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2022 Chamber Talks - Disability Employment Month: Removing Barriers to Employment

2022 Chamber Talks - Disability Employment Month: Removing Barriers to Employment

September 27, 2022 (4:00 PM - 5:30 PM) (PDT)


Disability Employment Month - Removing Barriers to Employment 

Join us for our largest Chamber Talk yet! - This September we are honouring Disability Employment Month by learning how to support persons with disabilities overcome barriers to employment by creating inclusive workplaces and supporting the job-seeking process.


As a local business leader, you have a vested interest in the health and vitality of your community. By removing barriers to employment you can support your community by providing people with disabilities more opportunities to contribute to the economy, earn an income and support themselves and their families. 


Join us on September 27th at the Coquitlam Public Library to learn exactly how creating an inclusive and diverse workplace can benefit your business and the community at large. 


**This event will be streamed live on Zoom, as well in-person. Zoom link will be sent once registration is confirmed** 


3 Speakers, 1 Message


Overcoming Barriers Step-By-Step

Ana Wear - Program Manager, Community Integration Services Society (CISS)


Ana will be presenting on the internal processes that Community Integrations Services Society (CISS) has developed to support an individual’s goals, dreams and wishes to gain meaningful employment. Together, we will review the step-by-step process of how to support an individual to determine their interests, create their portfolio, and practice interviewing skills to overcome barriers to employment. 

Staff training is also necessary in order for the individual to have success in the workplace. Ana will discuss possible modified duties, direct teaching at the workplace, fading out and using natural supports for individuals to have independence.

Ana will conclude her presentation by inviting her friend, Adam, to speak about his lived experience of finding meaningful employment with CISS’ step-by-step process. 



Funding for Assistive and Adaptive Technology Supports 

Nate Toevs - Marketing Manager, Neil Squire Society 


Are you employed, self-employed, or seeking employment? Do you have a disability, chronic pain or an old injury that creates a barrier to your employment related activities? Are you an employer who wants to ensure an inclusive and accessible workspace for employees with disabilities, chronic pain or injuries? 


During his presentation, Nate will talk about WorkBC Assistive Technology Services, operated by Neil Squire, which provides funding for supports such as assistive devices, equipment and technology, ergonomic and restorative supports, communication and hearing devices related to work, workplace access and modification, and vehicle modifications.


Impacting Company Culture Through Inclusive Workplaces

Lisa Beecroft - Co-Owner,  Gabi & Jules Handmade Pies and Baked Goodness


Lisa Beecroft will share her company’s journey of creating an inclusive workplace, with specific emphasis on the impact to their company culture. She will also touch on her extensive work with the President’s Group and the resources they provide to assist employers in their journey to create accessible workplaces. 




About the Presenters


Ana Wear - Program Manager, Community Integration Services Society (CISS)

Ana has worked as a service oriented leader, overseeing the delivery of programs for families, individuals, and youth, both in the private and public sector. Ana has had the opportunity to work with a vulnerable population, both in a leadership role and coaching and mentoring others. Ana has a passion for supporting staff to develop and build their own competency in the development of skills to ensure efficient and effective programming.

Ana has had multiple opportunities to develop training, participate in training, and be the trainer for Non-Violent Crisis Intervention and a Mandt trainer for previous agencies. Ana has also had a part in developing workshops for community members that were looking to learn about different topics including mental health, and available community resources.  

Nate Toevs - Marketing Manager, Neil Squire Society


Nate is the Marketing Manager at Neil Squire for the WorkBC Assistive Technology Services program, Neil Squire is a non-profit organization that has been revolutionizing the lives of Canadians with disabilities since 1984 through accessible and adaptive technology, digital literacy, employment programs and research and development. Nate has a long-standing background in Retail, Wholesale and Business to Business sales and marketing activities. Nate and the team are passionate about providing opportunities for persons with disabilities, and inclusive employment is a key component of that work.


Lisa Beecroft - Co-Owner, Gabi & Jules Handmade Pies and Baked Goodness


Lisa Beecroft is the Co-Owner, with her husband Patrick, of Gabi & Jules Handmade Pies and Baked Goodness, a bakery in Port Moody and Burnaby as well as Caffe Divano, which operates cafes in Coquitlam and Port Moody. In 2016, they opened Gabi & Jules in Port Moody which was named for their two daughters, Gabriela & Juliana. Inspired by the fact that Juliana has autism they committed to creating an inclusive work environment at the bakery and currently over 20% of their team identifies as having a disability.


Lisa is also the current co-chair of the Presidents Group, a group of business leaders that model and champion inclusive employment practices to make accessibility a hallmark of how British Columbia does business. She was also awarded Tri-Cities Chamber Member of the Year in 2019.


In 2020, Gabi & Jules was awarded with the BC Business for Good Award for Inclusivity, in 2019 was recognized by the Tri-Cities Employment Roundtable as Inclusive Employer of the Year and was the recipient of the Port Moody Spike Award for Inclusive Excellence. They were also awarded the Peter Hulbert Accessibility Award by the City of Port Moody in 2016 for their efforts in employing and creating opportunities for individuals with autism.


Lisa, a vocal advocate for small businesses, was a founding member of Shop Local Port Moody, a group of small business owners dedicated to promoting to benefits and value of shopping locally.


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Disability Employment Month

Job seekers and employers can contact their local WorkBC Employment Services Centre to learn more about the Disability Employment Month events in their area and the resources and supports available to help people with disability obtain employment. 

Chamber Talks is presented in partnership with the Coquitlam Public Library.



$15 for Members

$25 for Non-Members

Coquitlam Public Library - Pinetree
1169 Pinetree Way
Coquitlam, BC V3B 0Y1 Canada
September 27, 2022 (4:00 PM - 5:30 PM) (PDT)
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