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Supporting Mid-Career Workers with Disabilities

While today’s changing labour market can be challenging for many workers, mid-career workers with disabilities (MCWD) are both more vulnerable to market disruptions and face additional barriers to career adaptability.

Three students working in front of laptops in a library setting.

Ontario Tech University, together with partners including the National Education Association of Disabled Students, Manitoba League of Persons with Disabilities and Quebec Association for Equity and Inclusion in Post-secondary Education, has designed a project to assess MCWD needs and develop and evaluate tools and resources to increase their ability to make key decisions about career transitions.

The Future Skills Centre will invest $650,632 in this project, which will take place over two years, and will impact hundreds of mid-career workers with disabilities across Canada.

The project has three aims: (1) to increase peer support and networking opportunities, (2) to develop career adaptiveness and related skills, and (3) to provide a sense of hope about work. This will be accomplished in three phases:

  1. Identifying the needs and experiences of MCWD in their work ecosystem (employers and disability organizations/advocacy groups);
  2. Developing tools and resources that match these needs, including an educational toolkit, peer-to-peer online network, career resources, and a virtual coaching series; and
  3. Testing and evaluating these tools and resources.

The tools and resources will be informed by research into the experiences, perceptions, and needs of mid-career workers with disabilities.

Evaluation

This project will be rigorously evaluated using tools and approaches aligned with its unique goals and context. An evaluation plan is under development and will be shared in this space in the coming weeks. The evaluation will be linked to a broader evaluation strategy to ensure we are capturing the right evidence at the right moment to move the intervention forward. Read about our overall evaluation strategy.

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The Future Skills Centre is a forward-thinking centre for research and collaboration dedicated to preparing Canadians for employment success and meeting the emerging talent needs of employers. As a pan-Canadian community, we bring together experts and organizations across sectors to rigorously identify, assess, and share innovative approaches to develop the skills and work environments to drive prosperity and inclusion.