sporting red shirts. Use the hashtags #RedShirtDay #RedForAccessAbility. If you like, include your “Red Shirt Day pledge” — your personal commitment to improve accessibility and inclusion in your community. For example:

  • I use person-first language: person experiencing disability.
  • I ask people what they need to be successful in the task or activity they are doing.
  • I include people of all abilities in cultural, recreational and sporting events.

Visual: Red t-shirt. Text: Red Shirt Day, Wed, 31 May 2023. In celebration of National AccessAbility Week.

Rick Hansen Foundation Live Panel Discussion

Text: National AccessAbility Week. Let's build a world for everyone, everywhere. Visual: Rick Hansen Foundation logo.

On June 2, in honour of National AccessAbility Week, the Rick Hansen Foundation will be hosting a free virtual event, the Power of Inclusive Mindsets. They will host a live panel discussion on the importance of challenging perceptions of disability and removing attitudinal barriers.

 If you would like to attend, you can register HERE.