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Collaborating for a more inclusive community 


Story highlights:  

  • Thanks to United Way East Ontario’s Employment Accessibility Resource Network (EARN) and LiveWorkPlay, Graham feels he’s become a more responsible and generous person.

  • Only 62.8 per cent of people with disabilities in Ottawa participate in the workforce; one-in-six live below the poverty line.
  • EARN continues to support individuals and employers through mentorship programs, workplace accommodations, and shared resources which ensure a smooth integration for both employees and employers and sustained success. 
Graham at work
Graham at work at TD Place

Finding a job can be a daunting task for anyone, but for someone who lives with a disability, it can be discouraging. Thankfully, organizations like LiveWorkPlay, a founding member of the Employment Accessibility Resource Network (EARN) alongside United Way East Ontario, are making it much easier and helping folks with disabilities thrive in our communities. 

With the help of LiveWorkPlay, Graham found his job at Levy TD Place – a job that allows him to contribute to his community and make strides toward independence. 

“Since I started working here, I’ve become more generous, more responsible and actually more reliable,” says Graham.

Laura Lobay, an Inclusion Specialist at LiveWorkPlay, works with employers to get to know what their needs are and then connects members of the LiveWorkPlay community with job opportunities. 

Approximately 62.8 per cent of people living with disabilities in Ottawa are participating in the labour force, leaving one-in-six living below the poverty line.

"It’s definitely beneficial for employers to include people with disabilities in their workforce ... It brings more diversity; it brings a different viewpoint and different perspective to your team and makes your team stronger."

Collaboration is key 

One of EARN’s priorities is to enhance employment inclusivity and accessibility by showing service providers how they can create sustainable employment opportunities for those in need. EARN’s active engagement within communities of people with disabilities has helped the network obtain the perspectives needed to better understand and address the barriers hindering participation in the workforce.   

“It’s so great to work with a network like EARN because it does bring together organizations like LiveWorkPlay with more employers who are interested in being inclusive and learning more about how to support people in the workplace,” explains Laura. 

Recognizing that the journey continues after securing employment, LiveWorkPlay and the network continue to support individuals and employers through mentorship programs, workplace accommodations, and shared resources to ensure a smooth integration and sustained success. 

EARN also creates an opportunity for its partners to advocate for policy changes that promote inclusivity in the workplace as one united voice.   

Fostering an equitable society 

The partnership between LiveWorkPlay and United Way, through EARN, demonstrates the positive change that can be achieved when organizations join forces to promote inclusivity.  

Working at Levy TD Place means a lot to Graham, not only because his great-grandfather played for the Ottawa Rough Riders a century ago. By creating a more accessible job market, breaking down barriers, and fostering a culture of acceptance, we are changing lives and creating a more equitable society.   

And as we continue to pave the way for inclusive employment practices, the hope is that the impact of EARN will resonate far beyond workplaces, influencing communities to embrace the undeniable value of every individual. 

Help people like Graham find employment that works for them.



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